Pre engagement limbo

  1. Hi- First of all- I just stumbled across this Gen Discussion forum today! There are a lot of great discussions going on and I am glad I found it! I usually spend all my time in the LV forum :smile: and will be visiting this now too! Everyone seems so open and honest here.

    So this is what is on my mind- I have been dating my bf for a little over 4 yrs. We are both 28/29 yrs old. I have been feeling like I want to get engaged and start our lives together and have been jealous at my married/engaged friends lately. We talk about "when we get married we will do this and that" a lot and I am sure that he wants to marry me eventually, but it is frustrating because I wish we could just get engaged and "seal the deal" and get on with our lives.
    In February I asked him when he thought we would get married and he said that he thinks that this year could be it, so I don't know if I should bring it up again unless it doesn't happen by the end of the yr. I don't think it will happen at least until fall because my life is kind of in transition now. My mom moved in with me after my dad passed away a year ago, but is thinking of moving out in the next couple of months so it has kind of been a different circumstance too.
    I have been feeling down because our married couple friends came over for dinner last weekend and I got kind of envious and felt like they seemed like such more of a couple than we were since we weren't married. We don't live together either because we had said we wouldn't live together before marriage because our families wouldn't approve and I am craving for that security now of coming home to him and falling asleep/waking up together. I am so sick when people ask "when will you guys get engaged or whats taking him so long" and I know its wrong, but I start to feel embarrased like something is wrong with me or our relationship. So anyway I was just wondering what advice you guys had and if you could share what feelings you might have had before you got engaged, or if you are waiting to get engaged.
    Sorry for the long post!
  2. Hmmm, I have to go off of what other people have told me because when it came to my DH and I we got engaged after dating maybe 5 months or so....but...we had our ups and downs and didn't wind up actually getting married for 2 years.

    Other ladies I know have been going through the similar thing as you, in some respects. One girl I know is 28 and her boyfriend and her were living together for about 6 years and she kept waiting and waiting and waiting for an engagement. It was really the guy hesitating and wanting to save up money for a ring and being really financially picky. She finally got her ring a few months ago with plans to marry in Dec.

    My best friend actually was with her boyfriend 6 years and SHE finally got her engagement ring 5 months ago. It took a while because both her and her boyfriend wanted to make sure they didn't want to see other people for sure before they made a commitment.

    And...last example I have is another friend of mine is 28 and her now fiance is 29. They have been together about 2 years and it again had to do with her boyfriend wanting to save money for a ring. She always was curious what was happening and was depressed, but that was the deal. She finally had a discussion with him and he told her things would be okay. And now they are getting married in July.

    So, I'm not sure if that is partly his concern at all? Maybe it's financial, maybe it's that sense of making a true commitment, or maybe it's neither. I wouldn't say hound him, but more like try to prod as to what's going on. I mean, we women like to know if the time we've put into a relationship is going anywhere, esp when we love someone. You've been good and haven't asked since February so I might just hint at things. If you've been with him 4 years I wouldn't see why he would get upset with you asking.

    And sorry for the long post!
  3. jcriley, there's nothing wrong with you and the fact that you're still single. you might be envious of your married friends and that's ok. just be sure that you want to get married for the right reasons. that he's good guy and he's good to you.

    I was in a similar situation a few months ago. and my advice to you is that you clearly know what you want so make it SUPER CLEAR and give him a time line or give yourself a time line if you don't want to give him one.

    I was in a relationship for 4 yrs all this while thinking we would end up engaged and all the while him saying all the right things. push came to shove and he wouldn't act on it and so we broke up. I cant tell you how cheated i feel and i wish i had been more aggressive about putting my foot down instead of being so understanding and thinking he needed more time. things are a little more complicated but that is it in a nutsheel and i'm still bitter and angry as hell and feeling like i wasted 4 good years in my 20s. i could have done more volunteer work - at least my time would have been put to good use!!

    so what i want to share with you is, make it clear and tell him you want to be engaged. i don't know how you feel and whether you would give him an ultimatum like i did. even if you don't, you need to know what you will do if fall is over and there is still no ring. do you stay or leave the relationship? how much more time do you give him to step up to the plate and propose?

    if it's a financial issue, he should be abl eto discuss that with you. and if you give him an ultimatum and he doesn't wake up and step up and realize that he can't lose you, then you know you should move on.

    good luck!! i hope your situation turns out better than mine!
  4. If he said this year, I don't think you should bring it up again. It's only April, after all. Maybe he has something planned for a specific month or date that's important to him. If he doesn't bring it up after Christmas, maybe then say something, but "this year" is a pretty good indication to me that he does want to marry you and probably has something planned.
  5. ^^ I agree, i think u should wait and see what happens in the few coming months.. goodluck :smile:
  6. Pre-engagement Limbo? Isn't that a game played at a redneck baby shower??

    I kid!

    All I wanted to say is that you're as strong as a couple as you want to be. My friend got married 10 months ago, and is now going through a divorce. Obvs, marriage isn't the end all be all magic relationship strengthener. My gf and I have a stronger relationship then they did and we have no plans to get married. Try to stop worrying about other people's thoughts and commitment situations. Worry about yours. You and your man are the ones that will make your commitment strong and make your relationship enjoyable to be in...married or not. Also, it's only 4 months into the year, so you have the majority left. Calm down, and have fun. If you're still not engaged by October, then we'll talk! :smile:
  7. I know exactly how you feel because I am on the same boat. :crybaby:

    I never thought I would be one to be pushing the engagment issue but, we have been together for almost 3 years, living togther for 1. During this period his closest friends were single then met their significant others got engaged, and 2 or them are married now, one more to get married tomorrow and another one in september. All of these people were SINGLE when I started dating my boyfriend. I share with you that same "what the hell is wrong with ME?" feeling.

    He also mention a couple of months ago that we would get engaged this year...but we had a huge blowout just last weekend when my best friend, who also met her boyfriend after I was already dating mine, got engaged.

    I just felt so sad and crappy, I dunno. But anyway, just wanted to let you know YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

  8. Thank you for a male insight into this. I think there's too much pressure from outside sources sometimes (friends, his friends, your family and his, media) and it's reassuring to know that from a guy's point of view, marriage isn't the ultimate way to show his devotion to you. It's how committed he is to you at all points of your relationship.

    BF and I are going through similar issues as he's getting family pressure from his side to "marry her or cut her loose" and find another to start a family with. It's a huge shock they said that, because we have always been happy and solid in our relationsihp and marriage was not in the plans for either of us until way way later (I'm 23, he's 25) when our careers are underway. Anyway, the outside source (his family) puts pressure on him, and now he's feeling like he should act either way, even though he's nowhere near having kids or a married life. I just think that what outside people think can have a negative influence on your relationship if you worry too much about their views. It can chip away and possibly break up a great relationship.
  9. If he's saying "this year" that's at least a good sign that he's positive towards the thought of marriage. If he doesn't propose by this January, I'd sit him down and tell him that if marriage is not on his radar screen you can't afford to waste any more time since it is important to you. But I think he's trying to think up a good surprise proposal for you! :smile:

    My cousin is in the same situation as you...almost heading into their 30s and lived together for almost 5 years...and she is beginning to think he'll never propose. When she brings up the question, he'll say things like "maybe someday" and "why do we need papers" and "i don't like wearing rings." At first she said she was ok with it, said that they were too young anyway, but now that it's been a few more years and all of their friends and family are married, she realizing how important it is to her to be "official." But now she feels she's wasted away so many of her prime dating years, and she's afraid to leave.
  10. Pressure can freak guys out. After we had been dating a year and a half, my boyfriend went to visit his mother. He came back and broke up with me! It was the weirdest breakup ever-- He cried like crazy, had no good reason for the breakup, he still called me every day, he wanted to hang out, etc. I think his mom pressured him about marriage and he freaked out. But it worked out in the end because we were friends for a couple of months and then got back together. So, if he already told you this year I would give him space and let him plan it. I am sure it will turn out fine!
  11. I think that for some us it is just the next step or you can't move forward. Don't get me wrong I am not desperate but I am going to be 30 soon. I know this is the person I want to spend the rest of my life with and have a family with, he feels the same way.

    I don't want to have kids too old, so as far as I am concerned I need to start planning this things out, as I don't want to rush through anything. Naturally marriage comes before that. and before you can even talk about that, someoene needs to ask you to be married! lol So what I am thinking is that if I want to have kids by the time I am 35 I definitely need to get the ball rolling soon.


    (I feel stupid now)
  12. Don't feel stupid! I think this is normal. I am also 29 and would like to have kids before 35. My boyfriend and I have been together 3 years. We know THREE couples getting married this summer, so I know how that feels. I think everything you are feeling in perfectly normal, and it is really good you have talked to him about it. He knows how you feel and told you "this year," so I think everything will turn out.
  13. Thank you everyone for all your advice and sharing your experiences so honestly. This is a topic that I am too embarrased to talk about even to my best friend! I feel dumb and pathetic talking about this to my boyfriend too. I agree that pressure can possibly make them go the other way so I will plan on waiting to see if it happens by the end of the year. I remember my friend's husband who is recently married said that everytime someone had asked him when he was going to propose it made him want to run the other way!
    My bf's brother just got engaged and he is 2 years older and has been with his girlfriend for 4 1/2 years . I remember when my bf told me in October that his brother was going to get engaged soon and I had asked when, thinking that "soon" meant in the next month or so, and he said "in March"! I was like how is 6 months "soon"?! I guess guys and girls are wired differently when it comes to engagement/marriage.
    Polos26, I understand how you feel about friends getting engaged who have been together for a shorter amount of time. I get envious too and it makes me reevaluate my whole relationship and comparing ours to theirs!
    If you get a moment, I would recommend checking out this site which gives advice on how to hang in there! I was too embarrassed to talk to any of my friends or get those relationship self help books so I searched the internet and came across that and felt better.
  14. Don't feel embarassed! I think a lot of couples go through the "limbo."

    I'm sort-of going through this, too. Not terribly, but sometimes I'd like to at least be engaged even if it's a long engagement. I know I'm young (23) but we've been together since we were 18 (it will be 5 years in November). I don't want to pressure him, though, and it's really not that big of a deal to me. I know he's committed to me whether we're married or not. We're at a weird point in our lives (he just graduated college, I have one year left) and figuring out what we want to do and where we want to settle down, so maybe he wants to wait until we're more stable or something. We have discussed marriage and also do the "when we get married" thing, so it's not like it's some huge secret or anything.

    My sister's husband got a lot of grief for not proposing sooner, and when they were dating everyone was expecting it and kind of pressuring him. Every time they went out of town or a holiday came around, people would expect it. I understood some of the concern, since they were talking about making bigger steps together and I think my parents wanted to see some larger sign of commitment. At the same time, I felt bad for him, because I knew he wanted to marry her but wanted to propose to her for the right reason and not because of pressure. I don't want that to happen to us, but we already get the, "So, when are you guys getting married?" question. I need to find a witty response to this!

    Can't really give you advice, but maybe this will be the year?
  15. Wordbox wrote: I need to find a witty response to this!

    When people ask me the "when are you getting engaged" or "whats taking him so long"- in the past it made me feel ashamed and I would roll my eyes and look obviously mad or bothered and say something like "who knows" or something and try to make flimsy excuses for why he wouldn't want to be married now, then I would feel dumb afterwards. Now when people ask me, I just keep my head up high and say " we talked about it , and think that it will be this year so we'll see" in a cheery voice and this usually gets people off my back. I feel better about it because then I don't get the look of sympathy or feeling like I have to explain our relationship. Of course, inside it bothers me but I want to look like it doesn't so I don't feel pathetic!