(Closed) What’s the consensus on mental timelines?

posted 9 years ago in Waiting
  • poll: When is it time for them to do their business or get the heck of the pot?
    3-4 or so years : (25 votes)
    63 %
    5-6 or so years : (7 votes)
    18 %
    7-8 or so years : (4 votes)
    10 %
    Did you say 7-8 or so years?! WHAT?? Run away as fast as you can and don't look back!!! : (4 votes)
    10 %
  • Post # 3
    521 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: July 2009

    I actually think it’s best to do that.  That way, it’s not like you’re giving him an ultimatum (especially if he already knows you’re interested in marriage) but you are telling yourself this isn’t what you want and you won’t wait forever.  Knowing what you want is important, and telling YOURSELF that you’ll only wait until, say, Christmas is perfectly fine.  Now telling him that he has until Christmas to propose… that’s not quite ok IMO.

    Post # 5
    440 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2009

    I had a mental timeline… and I have to say, when a close friend (of his) got engaged (they started dating after us, and *everyone* was expecting us to get engaged next) and I still didn’t have a ring on my finger it got *really* tense at out house. As if generally thinking about it isn’t hard enough, having a specific date in mind can totally bite you in the butt and can make things really tough on you.

    Maybe your mental timeline should be more focussed on sitting him down & having a serious heart to heart about your relationship and where it’s headed (who knows, he may just have a specific plan in mind!). That seems a lot more fair to both of you after investing 7 years than setting a timeline to “shit of get off the pot” as it were… especially if he has no idea you’re even considering “getting off the pot”.


    Post # 6
    6597 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: August 2010

    I don’t think it’s fair on him to set a mental timeline! If he doesn’t know that it is a deal breaker and you just get up and leave one day because it hasn’t happened yet but he wasn’t aware that you set a timeline!

    I am all about honesty I think you need to tell him how it important it is to you and that you are ready to take the next step in your relationship! Being honest about your feelings and wants and allowing him to let you know where he stands on the situation I think is a better option! This way after you hear his opinions you can make the decision of where you are going to go with the relationship!

    Post # 7
    7082 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: July 2009

    There is a certain point where you just have to decide if things are going to continue to move forward or not.  As I got older, I knew that there was only a certain amount of time I was going to invest in figuring out whether this was going to work for me or not.

    Given the fact that he was so much younger than me, I left the mental timeline really flexible… but the essential question that I focused on was whether giving us a little extra time would result in the desired outcome…

    On the other hand, one of my best friends waited 8 years for her boyfriend to propose, but he constantly re-asserted that marriage was not in his future plans.  I think she thought he’d eventually change his mind, but I think clear boundaries like that are unlikely to change!

    I didn’t even know if I wanted to get married.  I just knew that I wanted to have the opportunity to have children if that was something I decided I wanted. I had to keep evaluating what steps would bring me closest to that goal, and so I gave my partner extra time.  I would have loved to have been married by the time I was 36… (and it would have been possible since we’d been dating for 2 years by that point)  But sticking to that mental picture would have made me miss out on the best thing to ever happen to me!

    So, I would say keep focusing on the big picture, but don’t set a firm mental deadline… You might miss out on great things!

    Post # 8
    2695 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: February 2008

    I think they make sense because otherwise you could find yourself in the trap of thinking he just needs more time and before you know it, 5 years could go by.  Now this is totally fine if you are ok to wait and take a chance it might never happen.  But a mental timeline helps keep you honest to yourself about how much time you really have waited….When you get to that date, you might want to talk to him and then assess whether its time to wait more or cut it off and move on.

    I voted 3-4 years but it totally depends on the couple and their circumstances – age, schooling, financial independence, etc.

    I also don’t believe in verbal ultimatums. 

    Post # 9
    248 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: March 2010

    I didn’t vote because there wasn’t a 1-2 yrs option!

    We started our relationship with a time limit/expiry date of a year (!). I was thinking 2 years, but Mr V said if you don’t know after a year he didn’t think it was the one, so we went with that. I think I would always make it clear that I was only for something serious, as I can’t imagine getting to 2 yrs and saying ‘oh, by the way… I’m leaving because I think you should have proposed by now’ out of the blue.

    That said, I was not interested in dating or having a relationship for ‘fun’ or just seeing where it goes. A serious relationship was always on the cards for us, and we knew each other well enough to know that we had a fairly good chance. I’m not old, 23, but I just don’t want to spend years in a relationship that’s not going anywhere. If Mr V or I hadn’t been ready to get serious/commit we just wouldn’t have had a relationship 🙂

    Post # 10
    10218 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 2010

    i don’t believe in verbal ultimatums however i don’t believe in waiting forever in silence. m and i agreed at the end of last year that if we aren’t engaged by the end of 2011 (a bit over 3 years in our relationship) that we could basically move on because it wasn’t going to happen.  we are both older though. I was 27 (a mth later i turned 28) when we started dating  and he was 32.  I am now 29 and he will be 33 in october, so we are definitely at the time to be thinking marriage etc. 

    i voted on 3-4 years simply because i am older, if i would have been in my early 20s when we started dating then i would have voted longer so that careers and finances could be established.

    Post # 11
    14186 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2009

    I think it’s best when both parties sit down and have thsi discussion (like it hink you need to) and say “ok what’ sthe deal. Where is this going?” sort of thing.

    I had given my guy a relatively verbal ultimatum. AFter 3 years, I said “it’s not fair to leave me behind while you deploy, expect me to stick around and that’s it”.

    If he was leaving for 15 months, I told him that unless we were getting married, That’s crap and I wasn’t just going to wait around and “wait and see” how he felt when he got back home. IMO, after 3 years, he should Sh or get off the pot before he deserts me to go to Iraq. I know that sounds irrational and ridiculous, but that’s how i felt. I had a chat with mom and she felt he should either committ or leave me free. We decided on a verbal engagement (essentially no ring) and that we WOULD get married. I needed to actually hear it. Hear it with my own two years. “EJS, i will marry you when i come home. no iffs ands or butts”. Even without a diamond ring. OK, done.

    Boy, 2 months into his deployment, kjow what he was whining about? “i wish I’d asked you to marry me before I left. I’m sorry. It was so selfish of me”.

    yeah. That’s just my story! But, all your ducks are in order….do you KNOW why he’s waiting?

    I totally agree in timelines. You can’t just string someone along forever ya know. It’s not fair to both parties.

    Post # 12
    1490 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: December 1969

    If you’ve both discussed your views on marriage and he knows that it’s a dealbreaker for you (i.e. you’re not going to stick around forever unmarried), then a mental timeline makes sense. If you’re both in your late twenties and have been together for seven years… it’s about time he made a decision.

    Post # 13
    11325 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: February 2011

    Gosh, this is so hard. Especially because all anyone can ever say is their own personal experience which is rarely relevant to anyone else. That being said, I’ll give you my story for what is worth (which is not much at all!).

    My last boyfriend I was with for 5 years. The first two years we were together were incredible. He told me in no uncertain terms that he would marry me some day, and even proposed. I told him no because we were 18 and I wanted to finish college first, but I made sure he knew that it was a timing issue only and I wanted to be married after college. Then things… fizzled? I don’t know. As time went on I got more and more involved and he got more distant. I started doubting him when he said he loved me. Sometimes he was so sincere and I really believed him when he told me that we would get married when the time was right. As it got into our fifth year together (and heading into my second year post-undergrad) it became abundantly clear that we were on different wavelengths. When we talked about marriage it was always “someday” but he said he just couldnt say when exactly that day would be. Then he got deployed and things got worse. When he came home he told me he wanted to reenlist– something I’d told him from the start I would never stay for (we had a 1 term deal so he could pay for school). To me, it just became sooo clear that even though I’d felt he was the love of my life, he was putting “him” before “us” and probably always would. I left him that day and I haven’t seen him since.


    Four months later I met B and everything was different. I wasn’t looking for “the one” just someone to hang out with and here was this guy who told me he loved me in 5 weeks– and meant it! And he showed it. And he made me feel it every day. He never made me feel like I was the lucky one to be with him. I was still a bit gun-shy because of the last one and I really took things slow with him… but 2.5 years later I am happier than I’ve ever been in my life and I know that he’s ring shopping.


    So the point of my long and probably useless story? If your guy knows how you feel and he isn’t giving you answers, it might be that he isn’t commited enough to you to take the plunge. And if you do decide to leave, remember that there is someone you’re meant to meet right around the corner.

    Post # 14
    3587 posts
    Sugar bee

    I think over the age of 25, 2 to 3 years should be enough time for an engagement. You know if that is the person you want to spend your life with, so it’s not like it’s taking time to decide.

    I have a mental timeline, but he knows it. When we were just dating, I told him if I was dating someone I wanted to marry, I would not date them for4 or more years. On the 2nd or 3rd year, I expect a proposal. I’ve only dated one man I want to marry, him, so this is in effect now. Two years is enough time, especially me being 28 and wanting to have children.

    Post # 15
    665 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2010

    In our situation… the only reason we’re not official is money b/c we’re young and in grad school. If money wasn’t the problem… and we were still not offically engaged… I’d be questioning the relationship and his commitment. I guess thats the time for a serious reconsideration and discussion rather than a deadline. It sucks to have invested so much into a relationship just to have it end in nothing, but there could be someone much better out there for you… each day wasted waiting on someone who may not be the one. Based on what you’ve described… I’d say 3-4 years max is how long I’d wait until I began to wonder. I want a large family and I want to start on that by 26… So yeah… tick – tock… 🙂

    Post # 16
    446 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2011

    I voted 3-4. Right now, we’ve been together almost a year. I’ll turn 19 right before our one year anniversary and I know I’m not ready for marriage. He’s 29 (he’ll be 30 a couple months after our one year anniversary) and he doesn’t really talk about marriage in concrete terms (lol, I don’t either).

    We’ve both decided to talk about it when I’m out of college (I’ve got two semesters left) because it’s important to me to complete my education and establish my career prior to getting married and it’s important to him that I reach the goals I’ve set for myself. I’m not saying we couldn’t get married while I was in school or that that would keep me from doing anything I’ve set out to do, but I think I still have some growing up to do.

    So we’ll have been together about 2.5 years when I’m finished with school and we’ll probably talk more concretely then. I think 2.5 years or even 3 is a reasonable amount of time but more than 4 worries me, in my case. I mean, he’ll be turning 33 a couple of months after our 4 year… He should know by 33 if he wants to marry the girl he’s dated for 4 years.

    The topic ‘What’s the consensus on mental timelines?’ is closed to new replies.

    Find Amazing Vendors