Not Engaged Yet

What's the hold up?

My lovely SO and I have been talking about marriage for awhile, and we picked out a ring together. 

He's had many opportunities to pop the question, but has said, it wasn't unique enough for him to ask. 

He's also said that since both his parents have had previous marriages, that he's worried. I've tried to talk to him about that, and comfort him. 

I'm worried that he's still wanting to be a kid, and doesn't want to grow up and ask. I know he loves me and I love him. But...When's it gonna happen? lol

Anyone else running into this? 

Background: We've known each other since middle school. Been together for almost 2 years and lived together for a little over 6 months. 

Re: What's the hold up?

  • bethsmilesbethsmiles Denver, CO member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    How old are you?

    Don't pressure him to propose before he is ready. Just because he loves you doesn't mean he is ready for marriage. My BF and I have been together for almost 5 years, we've been talking about marriage for a long time now. I know he wants to marry me and I want to marry him but there are things in our lives that need to happen first. Early on when we started talking about marriage we discussed what needed to happen for both of us to feel ready. That talk helped me a lot because now I know the reasons he hasn't proposed yet rather than making them up in my head.

    If your BF is "still wanting to be a kid" it sounds like he may not be ready for marriage (no matter how much he loves you) and pressuring him to ask isn't going to make him more ready. So I would have an adult discussion about both of your goals, where you see yourself 1, 5, and 10 years from now. What both of you feel needs to be accomplished before marriage. It can help answer a lot of the questions you have.

  • Beth is wise. You should listen to her advice.

    It's great you've found someone that you would like to spend forever with.  Marriage is a big step and just because you've talked marriage doesn't mean you have to jump in right now.  Your SO will propose when he is ready.   Maybe that's today or maybe it's next year.  There is no need to push him.  Slow your roll and enjoy your relationship as it is now.  Once you are engaged you can't get back the time of just being BF/GF.
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  •  bethsmiles gave some great advice. I'm pretty sure a lot of women on this board have had the same thoughts before (why isn't he proposing? what's he waiting for? etc.,) but we're all here to happily pull you back from the ledge :-)  I agree - do not pressure him. in the event you do get a proposal, you don't want to wonder if he asked because he wanted to or because you cornered him in to it.

    If this really does stem from his parent's having previous marriages, that's something he will need to work out on his own. As much as we can comfort and listen to our loved ones about their problems, our empathy alone isn't going to fix whatever issues they may be having. That being said, I'm sure he appreciates the supports though!

    It would be awesome if being in love fixed everything, but we all know it doesn't. Perhaps try talking to him some more and see if he'll open up. Where does he want to be in 5, 10 years? What does marriage mean to you? who does what in the home? All of those things are important factors in deciding if this is the right move for both of you. And even if that time isn't right this second, it doesn't mean that that time won't ever happen.
  • 500days500days MA member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    I also agree with everything @bethsmiles said. It seems like you may need to take a step back and start communicating with your BF more effectively. Ask him where he wants to be/what he needs to do before you get married. 

    For what it's worth, I have been where you are. I thought since BF and I have known each other for ages (since middle school) that we would get married sooner. We started dating at 22 and 27 and 29, still happily dating. But, he still wanted to party and wasn't ready to settle down; and I wanted to finish my masters and start a career. We were not on the same page!

    Just keep open lines of communication and periodically come back to discuss your goals together. This has been invaluable to my relationship, and I'm sure it can help your relationship.

  • Just give the dude a little breathing room! :) I am guessing from your post that there is a ring all picked out and possibly bought? Very few men I know would get this far in the details if they weren't serious about marrying someone. That doesn't mean they won't take their sweet time, but this sounds like someone who wants to make you happy and be with you for the long haul.

    It is tough advice to give and tougher to take, but: you've got to be patient. (Is there a word I hate more than "patience"? Perhaps "diet," but that's for another post.) All the posters above have great perspectives on this issue, and they are awesome role models and advisers. You have found someone you love and want to be with forever, and that is great! When you keep that important fact in the back of your mind and appreciate the here and now, it is so much easier to give him some space and let him do things in his own time.

    If there is genuinely something there about his parents that he needs to work through, it is in your best interest that he come to terms with it before you get engaged. Unless you have specific reasons to believe that he still wants to be a kid, probably he is just taking his time, planning how to officially invite you to spend the future with him, and enjoying your relationship, as you should be doing. Hang in there, and in the meantime, stick around and enjoy the conversation - these ladies are terrific to pass the time with :)
  • bethsmilesbethsmiles Denver, CO member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    @Amapola14 - I loved your post purely for the line "Is there a word I hate more than 'patience'? Perhaps 'diet' but that's for another post" - You and I have a similar way of thinking!

  • thejucheideathejucheidea East Nashville, Tennessee member
    Tenth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    My fiance had my ring for a year and a half before he proposed. Be patient.

  • Well, I don't know if this helps, but my story is one of having patience - a lot of it!  My now-fiance and I have been dating on and off for 8 years.  We looked at rings within the first 6 months, broke up after that, got back together for a while, and then, last summer, he actually moved out, and moved out of state!  Three weeks after that, he came back, said he realized he was an idiot (his words), and vowed to spend his life making it up to me.  I took him back because I love him, and deep down I knew that he just had to go through something dramatic to straighten his head out.  Last month, about a year after he left, he proposed to me as we were hiking in Peru, overlooking Machu Picchu. 

    The point:  he'll get there.  Let him do it on his own time.  You have the rest of your life together, so if the BF/GF part takes a little longer, does it really matter?    

  • Listen to these wise girls. They really give the best advice. and I am speaking from experience. I had previously been engaged. We had been dating for about 2 years when we seriously started talking about marriage, and had gone to pick out rings together. We picked out a setting, a stone, a matching wedding band.Then... no proposal. And I didn't wait patiently. I nagged him. I questioned our relationship. I pressured him and a couple months later, he finally did propose. I then spent the next year and a half engaged to a man who wasn't ready to marry me. It was terrible. And ultimately it didn't work out because we weren't on the same page.
    He'll propose when he's ready. In the meantime just enjoy being with someone who loves you and wants to be with you.

  • fyrefly76 said:

    Sunday my mom called me. 

    Mom; "Melissa called me on Skype."  Melissa is my 21-year-old (maybe 22?) college senior cousin.  She is not all that close to my family.

    Me; "Is she engaged?"

    Mom; "Yes!  How did you know?  She called to ask for your sister's phone number so she could ask about planning a wedding."  My sister is 33, was with her boyfriend for 8 years before getting engaged, was engaged for over one year, and had a lovely destination wedding a couple months ago.  She is also the only female relative of Melissa's in Melissa's generation to have gotten married.

    Me; "How long has she been engaged?"

    Mom; "Um, one day."

    Me; *sigh*

    I told my mom that Melissa needs to enjoy her engagement.  My god, a week of being engaged prior to wedding planning is not going to kill her.  She hasn't even told our grandparents yet that she's engaged and already she's on the phone with relatives she hardly speaks to in order to get advice on planning a wedding (which is going to be nothing like my sister's so I don't know what they'll talk about.)  My mom just repeated that the last time she saw Melissa, the youngin' just kept talking about how much she wanted to be married.  She's forgoing an enjoyable engagement to leap into being married.  It makes me crazy when people wish their lives away.

    Me; *sigh*

    She's probably just excited for her wedding, once she realizes that she's the only one as excited about her own wedding, it'll die down.

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  • There's so much great advice already, but here's my story just to add to the mix:

    I just got engaged five days ago to my boyfriend of... drumroll... just shy of TEN YEARS. We started dating our second month into our freshman year of college (a 5-year school). After a couple of years, even while in college, I was occupying my mind with, "Why isn't he proposing yet??!" Eventually, after friends told me to stop being insane, I realized that I was being insane to think that two 20-year-olds in college, with tons of accumulating student loan debt and no jobs could get married, so I stopped worrying.

    After graduating, I worked for a company that made me move all around the country for two years. I got crazy again and thought, "Why won't he propose??!" Eventually, again, I realized a long-distance engagement had no point and simmered down.

    After that, we finally moved in together and he started grad school. And... yet again... I thought it was about damn time he proposed, and was frustrated that he hadn't yet. This time I asked him, and he told me that he has no money for a ring (as grad school + no job = even more debt) and we knew we were going to move after he was done with school, so we should wait until then. Still, I drove myself nuts thinking he was making excuses... still wanting to play video games, eat pizza every night for dinner, and sleep 'til 11 on the weekends.

    Well, we did move, he got a job, I got a new job and we began our "grown up" routine, as I like to call it: paying bills, going to Costco, washing our cars on the weekends, paying off our loans. At this point it was almost exactly a year ago, and we'd been together for shy of nine years. But... for once... I wasn't freaking myself out about with thoughts of "why aren't we married yet?!?!" and "he is never going to grow up!" We just... lived... happily... grown-up...

    And you know what?

    He proposed.

    And you know what else?

    I asked him if he'd planned on doing it that day for a long time and he said no. He wanted to do it last year, but didn't have time to get the hand-me-down ring from my mom. Then, he wanted to do it on Thanksgiving the moment my mom gave him the ring to give to me, but we had just gotten some bad family news and he didn't feel it was right. Then, he had a hard time finding a weekend because my new job makes me travel internationally every other month for weeks at a time. Then, finally he found a weekend and did it.

    Moral of my long story: stop worrying. The moments you freak out and want it so badly are the moments that could and should be better spent with your boyfriend, enjoying the time you have together. Looking back on how anxious I was when we were 20 makes me laugh now. I'm glad we are where we are now!
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  • It sounds like you're actually worried that he's going to decide the relationship isn't working for him and break your heart, and you think getting engaged will fix that.

    It won't.

    It just takes some time to develop security in a relationship. Please just take your time and enjoy that process of your bond growing deeper and stronger. 

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  • If you are a young'n, chill out. If you're like me and in your 30s and you know what you want and don't feel you HAVE to wait for it just because society tells women we should sit around and watch our life pass by waiting for a MAN to decide our futures for us, then ask him! I hate the fact that as women we are taught and raised to believe that we are equal and we can be and do anything we want, yet we hold onto this stupid tradition that we can only marry a man if HE decides so. Ugh. It's so sad to see all you women waiting around and trying to "convince" your boyfriends to pop the question. 

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