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Thread: 3 and a half years...and no proposal.

  1. #1
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    3 and a half years...and no proposal.

    This probably sounds like every single problem on here, but I don't know who to talk to. I am not used to discussing my issues on sites like these and this is my first time, so please lend an ear or a shoulder to cry on.

    My boyfriend and I started our relationship like a wonderful, passionate, adventure romance story. We met twice, like fate, and within a week of getting to know each other, we were already committed and " lived " together . Our relationship was so passionate because we had such a strong mental and emotional connection, that it made our sex life so explosive and addictive. It was the perfect relationship in every way. In fact, we both marvelled at how long the " honeymoon " phase was in our relationship ( it lasted for almost 2 years! ). It was one of those relationships where we could stare at each other in bed all day, and not even realise that it had been 30 mins that we were lying in bed like that. To this day, many people always comment on how beautiful and happy we look. Our picture albums show a happy, good looking, healthy and fit couple, traveling around the world together on off the beaten, crazy paths, like how all young professionals do with their time and money.

    But there is something missing now : I believe we have lost that " communication spark " because of the issue of marriage. It started around 1 and a half years ago. I have been ready to marry since that time and he was too. We were able to talk about marriage, future kids with great ease and frequency. But then something changed in the communication....and now, he doesn't seem so eager to talk about it. In fact, he has become increasingly uncomfortable with the topic. He said he was EMOTIONALLY ready but his actions speak louder than words. The typical stuff when a man delays proposals happened :

    1) Promising that we will get married after our work in this country is done...and that hasn't happened.

    2) Promising that we will get married after 1 year of long distance relationship ( since we are both from different countries and now that our work is done in this particular country, we have to go home and get professional licensing and practice our professions )....and yet, I see discomfort when I talk about our future together.

    We will be leaving this country soon in the next 2 weeks...and although our plans are still about staying together and me moving to his country after 1 year....I somehow feel that THIS IS the end ( It feels weird to see it written - I have thought it, but never uttered the words ). Why do I feel this way? Maybe it's because of the :

    - delays
    - how " uncomfortable " he looks when people ask him about when we are going to get married
    - his short, quick, slightly unsure answers about the future ( like when I say, " Oh, in the future, when I go to ____________, do you think I will be able to have a spice garden in our future home? "....to which he would reply, " Umm...yup. " )
    - his seemingly lack of interest in my plans for postgrad school ( even though we have both talked about it before - that postgrad professional licensing is what we need to focus on, to get to our future of being together in his country, since his licensing takes longer than mine ).

    I am so confused because I think that for the most part, our relationship is really good ( after 3 and a half years! ). We still sleep with each other often ( not as rabid as before - we used to do it daily, and now it has gone down to 1 - 2 times a week ), very affectionate with each other, we like to communicate ( except for the topic of marriage or the future..that's when he shuts down, looks uncomfortable etc ), working towards the same goals of being together and we have such a lust for life and adventure. We hardly fight and when we do, we always learn something important and big about the relationship and we move on to make it better. He has all the freedom to hang out with his friends ( as I also do ) and I always initiate utmost, honest, truthful communication when something is bothering me or him. I just don't understan it

    He says he loves me very much...and he does such wonderful things for me. He has always been there to love, support and care for me. He talks about the future, but it has become so rare now. I am starting to sense that he may no longer be in love with me...or he is scared of something and doesn't trust me enough to help him through with his fears.

    I have tried to bring it up...but it always ends in tears, and I just stopped talking to him altogether about it because I don't want him to start associating the talks of marriage with fights and tears. He said that he wants to do it " his own way ", the " proper way ", when we both have money and settled into our careers. With the highly professional careers that we are going towards, I see that being roughly 3 - 4 years down the road....and I don't know if I can wait that long.

    I guess what I am looking for really...are opinions from mature men, who have either gone through the same thing, or just opinions on the whole thing. I could really use some feedback. I no longer want to pester him about talks on marriage or proposals, because I love him so much and I don't want to push him away ( if I have pushed him before already ).

  2. #2
    Super Moderator annie24's Avatar
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    do you think he is having doubts about the relationship surviving the long distance? it's really hard to know what his specific concerns are if he shuts down when you try to talk to him. i'd say after 3.5 years, you certainly should know where the relationship is headed and if your gut says he is having doubts, you are likely right. but why the doubts? and it's hard to get information from a clam. I agree that I wouldn't be able to wait another 3-4 years on top of that to wait for your careers to stabilize or whatever.

    is there some way you can talk to him, putting the marriage question to the side completely, and just ask him what is going on?

  3. #3
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    You can't get married before you're both ready; he's not yet. Naturally, pushing the matter will only make him feel even more pressured, which isn't fair. Reading through your post it doesn't seem like it's him causing problems in your relationship.

    If you love him as much as you make out, waiting shouldn't be an issue.

  4. #4
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    I used to wonder if it's just basically the MAIN difference between men and women ( and there is nothing we can do to change it because it is nature ) : Men clam up when they feel scared or unsure of things because they want to mull over it..and women tend to tackle the problem by talking so they can assess the problem with things laid out before them. But this is what I don't understand : We used to be able to communicate so well before, in the beginning stages and mid stages of our relationship..and it's only towards the end of our time here in this country, that he seems to be shutting down like a clam. Maybe it's his personality after all? I mean, 3 - 4 years of really knowing someone seems so tiny, if you think about it in terms of a lifetime of let's say couples who have been married for 50 - 60 years.

    I have asked him what's going on before, and his reply is :

    1) It's " all in my head "...that I believe what I want to believe...because he has told me repeatedly that he DOES want to marry me ( but why the uncomfortable flinch or looks when people ask him? or why did he used to talk about it so much before..and now, it's like pulling teeth when brought up ? )

    2) He wants to do it the " proper " way...with him having money, with me having money. I assured him that it's not about the ring or the wedding...I could care less about that stuff. I could run away to some exotic location with him ( just him and I ) and get married off that way.

    I am starting to believe that the long distance relationship MIGHT just be something that we need...maybe his distance away from me will make him realise my worth, or the worth of the relationship. Who knows? Maybe I am the one that might even change after the long distance relationship. Maybe, subconsciously, he wants to put the whole relationship to the test.....maybe, he still wants to date other women and test out the waters in his country while I am at mine ( and this idea destroys me completely ). In other words, a lot of maybes, after all the difficult decisions and future I am going to go through, all for him.

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  6. #5
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    How old are you both?

  7. #6
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    We are both 30 years old, turning 31 years old.

  8. #7
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    Honestly at your age, I wouldn't be able to wait that much longer, esp. if you want kids. You don't want to wait until your 34 or 35, get married, and then BEGIN starting to have children, as your fertility will have declined. Not to mention that at your ages you've been with each other long enough to take that next step.
    I think he is very much stalling and honestly I think he isn't ready. Sure he may express interest in it but I don't think he sees the urgency to get married right now. He may want things to be more lined out and whatnot. It's just a case of you being ready, and him not. And if you don't want to wait four more years(I wouldn't) then I suspect that you need to be honest with him and tell that you love him, want to marry him, but you cannot wait four more years for what should be the next step in your relationship.
    If you decide to leave--at least at that point--he'll understand why.

    Good luck.

  9. #8
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    Thank you. I have been thinking the same thing too. I love him so much, but you're right, I don't want to pressure him any longer. I haven't brought up the issue in months. I think that I will take this LDR period of one year to reassess where we stand ( just as he is probably planning to do, but is scared to tell me ). The LDR should tell me how it is...and from there, I will make my decision definitely. To me, having children is not as important...I can be content with not having any or just having one or two. Don't get me wrong : I LOVE children ( I actually work in a profession that deals with children ), but I also have very high expectations of what it would be like to be a GOOD mother and I know that I have to be completely secure and wonderful all around before I can have a kid. To me : marriage is NOT about having kids as the goal, but living an adventurous, happy, content, emotionally and mentally rewarding life with someone I truly love, for as long as possible ( since " forever " in marriages, nowadays, seem to be a myth ).


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