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I feel so embarrassed to even be posting this, and this is going to be beyond long... ok, so I have never been one of the girls who was hounding her boyfriend to pop the question since becoming exclusive or had planned their Barbie dream wedding since age 10, in fact I dread having to deal with all the crap that goes along with having a wedding.


However, that hasn't stopped me from feeling like my heart is ripped in half whenever one of my or my boyfriend's friends gets engaged.


There tends to be a surge every 6 months (summer and Christmas) and during the '06 summer surge and two more of his friends jumped onto the engagement train my boyfriend decided he wanted to get me a promise ring. We had been dating for about 2 1/2 years at that point, I'm 20 and he was almost 24 so I figured it wasn't a bad idea since while everyone getting engaged was in our age range (and in most cases dating less time than we had been) I still felt like it was too soon.


Fast forward to the end of the year. As he's asking me to start scout out ring styles, like literally as I am loading up sites I find out one of my friends my age who had only been dating her boyfriend 10 months had already gotten her engagement ring setting. I just broke down crying, and I really couldn't figure out why. I know my friend was still clearly in the "honeymoon" stage but it still crushed me and I felt so horrible and embarrassed when I had to explain why I couldn't bring myself to look up promise rings. This wasn't like me, I'm not supposed to care about this. He said he wouldn't give me one if it was going to make me unhappy but I said no it was fine, I thought it was.


Christmas comes and no surprise, I get a promise ring from my boyfriend. I think the fact that it came in the wrong size and way too big to wear helped set the stage of me being uncomfortable with it. I wear it on my left ring finger (since it was also going to double as a "please don't hit on me I'm taken" signal) Christmas goes and two more friends are engaged, and one of his friends who had only been dating her boyfriend for a few months got a promise ring too. Again, this hurt me so much for no good reason. I don't even know if I want my friends to notice I got one because I know it's going to lead to wondering why I'm not engaged, and I don't think I could really handle having to admit to everyone I'm just too immature to be engaged if this is how I am reacting to everyone else's.


This weekend. I was spending the night at my boyfriend's house and definitely three sheets to the wind after more booze than I probably should have had. Checked my Myspace and the friend from two paragraphs prior just got engaged. I completely break down crying. I don't quite remember everything since I was fairly drunk at this point, but I had no choice but to have to explain to my boyfriend what was bothering me. And I felt so embarrassed, so stupid and like this little immature girl who can't feel anything but jealous. I couldn't understand why I, the rational scientific one was breaking down and crying like a baby over something so petty. And I started wondering, what do all our friends have that we don't? Why am I the only one who is too immature to be engaged by the 3 year mark? With one exception of a couple that's a less than functional LDR with no end in sight, we don't know ANYONE in our circle of friends who dated for as long as we did before a proposal. And for some stupid reason, it hurts.


I should also add that talking about marriage and all that jazz isn't a complete surprise to my boyfriend. I have already made it quite clear I refuse to move in together until I am engaged because I watched my cousins get into that trap and 6 years later and it's still just "getting the milk for free." I am going to start grad school in either Jan or Sept '09 (did I mention that a few of our engaged friends are looking at dates LATER THAN THAT to get married? that also just stabs me in the heart!) and if that's the route we're going to go down I'd like to be married either shortly before or within a semester of starting grad school so I can get on his insurance and honestly, maybe I'm just old fashioned like that and don't see a need to go out of my way to not get married when I go to grad school because I "need the experience of the single life" or whatever.


My boyfriend and I decided we're going to start premarital counseling soon because it seems silly to me to start that AFTER you already set a date and start throwing money around before being 115% certain it's going to stick, and also agreed to order some books online - does anyone have any recommendations for books either as a couple or of the "yes you are not the only girl who isn't all smiles and gumdrops about getting engaged/married." I'm so lucky that he's accepting of my stupid girl jealousy, but I wish I knew how I could just shut that part of me off until it's my turn. I wish I knew how to not be mentally calculating how long they've been together and ages and deciding whether or not I "measure up." I wish I could not be ashamed of getting a promise ring when everyone else is getting the real thing, which is something I've always associated with high schoolers and people who still measure their relationship in months. I just wish I was mature enough to be engaged and not freak out about it. I know I'm not mature enough otherwise I wouldn't be getting so unhappy, and I hope I can find a way to get past that so I'm not a miserable wreck every time I watch someone pass me by and get engaged younger than us after dating less time than us...


If anyone read all that, wow. If it wasn't the internet I'd give you a cookie.

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The thing that comes to mind is "If every one jumped off a bridge, would you jump too?".


Why can't you just be happy for others? You're young, you've got a boyfriend and he obviously cares about you. You don't sound happy that you even got the ring, which isn't even important, its just a chunk of metal. You should be thinking about how you feel about spending your life with this person.


Maybe you should calm down the whole ring thing and focus on your relationship. Sit down and talk with your guy about how he feels about all this, tell him your doubts and worries, he may have some too.


Stop comparing yourself to everyone else, you are not them, you are you. We are not alike, our lives will all be different, don't define yourself by marriage or what you don't have. Enjoy life and be thankful for what you do.

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I don't think you're being overly petty. I think it is difficult at times to see others doing things you wish you were doing, or at least think you should be doing.


You say you don't think you're mature enough to get married, but it seems as though, deep down, you wish you were engaged anyway. Personally, I can definitely see why you want to be engaged after 3 years. And sometimes logic takes a back seat when everyone around you is doing things you aren't. Personally, in my group of friends, everyone seems to be buying a house. I would really rather wait a while til I've got some more money, and my bf and I decide where we are going to be living eventually (we live in different cities). While I'm saving I still live at home because it's much cheaper and I'm saving lots. That being said, at times I still wish I was out there playing house and being more independent, even though I know it's not the right decision for me at this point


Everyone has different opinions on how long you should be together and how old you should be before you gte married, but everyone is different. I have friends who were married at a younger age as well as friends who have been dating for many years who aren't engaged.


You say that some of your friends have set dates for later than '09. That's a fairly long engagement, but it's not highly unusual. I guess one consolation is that when you do get engaged, you'll probably end up married quicker than them! Personally I wouldn't want to wait any longer than a year after getting engaged before I was married, but that's just my own personal choice, and it's not for everyone.


As I said, it is hard to not be jealous sometimes. But if you really believe that you and your boyfriend are going to be together and get married eventually, try and keep that in mind. When someone else gets engaged just think 'My time will come'. You only (hopefully) get engaged once, savour the moment. It will ahppen eventually, and when it does, you'll be ready for the committment and you won't be stressed about it.


Hope that helps. x


P.S- Cookies? LOL!

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Why can't you just be happy for others? You're young, you've got a boyfriend and he obviously cares about you. You don't sound happy that you even got the ring, which isn't even important, its just a chunk of metal. You should be thinking about how you feel about spending your life with this person.


Maybe you should calm down the whole ring thing and focus on your relationship. Sit down and talk with your guy about how he feels about all this, tell him your doubts and worries, he may have some too.


Maybe I came accross wrong by text, but the ONLY times it has ever bothered me were the specific events I wrote about. Beyond those times and me venting right now (it was just last night I freaked out, and I just read an article on why people should be getting premarital counciling before engagement when I got home that prompted this post) I don't feel as if I dwell on it consistantly. We've already discussed most of this, but all of a sudden I slipped into random irrational jealousy mode and it drives me insane.


And again, in of itself having a promise ring is not a problem but that hasn't stopped my mom, family friends and heck even my orthodontist from seeing the promise ring asking about when he proposed and when I respond in the negative, when the "real thing" is coming. And I'm not going to lie, it is really akward for me to explain what's up without feeling as if I'm coming accross as a 14 year old who's "like totally engaged!!!11" to marry her boyfriend of 3 months after they graduate college. It's like I'd almost rather be "just dating" than feeling like I'm stuck in some sort of limbo I don't feel comfortable in. Maybe the problem is I feel pressured from everyone else, either from directly asking or indirectly by getting engaged themselves, that I need to be engaged by now and I don't feel ready, I'm too immature and young for all this but there must be something wrong with me if I'm the only college girl I know who's not itching to be engaged nownownow.


Beyond all this, I'd say my relationship is not unhealthy or with serious red flags. Communication otherwise is not a problem, again it probably didn't seem that way just from a few paragraphs but that's not the problem. The only major doubts either one of us has on marriage is the timeline and when we'll fit it in with grad school - of course I say this without having gone through counceling together, but I am honest in saying I don't think there is anything majorly incompatible going on.

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I don't think you're being overly petty. I think it is difficult at times to see others doing things you wish you were doing, or at least think you should be doing.


I think you may have just hit the nail on the head. I think it's more about feeling like this is what I should be doing than what I really want to be doing. I also hate to admit, but the whole idea of getting engaged now really scares me. That's completely silly of me, I don't even want to worry about any of this until I absolutely have to but I think your right, it's starting to become the standard in my circle so the fact that I don't feel like I'm ready but I feel like I HAVE to be ready at this stage of my life/relationship is stressing me out.



You say that some of your friends have set dates for later than '09. That's a fairly long engagement, but it's not highly unusual. I guess one consolation is that when you do get engaged, you'll probably end up married quicker than them! Personally I wouldn't want to wait any longer than a year after getting engaged before I was married, but that's just my own personal choice, and it's not for everyone.


I agree, I think it's just excessive to be engaged for so long. It makes it seem like they're going for Dating Plus and Wedding Planning instead of Preparation For Marriage, which I know is horrible of me to think is the case among a few of my friends... but from knowing them I don't think I'm too far from the truth. I think that's another reason why I'm freaking out, I'm still "too far out" by my own personal standards so I shouldn't even think about this beyond starting to go to pre-marital counseling in the next few months. Heck, maybe I should try and do it sooner than later, I bet a lot of my subconscious fears of maturing, commitment and the like I'm obviously supressing if they're coming out violently like this would get addressed during that.


As I said, it is hard to not be jealous sometimes. But if you really believe that you and your boyfriend are going to be together and get married eventually, try and keep that in mind. When someone else gets engaged just think 'My time will come'. You only (hopefully) get engaged once, savour the moment. It will ahppen eventually, and when it does, you'll be ready for the committment and you won't be stressed about it.


Hope that helps. x


P.S- Cookies? LOL!


Oh yeah, I know my time will come eventually. I think I honestly wish I could skip all the formalities and just be done with it all. I guess I just got affected by "peer pressure" a lot more than I care to admit to

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I wouldn't accept a promise ring because I didn't really understand the point of it. However, that may just be me.


I think your emphasis is on the right things -- you aren't making this about the wedding, you're not sucked into the commercialization of the vows. I hope you have a beautiful wedding. I think it might help you if you move the promise ring to the right hand instead of the left, so that people will stop asking when he proposed, as that is awkward. The "promise" is between you and he; there is nothing to make public at this point, and so there is no reason to wear the ring on your left, other than personal preference.


Btw, I've been proposed to multiple times, and have had three engagement rings. Only one was a keeper.

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Tomato Soup - I am totally with you on this, I've always wanted to get married but it's never been a MASSIVE issue to me, but just this last year or two, everytime I hear a friend say they've got engaged, as m uch as I try to be happy for them, I'm so jealous and I cry buckets over it.

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I want to get married eventually (in '09-'10 not anytime soon of course!) because I really don't like the idea of living together before marriage or more than a few months beforehand (I'm not religious but I still don't like the idea of only partially committing to a common future like that, having an apartment/house/everything together but not getting any of the legal benefits) The next of kin medical stuff is very important to me, because heaven forbid something happen I would rather not have my ultra-religious family decide things for me.


Right now though, I enjoy just being a college student without the weight of it all on me, and honestly I don't think we are marriage ready - probably by my friends' standards but not mine. I downloaded an e-book of 1000 questions to ask each other and we're going to start on that tonight, since there are so many things I want to be on the same page about before getting engaged. But I guess the main thing is, I know that if I intend on going away to another city for grad school, either we will be LDR which is something neither one of us wants, we live in different places in the same city due to me refusing to shack up beforehand which is silly for dating for 5-6 years at that point, or we start down the marriage road either then or beforehand. So watching friend after friend get engaged, it makes me question why I am the odd one out and the only one who seems to really understand the gravity of the situation and how serious "forever" really is.


I have work now so I'll reply to everyone else later tonight.

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First off, don't feel bad for your feelings... they're what you feel. it is what you do about your feelings that counts. But one should never ignore them, because they are telling you something needs to change.


Secondly, i think what you really want is to be engaged, and you are trying to rationalize backwards why it is ok to you that your boyfriend has not yet proposed. Two years ('09) is NOT too long an engagement if what you want is to be engaged. I think you get upset when other people get engaged because you want to be engaged, period. Who cares when the wedding is...


Third, being engaged is NOT being married, it is a trial period to see if you are really serious enough about each other to get married. So if he is really serious about marrying you, then getting engaged should be no problem for him, especially if you are unhappy NOT being engaged.


So the real question becomes, why isn't he proposing?? If he is as serious about this relationship as you are, and it is really important to you to get engaged, why is he giving you promise rings instead? If the question is money for the ring, he can give you ANY ring (or no ring) and tell you he will buy you a nice engagement ring later when he has the money... lots of people do that. Would you have been happy with the smaller promise ring if he had proposed and made it an engagement ring... I think so....


So maybe your feelings are telling you something... do you think he is less than serious about the marriage, or putting engagement off and stalling hoping you will give in and live with him, or else he wants to wait and be sure whether he even wants to be engaged, let alone married?


I really think this is more than a jealousy issue for you. I think other people getting engaged just brings to the surface your own feelings that you think you should already be engaged, but he won't propose.


Please investigate these feelings farther, and talk to him about it... What are the impediments he feels to proposing etc., and tell him your true feelings, that you want to be engaged. that doesn't mean you have to marry right away either, and tell him so, but if he starts to waffle and doesn't want to please you or really is putting you off, then you need to investigate his level of commitment...

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Soup, I've been with my bf for over 6 years, we do already live together, I'm 27 years old, all my friends are getting married and having babies and I can't even get my bf to talk about it. I think it's best you get this sorted sooner rather than later or you could end up the way I am. Not knowing what the future holds. Bordering on depressed and not knowing what to do about it all.

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Instead of being depressed, why not make a plan for how long you are willing to stay with your boyfriend if you knew he was never going to marry you. On that day (whether that is tomorrow, 6 months from now, one year from now) tell him calmly and with no anger (since he has been honest with you) that you love him but that you are looking for someone who also wants marriage. Tell him he cannot call you unless he changes his mind and is ready to propose and set a wedding date that day.


(by the way, 9 of my friends in the last 2 years got married and engaged within a year or less of meeting someone - and they were all ages 38-39). Never think that he is the only one or that you won't meet anyone. It's only true if you continue this pity party and continue to spend time with someone who doesn't want to marry.

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I don’t know how to do multiple quotes so I am just going to reply to everyone at once.


Juliana – I thought I was going to be ok with a promise ring when it was first mentioned last summer since at that point I really did feel as if I was too young and not together long enough to consider “the real thing.”


I did try putting it on my right hand after I freaked out over the weekend, but I use a computer a lot for school work and constantly smacking it into the mouse and the click-click sound it made drove me crazy so I switched it back this morning. It’s a simple silver or white gold band with an inset little square shaped aquamarine so it doesn’t even look like an engagement ring. I’m tempted to start just calling it a pre-engagement ring since that is true, and just leave it at that to let people assume the only delay is for him to save up money for the main event.


Batya33 – Probably not! A number of my friends would talk about how they were hoping he’d propose, or how there was “competition” in the family and the like so I have a funny feeling a number of them were to shut the girl up or they’ve been dating too short to move beyond the honeymoon stage when the issues beside what you’re first dance will be to or who’s going to be the maid of honor come up. Some I’m pretty certain have their priorities straight (and I don’t think it’s a coincedence it’s the ones that are either older, have solid school/career plans or have been together for more than 18 months?) and those I’m happy for. It’s the girls who to me seem to rush into this to validate their relationship, move out of their parents house and “show off” that make me jealous for some reason.


BeStrongBeHappy – I don’t know if I mentioned this, but in the time between first bringing up the promise ring idea and when I got it, my boyfriend actually asked me on more than one occasion if I’d prefer for him to skip it and get an engagement ring and propose for real instead, and I was the one who said no, 20 is too young and we haven’t been dating long enough and I didn’t want to be in a sort of “Dating Plus” relationship for the next 2-3 years with no concrete plans. Since I don’t know exactly when or where I will be going to grad school or if he can follow me immediately if it’s not local, we both agree it doesn’t make sense to start planning for the future like that. Sometime after that, when watching everyone with “less qualified stats” get engaged, I guess is when emotionally I did feel ready to make the commitment, but my head is still screaming no I am too young and it’s too soon. I would say thereforeeee the problem is less about him not committing and me getting to the point where I do feel as if I have all the “pre-requisites” for being engaged (age, time together, solid academic plans, pre-pre-marital counseling completed (that is a requirement for him as well) etc) all there. I turn 21 and hit the 3 year mark within the next 6 weeks, so maybe that will be enough mentally to make me feel I’m not rushing even though rationally what difference will 6 weeks really make.


I also don’t believe in engagement being the trial period, I feel as though you should be coming into engagement with all that stuff figured out and not running into those potential red flags and non-negotiables once you “decide” to get married , especially once you start throwing money around for wedding preparations. I think just flat out exclusive dating is how you find out if that’s the route you want to go, since if you’re going to break an engagement down the road how is that much different than breaking up from regular dating in the long run other than it is that much more painful and messy?


MissyM – Two of my cousins are in the same boat you are in, one has been cohabiting for 3 years, the other 6 and both are light years away from getting engaged, and the girls involved are not thrilled about it. My boyfriend knows I absolutely refuse to live together until marriage/engagement, it’s not even practical until I graduate with my BS because I just couldn’t afford it anyway.


Batya33 – I don’t know if you were replying to me or MissyM, but right now I don’t feel the need to put a deadline since I’m fairly certain he will propose before too far into 2008, if not this year (after we finish pre-pre-marital counseling of course) And rationally, that’s fine with me. Emotionally, my dumb girl side I think does want it to come sooner because the commitment is already there, but realistically I just can’t rationalize doing it so soon when there’s over a year window of when we’d actually wind up married. That and I’m still on the young side and part of me thinks it's crazy to decide that because 3 years is a drop in the bucket compared to "the rest of your life."

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Tomato soup!


I understand your jealousy, because I feel it too! It sucks, and I don't think there is anything you can do about it. At the very least, let me vent with you. I agree that it is totally irritating when people that seem (key word, since nobody really knows how a relationship is except the people in it) to not have the healthiest relationship end up engaged, because they think that engagement is some higher, better form of dating. You and I both know that it is not "dating plus" as you elegantly put it. It means you are getting married! It means you have both promised to marry one another!


Still, the people I know are mostly in the really, truly, time to get engaged part of their relationship, so I can't even reduce the irritation to the state of their relationships.


It is drives me absolutely nuts that this kind of stuff bothers me, and you are right, it is totally embarrasing that it does, to boot!


I'm in a similar situation, except that my bf and I are a little older. It wasn't until a couple years ago that the engagement train started coming along to take all my single (in the unmarried sense) friends away. We both also have decided not to live together (until marriage, for us) for non-religious reasons.


I have to commend you on your attitude towards marriage, engagement, and what is important.


I disagree with the poster that said engagement is a "trial period" to figure stuff out. Engagement is a promise to get married! So I think you are right on in figuring out now.


I just ordered a ton of radio broadcasts that focus on pre-marital issues. They probably have a religious tone to them since they are put out by a very Christian company (focus on the family). I'm very liberal and will have to laugh off any times they prescribe gender based roles in marriage, but I think they will still be useful in getting the important issues out. Can you share the title and source of the e-book you have?


Other tips. You just have to try your best not to let it get to you, the other engagements that are happening. Just be glad that your heart and head are on the right path to a successful marriage. Look forward to the day that it finally does happen, the day you'll be able to say "...and I wouldn't want it any other way." I hate to wish an unfavorable situation on anyone, but your friends getting engaged so early may very well end up broken up before their 2009 wedding.


Good luck on keeping the jealousy to a minimum...

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Perhaps what you're jealous of is their certainty, not their rings, their engagement, or their future. You're on the right path. Stay with it. Marriage is a big commitment or it's nothing.


I can say for me that it is most definitely NOT their certainty. It sounds like it might be the same case for OP, since she comments that they (the other couples) kind of jump into it. I agree though, it's a big commitment or it's nothing.


I also want to add this about pre-marital books- I read the book "Blink" by Malcolm Gladwell. It has nothing to do with engagement or marriage. It's about first impressions and snap judgements. But Gladwell does reference Dr. John Gottman, who is a master at snap judgements in determining with 95% accuracy whether or not a couple will be married in 10 years after talking with them for a mere 5 minutes. Seriously!


I just looked up John Gottman, and he has a few books out that might be good pre-marital reading. Some of what he says is a bit unconventional, and maybe even opposite of what you've heard works in relationships. But a big plus is that what he says is backed with scientific evidence, and I do believe that the religious slant is absolutely zero.

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He confuses me though cause he says he does want marriage, but then won't elaborate.


Does or does not want marriage? In any event, nothing confusing. He is not proposing, right? How long has he known you would like a proposal?


The confusion will end once you decide on how long you are willing to stay if you knew he was never going to marry you. Then you leave on that day - with a calm demeanor and he knows he can call you only if he wants to propose with a wedding date. You are creating the confusion by staying despite not having a ring and a date.

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I also disagree that engagement is a trial period. An engagement means having a ring (or some symbol) plus a wedding date - or at least a wedding month until you book the church, etc. The ring is a promise to marry not a promise to see if you want to get married. That is why if a woman breaks off an engagement - in most states - she is required to return the ring - because it's not meant to be just a trial period.


I'm making a point of this because I find it annoying when people claim to be engaged - and want all the benefits - the gifts, the congratulations, the "status" but hang out for months/years without getting married or setting a wedding date.

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anydaynow - I knew I couldn't have been the only one! Yeah, it's the fact that this DOES bother me and I feel so ashamed to admit it makes me always second guess if I'm getting worked up for "sensible" reasons or becoming what I hate - a girl who's singular goal is a ring on her finger. And yeah, we both want to avoid having engagement mean Dating Plus. Of my friends that got engaged in 2006, only one even has a month range set. The others either say it'll be years and years down the road or conviently don't answer when anyone asks. I feel that for those girls it was more "We've been together X many years / graduating / wanting to move out of my parents' house so yay engagement time" than too much past the "relationship insurance" an engagement ring supposedly is. Then again, I also have a friend who got married last year at age 24 who went through a broken engagement to her "soul mate" at age 20. I wonder how many of the "engagement rookies" will have a similar tale.


The e-book was in a set of other romance/marriage books, I searched for "1000 Questions for Couples" at link removed and torrented it. If you don't know how to use that, there should be instructions on the website.



assumeLove - You know, when my boyfriend and I were going through our first set of questions he mentioned the exact same thing. I know many people in the 18-25 age range (and beyond!) really don't have a picture perfect game plan, myself included. Again it's one of the reasons I am hesitant to start down the engagement path - I honestly don't know where I will be in a few years, I don't know if/when my boyfriend will be able to follow me if I go to grad school out of state, there are way too many unknowns to know when our future together will start. Watching my friends who are bouncing aimlessly from retail dead-end job to retail dead-end job, who can't get their act together in school or who do all but admit to Dating Plus but can still be 100% of one thing in their lives even if it's only for a little while, I wonder what exactly is wrong with me that I can't say for certain we will be together at XYZ point and we will live happily ever after when I know damn well I CAN'T say that until the next level of schooling is more certain lest I want to be perpetually in engaged limbo... I don't know if it's because I percieve myself as "too young" or what, but I am jealous I cannot have any certainty in my life like that.

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"I feel so ashamed to admit it makes me always second guess if I'm getting worked up for "sensible" reasons or becoming what I hate - a girl who's singular goal is a ring on her finger."


You don't need to be ashamed at all. If marriage is a life goal for you, and something you need to have, why would you be any more ashamed of wanting that, than you would be of pursuing, say, a career goal? You're not trying to take advantage of anyone, and it's ridiculous to think that loving someone means accepting that you'll never get what you want, but you should be happy anyway.


Being with someone who values your goals and respects your right to pursue them openly, is a crucial element in a happy marriage. Even if your boyfriend isn't ready to be engaged or both, he shouldn't question or criticize your desire for both. There's nothing wrong with it.


Be careful, however, of the "1,000 Question" approach. Initiating a dialogue on critical things is one thing; combing through a thousand (??!) questions to confirm suitability is another. One could interpret it is as a veiled attempt to permanently forestall marriage by raising too many issues that cannot be resolved until you are in that situation. People change over time, and it's less significant what he thinks of say, shared purchasing decisions now, than it will be closer to your marriage. Now what matters is how committed he is to making sacrifices to keep this relationship working.

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Engagement is a trial period in that many people only discover during that time, when they seriously begin to plan a future together, not just contemplate it, that they are not compatible, or get cold feet when looking seriously at commiting to a lifetime with someone. that is why there are so many broken engagements.


so people may not think of it as a trial period, and really think at the time of engagement that it is the right thing to do and they are fully committed to marry the other person, but it really turns into a trial period as well, because that is when the true commitment/compatability levels really come out... i have known many longtime couples who seemed to get along fine, only to break up within a few months of engagement (or worse, soon after the wedding), because one or both realizes when seriously confronting the idea of marriage, that they just can't go the distance with that person...


but the worst thing is when people get engaged when they don't feel ready, because one person wants it more than the other, or wants a ring, or for reasons like you are feeling, jealousy or because all their friends are doing it. so you should definitely not do it unless you are super serious about actually marrying the person, especially if you are having doubts about the wisdom of getting engaged right now, for whatever reason...


and you are indeed young, so some of your hesitation might be some lingering doubts as to whether this relationship can really go the distance and endure the separations etc. you have planned for the future... if you are having any of those feelings, then never ignore them, and definitely don't get engaged until those feelings go away...


anyway, best of luck. i hope it all works out as you plan!

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