Post # 1
so I’ve been with my boyfriend for over 8 years now, we’re both 25 and have stable jobs with decent income.
We’ve talked about getting engaged and we both said that around 3-4 years into a relationship is a good amount of time, but 8 years on and nothing.
He wants to start up his own business (which he’s voiced before that he knows will take quite a few years to do). He’s said in the past that he’s saving money towards this and won’t even consider engagement or marriage until he’s done this.
My issue is that when I used to think about getting engaged I’d get so excited at the thought of it and now I don’t feel any excitement. I feel like I’m not one of his priorities. He also made me choose the ring I wanted which took the surprise away. It also made me feel like it was something that was going to happen in the near future and then felt disappointed when it didn’t.
I just feel that If he were to propose tomorrow, I wouldn’t be “over the moon” with joy like I should be.
anytime I try and talk to him about it he gets angry and defensive and it just ends in arguments. When I told him that I felt no excitement he again got mad and said “well we just won’t get married”. I’ve reiterated I do want to get married but I just feel a bit lost and confused and don’t know what to do, does anyone have any suggestions?
Post # 2
It sounds like he’s not ready for marriage, and I’m not surprised–a huge swath of 25-year-old guys aren’t. This is pretty normal, and he has every right to those feelings. It’s too bad that he led you to believe you’d be getting engaged, which he probably did because he felt pressure to do it (since I guarantee he also didn’t want to get married when he was 24, and 23, and 22…). And my point here isn’t that you did something wrong for pressuring him; my point is that he hasn’t wanted to get married and still doesn’t. Because he’s young and he has other things he wants to do in life first.
So now the ball is in your court: Do you keep talking about it with him, trying to get him on the same page as you? Probably not the wisest choice. You have to take him as he is right NOW and realize that he may not be ready for marriage until he’s in his 30s, which is totally normal and completely appropriate if that’s how someone feels. If you can’t wait for him to be ready (and you probably shouldn’t try), then it’s time for you to make the decision to leave.
Yours is a very young relationship, having begun when you were teenagers. Many of these don’t end in marriage, sorry. And there’s a good reason why: Relationships work better when we meet someone when we’re older, when we have our more mature selves making the decision about our partner. I don’t trust a damn thing my 17-year-old self chose or thought, because teenagers aren’t terribly wise. Not to mention how much we change in our early 20s.
My advice is to get ready to make a big change in your life and open yourself to finding a partner who suits you NOW, at an older age, and who’s in the same place as you.
Post # 3
Take engagement and marriage out of the equation and look at the rest of your relationship. Are you satisfied? Happy? Do you have a lot in common? Or do you just feel like you’ve put in 8 years and marriage is the next step?
From the outside looking in, it seems like your relationship has run its course. Yes, 8 years is a long time to invest in someone, but at this point, there is no definitive direction…at least not for a few more years.
Stop trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.
Post # 4
“anytime I try and talk to him about it he gets angry and defensive and it just ends in arguments”
He isn’t in this in the same way you are, Bee. I’m sorry.
Post # 5
Thank you for your response.
Its scares me but that’s what I’ve been thinking about, but a lot of my friends feel I’m being highly unreasonable. As much as I’m on the same page and totally get that he has the right to not want to get married right now, I also feel I have the right that I don’t want to wait the rest of my life.
I also see a large swath of my friends (same age as us and together less time) getting married and when I’ve spoken to them they say that they want to get married because they couldn’t imagine not being together in that way and I just feel we’re not on that page, or rather he isn’t.
I just feel really sad because I love him to bits and I couldn’t imagine being with anyone else .
Post # 6
we do have a lot in common and for the most part I am satisfied with our relationship, however I feel that when we are out and about he doesn’t display PDA (which I’m fine with) but it’s that he kind of treats me as a friend.
Min my head I’m thinking “maybe it’s run it’s course” but I’m scared to face facts. To me 8 years is a long time to just give up on and we’ve been through so much together. However my other worry is that I say no I’ll stick in there and then in another 8 years time I then decide nope I need to go and then I’ve wasted more of my life essentially.
Post # 7
my BIGGEST regret from my previous relationship/marriage is that I didn’t leave sooner.
It’s hard. You love them and don’t want to feel like you’ve ended it too soon. Just give them a little more time. That turns into a couple years.
I gave my ex more time. And he did propose. Then he wanted to be married for a couple of years before we had kids. I gave him that time. Then he told me he didn’t want kids…ever…never did. . And I had to tell him that I didn’t want to be married to him.
Post # 8
And of course, the kid thing wasn’t the only thing wrong with our relationship. Through a lot of time and therapy, I have realized that we were never compatible enough to have a lasting relationship (we were together for over 8 years) and it really was for the best.
Post # 9
I’m sorry to say this bee, but I think you need to move on.
I was in a similar position as you at that time and from what you’ve written, not only does your SO have no interest in getting married, he’s no where near even close to getting to the point of being ready for marriage.
I think you will become so resentful and angry and it will destroy your relationship. Been there, done that. You’re better off just accepting that you’d be much closer to getting what you want with someone else at this point.
And 25 isn’t that young. Don’t waste your good years on him
Post # 10
- Wedding: May 2019 - York, ME
I think you know what you need to do, it’s just hard to face the music. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to leave your partner of 8 years, but I think it’d be harder to be in the same position in another 8 years and be in your 30’s and have no progression or commitment.
I was with my Fiance for a little over three years, and I told him that if we weren’t engaged by our 4th anniversary I was either going to buy an engagement ring and start planning our wedding, or we’d be having a very difficult conversation if he wasn’t okay with that. To me, it wasn’t an ultimatum but he always talked about getting married and wasn’t taking action. I felt like if he wasn’t actually ready to be engaged and married after 4 years, then we had a serious issue in our relationship.
It’s been 8 years and won’t even have a conversation with you about getting married. He has a wife in you without actually committing to you. If he just wants a girlfriend, then set a “walk date” in your head, and if he doesn’t propose, look for an apartment. You don’t have to break up, but if he doesn’t want a wife, then don’t be one.
Post # 11
You say, “To me 8 years is a long time to just give up on and we’ve been through so much together.”
We see this all the time on the Waiting forum. But we also see women who have been waiting 10 years, 12 years, 15 years. Don’t engage in the sunken cost fallacy. You’ve committed 8 years of your life to this man. That doesn’t mean you’re stuck with him or in this relationship. If you want to stay, and are willing to wait for or forego marriage, that’s one thing, but you should never stay in a relationship solely, or even primarily, because of the years you’ve already been in it. If you do that, the years become wasted.
If you had a house that you had bought thinking it’d be your forever home, and you had spent 8 years in it making it a home, but it turns out that it’s not in a good school district, the foundation is not sound, there are termites in the walls, and the neighborhood has become dangerous, and there’s mold and water damage, would you stay just because you’d already stayed 8 years? If you were told it would cost way more to try and fix the house, then it would to start over, would you still stay?