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Is it time for me to propose to him?


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I have been with my boyfriend for 5.5 years. I am 30, he is 32. I am so ready to get engaged and take the next step in my life with him. However, with these kinds of decisions he seems to drag his feet (he wouldn't move in with me until we were together for almost 3 years, I was ready much earlier). He says he wants to be with me forever and wants marriage, kids with me.

Additionally, I am a doctor and I wish to have kids before age 35 - I am keenly aware of the risks to mom and baby after this age and I strongly desire to minimize those risks. We are at the point that I think if I left it up to him, he would propose in 1-2 years. He doesn't really have a good reason for waiting and I have difficulty understanding why he thinks that would be a good time (despite many, many conversations - he can't seem to articulate his thoughts about it). In the meantime, I feel like I'm going to drive him crazy with my engagement/marriage talk if we postpone it much longer. So I have been thinking about taking matters into my own hands. I feel like maybe I should just go ahead and propose to him. He is not very traditional and I feel like the idea of proposing is stressful to him and not something he super wants to do. Additionally, he is basically opposed to engagement rings (as the idea was invented by the De Beers ad campaign) so I already knew to not really expect one of those. I know a proposal would definitely take him by surprise and he would likely find it very flattering.

However, there is a part of me that is terrified this is not what he really wants and that he truly isn't ready and he says no and then we break up...

What are your thoughts? Should I go through with this?

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After reading this, I am wondering why you continue with this: "

-I want to get married. We didn't talk about this much earlier in our relationship, but he gave me little reason to belief that this is not something that he wanted. Now that we've been talking more about it, it turns out he really is not keen on getting married. There is no good reason for it - his friends are all married, his parents have been married for a long time and are very happy. He just doesn't see himself going through with it, doesn't see himself being with someone "forever." Now he still says he is super committed to me, wants to be with me for the foreseeable future, but just doesn't want to marry me. I asked him if he at least wants some sort of civil union, he basically said maybe but not right now. Now I can't say I've been dreaming my whole life of my wedding day, but I did see myself getting married at some point. Honestly the fact that he doesn't want to marry me makes me feel less committed to him... which I don't want, because I want to be all in."

 

This was after 4 years.   Your answer is in this thread, yet you do not want to accept it.  You are wasting your time.

In the other thread, everybody suggested you move on, as he does not see you as his future.  Too bad you didn't listen, as you lost  more of  your precious life.   

Dump him.

 

Edited by Hollyj
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What's that saying.......you can lead a horse to water.....

Stop, just stop. If you force a marriage you'll be divorced soon enough. If you are with a guy who has issues, doesn't believe in engagement, etc, etc, etc because of some personal toxic hang ups about it THAT is your clue to stop wasting your precious time and fertile years on him and move on.

You still have time to dump him, date, meet a guy who actually fully, truly, genuinely wants what you want. Get on with that and forget this messed up dude. The sooner you get rid of this clown, the faster you'll get the life that you actually want. Stop wasting your time on this time waster.

You are so desperate for marriage, you can't see the forest for the trees. Sadly, if you don't open your eyes and start making better choices fast, you will end up with what you fear - alone.

Edited by DancingFool
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46 minutes ago, cbzfmoc said:

e risks to mom and baby after this age and I strongly desire to minimize those risks

- IMO, no real risks in having kids thru your 30's.... increases over that.  But many have kids in their 30's- no prob.

 

47 minutes ago, cbzfmoc said:

He doesn't really have a good reason for waiting and I have difficulty understanding why he thinks that would be a good time (despite many, many conversations - he can't seem to articulate his thoughts about it).

- Are you sure he does not have good reasons?  ( underlying fears of a BU in time?  Are his parents still married?)

- Yeah... he either does or doesn't don't drive him mad.

 

48 minutes ago, cbzfmoc said:

I know a proposal would definitely take him by surprise and he would likely find it very flattering.

- Then, why not?

48 minutes ago, cbzfmoc said:

However, there is a part of me that is terrified this is not what he really wants and that he truly isn't ready and he says no and then we break up.

- Then, this be your answer and you'll know where you stand.

** From how I see this, neither of you want kids out of wedlock?

You feel you need to be married before kids? *

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I think you both have reservations about each other and it's not been working for awhile, maybe a lot of back and forth and not seeing eye to eye. 

This isn't working, OP. You both are too afraid to leave the other maybe for different reasons. Sometimes we outgrow relationships as life takes new turns. 

It's good to know what you want. I don't think you should put your life on hold for someone who doesn't share the same views as you. I'm not sure how proposing to someone is stressful. It's an intimate question between two people. Some make a big show of it in a public place and others have more intimate or private ways of doing it. In the end it's a question meant for only one other person. If he's finding it stressful to propose to you it means that he finds you stressful... or he's lost the plot. I'd be really careful about committing any more of your life to someone who might not perceive you in the way you want them to/doesn't think well of you/pays you lipservice but doesn't follow through. Maybe this relationship isn't right for either of you. 

Edited by Rose Mosse
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He doesn't seem that sure he wants to marry you to be honest. But I would say to really get closure maybe you should just propose to him. I know it's scary in case he says "no", but that will be your answer. If you really want kids soon then why waste more years with this guy?

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I think proposing to him is going to hurt a lot when he says no. 

This isn't about the proposal. That's beside the point, actually. This is about a man who doesn't want to marry you. You already know this, judging by your past threads. I am not sure why you believe that you proposing is going to make any difference there. 

If you want marriage and children, this isn't your guy. 

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Definitely don’t propose! 
 

If he hasn’t proposed to you yet and you’re both situated in life. This guy has serious commitment issues. Don’t waste anymore of your time on him dragging his feet. Besides why be with someone who drags their feet on the idea of committing to you?  You deserve better not wishy washy 

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I actually ended up asking him. It turns out he doesn't want me to propose to him. He says that he realized it's actually kind of important to him that he does the proposing. I reiterated that I want to get married to him and how I've been waiting a long time and he said it's going to happen, but I need to stop bringing it up. When I ask him him about timelines etc he says that I just need to trust him and he is frustrated that he feels that I don't trust him. Again the reason is it's just been such a long time and there is he has never been able to articulate why it's taking him so long to feel "ready." He comes from a happy family and his parents are happily married (even his grandparents who he is close with have been happily married for 60+ years!). His family is great and I feel like they are more than ready for us to be married - his dad even refers to me as my SO's "wife."

Edited by cbzfmoc
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Yup, threw it back on you.   This dude is going to string you along as long as you accept it.  Damn, you have been together for almost 6 years.

You got your answer, what are you going to do with it?

Edited by Hollyj
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I still feel hurt and frustrated. If he told me, this will happen in the next 6 months, then yes I would not bring it up again. However I don’t think this is the timeline in his mind. He has nothing concrete, maybe 1-2 years from now. And when I ask about details he gets upset and says, why do you want to ruin this by dictating the exact day it’s going to happen. And that is what drives me crazy. I really don’t want to pressure him - I do not want to get engaged under those circumstances. But I want to have my needs met.

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2 minutes ago, cbzfmoc said:

I still feel hurt and frustrated. If he told me, this will happen in the next 6 months, then yes I would not bring it up again. However I don’t think this is the timeline in his mind. He has nothing concrete, maybe 1-2 years from now. And when I ask about details he gets upset and says, why do you want to ruin this by dictating the exact day it’s going to happen. And that is what drives me crazy. I really don’t want to pressure him - I do not want to get engaged under those circumstances. But I want to have my needs met.

He has no intention of getting married and having kids with you.  Then, there is the stuff with the ring.  

You are with the wrong guy.

Edited by Hollyj
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That's all warm and fuzzy but at the same time you are right back where you were.

So he doesn't want you to propose and wants you to be patient while he works himself up to do it.  At a 5 year point, I would go along with this, but with a deadline.  If you two are not on the same page within 6 months, then you will be moving on with your life. . .period.

silly . . . Personally, I would have been gone by year 2 or 3.  Not 5 and waiting on someone who is so painfully reluctant.

Edited by reinventmyself
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27 minutes ago, cbzfmoc said:

I still feel hurt and frustrated. If he told me, this will happen in the next 6 months, then yes I would not bring it up again. However I don’t think this is the timeline in his mind. He has nothing concrete, maybe 1-2 years from now. And when I ask about details he gets upset and says, why do you want to ruin this by dictating the exact day it’s going to happen. And that is what drives me crazy. I really don’t want to pressure him - I do not want to get engaged under those circumstances. But I want to have my needs met.

But.. it's already kind of tense? These are the circumstances already.. Does he smoke weed by any chance? 

No one can really say whether he will or won't propose. The track history though is that he hasn't. He's also had the same answer for awhile with no difference. He knows how you feel about it and how much you want be married and start a family. 

All that pressure you keep telling yourself you don't want to pressure him with is instead falling on you.

There's irony and tragedy in that because you're so hurt. You're taking on all that negative energy and stress and taking on so much pressure to change this situation. It's changing you? Did you see yourself as having to propose to your partner? Do you like what all this pressure is doing to you as a person? How are other parts of your life affected? Can you take yourself out of this for a moment and have a big overview how your life is looking and the effects of this relationship on your life? I ask so that maybe there's a clearer view of what you can see of yourself or how this relationship is or isn't meeting your needs. If it's negatively affecting you in other ways, how can you stay with this person?

Edited by Rose Mosse
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3 minutes ago, Rose Mosse said:

There's irony and tragedy in that because you're so hurt. You're taking on all that negative energy and stress and taking on so much pressure to change this situation. It's changing you?  Do you like what all this pressure is doing to you as a person? How are other parts of your life affected? Can you take yourself out of this for a moment and have a big overview how your life is looking and the effects of this relationship on your life? I ask so that maybe there's a clearer view of what you can see of yourself or how this relationship is or isn't meeting your needs. If it's negatively affecting you in other ways, how can you stay with this person?

^ This.  There seems to be so much pressure in the relationship, on both sides now, one wonders how much longer it can last. Like Rose, I wonder how much it is changing you?

To play a bit of devil's advocate here:  Your boyfriend may have had plans to propose to you before, but you kept on talking about it so much and putting pressure on, that it ruined his planned surprise. He may have thought, "geez, if I propose now, she'll think it's because she pressured me into it".  He just never gets a chance to actually surprise you.  For him, Catch 22.  

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37 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

Wouldn't it be a shame if you woke up 10 years from now in this exact same situation? 

Happened to me 😳😔😒

 

OP his getting angry at you because you bring it up is a form of gaslighting you. You have every right to talk about such a big step such as getting married. This is your life too! I have been through the ringer from two serious relationships to learn that guys who don’t want to marry you pull this exact crap! 

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27 minutes ago, reinventmyself said:

That's all warm and fuzzy but at the same time you are right back where you were.

So he doesn't want you to propose and wants you to be patient while he works himself up to do it.  At a 5 year point, I would go along with this, but with a deadline.  If you two are not on the same page within 6 months, then you will be moving on with your life. . .period.

silly . . . Personally, I would have been gone by year 2 or 3.  Not 5 and waiting on someone who is so painfully reluctant.

It’s been almost 6 years.  I too, would have bailed after year 2.  Life is precious . 

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1 hour ago, cbzfmoc said:

I actually ended up asking him. It turns out he doesn't want me to propose to him. He says that he realized it's actually kind of important to him that he does the proposing. I reiterated that I want to get married to him and how I've been waiting a long time and he said it's going to happen, but I need to stop bringing it up. When I ask him him about timelines etc he says that I just need to trust him and he is frustrated that he feels that I don't trust him. Again the reason is it's just been such a long time and there is he has never been able to articulate why it's taking him so long to feel "ready." He comes from a happy family and his parents are happily married (even his grandparents who he is close with have been happily married for 60+ years!). His family is great and I feel like they are more than ready for us to be married - his dad even refers to me as my SO's "wife."

This is not what a happy, healthy, progressing relationships sound like.  "Get off my back, you are the reason I haven't asked, he's frustrated, you don't trust him, you need to trust him."

I am sorry, but this is horrible.  You deserve so much better than an emotionally stunted man that can't express his own feelings, other than to blame YOU.  Has it ever occurred to you that maybe you have been together this long because this guy doesn't have the guts to even dump you.  He coasts along... the sex and companionship is good and convenient, so he just goes along.

I know that's way harsh.... but you are drinking the kool aid.  It takes a good 2 years, in my opinion, to really get to that full on commitment, engaged, marriage, civil union.... But he knows what he is doing.  He knows you aren't going anywhere.  

 

 

Edited by Lambert
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9 hours ago, cbzfmoc said:

  - his dad even refers to me as my SO's "wife."

Unfortunately that's because he views living together in lieu of marriage, not a precursor to it.

It doesn't matter how happily married all his family are. 

Your only recourse is to move out. Live your own life. That way you're not only free of begging, you're free to find a man who shares your values and timelines.

Have you ever asked yourself why you're good enough to play house with but not good enough enough to marry?

 

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