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Need advice: should I propose?


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Here's my situation: I'm living with a great girl, we're in love. Things are great, we don't fight, no problems, and I want to marry her. I'm 100% sure that she wants to marry me too. But there's a problem.

 

I'm stretched pretty thin financially. It's not like I can't pay my bills, but I'm in a situation where I really can't afford to incur more of them. I have recently - well, about 1.5 years ago - bought a house and a car and so I'm making mortgage & car payments. I'm also carrying around 7k in credit card debt. Like I said, it's not as if I'm drowning in debt (making over $100k a year) but I just don't see how I can afford a few grand for an engagement ring and more to pay for a wedding.

 

I was thinking about perhaps talking to my gf about it, laying out the situation and asking whether she'd prefer to have a small wedding now, just a civil ceremony, and a real big bash in maybe a year or if she'd prefer to wait a year to start it all. However I'm afraid that such a businesslike approach would ruin the romance since I suspect women put a lot of stock in the magic of the proposal itself, etc. So if I ask her, she may be unhappy about the way I did so.

 

Any opinions on what to do would be appreciated.

 

Another wrinkle: my gf was in the US on a student visa, and it's run out a few months ago. So even thought she has great potential - she has dual degrees, one in computer science and another in mathematics - she's currently unable to work in that field, and having a civil ceremony now would get her started on the road to reaching her potential sooner. The issue has never come up and it's not like she's with me for the papers, but if I can help her out in that respect then it's no skin off my nose. So that's another consideration.

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Why don't you propose to her and give her a different piece of jewelery (or anything else you might think of) and explain to her that you really want to get married, but at the moment you can't afford the big rock/ big wedding.

 

I am all for doing things in an unconventional way. The important issue is to ask her to marry her and make it a special event. it's not about the ring or the ceremony.

 

Once she says yes, you can both decide together what is the best way to go about it, without having ruined the romance of the proposal itself.

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I confess - I didn't read your post, but I didn't feel like I had to, to answer your Q.

 

If you have to ask "should I?" the answer is no, because obviously you're doubting yourself and your judgement. If you're going to purpose to someone, you should feel SO strongly about it that NO ONE under any circumstance could ever talk you out of it. It's not fair to her, if you purpose and you have doubts - because us guys tend to bring up things out of the blue from the past to put on the blame, and if you doubt your decision believe me you will eventually blame her for it wether you realise it or not.

 

It shouldn't seem like a choice. When you are in love someone passionately and deeply you shouldn't have to ask "well ... should I really purpose to her?" because you'll know in your heart it is the right time and you're making the right descision. Your mind and your heart co-exist - they're not working against eachother, which seems to be the case in your situation.

 

Hope this helped and good luck.

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Actually I'm fairly sure it's not about money. Like I said, I don't have much of that to go around. Heck, she even wants to pay my debt out of her savings so I wouldn't have to pay interest

 

You said papers that is what I was talking about. My friend married a guy from Ireland who seemed like a great guy until the wedding. They still live in the same house but he is usually over another woman's house most nights.

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Comatose, I emphatically disagree with you! Marriage is a HUGE decision which affects your life, someone else's life, the lives of future children. If there's ever a time when a decision you make needs to be made rationally, after you've considered all the pros and cons - this is it! It should not be an impulse or a purely emotional decision. Getting married based on love alone is, to me, just plain dumb.

 

The way I see it, love - the hot, crazy, honeymoon love - always fades. And if you chose to get married based on that, where are you when (not if!) that fades? You're a statistic. What holds a marriage together is equal parts love, respect, effort put into it, quality of life, personality compatibility. I think one needs to be pragmatic about this one decision if no other.

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I don't think a huge rock or a lavish wedding is going to make a difference. If she loves you and truly wants to marry you and you her, then just start with what you can afford in terms of the ring. If you are already living together then it's likely she knows that you aren't rolling in dough so she'll probably understand. Explain to her that when things are better financially, you will get a nicer ring.

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Well if you want to marry her, then do it. You don't need to have large quantities of money sitting around to get married. Engagement ring.. can get a nice one for under 2 grand. Even cheaper if you go to a pawn shop/craigslist. Thats assuming you both even want one. Wedding.. have a small family only wedding. Probably could do that for around 10k depending on what part of the country you are in.

 

I just got married in Los Angeles with 150 guests for under 20K in total so I know it can be done. Don't let money keep you from happiness.

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Comatose, I emphatically disagree with you! Marriage is a HUGE decision which affects your life, someone else's life, the lives of future children. If there's ever a time when a decision you make needs to be made rationally, after you've considered all the pros and cons - this is it! It should not be an impulse or a purely emotional decision. Getting married based on love alone is, to me, just plain dumb.

 

The way I see it, love - the hot, crazy, honeymoon love - always fades. And if you chose to get married based on that, where are you when (not if!) that fades? You're a statistic. What holds a marriage together is equal parts love, respect, effort put into it, quality of life, personality compatibility. I think one needs to be pragmatic about this one decision if no other.

 

Maybe you didn't read my earlier post. I think your mind AND your heart should be speaking the same language. I don't see marriage as something to do impulsively - that's why I'm saying if you have even the teensiest tinsiest (not real words I know) doubt about it, you should wait. But, I think your emotions and feelings are very important. If you aren't crazy passionate with someone in the beginning, do ya honestly think you're gonna last 40 or 50 years? Hell no.

 

It can't be a thing where it's like "I love her, but ..." It just has to be "I love her!". Know what I mean?

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Have you two talked about getting married, or about what a potential wedding would be like? Is she very anxious to get married right away?

 

I think it puts her in an awkward position if you tell her you guys can get married now with a small wedding, or later with a bigger one. In my opinion, there's nothing wrong with wanting a "larger" wedding if you can afford it, but saying that would make her sound awfully materialistic if you posed the question that way. I also think it might be very stressful to start life out together under financial strain. If I were you, I would probably designate this the year of thrifty living, pay off your debt, and save what you can, and then propose to her once you are feeling a little less stretched moneywise (regardless of the size of the e-ring and party).

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BIL and SIL did this. Her visa ran out. They had been living together while they were in grad school, and were in love. They had a quick civil ceremony so that she wouldn't have to leave the country, and then a nice reception a year later when they could afford it. That was three years ago and they're doing fine...

 

Oh, and they were BROKE!

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If you are confident that she isn't in it for papers or money, I say go for it.

 

My fiancee and I are engaged without a ring though for this exact reason...we are both BROKE!!! He will give me one soon though.

 

He said he know we were meant to be because when he asked me to marry him, it didn't even occur to me that he didn't have a ring to give me for like an hour hahahaha.

 

If you are in love, it shouldn't matter either way!

 

GOOD LUCK!!!

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Personally, I think you are placing way too much emphasis on the ring, reception, and money. Love shouldn't be about how much you spend on the ring...

 

Who says you have to get a 2+ carot diamond ring?

 

I think I am missing something here...

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Here's an idea.. you could propose to her with something like a cubic zircon (which looks just like a diamond) - which only costs a couple hundred..and let her know you want to replace it with the real thing when you can.. and its up to her if she wants more than a civil ceremony or not..

 

We're having a civil ceremony (with a big party after) but I can see how you could do one of those quite cheaply - you could have the ceremony on the beach at sunset and get family members to prepare a sort of picnick for your guests?

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If you GF loves you & wants to marry you...the ring or wedding wont really matter. My SO got me a beautiful engagement ring, alittle over 4K BUT I would be just as happy with a ring for 100 bucks or not one at all & a courthouse ceremony. We are only doing a beach wedding because our families want "something"

 

Ask her! People focus wayyyyyyyyy too much on the rings/wedding day etc instead of the marriage. IMO

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If you GF loves you & wants to marry you...the ring or wedding wont really matter. My SO got me a beautiful engagement ring, alittle over 4K BUT I would be just as happy with a ring for 100 bucks or not one at all & a courthouse ceremony. We are only doing a beach wedding because our families want "something"

 

Ask her! People focus wayyyyyyyyy too much on the rings/wedding day etc instead of the marriage. IMO

 

I know, that's my boyfriend's problem. He won't propose until he can buy me the 'ring of my dreams' but he doesn't grasp the concept or idea that I don't give a crap!

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I really think that if you want to propose to her, do it. Planning the wedding doesn't happen before the engagement. After you are engaged (preferable having a ring in your hand), then that's when you discuss you can elope or have a small ceremony now or a bigger wedding a year down the road. It is not uncommon for people to be engaged for a year or two.

 

People are so much more concerned about the "party" these days. If I am lucky enough to remarry it won't matter as long as we are both there, have witnesses, get dressed up, and have enough money to not have honeymoon night at home.

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I know, that's my boyfriend's problem. He won't propose until he can buy me the 'ring of my dreams' but he doesn't grasp the concept or idea that I don't give a crap!

 

yeah, if a guy put tons of thought and effort into it and got me a mood ring to propose with, skipped an expensive rock and spent more money on us getting really nice wedding bands that meant something (maybe engraved?) rather than just an afterthought to an engagement ring, I would be ALL SET.

An the wedding bands don't have to be an arm and a leg, either. just not the type that looked like "something is missing" if the engagement ring is not on.

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I know, that's my boyfriend's problem. He won't propose until he can buy me the 'ring of my dreams' but he doesn't grasp the concept or idea that I don't give a crap!

 

He wants the best of the best for his girl! That's what my SO said...after I said why did u spend so much? He knew darn well I would be happy with nothing. Im very grateful, happy, etc etc dont get me wrong but the point is....if a girl wants to marry YOU for YOU the amount spent on the ring doesn't matter!

 

And their ego doesn't help either lol.

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I know the ring is somewhat more important in the US than where I am from but a FEW GRAND??? Why not ask her with a ring that won't increase the debt? The wedding will be expensive enough without the ring, and I think the wedding bands are far more important than the engagement bands.

 

I have a very original engagement ring with an engravement (good idea), and I am sure my bf didn't spend more than he could afford or wanted to spend.

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