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i’m so confused about what to do next... (getting married advice)


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Either take the risk, gamble and wait, wait, wait for him to MAYBE be ready to settle down with you someday or be conservative by remaining realistic.  You can continue to hope, hope, hope that he's the one for you long term.  However, be prepared to set yourself up for a harsh reality check and disappointment.  What you want and current economic conditions are two different things.  Love doesn't pay the rent.  

I think it's wise of him not to make promises he can't keep. 

Whenever you bring up leaving, he makes you take a detour by reminiscing old memories and you both cry together.  Google "gaslighting."  Gaslighting also includes deflecting and manipulating the conversation.  Accept him,  his decisions and your relationship as is or get out if you feel the urgency to have a better man and secure finances.  He is not willing to give you what you want.  He can't provide enough for you or with you financially.  

Try to be happy with him without marriage in mind.  If marriage and family are important to you, he won't deliver and you'll feel forever disappointed in him and your relationship.  Sooner or later you'll realize you're wasting your youth, time, energy, resources and feelings on a man who refuses to commit to you legally. 

30 seems to be the magic number for you.  His answer to you is:  "NO."  He does not wish to propose to you, he does not wish to be engaged to you and it's simply not on his radar to marry you nor have a family.  It's the hard, brutal truth.  Quit living in fantasy dream land  because he's not marriage material.  The real question for you is this:  Is his "NO" answer to you a real deal breaker or not?  Ask yourself that. 

You're not entrapped.  You are free to go.  You have choices.  It's a great big world out there.  Be more independent minded, strong and self confident.  Make your own money, become driven, motivated, successful and prosper.  Be your own individual person.  Suddenly you'll ascend to a higher, more affluent social circle.  Then you'll attract go-getter types, successful men on the fast track who are going places in life.  That's what happened to me.  Birds of a feather flock together. 

Don't be stuck.  Take your wings and fly away.  That's what I did and never looked back.  It was the best decision of my life otherwise I wouldn't have been able to enjoy my financial security and happy marriage to a very moral man today.  We have two amazing sons, the white picket fence, rose garden and very comfortable life in the suburbs.  If you desire my life, do what I did. 

Edited by Cherylyn
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I remember when someone asked me when my wife and I would try and have a child.  I told them "when we can afford it" and they laughed and said "If you wait until you can afford it you will never have

I agree with the others. Holding your virginity over his head is pretty childish. You decided to have sex. It takes two. You gave it to him and that was your choice. If you really wanted to wait for m

He seems really unsure about marriage after three years and he's saying he can't give you an answer as to if and when you'll get married. He doesn't seem sure and is being really vague. I'm sorry to s

Ok. You're still in school. Still live with parents. 

There's nothing wrong with your desire to have a marriage and family.

What's wrong is your contemptuous entitled attitude towards him.

Ok you're dating 3 years and it's stalled out. So you're the one who needs to change things.

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22 hours ago, East4 said:

The subject of marriage is one of the most culturally-colored topics, so it is hard to discuss "in general". 

I personally do not see anything awful in trying to "protect your future", like you say. Quite to the contrary, I see this as very commendable.

Perhaps it could help if I shared experience from my country of origin, because some 30 years we went through a mini cultural revolution. I am originally from the south-east of Europe, the gate between Europe and the Middle East, living for the last 15 years permanently in the North-West of Europe, so in completely opposite end of the continent and the cultural spectrum. Even my home has two living areas-one is decorated in the Eastern style in homage to my roots, and the other part is in modern western style.  

So, some 30 years ago the wind of change turned many things upside-down in my country, including romance traditions. Many young girls felt confident enough to step out of the stereotype of marrying to their first boyfriend, with the blessing of the parents, by 25 , etc, I guess similar to what it is in your country. The young men were actively encouraging the liberation of young women, and praised the independent behavior. But you know what happened in many, many cases? A young man would have a girlfriend, even living together without being married, or having several relationships with modernized young women. But when it came to marriage, these same young men that encouraged women's liberation, actually went to chose the old fashioned, conservative girls, the same like their mothers. This is just to tell you that human nature and cultural programming changes very slowly, no matter how modern and progressive a person may look like, or what they may say.  

So, I see a similar conflict in you, wanting to be liberal and to not care if your boyfriend wants to marry you, but on the other hand your more traditional upbringing does make you worry about age of marriage, commitment and "protecting your future". Own up to what you actually want, if it is on the conservative side-so be it, no shame in being conservative. But you have to find internally what you really feel comfortable with and act from that place of poise and balance. If you think that you have already given your boyfriend enough free fun, then OK be comfortable with the thought that the free fun should be over. And start withholding sex, and be less available to him. I have the impression that he takes you for granted at least to some extent, because he is also a product of your society and most probably thinks that he has some special privileges for being your first man and you will never dare look for somebody else. Just do not try to be more modern than what you are comfortable with. 

Thank you for this response. it really means a lot that you understand where I am coming from. and your background about your country's change really described me. 

And you are absolutely right, i do feel like in a way he does take that for granted and with special privilege. I have been withholding sex from him for some time as we resolve this issue, because I don't feel comfortable having sex with him until I know he is for certain the man I will marry, let it be a few years down the line, just as long as it is reasonable for my fertile window. And true, it is seen in my culture to marry your first *serious* boyfriend. 

How can I resolve this conflict the best way possible in efforts to maintain a relationship with him and maintain my values? What do I tell him? I don't want to give ultimatums, I want to work together with him, but I want him to work on it too, without force.

I don't want to just have temporary fun either and enjoy this time till it expires, it would just hurt me more in the long run.

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16 hours ago, Cherylyn said:

Either take the risk, gamble and wait, wait, wait for him to MAYBE be ready to settle down with you someday or be conservative by remaining realistic.  You can continue to hope, hope, hope that he's the one for you long term.  However, be prepared to set yourself up for a harsh reality check and disappointment.  What you want and current economic conditions are two different things.  Love doesn't pay the rent.  

I think it's wise of him not to make promises he can't keep. 

Whenever you bring up leaving, he makes you take a detour by reminiscing old memories and you both cry together.  Google "gaslighting."  Gaslighting also includes deflecting and manipulating the conversation.  Accept him,  his decisions and your relationship as is or get out if you feel the urgency to have a better man and secure finances.  He is not willing to give you what you want.  He can't provide enough for you or with you financially.  

Try to be happy with him without marriage in mind.  If marriage and family are important to you, he won't deliver and you'll feel forever disappointed in him and your relationship.  Sooner or later you'll realize you're wasting your youth, time, energy, resources and feelings on a man who refuses to commit to you legally. 

30 seems to be the magic number for you.  His answer to you is:  "NO."  He does not wish to propose to you, he does not wish to be engaged to you and it's simply not on his radar to marry you nor have a family.  It's the hard, brutal truth.  Quit living in fantasy dream land  because he's not marriage material.  The real question for you is this:  Is his "NO" answer to you a real deal breaker or not?  Ask yourself that. 

You're not entrapped.  You are free to go.  You have choices.  It's a great big world out there.  Be more independent minded, strong and self confident.  Make your own money, become driven, motivated, successful and prosper.  Be your own individual person.  Suddenly you'll ascend to a higher, more affluent social circle.  Then you'll attract go-getter types, successful men on the fast track who are going places in life.  That's what happened to me.  Birds of a feather flock together. 

Don't be stuck.  Take your wings and fly away.  That's what I did and never looked back.  It was the best decision of my life otherwise I wouldn't have been able to enjoy my financial security and happy marriage to a very moral man today.  We have two amazing sons, the white picket fence, rose garden and very comfortable life in the suburbs.  If you desire my life, do what I did. 

Thank you Cherylyn for your kind responses. you're right, if i am unhappy in this situation, i should opt out. 

i just can't help but wonder, have I done everything in my power to make this work? I don't know. This relationship was both mine and his first ever relationship, we had many problems that we learned from, and i'm sure we have so many more.

it's a little hard being in my position and just leaving the relationship right now given that he is my first love and i am in love with him, and i know he is too. It's almost like the right person, at the wrong time. I also don't want to break up just for us to get back together in the future, if i will break up with hiim, it has to be for good and after I and he has done everything in our power.

When we talk about marriage, i'm always unrealistic with it, I always think "i dont care where i get married as long as i get married to you" or "i don't care where in life we will be as long as i'm with you" and I am grateful for him for opening my eyes and telling me that this isnt what we want from life. that we do want a normal life with normal financial security. 

I don't want to pressure him for marriage and make him resent the idea in full. I dont want to give an ultimatum "if you're not married by ___ then we are over". these ideas seem foolish. But I don't know what left i have to say. I want to be with him truly, but I don't want to risk abandoning my values being with him. 

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On 1/27/2021 at 1:15 PM, Batya33 said:

He doesn't want to marry you because he is not proposing marriage and setting a date for a wedding  - it's about action not words and not about words of doubt -take that from the prior "runaway bride" I was.  Please don't take his waffling as "he wants to marry me he's just not sure" - certainly if he said "I want to get engaged in two months from now when I have X and Y settled" that would be fine -that's a specific date.

I think the promise ring idea is silly as is the getting engaged without a specific wedding date -that would be just to pacify you.  You want a partner who is 100% enthusiastic about marrying you -marriage is hard enough without one person feeling dragged to the altar.

We really both have no money to put into a wedding right now. He is the only one who works in this relationship but all his $ goes to his basic survival expenses or to spending it on himself or our relationship. It makes sense that we cannot get married right now, but I don't want that.

You're right, the promise ring is a way to pacify me. I do feel insecure in the relationship given my cultural values.

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22 hours ago, MissCanuck said:

No, that isn't reasonable. 

You're forcing the issue way too much, and making him promise something doesn't guarantee anything anyway. What are you going to do if he makes this promise, then dumps you a year or two from now anyway? It's not like he has to sign a legally-binding contract that includes a penalty clause if he breaks his promise. 

A promise does nothing but temporarily soothe your anxiety, and make him resent you for being so dang pushy. It isn't fair and it's extraordinarily unattractive to try to force your partner's hand. Likewise for promise rings. Let teenagers keep those. They're silly and childish in an adult relationship. 

You don't have to wait for him if you don't want, to be clear. But understand that waiting until you're 30 for marriage and kids with him won't magically make it happen either. How will you feel if you get closer to 30 and he is still hesitant? You can either accept what he's telling you - no promises right now - or you can consider if your lack of 100% security is a deal-breaker for you or not. 

Honestly that last paragraph is my biggest fear. Being at that point and him still being hesitant. 
Our relationship has been a little rocky for the past few weeks or so because of other fights, and this just added to the fire. 

 

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9 hours ago, Wiseman2 said:

Ok. You're still in school. Still live with parents. 

There's nothing wrong with your desire to have a marriage and family.

What's wrong is your contemptuous entitled attitude towards him.

Ok you're dating 3 years and it's stalled out. So you're the one who needs to change things.

How should I do that? I definitely don't want to be entitled towards this situation -- mind you, I am not doing it on purpose if I am. 

I want to make things work with this guy I just dont know the best way to approach it. 

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What exactly do you want from him?  To marry you NOW, or to promise he'll marry you and have a baby before some arbitrary date you've decided on?

And I can guarantee "withholding sex" to try to manipulate him into marrying you is a terrible way to accomplish what you want.  It kind of proves you're not ready to be a spouse if you think that's the way to resolve conflicts.

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26 minutes ago, throoawao said:

We really both have no money to put into a wedding right now. He is the only one who works in this relationship but all his $ goes to his basic survival expenses or to spending it on himself or our relationship. It makes sense that we cannot get married right now, but I don't want that.

You're right, the promise ring is a way to pacify me. I do feel insecure in the relationship given my cultural values.

Well that's understandable that you don't have money for a wedding right now but you don't seem happy with that reason? There is something causing you anxiety and it's not just financial, right? From what I understand, you've been with your boyfriend for three years and you're actually sure you want to marry him. Not to mention marriage and having kids is very important to you in general. I think what's worrying you is that your boyfriend hasn't said with enthusiasm something like: "Yes I really want to marry you too!!" Then he didn't propose with the idea to start saving for a wedding and get married as soon as you have the money.

What you wrote is that your boyfriend gave some vague answers, like he doesn't know if and when you'll get married and that he doesn't want to make any promises. Something along those lines. I know you love him a lot and you really want it to work out but his responses regarding marriage are just not that enthusiastic. If someone wants to marry you they would talk with happiness and excitement about it and say they hope to get married in such and such amount of time. E.g. in a year. Also they would propose to actually make the engagement official. Money is not necessarily the only problem because you don't really need a huge amount of money. It's more about having a ceremony/event to show how much you love each other and that you're making a commitment to each other.

My parents got married in the early 1980's when my Mum was 20 years old and my Dad 22. I'm originally from an Eastern European country which used to be communist (but live in Australia 23 years). My parents were very poor. My Mum actually couldn't afford to buy a wedding dress so she sewed a dress herself. She actually made it out of blue material so she could wear it all the time as a normal dress, because she couldn't afford many dresses. My parents just had a dinner at a modest restaurant as the wedding reception and that was it. Also they were engaged after only four months of dating and married after a year. So if someone is really sure they want to get married, they will find a way.

The issue I see here is you're feeling worried and stressed because you're not getting any real answers from your boyfriend regarding marriage. This is very important to you and you also want kids in a few years. Just personally I would want to be with a guy who feels sure about marrying me and really shares my values of marriage and family. I know this man is your first love, but the truth is he doesn't have to be the last. Understandably we feel a strong attachment to our first ever relationship but if it ends, we can love just as strongly again. There are always more people out there, there are billions of people in the world. I am very romantic but I don't actually believe in "the one". I believe in "a one". And I think many people can be "a one" for us. So if one doesn't work out for whatever reason, there are more people out there who are "a one". 

Above all if your boyfriend seems so unsure about marrying you, is he even actually "the one"? The right person would choose spending the rest of their life with us in a heartbeat. They wouldn't be unsure or confused.

You're saying you're not withholding sex on purpose, but I think you actually are. You're really trying to force your boyfriend into agreeing to marry you. I don't think you should be doing that. Marriage is a huge commitment and it should be by choice. Often when people are asked why they wanted to marry someone, you get answers like "I just knew they w were the one". That's a natural gut feeling someone has. Forcing someone and making them marry just because of pressure or because they're not getting sex is the wrong way to go about it. If someone is already not sure from the start it's not going to be a "happily ever after". It won't end well because that person didn't actually want to get married in the first place.

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32 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

What exactly do you want from him?  To marry you NOW, or to promise he'll marry you and have a baby before some arbitrary date you've decided on?

And I can guarantee "withholding sex" to try to manipulate him into marrying you is a terrible way to accomplish what you want.  It kind of proves you're not ready to be a spouse if you think that's the way to resolve conflicts.

I want the latter! I want to feel more secure that we will marry eventually in a reasonable time frame. I dont want to marry now or get engaged now, or get promised now. i feel like these are pretty immature things to do and say.

No one can guarantee life, and I can't make him swear on everything he believes in that that will happen.

I want to work together towards the goal of getting married eventually in a reasonable time frame, which for me is before 30. (Just thinking of a woman's fertile age window). 

Then how else can I resolve this conflict? I'd love to do whatever else i can, i just don't know what else i do.. i feel hopeless :"(

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19 minutes ago, Tinydance said:

Well that's understandable that you don't have money for a wedding right now but you don't seem happy with that reason? There is something causing you anxiety and it's not just financial, right? From what I understand, you've been with your boyfriend for three years and you're actually sure you want to marry him. Not to mention marriage and having kids is very important to you in general. I think what's worrying you is that your boyfriend hasn't said with enthusiasm something like: "Yes I really want to marry you too!!" Then he didn't propose with the idea to start saving for a wedding and get married as soon as you have the money.

What you wrote is that your boyfriend gave some vague answers, like he doesn't know if and when you'll get married and that he doesn't want to make any promises. Something along those lines. I know you love him a lot and you really want it to work out but his responses regarding marriage are just not that enthusiastic. If someone wants to marry you they would talk with happiness and excitement about it and say they hope to get married in such and such amount of time. E.g. in a year. Also they would propose to actually make the engagement official. Money is not necessarily the only problem because you don't really need a huge amount of money. It's more about having a ceremony/event to show how much you love each other and that you're making a commitment to each other.

My parents got married in the early 1980's when my Mum was 20 years old and my Dad 22. I'm originally from an Eastern European country which used to be communist (but live in Australia 23 years). My parents were very poor. My Mum actually couldn't afford to buy a wedding dress so she sewed a dress herself. She actually made it out of blue material so she could wear it all the time as a normal dress, because she couldn't afford many dresses. My parents just had a dinner at a modest restaurant as the wedding reception and that was it. Also they were engaged after only four months of dating and married after a year. So if someone is really sure they want to get married, they will find a way.

The issue I see here is you're feeling worried and stressed because you're not getting any real answers from your boyfriend regarding marriage. This is very important to you and you also want kids in a few years. Just personally I would want to be with a guy who feels sure about marrying me and really shares my values of marriage and family. I know this man is your first love, but the truth is he doesn't have to be the last. Understandably we feel a strong attachment to our first ever relationship but if it ends, we can love just as strongly again. There are always more people out there, there are billions of people in the world. I am very romantic but I don't actually believe in "the one". I believe in "a one". And I think many people can be "a one" for us. So if one doesn't work out for whatever reason, there are more people out there who are "a one". 

Above all if your boyfriend seems so unsure about marrying you, is he even actually "the one"? The right person would choose spending the rest of their life with us in a heartbeat. They wouldn't be unsure or confused.

You're saying you're not withholding sex on purpose, but I think you actually are. You're really trying to force your boyfriend into agreeing to marry you. I don't think you should be doing that. Marriage is a huge commitment and it should be by choice. Often when people are asked why they wanted to marry someone, you get answers like "I just knew they w were the one". That's a natural gut feeling someone has. Forcing someone and making them marry just because of pressure or because they're not getting sex is the wrong way to go about it. If someone is already not sure from the start it's not going to be a "happily ever after". It won't end well because that person didn't actually want to get married in the first place.

Hi Tinydance,

Thank you for your response. So this is what he says sort of,

"i want to marry you, you are the only person who i would want to marry, I just don't have anything to speak for right now, I don't come from money, my parents wouldn't be able to help out, I have to start everything off on my own, and right now I just have nothing to speak for. I don't have the money or the career that i want to be able to say with certainty that it will happen in 2 years, or 3 years, or 4 years, etc. It will happen eventually you would be the only person I want to marry but I just do not know when it will happen given my uncertain circumstances."

"I don't want to promise with certainty it will happen within _x_ amount of years and then it won't and I'll disappoint you." 

Like i hear him, I understand him, but I want to somehow tell him that I want to at least work on it together towards it, that i cant JUST be his GF and he can enjoy all the privileges of having me around as a GF but when we discuss marriage its just an arbitrary act sometime in the future.

He isn't saying he doesn't want it, he is saying he doesn't know when he can promise that to happen. 
Which I too believe is just a way of nicely saying "I don't want to right now, or any time soon, leave me alone to figure myself out and it'll happen eventually".

And yes, you're right, there is no enthusiasm coming from his end like there is from mine. He is the type of person to live day by day and in the moment, he often doesnt like hypothesizing the future because he has "nothing to speak from", aka he doesn't have the funds to even think about it. Let alone a career.

He wants to be at least steady in a career to get married, he wants to know he won't struggle and his family and kids won't struggle, which I respect, and I want the same, that's why I'm fine with waiting.

I just want to figure out a way to tell him nicely, like hey, we are together for some time, and just not working towards getting married, seems like we are working towards breaking up (IDK ofc this is just the first thing that came from my head).

Also, thank you so much for the support about your first love not being your last. I agree with this, I'm also a very realistic person, it's just so hard to envision life without him, I almost already painted this picture in my head that I will get married to him and have kids with him, and live together. I guess I can say, I fell deep. 

Him, marriage isn't even on his mind any time soon, not with me, not with anyone. But that isn't fair to me as it means a lot to me.

 

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19 minutes ago, throoawao said:

I want the latter! I want to feel more secure that we will marry eventually in a reasonable time frame. I dont want to marry now or get engaged now, or get promised now. i feel like these are pretty immature things to do and say.

No one can guarantee life, and I can't make him swear on everything he believes in that that will happen.

I want to work together towards the goal of getting married eventually in a reasonable time frame, which for me is before 30. (Just thinking of a woman's fertile age window). 

Then how else can I resolve this conflict? I'd love to do whatever else i can, i just don't know what else i do.. i feel hopeless :"(

You talk!  Don't pout and withhold sex thinking that will whip him into shape and get him to do what you want. That's actually very disrespectful.

Don't whine and complain.  Just clearly state your goals in a calm manner. 

And don't be unreasonable.  He can't afford to support the both of you financially right now and I'm sure he can't afford your school expenses.  So let him know you understand his position.  

That's what a mature, loving couple does; discuss concerns calmly and with care and then come to a mutual decision.  Maybe agree that marrying or getting engaged right now doesn't make sense but that the two of you will work diligently over the next year to save up and then revisit the question in a year.

Don't make him feel like a failure because he can't afford to support you financially.  Aren't you going to school so you can have a better future?  I presume that's what he wants too.  So don't beat him up about it.

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1 hour ago, throoawao said:

"i want to marry you, you are the only person who i would want to marry, I just don't have anything to speak for right now, I don't come from money, my parents wouldn't be able to help out, I have to start everything off on my own, and right now I just have nothing to speak for. I don't have the money or the career that i want to be able to say with certainty that it will happen in 2 years, or 3 years, or 4 years, etc. It will happen eventually you would be the only person I want to marry but I just do not know when it will happen given my uncertain circumstances."

"I don't want to promise with certainty it will happen within _x_ amount of years and then it won't and I'll disappoint you." 

What don't you understand here? 😕 When you read that, it is as clear as day that it's not a good idea to get married when you both have nothing.  How would it even be possible? How do you expect it to make it happen when reading the above? Serious question.  I'm struggling to see what I am missing.

Like i hear him, I understand him, but I want to somehow tell him that I want to at least work on it together towards it, 

You keep saying you understand but if you did, then you wouldn't constantly hound him about it.  Can you tell us how you propose to "work on it together" please?  That would help.

He isn't saying he doesn't want it, he is saying he doesn't know when he can promise that to happen. 

It seems he had told you many many times that he does want to marry you.  He has explained why it can't happen in the nearest future and his explanation is completely valid.  You just can't seem to "get it".  You can't seem to accept it and that is the problem. 

He wants to be at least steady in a career to get married, he wants to know he won't struggle and his family and kids won't struggle, which I respect, and I want the same, that's why I'm fine with waiting.

He shows he has a lot of common sense.  A man with his head on  straight.  You contradict yourself several times throughout your thread in a number of points.  You say you are fine with waiting but really you are not.

That said, I am interested to know what you mean when you say to him you want to "work on it together".

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, throoawao said:

"i want to marry you, you are the only person who i would want to marry, I just don't have anything to speak for right now, I don't come from money, my parents wouldn't be able to help out, I have to start everything off on my own, and right now I just have nothing to speak for. I don't have the money or the career that i want to be able to say with certainty that it will happen in 2 years, or 3 years, or 4 years, etc. It will happen eventually you would be the only person I want to marry but I just do not know when it will happen given my uncertain circumstances."

 

It's up to you... I've read all the replies and I agree most with East4's advice and Cherlyn etc.

If a man had told me the above quoted excerpt, I wouldn't have stayed around.  And I did date a lot of different kinds of men, it was definitely a weeding out phase of looking for the best long-term partner. 

I think a lot of the problem is that he was your first boyfriend, you did lose your virginity with him and bonded very strongly that way, and you are afraid to let him go due to all of that, which makes total sense to me.

But he's just not that committed to you 😞 otherwise you could just get married in the court system for VERY cheap....  We actually got married in the court system, and then my husband's family was very upset finding that out and pressured us into having a big huge wedding (yes, we were idiots and too immature to enforce strong boundaries of just saying no!!!).  But we were very happy just getting married in the court system!  And I used an old ring that kinda/sorta looked like a wedding ring.  It wasn't a big deal, and yet it was a huge deal to us being husband and wife.  It's a very powerful, mysterious and mystical thing, getting married.

So I got married at 20 and we survived both working and attending college together.... I had had other boyfriends though... I didn't feel like I would be missing out or anything and still don't feel like that at all.  My husband was the one who ended up getting my virginity... I would not have done what you did and lived with a man because it was firmly against my values, no matter how much I loved him or wanted to marry him. 

If you didn't want to give him your virginity without the promise of marriage, it may have been a better idea to have waited longer and watched his actions to see how serious he really was about marriage or not. 😞 He really isn't that serious about it, or he'd be working harder to make it happen.  And I totally understand your disappointment he didn't value that gift enough, but it was yours to save or give.  You can't hold it against him for, "taking," something as if he raped you!  Be careful how you frame things like this in your mind.  It wasn't rape, so please don't even imply he, "took," it from you when you willingly gave it to him.  This is your mistake (if you view it that way) of giving him something you don't think he ultimately deserved.  In some countries, virginity is still nearly priceless and treated as fine jewels!  So I understand where you're coming from when you're hurt he didn't, "value," it enough to propose right after or something... but honestly that was your job to vet for a man who would value it enough to wait if you wanted to wait.  ❤️ 

You'll be ok!  Even if you move on, you're going to find someone who truly values you and wants to marry you within a year or two.  But finding that person will take time (like someone else stated)... time you don't want to waste!

4 hours ago, throoawao said:

And yes, you're right, there is no enthusiasm coming from his end like there is from mine. He is the type of person to live day by day and in the moment, he often doesn't like hypothesizing the future because he has "nothing to speak from", aka he doesn't have the funds to even think about it. Let alone a career.

 

This quote above proves he isn't serious about marriage now or maybe even in the future, or he'd be saving and putting away money for it, working harder, doing something.  It's up to you if you want to wait for him, but if it was me, I would be moving on and finding someone else.

Another commenter pointed out how it may take a long time to find another man that you really want to marry.  So the longer you spend waiting for this particular guy to marry you, you could be wasting time where you'd be out looking - or time where another man would see you available and want you!!

Part of why I kept moving on through men sometimes very fast was because I was laser focused on what I knew I wanted.  Sex sometimes can make a woman VERY attached... inappropriately in my opinion.  I was taught this from a young age.  Sex can cloud your judgement... making you think you LOOOOVVVVEEE him, when in reality, he doesn't share the same values as you and you realistically need to move on.  Sex makes you stay sometimes way too long due to this clouding of your judgement.  I think you're right in pulling back some, withholding it from this man because he's ultimately withholding making you his wife and it's making you feel ashamed and unappreciated and undervalued and all the above.  Of course you'll withhold it when you feel so ashamed and undervalued and used.  Continuing to have sex when you're feeling more and more used is not going to be healthy for you mentally and emotionally... it will turn you into a shell of a woman and wreck your confidence overtime.

You can stay and still provide him free sex, but that may mean you'll be wasting years and years of you life - years you could be having babies (aged 27 through 30 if that's what you're thinking), you're missing out on years you could both be learning to grow together and build a life together.  A lot of women don't see life that way, but then they end up, "waking up," in their mid-30's to realize they've made horrible mistakes and dramatically altered what their life could have been.  

There are no do-overs... but there are second chances to do something different!

 

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Thank you for your kind words.

He wants to marry you.  However, he's ill prepared, doesn't have a stable income nor career.  He can't provide for you nor with you. 

He's honest by telling you that he doesn't want to make promises he can't keep.  He is reiterating that he's not ready to propose, discuss marriage, a future married life with you, family nor the future. 

The deal is:  "Just be the girlfriend."  Either accept this arrangement or remain silent.  You are correct,  this is exactly what he's thinking and saying:

"I don't want to right now, or any time soon, leave me alone to figure myself out and it'll happen eventually".

In the meantime, all you can do is wait around for who knows how long? ☹️ Your patience or lack thereof will dictate how long you're willing to wait for better circumstances with him.  It will take many years and then you've wasted your youth on a man with no future. 

He wishes to live in the moment.  He doesn't wish to bother with discussing the future because he lacks the funds and career to plan for the future.  In the meantime, you either need to be satisfied as "just the girlfriend" for years to come or eventually come to your senses.

He is correct regarding the requirements of a steady income and career in order to survive.  If you're agreeable to wait for however long it takes, then wait even if it will feel like forever.  Keep in mind, there are no guarantees with him and everything about him is unstable and insecure.  Why be with a man who is unstable and insecure?  Remember, waiting for a very long time often results in wasting your youth on a man you have no future with.  That's the risk or gamble you are willing to take when you could be with a man who is prepared financially with his income, job, a very comfortable lifestyle and survival expenses every month. 

If you are fine waiting, you've answered your own question.  Then wait, wait and wait.  Just be prepared for waiting and disappointment from not always getting the future you had envisioned and hoped for. 

You are young and with all due respect, you're very naive.  You hadn't experienced life yet.  It's a great big world out there.  Granted, many people are bad.  However, there are more eligible bachelors than your boyfriend.  There are men who are serious about their income earning, careers and getting ahead in life.  I know because I married him.

Long ago, I thought some of the men whom I had observed were an ideal match for me.  Then I dug deeper and there was always something missing in them such as lack of great income, they had lackluster careers, their personalities were not 100% kind and their characters were not 100% stellar.  Something was always amiss.  My gut instincts regarding my reservations were always right on the mark and spot on.  None of them were good enough.  I'm glad I thought the better of it and made wise choices.  It's better to be alone than lonely with the wrong man. 

Then I met my husband.  He checked all the boxes:  A very moral man, great job, great income, financial security, health, he came from a very loving, nurturing, harmonious, normal, caring, stable family life and I knew I chose a winner.  The future looked bright with him.  He was definitely husband material.  We both worked hard, wanted a family, shared mutual hopes and dreams and attained an economically comfortable lifestyle in the suburbs.  He was worth the wait and he was worth NOT wasting my time on any man who didn't meet my requirements.  It pays to be extremely selective, picky and choosy.  Haste makes waste! 

You say it isn't fair to you that marriage means more to you than him.  I think you need to cut him some slack.  He can't be enthusiastic about marriage if his conditions are not optimal.  He is being realistic. 

You and I agree that if you're unhappy, no one is forcing you to remain in this relationship. 

You've done everything in your power to make this work as long as you don't broach the topic of marriage and family anymore to him.  He wants you to "remain just the girlfriend" so "remain just the girlfriend." 

It is special that you two are each others first loves.  I think that's very nice but don't let this first ever relationship be the one and only if he can't give you the life you truly desire.  Remain realistic and accept being "just the girlfriend" otherwise you'll feel constantly disappointed and shortchanged. 

You are correct.  Perhaps he's the right person at the wrong time.  Unfortunately, in this life, you have to use your head instead of your heart.  All the amount of love, doesn't pay the bills. 

I agree, only you will know whether or not you can sustain this relationship as "just the girlfriend" and nothing more.  If you decide to break up, your timing hinges upon your patience level and timeline.  

Be careful what you think.  You've said to him:  "I don't care where in life we will be as long as I'm with you."  Unfortunately, where both of you are at in life determines if your life will be predictably smooth or fraught with endless financial hardship and struggle.  I agree, he is telling you that life revolves around money and jobs to sustain a decent, comfortable standard of living.  Being together as "just the girlfriend" works but not more than that.  That's your harsh reality check.  I'm sorry.

I agree about not pressuring him to marry you or you'll leave.  Ultimatums are threats and threats only escalate heated arguments. 

You can't have everything.  If you want to remain with him, tell him that you'll be his girlfriend and live day by day as he wishes.  If you want more, he doesn't have the capacity to give you more.  Either become satisfied as the girlfriend role or dissolve and exit the relationship.  Those are your two choices. 

 

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12 hours ago, throoawao said:

 i cant JUST be his GF and he can enjoy all the privileges of having me around as a GF 

Why aren't you able to date men who are more financially and professionally successful?

Just because you had premarital sex, doesn't mean you can backpedal and turn him into Mr. Successful.

He doesn't want to marry you. If he did, he would get engaged to you. But alas, instead you got a lecture on how he's not ready and can't make any promises.

Read between the lines. He doesn't have the material success you want now or in the near future, so he's not breaking up, but he's inviting you to end it and find a man who'll support you if/when you leave your parents home.

Perhaps sex is hard to come by in your culture for single men. That would explain why he even bothers with you.

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8 hours ago, Cherylyn said:

He wishes to live in the moment.  He doesn't wish to bother with discussing the future because he lacks the funds and career to plan for the future. 

Cherylyn is right here.  It doesn't have to be that way though!  We did not have the funds yet, but we were very interested in talking about the future together.  I think maybe your boyfriend just doesn't have the drive or dreams in order to facilitate talking about his future and plans etc.

My husband has a personality type that is described as being a visionary or a dreamer... so he regularly gets excited and talks about future plans and has everything planned out (or at least tons of potential ideas) and he was like this from the beginning, even when he had very little money and his career wasn't set yet.  

He's still like this :D it's both amazing and sometimes very overwhelming because I'm more of the opposite and laid back and a planner that has to have everything all laid out in detail and practicality.  I'm like the opposite of a dreamer 😂 but he thinks I'm perfect for him because I keep him grounded.  Yesterday he got excited about our future financial plans for our retirement, and talked to me for over an hour on planning the different ways it could go... looking up specific properties to buy... planning out how his idea of a custom built house would look... how we could start it years in advance and use part of it as an Air Bnb for passive income and tons and tons of accessory details....  It sometimes feels overwhelming with this personality type because they can literally see so much in advance that you can't because for my personality type, I like to stay within the realm of practicality and adjust for unforeseen bad things happening.  

My husband was like this even when very young and very poor... while he was going to college he was also working almost fulltime at the same time (!!!) It looked so hard on him, and I did immediately start working to help pay for things once we were engaged, but on his own, he was able to afford a real diamond engagement ring even though I told him he did NOT have to get it, and then he paid it off pretty fast because he was so driven and had all this passion to fuel his strange, "visionary," personality type.  Then he bought me a real, gorgeous wedding band to go with it a couple of years after we married.  He didn't have to, I was definitely not pressuring him to, but he did anyway because of his passionate drive to.  

So even if you're broke, talking about the future should be ok.  Planning a future should be ok.  If a person wants to get OUT of being broke, they actually probably should be talking a lot about different ideas/plans/goals for their future, but everyone's different.  I don't think you can give your boyfriend the kind of drive he needs to become someone super successful... he has to find that kind of thing on his own.  

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47 minutes ago, maritalbliss86 said:

So even if you're broke, talking about the future should be ok.  Planning a future should be ok.  If a person wants to get OUT of being broke, they actually probably should be talking a lot about different ideas/plans/goals for their future, but everyone's different.  I don't think you can give your boyfriend the kind of drive he needs to become someone super successful... he has to find that kind of thing on his own.  

My parents got engaged when my mom was living with her parents and a senior in high school and he was planning on a doctoral program hundreds of miles away.  They got engaged with the plan that they'd marry after he graduated and she graduated college (so she would be 21, and he, 23).  They had no money and likely had debt.  They were then engaged long distance for four years and saw each other once a month and summers.  They'd already dated a year.  They planned because they knew they were the one for each other and they had focused plans on meeting their goal of marriage and family.  They got married a month after she finished college- she finished one semester early.  I believe they both worked until she had my older sister 5 years later (they had infertility issues).  Yes he got her a diamond engagement ring, yes, they had a wedding reception -I'm sure their parents paid.  I think it worked out ok -their marriage lasted 62 years and ended when my father passed away 5 years ago.  She had me at age 32 -again because of infertility issues -so you never know as far as timing of children.  But they did know as teenagers they wanted to marry.  As did one of my nieces -they knew, they married as  teenagers and 7 years later going strong, 2 kids.

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Basically, his one excuse of possibly not being able to marry because he would have to take care of his parents would have me ending things ASAP. This in itself says his parents will be his priority over having his own family. Is that where his expenses are going now? Rent money to his parents?

Sometimes a person wants to remain a forever child, remaining in his/her parents' home forever, and sometimes parents have manipulated their child to accept this mentality. When he's 30, I'm assuming his parents wouldn't be older than 60, so the excuse of having to take care of them is crazy.

After having read everything you've written, I'd end things with him, but don't feel as though you've wasted your time. You've learned valuable lessons about what you want in life. And it's hard to go against the grain of what your culture experts, but you need to follow your heart in choosing a lifetime partner, even if brows are raised that you're ending things with your "serious" partner. You don't get to pick other people's partners for them and they don't have any say-so in who you pick.

You'll likely meet more like-minded guys to date who have similar educational and career goals, who will be financially stable far sooner than your bf. 

You expect to try to get pregnant by 30. Who will take care of the child? You will just be graduating from college at that time. Will you establish a career first? Will a relative take care of the child while you work? Have you thought of these things yet, and how much child care will cost if you're not staying home? 

I wouldn't feel bad about not getting married at this point, since there is a higher divorce rate for people who marry before age 25. I wished I'd waited until I was in my late 20s. I realize I was too young and dumb and didn't have enough life experience in my early 20s to make a wise choice in a partner. Many of my friends made that same mistake as well.

Take care and keep us updated.

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You have a LOT of replies here, so I don’t know if this is been said, but...

You keep reiterating the end goal: marriage and babies.

You keep reiterating the current goal: for him to promise you it'll happen in the next 7 years. 

But what you don’t seem to grasp is that life is going to happen, and it’s not going to happen according to your hopes and expectations.

If you want to reach your goals, you have to have a plan. If he’s unsure in his career, start writing down a plan and that might help him find some clarity. For example, you need $XX per month to afford living on your own, you want to live in XX area in an apartment, townhouse, single family home, etc. With his current career options, I’m sure there is one that will most closely align with your specific plan, or will lead to an opportunity that might put you in a good situation.

My point is, you seem to just want an off the wall promise with no evidence or support that it could become reality. I understand why he doesn’t want to do that and I really don’t see how that would’ve done anything for you. If you want to meet goals, then set a mutually agreed upon goal, and then develop a plan that allows you to see your progress and make your goals happen.

Edited by indea08
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Ooops, I messed up in my last post with the quoting thingy ... Gah. 😳  Repost:

**************

"i want to marry you, you are the only person who i would want to marry, I just don't have anything to speak for right now, I don't come from money, my parents wouldn't be able to help out, I have to start everything off on my own, and right now I just have nothing to speak for. I don't have the money or the career that i want to be able to say with certainty that it will happen in 2 years, or 3 years, or 4 years, etc. It will happen eventually you would be the only person I want to marry but I just do not know when it will happen given my uncertain circumstances."

"I don't want to promise with certainty it will happen within _x_ amount of years and then it won't and I'll disappoint you." 

What don't you understand here? 😕 When you read that, it is as clear as day that it's not a good idea to get married when you both have nothing.  How would it even be possible? How do you expect it to make it happen when reading the above? Serious question.  I'm struggling to see what I am missing.

Like i hear him, I understand him, but I want to somehow tell him that I want to at least work on it together towards it, 

You keep saying you understand but if you did, then you wouldn't constantly hound him about it.  Can you tell us how you propose to "work on it together" please?  That would help.

He isn't saying he doesn't want it, he is saying he doesn't know when he can promise that to happen. 

It seems he had told you many many times that he does want to marry you.  He has explained why it can't happen in the nearest future and his explanation is completely valid.  You just can't seem to "get it".  You can't seem to accept it and that is the problem. 

He wants to be at least steady in a career to get married, he wants to know he won't struggle and his family and kids won't struggle, which I respect, and I want the same, that's why I'm fine with waiting.

He shows he has a lot of common sense.  A man with his head on  straight.  You contradict yourself several times throughout your thread in a number of points.  You say you are fine with waiting but really you are not.

That said, I am interested to know what you mean when you say to him you want to "work on it together".

 

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I like Indie's suggestion about a plan.  I don't see that he wants to make any sort of plan because he is not focused on being her husband in the future enough to make any sort of concrete plan.  If he really wanted her to wait for him he would be highly motivated and would have come to her with a plan even if it would involve a couple of years of waiting.  So I don't think it's just about logistics.  In fact I think it's mostly not about logistics.

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On 1/27/2021 at 12:44 PM, throoawao said:

the problem is i don’t know how to secure that we will get married before 30 and have our first kid before 30 without being nasty about it.

That's the perfect way to get yourself divorced before you're 31.

I worked my whole bachelor's and master's programs. When you can earn and save the money to build the future you want, you won't feel so dependent on cracking a whip to mush someone else into providing that for you. You'll recognize your choices to either stay with someone who's not as invested as you are, or to move yourself forward to find someone who IS.

And you cannot achieve anything but resentment by using sex as a commodity.

Head high, earn the money to put where your mouth is, and you'll be in full control of where you want to take your own future, regardless of who else cooperates or not.

Edited by catfeeder
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On 1/27/2021 at 11:49 AM, throoawao said:

he has not shown any motivation to build a future besides work his ass off everyday however with his expenses all that money just somehow seems to be distributed elsewhere. i’m sure he has a savings account but i don’t think we would want to live off of our savings account. we both want to be financially secure before having a family, just i don’t see the motivation coming from him or me. i also don’t know how to approach it without affecting the relationship negatively

I think this is the main problem.  Him (and you as you note here) don't show any motivation to making your dreams a reality.  

Is there a reason why he doesn't seem to want to make plans with you?   Or set aside the specific amount of money you'd need, etc?  Is there a concrete reason as to why he's so adverse to even the talking and planning side of your relationship?  That would drive me (a planner-type) crazy and would make me feel like we were literally, "going nowhere."

You can get married dirt cheap and be poor for the first few years, there's absolutely nothing wrong with that at all. Couples can grow mentally and emotionally stronger when they go through hard times like that.

Things will happen in life, so having a flexible attitude helps... approaching marriage with this, "everything must be perfect," attitude may not serve a person well in life long-term, because life isn't perfect. 

One of you could experience unforeseen job loss 10 years in, or a disease or disability, you just never know what the future holds.  But it helps when you know you made it through severely tough financial times in the beginning of your marriage... it helps you know you can handle whatever comes next, because you've handled things when they've seemed the absolute worst.  

So don't be afraid to get married when you have next to nothing.  It really isn't the end of the world, just another life choice that makes you start from the bottom up. 

 

Edited by maritalbliss86
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