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waiting is so painful, I really need advice.

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Re: waiting is so painful, I really need advice.

  • KeptInStitchesKeptInStitches the Northern Plains member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    If moving in together now or later shouldn't matter, why should getting engaged now or later matter? That's food for thought as well.
  • edited September 2013
    Well, the main reason that matters, was way back in the thread.... simply, my dad is dying, and I wish he could be at my wedding. I'm confusing two different things -- the healthy progression of my relationship into a marriage at a natural pace, and my wish for dad to give me away. A page back or so I acknowledged that as much as I want dad there, it is stupid to rush a relationship/engagement for this reason alone.

    EDIT: And actually, the idea that now or later doesn't matter for engagement (assuming both my boyfriend and I really are on the same "this is the one!" wavelength) is part of what frustrated me so desperately at first: If it's meant to be it's meant to be, so can't we move it up a bit so dad can be there?
  • edited September 2013
    Wow, I just now found a site that explains exactly what I was trying to explain about it being harder to break up if you are living together (they call the inertia principle):

    "As many of you know, we (our lab) have been doing research in this area for
    some time, and are presently conducting a rather large study on the question
    (as well as other important questions).  One of the major theories we are
    testing is what we call the inertia perspective. Here's a quick recap of the
    idea. Cohabitation may be risky for some people because it makes it harder
    to break up with someone that they otherwise would have broken up with and
    never married in the first place. (Or, they never would have stayed together
    long enough to have a child; a variable that fits all the same logic.)  Yes,
    cohabiters break up all the time. In fact, they break up much more often
    than people who are married.  That is not exactly a news flash.  But
    cohabiters break up much less often than people who are dating. A lot of the
    time, that's just because cohabiters are more likely to be more deeply
    involved (entangled).  The idea of inertia is that cohabitation makes it
    harder to break up in comparison to dating without cohabiting.  Inertia
    suggests that some people actually marry someone they would not have married
    had they not been cohabiting.
     
    This idea of inertia also suggests that, among those who eventually marry,
    those who were already engaged or mutually planning marriage, when they
    began to cohabit, will be at lower risk for marital difficulties than those
    who cohabited before nailing down that big question.  It's the latter group
    that would contain the people adversely affected by inertia. If two people
    already mutually agree on marriage before cohabiting, it's not very likely
    cohabitation will be a factor in them getting married.  Inertia is not their
    issue.  There may be other factors that matter for such a couple, like what
    their beliefs and values are about cohabitation, but inertia is not part of
    equation for them."

    By the way, people, I am sort of a science junkie, and  librarian. I really just love research, I'm not just obsessing over this. I was a psych student, and part of the reason I loved it was because it was an outlet for me to really examine and understand people and their motivations, as well as letting my inner science nerd out to play.
  • I can see that waiting for an engagement is uncomfortable for you due to the fact that you have so many stressful factors that surround it due to time. I am also sorry that your father is not doing well.  As I have been scrolling through the thread, many posters have given you ideas in terms of sorting things out therapeutically or how to effectively communicate with your boyfriend about the future, and even about a proposal. Adegr097 suggested that you could propose to him. You are concerned that he "would be disappointed." You also stated that  "His best friend thinks so too." Have you spoken to his best friend about your current situation (ie wanting your father to walk you down the aisle, etc.)? If your SO's best friend "thinks" that your boyfriend would be disappointed if you proposed, do you think he's already relayed the information to your bf that you've given him? Just a thought. 

    I have also noticed that you haven't indicated if you've spoken with your boyfriend about the future since writing this post. I think it was good to speak to your bf's best friend, but that being said, why don't you just have a conversation with your boyfriend expressing your concerns and feelings? Maybe he doesn't know how important the tradition of a father walking his daughter down the aisle is to you. He could also be a great support system as you start coping with your father's passing. As you said, you want to be on the same page (ie knowing that he thinks that you are the one for him), and having a conversation about the future (sans ultimatum lasting in a proposal) probably couldn't hurt at this point.  

    Keep us updated. 
  • CLoGreenEyesCLoGreenEyes member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited September 2013
    @basically everybody, while the research about cohabitation vs. not is an important component of this conversation, I feel like maybe we're straying from the bigger issue of this post. Just sayin'.

    @istril, what I've gathered from the past three pages is:
    • You have found the one you would like to marry and have children with.
    • You are eager to get the ball rolling because of your father's health, concerns about fertility, etc. --> Perfectly valid
    • You are not interested in living together before becoming engaged, and you feel that approximately one year is enough time to determine whether the relationship is successful. --> This is all fine and good IF your BF has similar views. This is one case where I feel that, rather than being "right," it's more important that you and your BF agree on these points. If you do, the rest of the world can think whatever. If you don't, all the research in the world won't be able to help you.
    • You feel like TELLING him these things would make his proposal somewhat less than genuine, which is why you haven't done it yet.
    I think the original advice of many posters back on page one still stands: you need to bite the bullet and have a conversation about all of the above. If this is the person you want to be with for life, I hope you can trust him to be honest about whether he's ready to get married or not. If you can't trust him to tell you the truth, even if it's uncomfortable, there are relationship issues that need to be dealt with LONG before you start talking marriage.

    So with that, I am curious. Has there been any progress on this talk?

    Edited to add a couple things
    bride2b71614labro
  • edited September 2013
    Thank you Amapola14 for bringing this back on topic-- I had actually intended to post an update on my original situation tonight anyway, and maybe start another thread about this other stuff, which has been an interesting conversation.

    So I did begin to talk about this with my boyfriend this weekend, but I'm taking my time and digesting it before I move on with what I want to say.

    Basically, he told me what I already knew-- that he is very happy with me and wants to spend his life with me, and that he feels like getting engaged soon is the next step. However, while I gave him an "opening," he didn't offer to clarify what "soon" meant. I didn't push him on it at that time, because I just wanted to give myself time to think about what I wanted to say so I don't come across as pushy. But I do want to talk about what his timeline is.

    He also asked if I wanted him to move in with me. I said that I really liked the idea, but reiterated to him that I wanted to wait until we were ready for a more formal commitment to try that out. I had already explained this to him, but I asked him how he felt about that. I wanted to know if he had other ideas, and if living together before engagement was something he really wanted. He said he understood perfectly why I wanted to wait, and even offered that he thought my reasons were good ones. He seemed happy to go along with my wish to wait for engagement before we live together.

    So, once again, he is giving me all the signals that he is ready to move forward and get engaged "soon" (he keeps saying soon! for months he says soon!). I've had a few days to mull this over, so I wanted to talk to him a little bit more tonight about timing. I'm still trying to decide exactly how I want to frame the question. I'm trying to be careful not to be pushy.

    If nothing else, the conversation we had this weekend has reassured me that he really is as excited as I am about our future, so I think I can relax a bit about worrying that talking about getting engaged would take away from his sincerity during a proposal. I've actually been proposed to twice before, by two other guys, and both times, the proposal felt like a "bandaid" -- that is, the relationship was having trouble, and it seemed like they thought marriage would fix the problems, when in reality the problems were a strong indication that marriage was a bad idea. I think that is part of why I've been nervous about talking to him about this. When I'm asked, I want to feel like they really WANT to marry me.

    Today I also found out, that if my dad quits chemo (which he is thinking about), he has 2-6 months. Which is even less time than I thought. I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around this news. But one thing it has done is really get me to start accepting that he will not be at my wedding. It's a painful realization, but an important one for my boyfriend and I.

    TLDR; boyfriend and I appear to be very much in agreement about where we want this relationship to go, at what point to move in together, and PROBABLY about the timeline, but I'd like a little bit more specifics about that, which I will discuss with him tonight.
  • CLoGreenEyesCLoGreenEyes member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited September 2013
    @istril, glad you guys are talking. Don't be afraid to say what you need to! You aren't being pushy by asking what "soon" is (my BF loves the word himself, and I do not, lol); you are merely confirming whether you're both on the same page.

    Also, I just want to say how sorry I am about your dad's illness. :( That is such a tough choice, but I hope that whatever he decides will give him the best possible comfort and quality of life. I'm thinking of you guys.
  • KeptInStitchesKeptInStitches the Northern Plains member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    @istril, I am sorry about your dad's illness.

    Back to your timeline with your BF, why not just ask him what "soon" means?
  • bethsmilesbethsmiles Denver, CO member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    Instead of asking my BF when he was going to propose (which I think is hard to ask without sounding pushy) we've had many discussions about when we'd like the wedding to happen. That timeline has changed for various reasons but personally I'm content knowing that we've decided next summer is the time to get married and the proposal will come before that.


  • phiraphira Bahstin member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    Instead of asking my BF when he was going to propose (which I think is hard to ask without sounding pushy) we've had many discussions about when we'd like the wedding to happen. That timeline has changed for various reasons but personally I'm content knowing that we've decided next summer is the time to get married and the proposal will come before that.
    I like this way of thinking about it. My partner and I are happy with the way we got engaged because we both feel like deciding to get married isn't something that one person should surprise the other with. Often times, talking about when you'd like to be married makes things easier and more exciting; it doesn't take the romance out of it.
    Anniversary
    now with ~* INCREASED SASSINESS *~
    image
    bride2b71614
  • lennonkdc said:
    OP I'm glad you and your BF had the start of a talk. Please give us an update when you've had a chance to clarify what 'soon' means to him.

    I just wanted to add one last thing, and its not so much one thing you've said as an overall tone to some of your posts. You seem to think of marriage and kids as "the end game". As if they are the finish line to some long race. They are not. They are milestones to be sure, but not the end. The relationship you have with your SO isn't just a thing that you have, its a thing that you DO. Everyday. I only bring this up b/c you haven't really shared WHY you want to marry your BF, what you like about him, what its is about him that makes you want to have kids with him. To a stranger on the internet it seems like "ZOMG I want to get hitched and KTFU now!" He's an individual, not a sperm donor....

    Preach.
  •  In light of Lennonkdc's comment, this could be a fun way to get to know you and your boyfriend a bit better. 

    How did you meet your boyfriend?

    How long did you know your bf before you started dating?

    How did he ask you out?

    Besides the cruise, do you have any other favorite dates/trips with your SO?

    What makes your bf special to you?
     
    Why would you like to spend the rest of your life with him? 

    Does he have any quirks (besides the whole elusive timeline)?

    Do you share any strange hobbies or interests?


    Now about you:

    What is your favorite alcoholic drink (if you don't drink, whats your favorite coffee shop order)?

    What are your hobbies? 

    Do you have pets?

    If you could be better at an activity not involving relationships, what would it be and why?

    If you could have super powers, what would they be and why?

    Do you have siblings?

    What makes you an effective communicator?

    Its not just for the OP, everyone can play. 
    CLoGreenEyes[Deleted User]
  • edited September 2013
    @lennonkcd, I can totally see why I may have come off that way in this thread :) Fair enough! I will play bride2b's game to see if I can share a little more about myself, BUT FIRST; I had a conversation with bf tonight, so just wanted to update you all:

    Well, the conversation didn't go exactly as I pictured, but I'm VERY happy with the outcome. I started by asking where he pictured he would be today, at 32, years ago. We both talked about that, and then we talked about where we saw ourselves in a year. He said "with you", still not specific. Ok... we talked more, and I realized something that has really been riling me up about all this:

    HE'S TEASING ME!!!! Like, he's been deliberately teasing me! Good-naturedly, but I don't think he knows how anxious it's been making me.

    He's been dropping these massive hints for MONTHS about engagement, and saying "soon!" very elusively. Even when I ask what soon means he's coy about it. But, I was still having a hard time getting the right words out to ask him about a timeline. Then, I had an idea.

    I did something very playful that I normally wouldn't do. I told him to wait, and I got a piece of paper, and wrote a word on it, and then folded it up. I came back, and he asked if I had something important on the paper. I nodded sagely. I hesitated, then handed it to him. Right before he took it, I snatched it away, and chewed my lip thoughtfully. I offered it again, then snapped it away again. And again. Finally he looked at me exasperated that I wouldn't give him the paper. I giggled at him, and said "Sucks doesn't it?!" then I gave him the paper. He opened it up, and it said "Soon!" We both laughed, and he said "Ok ok, I totally get it!" He was grinning from ear to ear. And I could tell that this was a piece of information I think he had wanted confirmation from me also.
    We talked a little more, he said he was trying to think of how to express things. I told him he didn't have to say anything else. We laughed so much tonight, and I'm amazed at how much was said without it being spoken. I've always been an explicit communicator, so this was new for me.

    You know, I never did find out, more precisely, what his timeline is. But right now, I'm content. I realized that conveying to him how I felt, and how his teasing was making me feel, was as far as I need to go right now. And I feel very understood tonight. Now, if we aren't engaged within a certain amount of time, I will reopen the topic again. But, I was surprised at how much more at ease I felt after I just communicated to him -- unconventional thought it was -- how I felt about all this.

    And now for bride2b's game!

    How did you meet your boyfriend?
    OKCupid! I've always loved the idea of online dating, and I'm glad that it is becoming less taboo. I think it is a great medium to meet people because you can focus on people who are more likely to be a better match in the long run, rather than someone random at a bar, etc.
    How long did you know your bf before you started dating?
    We chatted online for a few months.
    How did he ask you out?
    I asked him! I was on again, off again with my ex while we were talking online (my current bf knew all about the ex and our ups and downs during it), and during a break, I told him I always regretted that we never met, and wished we could. One night soon after we were at an Indian Restaurant, and the rest is history.
    Besides the cruise, do you have any other favorite dates/trips with your SO?
    We haven't had much of a chance to travel yet, but he took me to Second City for my birthday and it was the best birthday EVER.
    What makes your bf special to you?
    I've never been with someone as painfully considerate as him. He thinks about me all the time. I've never ever felt this cherished. He's one of the kindest people I've ever met.
    Why would you like to spend the rest of your life with him? 
     He's like a male version of me. It's frightening how similar we are -- in lots of trivial stupid ways, but also in the ways that really matter (imo) to compatibility: views on money, sex, religion, politics, children, etc. I just think we would make great life partners. We only just met, but it feels like we've been traveling the same road together for a long time.
    Does he have any quirks (besides the whole elusive timeline)?
    Sometimes he stutters a bit, but almost never around me anymore, just in uncomfortable social situations. He does have a problem with verbal speech though (he has a hard time finding the right word, and sometimes uses the wrong ones). He had a head injury when he was 12, and it's not diagnosed, but he feels this affected his verbal speech. He has a much different voice when he writes, for example. He's much more articulate on paper. His difficulty speaking sometimes is deceiving though, if he'd ever send in the paperwork, he actually qualifies for MENSA.
    Do you share any strange hobbies or interests?
    So so many. We are both recovered WoW addicts! And, not a hobby-- but my mom is German, and I've been to Germany to visit family about a dozen times. He also spent three years living there (military) as a child. Just a cool connection, and one of the many many things we have in common.

    Now about you:

    What is your favorite alcoholic drink (if you don't drink, whats your favorite coffee shop order)?
    He has REALLY started to turn me on to craft beers. I love a good IPA--or anything with a citrusy hoppy flavor.
    What are your hobbies? 
    Gaming (his too!)
    Do you have pets?
    No. I used to have ferrets, loved them. BF and I both LOVE cats, but we are both SO allergic! I don't have pets now because I don't have time, and I think it would be selfish and cruel to the animal if I can't spend time with them.
    If you could be better at an activity not involving relationships, what would it be and why?
    I've always wished I could sing.
    If you could have super powers, what would they be and why?
    All of them. All of the superpowers. Because I don't like choosing. (But flight if I had to).
    Do you have siblings?
    Nope.
    What makes you an effective communicator?
    The time I spent as a case manager, and also the superb training I received as a crisis hotline volunteer. I admit, I've been out of the field for a while and I think sometimes I forget to use those skills. I still know them, but communication is like a muscle. You have to flex it to keep it strong. I also have a near-obsession with getting to the bottom of matters, and I really try to embrace probing insight, and soliciting constructive feedback from others.

    NEXT!
  • Just one clarification: my little game of "keep-away" with the piece of paper was meant as a way for me to segue into what I wanted to talk about. Afterwards we did talk a bit more, but much less than I thought we'd need to. I surprised myself in how effective my "demonstration" was. His response to it was liberating.
  • @istril I am so glad that you feel better about this :-) I hope everything continues to work out for you!

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