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Wedding Woes

Should I have held out for a ring?

Dear Prudence,

My boyfriend of two years and I recently moved across the country from my hometown, away from all of my friends and family, for his new job. For him, this was just another move, but for me it meant leaving everything I knew behind. I’m really close to my family and made it clear to him that while I was on board, I really wanted to be engaged before we took such a big step together. I know it’s probably silly, but it’s something I care about. We talked a lot about our mutual vision of a future together, and he said he was struggling with the timing because we’re also dealing with his mother’s estate and trying to sell her house from across the country right now. The move ended up happening faster than we expected, and we’ve been here almost three months. I’m lonely, I miss my friends and family, and I’m not thrilled about my job. Plus, we’re still not engaged.

I tried ignoring the feelings, but things came to a head, and I explained how I was feeling (through tears, unfortunately). He assured me he’s ready to be engaged, wants to marry me, etc., but listed reasons for not moving forward, like not knowing where to start with ring shopping (he offered to shop together and has apparently forgotten about the discussion, as it hasn’t been brought up again and was ignored when I mentioned going). It makes me feel like an idiot for uprooting my entire life for someone who seems like he won’t commit. On the other hand, we bought a house together and talk about getting married and having kids, so I’m aware that there are commitments already in play. Part of me knows I should be content with that and the fact that it will happen, but a bigger part of me can’t take this “someday” timeline. I also don’t want to keep bringing it up and feel like I’m forcing an engagement. I know I’m probably leaning toward the unreasonable end of the spectrum, but I’m really struggling here (and the constant barrage of holiday engagement announcements and takeover of engagement ring ads on every social platform I use isn’t helping). Any advice on either getting over myself and my timelines or helping him understand how much this is really tearing me up inside?

—Stuck

Re: Should I have held out for a ring?

  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    But getting married isn’t always permanent either.  He doesn’t seem like a d*ck about it either.  LW needs to take a chill pill and let things happen when they happen. If their relationship is strong, and he seems like he will propose eventually - just wait and build a life together now. 

    short+sassy
  • LW and her partner need to talk and be realistic.

    Some of this sounds like it's not going to change unless she makes an effort in their location.   Will she be happy in a location with no friends if she's engaged?  Plenty of people don't love their jobs in their own local areas.   So looking for a new job and getting out socially without the BF are things she needs to do on her own.   Whether they become married or not won't suddenly give her a social life on her own.

    That said, she needs to be frank.  You can be engaged and not have a ring.   But my personal opinion is that if you're engaged you set a date.   They need to use their words.   An ultimatum is rarely-if ever a good idea.   But she also needs to tell him that she did say that she needs more than what he's giving - and if he's not capable of that she needs to decide which is more important. 

    If this is a pattern of blowing her off then I think she needs to get out.   If she's not recognizing that things moved in a timeline that's making HIM nervous then she needs to cut him some slack.   Bottom line: they need to talk way more. 
    charlotte989875VarunaTTOliveOilsMom
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    Hmmmm. I don't really know what to say here. I don't think I have advice because I don't think LW is in the wrong here.

    H and I were in a similar place but different circumstances. I'd told him that marriage was important to me from the beginning. I didn't want to waste time with someone who didn't want to settle down and I wasn't completely serious, but I said I wanted a plan in 5 years. 

    During year five, not engaged, H bought a motorcycle and didn't tell me. He took out a $5,000 loan without telling me. We'd completely combined our finances and we told each other about spending like $5. My credit cards were maxed out and we were in debt. I was torn because the last thing I wanted to do with give him an ultimatum but I also wasn't willing to go further into debt for someone who didn't want a future with me. 

    Obviously we made it and here we are today, bike and debt paid off. But it wasn't easy for a while. I still sometimes feel like I strong-armed him into marrying me, which is a shitty feeling. 
    Image result for someecard betting someone half your shit youll love them forever
    charlotte989875eileenrobOliveOilsMom
  • I think LW is being unfair to him as they mention in the letter that BF is trying to sell his mom's house and settle her estate, from across the country.  Therefore, he's obviously lost his mom recently AND doesn't have his dad around (via divorce or death or some other reason) to deal with these matters.  Plus, maybe he doesn't have siblings to assist with the process, which creates exponentially more pressure and work on BF. 

    So I can see why getting engaged to LW is on the back burner at the moment.  

    Also if LW is being all sad sack and homesick, that's on LW.  They need to own that and figure it out on their own.  They can ask BF for support, but it must be something LW takes the reins to work out. 
    MesmrEweshort+sassyOliveOilsMom
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited February 21
    LW should just propose to him. It's not 1956 anymore. 

    ETA: If it's really the ring or whatever that's the problem, it's solved. But (if I suspect) that's just a smoke screen for a guy that isn't ready for marriage, he'll be forced to be honest about that. 
    CharmedPamShesSoColdmrsconn23eileenrob
  • I understand this because I moved across the country to stay with DH when he was still BF. We had already spoken about wanting to get married someday, he had given me a promise ring after we had been together a year or two. It really became important to me after we moved. It still took a year or so before he proposed but he was very clear about accomplishing x &z first. A week after z was done, we went ring shopping.

    LW needs to honest communication with her BF, and herself. A ring won’t change where they live, her job, or her friends but maybe it will reassure her that she didn’t move for nothing.
     
    charlotte989875OliveOilsMom
  • VarunaTTVarunaTT member
    Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited February 21
    This is a hard spot.  

    Realistically, LW should've kept to her guns about being engaged before moving if it was that important to her.  Like @MyNameIsNot said, she could've proposed as well.  But, if this person is the one she wants to have a committed life with, and this is his path, she needs to decide if she wants to compromise on marriage.  It can happen, as long as both parties are upfront and honest.

    I had to be honest with K re: marriage.  I'm really not sure I can do it again, I still shy away from even mentioning the word as part of my life.  K really wanted marriage.  After a year, we had a serious, "Varuna isn't sure she's ever going to get there re: an actual marriage certificate, but is willing to be committed to you in all the ways that would count."  K decided she would handle it and I go out of my way to show "future planning" together to reaffirm a co-future.  I know K is sad about it.  And maybe someday I'll get there, but I absolutely never promise to get there.
    MyNameIsNotOliveOilsMom
  • I understand this because I moved across the country to stay with DH when he was still BF. We had already spoken about wanting to get married someday, he had given me a promise ring after we had been together a year or two. It really became important to me after we moved. It still took a year or so before he proposed but he was very clear about accomplishing x &z first. A week after z was done, we went ring shopping.

    LW needs to honest communication with her BF, and herself. A ring won’t change where they live, her job, or her friends but maybe it will reassure her that she didn’t move for nothing.
     
    Exactly. H and I were in a similar position. We were living together in grad school (in NY) but I accepted a job in NC. We had many talks about him coming with me, but I wanted to know that engagement/marriage was on the horizon. I didn’t want him to move there with me paying for most things (I had a higher paying job) without a commitment. He proposed a week after we graduated. There were never ultimatums but we were on the same page that we weren’t going there together unless it was for real. 

  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    LW reminds me of how I was feeling last year. FI and I had already been together five years and I was ready to get engaged. We’d had discussions about getting married but I finally had to tell him we needed to take a next step. FI tends to run “behind” on big life decisions and I was tired of feeling like we weren’t moving forward. Now of course we’re both engaged and I feel much more content and our relationship is great. And I’m in no rush to get married. I was just tired of saying “boyfriend” after five years. 


    image
    OliveOilsMomcharlotte989875MesmrEwe
  • I'm especially agreeing with @mrsconn23.  I understand the LW's emotions, especially considering she just uprooted her life for him.  I, of all people, fully understand her conundrum.  She doesn't want to waste more time if the relationship isn't going anywhere, despite his words.  But she needs to find more patience considering everything he's had going on his life.  His mother died recently, ffs!  He just started a new job.  Give the guy a break!  Let him adjust to the new normal.  Especially considering he has said he wants to marry her and they have talked about their future, including children.

    I'd also caution the LW that, if she doesn't like where they are currently living and won't be happy living away from her family and friends, that's a much bigger problem.  Being engaged or even being married isn't going to change those feelings at all.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    mrsconn23OliveOilsMom
  • You know, the language she uses sets all of sorts of red flags for me of maturity too.  "...held out for a ring...." especially is making me question things.  And while part of me thinks BF is stringing her along, I'm also like...faster than planned cross country move (savings hit), new job, dealing with cross country estate issues, cross country real estate issues...three months.  While he's also doing everything he can to reassure her that he's still with her.  Maybe she just needs to simmer down a bit and let things happen when they can. 

    I get if she's acting sad and that's okay, life can get you down.  I can also see her just being a danged \#/ and bitching about not having her 1 carat diamond cut white gold/platinum band ring yet, too.
    mrsconn23
  • VarunaTTVarunaTT member
    Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited February 22
    I think his excuse is a bunch of bullshit, TBH. If he wanted to propose to her, he would have. 
    I don't disagree, but around these parts, no ring = no engagement for many an OP.  That's why I said, if she's the "I have to have a 1 carat princess cut diamond on a platinum band b/c it's what I luuuuuuuuuuuuv," well...I have no sympathy that she has to wait after a lot of money went flying out the door for her Pretty Princess Ring.

    I also think she still bears responsibility for being willing to compromise w/out a plan in place for the actual compromise (or at least she doesn't state what it is).
    ShesSoColdmrsconn23
  • Casadena said:

    But what's wrong with wanting the big 1-carat princess ring.  It's ok to want that and be clear about it.  Maybe she's totally fine paying for it herself, we don't know.  I don't think that's a fair "what-if".   But IF that's the case, it seems from the letter than she has probably made that clear to him. IDK the pretty princess ring judgement line is making me a little pissy.  It's ok to want what you want and be up front about it - and we have no indication that she's being unreasonable about that.

    If he wants to be engaged, be engaged.  If money is the issue he should tell her that, not that he doesn't know how to shop.  Or they should make a plan to purchase the ring together.  Or have a discussion about how to budget for the ring.  They own a house together, so I would venture to guess that they are more than familiar with each other's financial situations. 

    I think the BF is a stringing her along and that he does not want to marry her.  "Not right now" is never really going to fly with me as a reason.  You want to get married or you don't.  Either is fine - but don't be a dick.


    B/c if she wants to be engaged right now and wants that sort of ring right now after all of those other things she listed as just having happened in the last 3 months, it's improbable that it will happen. without an unknown income answer  

    I did also say, if she's just being sad, hey that happens.  But if she's on the other end...this engagement has to happen the exact way I want it with the exact ring I want (which is my ring description b/c that is old school Knottie stuff with beebees and a running joke b/c it always went together, along with, "It's so uneek!!!!111elevently))), then I think she's unreasonable.


    And no matter which one it is, if it was truly this important to her, she should've stuck to her guns about this happening before the move.  So...if it didn't happen B/C she demanded that ring and he couldn't do it before *swirls hands around* all of what was going to happen like a faster than planned cross country move, a new job, etc...she's being unreasonable again.

    None of which we know from the Prudie letter.  But her letter does smack of immaturity to me.  I guess the basic answer is yes, I think she should've "held out", though that makes her sound immature to me as well.  If you're having to "hold out" for a proposal, maybe get a damn clue about more than 4 men and peace out.  
  • mrsconn23 said:

    Dear Prudence,

    My boyfriend of two years and I recently moved across the country from my hometown, away from all of my friends and family, for his new job. For him, this was just another move, but for me it meant leaving everything I knew behind. I’m really close to my family and made it clear to him that while I was on board, I really wanted to be engaged before we took such a big step together. I know it’s probably silly, but it’s something I care about. We talked a lot about our mutual vision of a future together, and he said he was struggling with the timing because we’re also dealing with his mother’s estate and trying to sell her house from across the country right now. The move ended up happening faster than we expected, and we’ve been here almost three months. I’m lonely, I miss my friends and family, and I’m not thrilled about my job. Plus, we’re still not engaged.

    I tried ignoring the feelings, but things came to a head, and I explained how I was feeling (through tears, unfortunately). He assured me he’s ready to be engaged, wants to marry me, etc., but listed reasons for not moving forward, like not knowing where to start with ring shopping (he offered to shop together and has apparently forgotten about the discussion, as it hasn’t been brought up again and was ignored when I mentioned going). It makes me feel like an idiot for uprooting my entire life for someone who seems like he won’t commit. On the other hand, we bought a house together and talk about getting married and having kids, so I’m aware that there are commitments already in play. Part of me knows I should be content with that and the fact that it will happen, but a bigger part of me can’t take this “someday” timeline. I also don’t want to keep bringing it up and feel like I’m forcing an engagement. I know I’m probably leaning toward the unreasonable end of the spectrum, but I’m really struggling here (and the constant barrage of holiday engagement announcements and takeover of engagement ring ads on every social platform I use isn’t helping). Any advice on either getting over myself and my timelines or helping him understand how much this is really tearing me up inside?

    —Stuck

    Yup. Idiot. You should never have moved. Go home now. 
  • This became a business deal when they purchased a house together - LW needs to set her timeframe boundary and stick to it.  Settling an estate locally is difficult, settling it from a distance, I can't imagine what the BF is going through.  OTOH, this guy was on the not likely to commit trek before she moved...
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    short+sassy
  • VarunaTT said:
    I think his excuse is a bunch of bullshit, TBH. If he wanted to propose to her, he would have. 
    I don't disagree, but around these parts, no ring = no engagement for many an OP.  That's why I said, if she's the "I have to have a 1 carat princess cut diamond on a platinum band b/c it's what I luuuuuuuuuuuuv," well...I have no sympathy that she has to wait after a lot of money went flying out the door for her Pretty Princess Ring.

    I also think she still bears responsibility for being willing to compromise w/out a plan in place for the actual compromise (or at least she doesn't state what it is).
    So much of this is telling me that they don't communicate well too. I think she needs to lay it out but also be flexible if there's a financial issue w/ a ring.  Agreeing to spend your life with someone doesn't need jewelry but it DOES need two people who agree to it.   And I'm not a Kurt and Goldie kind of girl and it sounds like the LW isn't either.   So perhaps not an ultimatum but something close to it is in order here. 
    charlotte989875Casadena
  • MesmrEwe said:
    This became a business deal when they purchased a house together - LW needs to set her timeframe boundary and stick to it.  Settling an estate locally is difficult, settling it from a distance, I can't imagine what the BF is going through.  OTOH, this guy was on the not likely to commit trek before she moved...
    I missed they bought a house together.  Yikes.  Now it might be really complicated if she cuts bait.  At least to me, that's a way bigger deal than moving from her hometown for him.

    There's nothing wrong with two people buying a personal home together, even if they aren't married or engaged.  But I personally wouldn't do it.  That is way too much financial entanglement on a very non-liquid asset for my taste.

    And I didn't.  My H and I had been living together for over 10 years and not engaged yet when I bought my house.  He went to the showings with me for the top contenders and gave his input.  But he was not any part of that house.  Not on the deed.  Not on the loan.  Nothing.  So, if we had broken up, he leaves and that's it.  Easy enough (at least financially).
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    MesmrEwe
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