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An NEY needing some great advice/thoughts (you can also consider this partially venting)

My boyfriend and I have been together for 6 years (this December), and we both dearly love each other. We have spent about 4-5 years living together, but currently we are living separate (my decision). We have talked about our future (ranging topics from kids to living arrangements to individual finances). Both our families have met us (including extended family) and we all get along well. We both have graduated college and earned our degrees. Currently, I am back in school with one year left to finish my studies (decided to switch careers) and he has a stable, respectable career.

I know he will like to marry me, but now, I'm starting to have a lot of doubt in that. I don't want to move back with him if there are no future commitments, and ideally, I would like to be engaged when we move back together. I think part of the reason why we are now living separately (though we both constantly still "live" with each other) is the fact that I'm not so sure if we will ever be engaged....

I'm tired of being just his "girlfriend", and I am very ready to move us to that next stage. I don't mind officially marrying him for the next however many years, because I love him enough to wait. I just don't understand why we are not engaged any time soon? I have discussed this plenty before with him, but his response is mostly "I want it to surprise you and do it when you feel like I won't". I don't know if that's supposed to be romantic, but that upsets me. He also feels that when I talk about it constantly, he doesn't like feeling the pressure. It's upsetting to me, because I'm beginning to feel that "itch", especially when I am about to turn 24 soon. So, I have backed down and rarely do bring it up again.

Earlier today I discussed with him about a ring one of my Facebook acquaintances had received and his response was "Yes, I know, the princess cut" with a warm smile. It makes me feel assured, but there are times now where I really doubt and wonder how long I will have to wait.....

Is it OK for me to feel upset it's not happening? I don't think I want to wait another 2 years or so for him to pop the question and having lived together for so long........Is there a reason why he is not doing it? I don't think his reason is justifiable at all, and I'm wondering if there's anything more to it than that? Is it because I'm still in school? Is he just not emotionally there?

Thanks for your help everyone! :)

Re: An NEY needing some great advice/thoughts (you can also consider this partially venting)

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    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_ok-feel-this-way?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:136Discussion:7df36dc8-b25d-470d-b5b0-a93615520c6dPost:3d942193-4167-446f-a1c4-50b3820600c5">An NEY needing some great advice/thoughts (you can also consider this partially venting)</a>:
    [QUOTE]My boyfriend and I have been together for 6 years (this December), and we both dearly love each other. We have spent about 4-5 years living together, but currently we are living separate (my decision). We have talked about our future (ranging topics from kids to living arrangements to individual finances). Both our families have met us (including extended family) and we all get along well. We both have graduated college and earned our degrees. Currently, I am back in school with one year left to finish my studies (decided to switch careers) and he has a stable, respectable career. I know he will like to marry me, but now, I'm starting to have a lot of doubt in that. I don't want to move back with him if there are no future commitments, and ideally, I would like to be engaged when we move back together. I think part of the reason why we are now living separately (though we both constantly still "live" with each other) is the fact that I'm not so sure if we will ever be engaged.... I'm tired of being just his "girlfriend", and I am very ready to move us to that next stage. I don't mind officially marrying him for the next however many years, because I love him enough to wait. I just don't understand why we are not engaged any time soon? I have discussed this plenty before with him, but his response is mostly "I want it to surprise you and do it when you feel like I won't". I don't know if that's supposed to be romantic, but that upsets me. He also feels that when I talk about it constantly, he doesn't like feeling the pressure. It's upsetting to me, because I'm beginning to feel that "itch", especially when I am about to turn 24 soon. So, I have backed down and rarely do bring it up again. Earlier today I discussed with him about a ring one of my Facebook acquaintances had received and his response was "Yes, I know, the princess cut" with a warm smile. It makes me feel assured, but there are times now where I really doubt and wonder how long I will have to wait..... Is it OK for me to feel upset it's not happening? I don't think I want to wait another 2 years or so for him to pop the question and having lived together for so long........Is there a reason why he is not doing it? I don't think his reason is justifiable at all, and I'm wondering if there's anything more to it than that? Is it because I'm still in school? Is he just not emotionally there? Thanks for your help everyone! :)
    Posted by gyzbit[/QUOTE]

    1) If you are an adult in a mature, stable adult relationship, you should be able to have a mature, adult, level-headed conversation about where you see your relationship progressing and on what basic timeline you wish it to progress. If he is unable or unwilling to have that type of conversation with you, then I would consider that a big, huge red flag.

    2) That being said, if you are genuinely bringing it up all the time, that is enough to put undue pressure on a guy and make him back away from the entire situation. If what he's saying you're doing, you're actually doing...then knock it off. The man has expressed the fact that he plans to marry you and build a life with you in the future, has expressed that he wants to surprise you with a romantic proposal, has expressed that he does intend to propose to you at some point...then let it be. All you are doing is putting unnecessary pressure on the guy, which is likely to a) make him want to run far, far away, or b) force his hand into doing something he doesn't necessarily want to do or is ready to do. Either scenario can cause major problems in your relationship.

    3) I will give you the same advice I give every other NEY girl that comes around here...I don't care if you've been together for five years or five weeks - SLOW YOUR ROLL. Take a step back, take a deep breath, take a good, long, hard look around you, and enjoy <em>this moment.</em> Seriously. You will never get this time in your lives and your relationship again. Enjoy dating. Enjoy the anticipation that something wonderful is going to come. Enjoy the excitement that comes along with this stage of your relationship. Work on strengthening your relationship as it is <em>now</em> and start building a foundation for your future marriage. Because spending all your time living in the somedays will make you miss today.

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    edited December 2011
    It sounds like he wants to marry you, and that isn't enough for you right now.  If it really is bothering you that much that he isn't asking then you should first ask yourself a couple of questions...
    1) Why am I bothered by the fact that we are NEY?

    2) Am I truly happy with myself, first and foremost and also with my relationship with BF?

    Depending on your answer to #1 you may need to do some soul searching, put yourself in check, and/or talk to BF about how you're feeling. 

    If the answer to #2 is yes the I would suggest you chill and let nature take it's course.

    I realize that sometimes it's easy to let your mind wander and wonder why he hasn't asked yet.  In all honesty, your talking about it, even if you feel like it isn't pressuring him probably is.  If you ask a guy to do something (like take out the trash, fold laundry, whatever) once it's okay, usually once you pass the second or third time (even if you do it with a smile, in a nice tone of voice) it will come across as annoying and naggy (word?).  Just relax and enjoy having the love of your life in youre life, no matter what his title is!

    Oh, and welcome to NEY!
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    cu97tigercu97tiger member
    First Anniversary First Comment 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    Oceana is smart, you should listen to her.

    I know you don't want to hear this, but you're young. I'm assuming your BF is roughly the same age you are. You've been dating since you were 17. Men mature slower than women, so there is a chance that he is waiting until he is mature enough to make this life-altering decision. But you can only really know that by having a discussion with him. Not a 'throw marriage into the conversation' every once in awhile, but an actual sit-down discussion.

    Also, if you don't want to live together until you're engaged, don't. There's nothing wrong with telling him that, unless you're using it as an ultimatum.
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    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_ok-feel-this-way?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:136Discussion:7df36dc8-b25d-470d-b5b0-a93615520c6dPost:2b776c4e-c7c8-4888-9d6d-76677aeb8698">Re: An NEY needing some great advice/thoughts (you can also consider this partially venting)</a>:
    [QUOTE] Also, if you don't want to live together until you're engaged, don't. <strong>There's nothing wrong with telling him that, unless you're using it as an ultimatum.</strong>
    Posted by cu97tiger[/QUOTE]

    This. Absolutely this.

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    Stina51286Stina51286 member
    5 Love Its First Anniversary First Comment Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    Random ? here, are a bunch of your friends getting engaged/soon to be married that have been with their guys for a shorter period then you have? If so, take a deep breath and realize that every relationship moves at a different pace. Im 25 only one of my friends is not married nor engaged, she has been with her bf for 6 going on 7 yrs plus has a 5 yr old with him, the day I got engaged she was mad at me and now pressures her bf with the same thing.

    I'd lay off the subject for a while and turn the conversation about other things and not dwell on the fact that he hasn't asked you yet.

     

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    lennonkdclennonkdc member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Answer First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Saying you don't want to move in unless you are engaged can be a form of an ultimatum, as PP have pointed out. Talking about wedding/rings/etc will be seen as presure by your BF, so drop it. 

    I know that there is a point in every relationship where you think "OMG WTF why are you not proposing!?!?!!??!?" and you question everything. I've been there. Listen to the man and DROP IT. Be with the man you love and let the rest of if go. He wants to be with you, trust that. So be with him and enjoy your life together, it will happen when it happens.



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    kellyt89kellyt89 member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011
    What if you waited 6 months with NO wedding/engagement talk and then sat down together and asked him what things are important for him to have in place before you get engaged or married. And think about what you want too - financial stability, job stability, where you want to live, how to reach other goals you have, etc.

    5 years together when you're 30 and 5 years when you're 23 are different IMO. I think it's wise to wait until you both have stable jobs to start thinking about marriage, it's different than meeting when everything is "stable" and getting engaged after a year or so.

    And if the stormy weather came...I'd just kiss you in the rain... Daisypath Anniversary tickers image
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    caitlin.cavecaitlin.cave member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Have you had any other serious relationships (serious meaning not ending in high school)?  This isn't totally relevant, I'm just curious.

    "I know he will like to marry me, but now, I'm starting to have a lot of doubt in that."

    If you're having doubts about whether he wants to marry you, apparently you don't know.  You need to be honest with yourself about whether you feel this way out of impatience, or whether it's because he's actually displaying signs of not wanting to get married.  From his response, it seems you asked him something like "when are you gonna propose?????" to which he can totally answer "I'm not gonna TELL you, I want it to be romantic" and not be stalling or dragging his feet at all.

    If you think you're ready to get engaged/married, you need to be able to sit down and have an honest conversation with him about what your timelines are and how they fit together.  If you want to get engaged this year, and he doesn't want to think about it until after he has paid off his first house or whatever in 10 years, that might be an issue.

    PS, 24 is not old. Like AT ALL.
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    edited December 2011
    Based off what you are saying it sounds to me like your BF wants to surprise you/take you off guard with a proposal. If you keep bringing it up to him how is he supposed to accomplish that? Don't run off and go BSC over-analyzing that, but chill out instead and let him surprise you WHEN he is ready.
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    edited December 2011
    I appreciate everyone's advice. I was just wondering if it was normal for me to think this way, but I guess I have a lot to think about.

    Just to add on, I have never given him ultimatums (especially the living situation). The living situation was just a shift in my preference (and an alternative) to our living situation. I only bring up marriage when something significant happens, such as a friend/acquaintance getting engaged or married (I don't know why, but this year has had the most engagements/marriages as far as I know, so maybe that has something to do with it?). I also don't consider 24 years old "old" at all either :)

    Not going to lie though, this year I have started with the "so when are you going to pop the Q?" I'm just blunt and impatient sometimes, so I'll take ya'lls advice and just chill out on this one Cool

    Thanks ya'll! I appreciate it Laughing


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