I'm enlisting the advice and counsel of anyone who has gone through a similar situation. My boyfriend and I have been together for just over 3 years, with our fair share of ups and downs and learning things about one another. We've talked about marriage for over 2 years now. Every time we get into an argument or disagreement he brings up the fact that "I'm not ready yet" and says we "have things to work on" before getting engaged. I asked him straight up if he wanted to get married and his response was "when the time is right". He has brought up rings and kids but there's been no inclination that he has any thoughts to propose in the future.I realize that even in marriage, both parties are learning things about one another and may have things to work on. I love him so much, but a part of me feels like he's making up excuses to not commit to me in marriage. I'm 25 and he's 30, we both are financially set, he can EASILY afford the $3500 ring I want.I don't want to invest any more time with someone who may not wind up proposing. I'm at the point where I want to keep my options open, and I'm seriously considering closing the door on this relationship and opening a new one for someone who will actually make me feel like they want to marry me.Any thoughts/advice on the situation?I could really use anything, I feel super discouraged and at a loss.
Have you guys discussed a timeline for getting engaged/married or does he just make up excuses? My husband and I got engaged after 2.5 years. My husband knew I wanted to be married before I turned 26. My husband also wanted children pretty much since the moment we started dating. I wouldn't agree to have children without marriage first so that was one factor that my husband thought about when he decided to propose.
I understand your eagerness to get engaged, my boyfriend and I dated 5 years before he proposed to me (we had been living together for 2 years) at that point. And while there were times that I was frustrated with his lackadaisical “what’s the rush” attitude, I would never ever contemplate moving on from him. Love is love and honestly marriage will come when the time is right. You don’t want to marry someone that isn’t yet ready, so work on yourself and each other in the meantime (ask him what he thinks you guys need to work on before marriage). Hang in there!
The last thing that I would want is to marry someone who wasn’t ready to marry me. Everyone does things in their own time and if he’s not ready, there’s nothing wrong with that. If you don’t want to wait, there’s nothing wrong with that either. I think it’s important to keep communication open, ask him what things need to be worked on, and what kind of timeframe he thinks is appropriate for marriage. One of the biggest obstacles in a marriage is compromise, and if you aren’t willing to compromise with him on timing, then it’s not looking good. I also think it’s wildly inappropriate to decide what he can afford to spend on a ring that is a gift for you. That’s absolutely his decision to make, or the next guy’s if you decide to end things.
The decision to move on can only come from you and if you decide he is not worth waiting for. However, i do know that nothing good ever comes from a man being pressured into proposing , nor would I think it be good for you. Wouldn’t you always wonder if it was because it’s what he wanted or it’s because you wouldn’t leave it alone? If you decide he’s the one then wait. If not, move on. If you wait, then you know when he does it it’s with his own decision in mind.
No one likes an ultimatum, but I think you need to respectfully set a timeline of when you expect to be proposed to by before moving on.
My FH and I have been dating for almost 7 years and he proposed in July of this year! I was feeling exactly how you are right now. Around our 3rd year of dating, we discussed rings, marriage, the future and he seemed so on board with it that I expected a proposal very soon. I was crushed every year because something was always 'not right' in time for us to get engaged. The first excuse was that we were still in college and he wanted us to graduate first, second was that we didn't have full-time careers yet, the third was that he didn't feel we were financially stable enough.
I finally had to sit him down at the beginning of this year and through tears, I explained to him how I felt. I let him know that I'm ready whenever he is, but if he keeps waiting for everything to be 'just right', then we'll never get married and move forward. I told him that if he didn't see a future with me and didn't want to pursue that, to let me know so I could move on with my life and find someone that wanted that with me. I think that was an eye opener for him. That was the first time we had a SERIOUS marriage and future talk, and he could tell that I wasn't willing to put my life on hold for 'maybe's' anymore.
Have a sit down, come up with a timeline like Veronica suggested, express your feelings and how hurt and discouraged you're feeling. Sometimes pouring your heart out is what it takes for someone to open their eyes and realize what's happening.
I was in a similar situation. My fiancé and I had been together for two years, had a child, and lived together for 1.5 years and I couldn’t understand why he wasn’t proposing. I let my mind get the best of me. I would constantly bring it up here and there and I really regret that. He ended up proposing around this time 2 years ago and still to this day I wonder if it was because I was constantly “nagging” him about it. I wanted him to propose when he felt it was the right time, which he says he did. But looking back I realize how unfair it was for me to nag him about it. I wouldn’t rush things. You don’t want him to propose because he feels obligated to, you want him to really want to because he loves you and is excited about spending the rest of your lives together. In my opinion of course.
I’m not sure about the details of your relationship obviously, but if he treats you well, acts interested in the relationship, and you trust him then I would trust that he will when the time is right. Obviously if there are other issues going on that’s another story.
It's your life. You can and should take an active role it it! It's not about giving "ultimatums" or "nagging" (and all the other words people use to keep hetero relationships unequal). It's about having open and honest communication with the man you want to marry about your needs and wants, and learning what his are. You deserve to learn now if yours and his needs don't match. In order to decide what to do next (stay or leave) you need all of the information. And right now, he's not giving you all of the information.
A ring isn't necessary for marriage, so I would leave what he can and can't afford out of the conversation.
I really appreciate everyone's input- wow! I wasn't even sure if anyone would read this. I have made it a point to emphasize to him that I don't need and/or want an expensive ring (heck at this point a physical ring is not my biggest concern), since he is very strict with his expenditures. We've talked about everything, wanting a small wedding, avoiding debt, raising kids, future career goals, etc, and I've done my best to emphasize to him that I don't need anything expensive or over the top. I know some men hesitate to propose for financial concerns and at this point he's super squared away so that's why I included that. I do want to marry him but I don't understand what the waiting is for when we are both out of school and both expressing wanting children in marriage. He did say "when the time is right I will ask for your dad's hand in marriage" which is nice to hear, but he can't be the only one who decides when the time is right. I also feel that he pushes the timeline every time we have a disagreement, because almost every time he says "we have things to work on". He's said that for 2 years and I don't think it's fair to me.
For reference, my fiance and I were together for 3.5 years when we got engaged. For awhile my fiance said he wasn't ready, and I was stuck on that, why? is it me? is this something that's wrong with me?. He never really made excuses but he put it off. When I brought it up it just felt like talk that would never happen. So one day I said, "why aren't you ready?". And he said he was ready but didn't know how he was nervous about the actual act of proposing. He is very nervous in general It took him forever to even kiss me the first time. So I had a serious conversation with him. I said, "I love you I want to marry you. I need to move onto the next part of our life though". I brought up my age and kids, and I wanted to enjoy a year married before having kids. I calmly brought my timeline to the table. And I think the two of you need to sit down and have a conversation, not an argument. You should bring all of your concerns to the table. It can't be in a disagreement or in anger.
Don't worry too much. Don't give him an ultimatum. But don't close the door without telling him what you're really feeling-no anger
Not being ready is not the same as not wanting to marry you. So many people rush into marriage based on a timeline that have in their head rather than following their heart. Yeah you could push him to marry you before he's ready but that could end in disaster. And believe me, if anyone told me when I met my SO that it would be 10 years before we got married I would have said no way I would wait that long! But life happens and you get married when the time is right for both of you. And here's the God's honest truth....the ring, the piece of paper, the ceremony will never change how you feel about each other or your commitment to each. If he doesn't want to marry you on your timeline and you leave him, do you feel like you could love someone else the way you love him or be as happy with someone else as you are with him? Don't back yourself into a corner you can't get out off just because it's not how/when you want it.
How much longer are YOU willing to wait? Set a deadline for yourself and stick to it. He doesn't have to be ready. You don't have to wait around forever. There are 2 people in this relationship.
What does he wants to work on in the relationship? Has he articulated specific problems? If not, he's probably making excuses to buy himself time. Are you both actively working on any relationship problems? If not, then what are you waiting around for? If they haven't been resolved after 3 years, how do you expect them to be fixed now, unless you're both doing something different? Relationship problems don't magically disappear. Honestly, if he's 30, you've been together for 3 years, and he's not able to give you a more specific timeline, I'd be moving on. This sounds like a rocky relationship and may not be the one for you or him. He does not seem happy enough with this relationship to commit to you, and it's been the same thing for the past 2 years. He's not unhappy enough to break up with you either, but that gets you nowhere. Don't let a man string you along. Some men are waiting around to find a new girlfriend they like better, but don't want to be single in the meantime.
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I totally agree with this! I met my husband when I was 24 and he was 26, and something in me knew he was the one. Our relationship wasn’t always easy and had some major bumps in the first few years. There were so many times when I questioned why we weren’t engaged or married because I had always assumed I’d be married and have a child by the time I was 30. There were even arguments about it. I realized it was not that I wanted to be married but that I wanted to be married to him! I also realized that I didn’t want it to be because I gave ultimatums or pressured him into it. Last NYE, after 10 years of dating, he surprised me with a proposal and ring more incredible than I could have ever imagined, and it meant so much more because I knew that it was because he was ready.
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I agree with this completely. I got engaged this June after 10 years and I was completely taken by surprise. This was after telling FH that I wanted to get married and that I wanted children after marriage. He proposed when he was ready and felt confident that he could be the husband and provider that he wants to be. There's nothing wrong with being upfront about marriage and being ready but HE has to be ready too.
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This. My fiance and I were dating for 8 years before we got engaged. And as antsy as I was at some points to finally be at that point, I wouldn't have it any other way. We had been through so many ups and downs, good times and bad, that I knew we had a great foundation on which to build the rest of our lives. Yes, it's sometimes hard to ignore the "normal" timeline that society has in terms of when you should be married, especially when your friends are starting to take those steps as you watch. But I will say that never in those eight years did I ever consider leaving him because I didn't have a ring on my finger. I knew he was committed to me and I didn't need a diamond to convince me of that.
So OP, I guess my question to you is why are you in a rush? Do you just want to get married, or as PP put it, do you want to marry him? Is there a reason why you are nervous about him not being committed to you?
I understand how you feel because I didnt want to be a live in girlfriend for years. My parents were together since 94 and married in 03 . Personally I'd wanna be with someone on the same page as myself and I'd ask him "what does it mean by when the time is right?". It would make me think what's wrong that he says that. I agree with the timeline. Because you cant wait forever.
My ex and I were together for 3 years and I definitely pressured him into marriage. But, he never wanted to marry, ever. I should have seen the signs to move on.
My husband and I were together for 6 years years before we were engaged. I talked about marriage around year 4 and he told me he wasn’t ready. He’s also 4 years younger than me so I understood not to push the issue. It just seemed natural and not forced when we talked about getting married. Listen to your gut. Are you just wanting marriage, or do you love him enough to wait until he’s ready?
So interesting because my cousin who is also 25 years old is going through the same feelings that your fiancé are going through. Her boyfriend is ready to propose and he’s ready to buy her $3000 engagement ring, but she keeps saying she’s not ready and she’s not sure she just doesn’t feel like she wants to be married. Personally I think it’s because she’s so young, and she is still discovering who she is. He’s being patient with her and telling her that he will give her time to be ready but he does want to get married and have a family. As a man he set his standards with her, you can and should do the same. Oh and I just wanted to say someone commented about how they thought it was wildly inappropriate for you to set the amount in the ring that you want. Ummm no if you know what he can do financially, that’s what you shopped in. Also i personally don’t agree with the whole he should pick your ring and how much he wants to spend. He can just tell you how much and you shop in that budget and pick something you like.
Propose to him. He says yes, you do. He comes up with reasons why not, say goodbye. Seriously. He honestly may not be ready for marriage, for a month or 7 more years. You know. And I think your post makes it clear that if he doesn't want to say yes and be married in a year, then you need to wrench things apart, and seek someone more compatible. many people are content not married. You are not, and that is legitimate. And a kindness to both of you, do it quietly and privately. I hope you get what you want.