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Frustrated and still waiting...

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brilliant fire

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Hi LIW. I have read posts on this forum for a long time but feel as though I need to vent my own frustrations now.

My SO and I have been dating for over 7 years now and have been talking about marriage a lot recently. I know that this summer we are going to buy a home but he has a "timeline" that I finally got him to spill today. Buy a home summer 09, get engaged early 2010, get married in 2011.

This is so frustrating because he thinks that a guy has to propose with a big engagement ring. It''s not like I''m trading my life for a stone, it''s the commitment behind it that counts and that part can come later during the engagement. I feel like 2011 is so far away and that it would mean us dating about 10 years by the time we get married.

I know this is his commitment to me too and that it has to feel right for both of us but it feels though when we talk about it I get over emotional and he gets upset at me being upset. I just want to get my life with him started.
 

somegirl932

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did the timeline make you feel better? did it at least help knowing that he was thinking about these things and had a plan?

do you agree with his priorities? ( i mean, i guess engagement has to come before marriage, but the house? )

does he know that you don''t necessarily need a huge rock on your finger? is his timeline largely there for financial reasons?

what part of 2011 would you guys be thinking about for a wedding? if it''s earlier, you could be < 2 years away. and obviously you''ll need some time for planning as well, so it''s not necessarily and event way in the future. it could be a big part of your life (in terms of planning and such) in less than a year.

i know, this was a lot of questions and probably not too comforting... but maybe some things to think about?
 

SailorsSweet<3

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Do you and your SO run with a social circle or professional circle where big rocks are the norm? Maybe he feels he has to get something that can hold a candle to what other women you know have on their fingers.
 

trillionaire

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tell him you want to get engaged before buying a home. Switch the order. It''s not HIS timeline, afterall.
 

LaraOnline

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Date: 4/8/2009 3:05:13 AM
Author: trillionaire
tell him you want to get engaged before buying a home. Switch the order. It's not HIS timeline, afterall.
I think it is very reasonable to be married, or at least engaged with the date set (if you want a complicated / expensive wedding, I guess!), before buying a house together!
 

brilliant fire

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Well,I do like the idea of having the home situation settled (especially with the mortgage rates so low) but he does have it stuck in his head that my ring has to be big. He''s just starting out as an actuary and they all expect big rings.

He knows I won''t move in until we''re engaged but he expects me to move in before that. I don''t know how that will fit in to his financial planning but that''s another long conversation we have to have I guess. Two incomes will be easier to work with for a new home but he just can''t assume things will happen how he wants all the time.
 

tlh

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I think HIS timeline is fine if that is alright with YOU. It sounds like you aren''t upset about getting the home FIRST... but keep in mind that can push deadlines back even further than anticipated. Choc is currently going through that (I am really minimalizing her situation)... I don''t know if you saw her thread... and I hope she responds to you because she would have fantastic insight that you might find very helpful.

Best wishes
 

Winks_Elf

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Do some reading, and see just how many gals have wound up in the "bought-the-house, now he doesn''t want to get engaged" situation. Don''t do it! How is your SO thinking you and he have the money for a downpayment, but not to put a ring on your hand?
 

misskitty

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Date: 4/8/2009 9:24:38 AM
Author: brilliant fire
Well,I do like the idea of having the home situation settled (especially with the mortgage rates so low) but he does have it stuck in his head that my ring has to be big. He''s just starting out as an actuary and they all expect big rings.


He knows I won''t move in until we''re engaged but he expects me to move in before that. I don''t know how that will fit in to his financial planning but that''s another long conversation we have to have I guess. Two incomes will be easier to work with for a new home but he just can''t assume things will happen how he wants all the time.
Have you told him firmly that you want to be engaged first, or is he just setting the home-first-engagement-second order on his own?

It''s hard to tell by your posts how in-depth your conversations about this have been. I think (if you haven''t already) you need to have a chat with him and clearly lay out how you feel about these things, because if he''s making these assumptions, it might be because you haven''t offered up any alternatives?

FWIW, if he''s just starting out as an actuary (as in, taking the exams and interning/working his way up), his salary isn''t going to be in quite the same ballpark as his colleagues who have already finished their fellowship exams -- it''s just the nature of the profession. If he''s holding himself in comparison to these guys? He''s being a little unfair to himself.
 

brilliant fire

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Date: 4/8/2009 10:04:14 AM
Author: misskitty
Date: 4/8/2009 9:24:38 AM

Author: brilliant fire

Well,I do like the idea of having the home situation settled (especially with the mortgage rates so low) but he does have it stuck in his head that my ring has to be big. He''s just starting out as an actuary and they all expect big rings.



He knows I won''t move in until we''re engaged but he expects me to move in before that. I don''t know how that will fit in to his financial planning but that''s another long conversation we have to have I guess. Two incomes will be easier to work with for a new home but he just can''t assume things will happen how he wants all the time.

Have you told him firmly that you want to be engaged first, or is he just setting the home-first-engagement-second order on his own?


It''s hard to tell by your posts how in-depth your conversations about this have been. I think (if you haven''t already) you need to have a chat with him and clearly lay out how you feel about these things, because if he''s making these assumptions, it might be because you haven''t offered up any alternatives?


FWIW, if he''s just starting out as an actuary (as in, taking the exams and interning/working his way up), his salary isn''t going to be in quite the same ballpark as his colleagues who have already finished their fellowship exams -- it''s just the nature of the profession. If he''s holding himself in comparison to these guys? He''s being a little unfair to himself.
I told him I wanted to be engaged first but he is stuck on the idea of moving first and using the $8000 tax rebate to buy my ring next year when he does his taxes. We live in Chicago and I don''t think he realizes that he will have big, HUGE expenses getting a place here.

He is a very sensible guy and I think he can over think how things should work rather than just going for it. He plans and over plans all the time. I guess that''s what makes him good at his job.
 

tlh

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Date: 4/8/2009 10:50:55 AM
Author: brilliant fire


I told him I wanted to be engaged first but he is stuck on the idea of moving first and using the $8000 tax rebate to buy my ring next year when he does his taxes. We live in Chicago and I don''t think he realizes that he will have big, HUGE expenses getting a place here.

He is a very sensible guy and I think he can over think how things should work rather than just going for it. He plans and over plans all the time. I guess that''s what makes him good at his job.
To people like that I have a saying...

"Don''t push off onto tomorrow what you can do today because life is what happens when you are busy making plans... and if you don''t stop to enjoy it... it would have passed you by."

Best wishes.
 

Bia

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You''re allowing him to make an awful a lot of decisions for you. You may want to put the brakes on that because when you get married it won''t change. People get away with us much as you allow...so if you want things to happen in a different order, you need to speak up and say, "wait a minute."

If getting engaged first, BEFORE you buy a home together, is what you want, then speak up sister. You can''t blame him later for not knowing if you didn''t tell him in the first place.

Good luck!
 

swingirl

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Stick to your guns about not moving in the house until you are engaged. Tell him if he needs to work out the finances, that's fine, but you'll be living someplace else.

Is the house going to be in both of your names? It wsn't clear if this is his house or both of your names will be on the house title and mortgage.

7 years is enough time to have prepared mentally. I think 2 more years is stalling.
 

Pushin40

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Hi Brilliant Fire.

FF's timeline considerations are just important as yours are. But I know its frustrating to wait!! Maybe you can look at it this way.....He has a plan and this is good!

2 years isn't really all THAT LONG.....

And as far as the house goes, yeah, this is real life and the economy and finances are a serious consideration when thinking of co-habiting. Living together may make it easier for him to save for the ring and the wedding too. Maybe you can start saving for the wedding NOW and cut down on the length of your engagement!

Do what's best for you - it certainly doesn't sound like he's stringing you along at all!

HANG IN THERE! Time goes by so fast 2011 will be here before we all know it...
 

swingirl

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Date: 4/8/2009 12:41:58 PM
Author: Pushin40
Hi Brilliant Fire.

2 years isn''t really all THAT LONG.....
After 7 years I think 2 more years IS long. If you are stable enough to buy a house, you are ready to be married.
 

fleur-de-lis

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Date: 4/8/2009 9:24:38 AM
Author: brilliant fire
Well,I do like the idea of having the home situation settled (especially with the mortgage rates so low) but he does have it stuck in his head that my ring has to be big. He''s just starting out as an actuary and they all expect big rings.


He knows I won''t move in until we''re engaged but he expects me to move in before that. I don''t know how that will fit in to his financial planning but that''s another long conversation we have to have I guess. Two incomes will be easier to work with for a new home but he just can''t assume things will happen how he wants all the time.
All the more reason to listen to Trillionaire, Brilliant Fire.

If the ring has to be "big" in his mind, send him here to PS so he can learn about internet buying from a reputable dealer and maximizing value by playing with color and clarity, or getting your dream setting now with a colored stone and a plan to swap it out with a diamond for a later anniversary (or when he gets that tax break he''s banking on
).

Home ownership is *expensive* and in ways a first time buyer fails to anticipate. If your name is going to be on the title to this property, RING AND NON-REFUNDABLE DEPOSITS ON RECEPTION AND CHURCH FIRST (if not the wedding itself). I really hate to use a fellow-poster as a cautionary tale, but check out the recent thread by ChocolateFudge, BF. You are *perfectly* in your right to stand firm on this, DF, and there''s even an argument that your future FI will respect you more for it (even if he grumbles at the time, LOL).
 

Pushin40

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Not necessarily. And people are often engaged for a year or a year and a half, so two years is not that long when you put it in perspective.

Sometimes I think we all want what we want NOW, and unfortunalty things can''t always happen that way!

He said it''s important that he gets her a ring on the larger side. Her - not so much. All relationships are about compromise. He has his say in this too.

Let''s just say all he has is $20K for a downpayment on a house. Adding another $10K for a ring may not be such a great idea right now, or not even possible (and borderline irresponsible unless of coarse he''s a walking ATM). I wouldn''t think its a question of stability - just responsible finance and priorities. He could be the most stable guy in the world but that really isn''t the only consideration when it comes to marriage.

I''m just being realistic, but we don''t have the facts. He just started his career, so maybe there''s not such an urgency to get engaged RIGHT NOW. He may be 21 years old - who knows?? He already said next years tax refund has her name all over it. This is only a year away. NOT THAT LONG!

OP- can I ask how old the two of you are? Is FF fresh out of college? Sometimes when you consider being together for 7 years there''s a big difference between starting to date at 16 or 26.
 

Bia

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He doesn''t necessarily have to spend so much for a ring, brilliant fire mentioned she''s not as concerned with the ring as she is with the commitment.

And, she''s wanted it for awhile now. I think buying a house together is upping the ante. She has every right to want to be engaged before they move into to a house together. And IMO, it''s smart.

BF: if you''re talking to him tonight, please don''t back down. You can compromise, and still have your needs met.

Get ''em tiger!
 

brilliant fire

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Actually, we''re both 24. He has helped his mom a lot financially but she is now stable (she bought a home and that was a bad idea because of credit card debt. she has paid all of that debt off now and seems to be doing extremely well)

I don''t know. We have to compromise on this because it is just frustrating for the both of us. 2011 is close but seems so far away. 2 years? We''ll have to see what happens.
 

Pushin40

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Date: 4/8/2009 1:41:56 PM
Author: Bia
He doesn''t necessarily have to spend so much for a ring, brilliant fire mentioned she''s not as concerned with the ring as she is with the commitment.

And, she''s wanted it for awhile now. I think buying a house together is upping the ante. She has every right to want to be engaged before they move into to a house together. And IMO, it''s smart.

BF: if you''re talking to him tonight, please don''t back down. You can compromise, and still have your needs met.

Get ''em tiger!
YES but HE cares! That''s all I''m saying. Its not all about just us, Ladies!

It also sounds like he is buying the house, not that they are buying the house together which I agree is a MUCH bigger deal than living together. (But I could have misunderstood that.)

FWIT, I think 26 - 30 is a great age to get married especially if you want babies.

And - keep in mind life is still happening. You don''t have to put anything "on hold" just because you aren''t engaged yet, or aren''t married yet.

Life your life and enjoy your relationship. It really is that simple.
You don''t need a ring to have a committment (JUST ASK ME, LOL!)
 

NewEnglandLady

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Date: 4/8/2009 9:24:38 AM
Author: brilliant fire
Well,I do like the idea of having the home situation settled (especially with the mortgage rates so low) but he does have it stuck in his head that my ring has to be big. He's just starting out as an actuary and they all expect big rings.

He knows I won't move in until we're engaged but he expects me to move in before that. I don't know how that will fit in to his financial planning but that's another long conversation we have to have I guess. Two incomes will be easier to work with for a new home but he just can't assume things will happen how he wants all the time.
My husband is an actuary and is finishing his last exam this spring after about 8 years, so not starting out, and even at the fellowship level I don't see the wives running around with huge rings. That's because actuaries usually make better investments


You need to not let "the market" dictate your future--you buy a house when it fits into your life. Since you mention that your boyfriend is just starting out as an actuary, remember that more than half of people who start out end up bailing after the first several exams. You don't want for him to feel "stuck" in a profession that is making him miserable because you need the income for your mortgage payment...my husband just took an 8-month break from his career because after the 9th exam, he was too mentally exhausted to keep pushing.

As others have stated, remember that this is your timeline. My husband also brought up the option of buying when we were dating, but I wasn't willing to, so we didn't. I'm glad we got the ring/wedding out of the way first, though they were relatively inexpensive, so we were still able to focus on the house. We have a particular financial goal we want to reach and until that point, the market and any incentives to buy are purely secondary. I think that stating your goals and making sure you are both on the same page is so much more important than molding your life around market conditions.
 

Winks_Elf

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No, you don''t have to have a ring to have a committment, but I certainly would want the ring before committing to a 30-year mortgage, especially when both of them are only 24 years old. As a matter of fact, it''s really not quite clear if he''s buying the house or THEY are supposed to buy a house. If it''s the latter, no freaking way would I buy anything with someone who was not my husband. I''m almost 40 myself, and my fiance and I not only do not live together, but we won''t buy anything together until after the marriage takes place.
 

Pushin40

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I bought a house with SO without being engaged or married, 5.5 years ago. I''m 40, and I don''t regret it one bit.
If there was a breakup - married or not, 24 or 40 - the house would be the very same issue.
We operate as a married couple in every way and are just as committed without a peice of paper.

Not an issue to me. But I know it is for some. To each his own, there is no right or wrong.
 

sammyj

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Date: 4/8/2009 2:20:08 PM
Author: Pushin40

Date: 4/8/2009 1:41:56 PM
Author: Bia
He doesn''t necessarily have to spend so much for a ring, brilliant fire mentioned she''s not as concerned with the ring as she is with the commitment.

And, she''s wanted it for awhile now. I think buying a house together is upping the ante. She has every right to want to be engaged before they move into to a house together. And IMO, it''s smart.

BF: if you''re talking to him tonight, please don''t back down. You can compromise, and still have your needs met.

Get ''em tiger!
YES but HE cares! That''s all I''m saying. Its not all about just us, Ladies!

It also sounds like he is buying the house, not that they are buying the house together which I agree is a MUCH bigger deal than living together. (But I could have misunderstood that.)

FWIT, I think 26 - 30 is a great age to get married especially if you want babies.

And - keep in mind life is still happening. You don''t have to put anything ''on hold'' just because you aren''t engaged yet, or aren''t married yet.

Life your life and enjoy your relationship. It really is that simple.
You don''t need a ring to have a committment (JUST ASK ME, LOL!)
Well, brilliant fire already stated that she DOES feel as if 2 years is a long time and that she DOESN''T care for a large diamond. She has every right to establish her own timeline and make it known to her BF. Yes, his opinion matters with the ring...he is the one paying for it...but if he''s delaying the process because he''s insisting on saving for a big rock, then it''s not really fair to her. She''s the one who wears the ring everyday NOT him.

brilliant fire, I can''t agree more with the ladies who have told you to STICK WITH YOUR GUNS and not move in until you''re engaged. And I say this not because I''m against a couple living together before being engaged, but because these are YOUR rules, it is YOUR timeline and it is what YOU need to feel secure and content in your relationship.
 

brilliant fire

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He is the one buying the house. I will not mix finances until I hear those 4 words and we are on our way to having a life together.

NEL: I have met his coworkers and their wives and they all have reasonable rings. It is the younger people he works with (they are not actuaries, just in the insurance business) that are filling his mind with this nonsense. His best friend is getting married next month and his fiance is sporting a $20K ring, too much for us but he feels as though he has to measure up to that. I tell him no and that far less will do.

He is very traditional and the thought of presenting me with a large stone is "what is right."
 

Pushin40

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I just re-read BFs original post and it does say they are planning on buying a house together this summer. My bad.

It looks like he wasn''t totally clear on the fact that he needs to get engaged first, or he didn''t want to hear it, yet somehow the 2 are in agreement they are buying that house this summer. So - to buy the house together he MUST move forward. Right? There is a disconnect somewhere because he doesn''t want to get engaged yet, and he said so. It is what it is.

Yep - you gotta talk to him. I say let him buy the house himself, and he can propose to you when he wants you to move in. Once you get married it will belong to the two of you via the power of marriage, anyway.

BTW all - I am not telling BF to "not stick to her guns" or anything of the sort. But I DO think its helpful to explore someone else''s perspective in all situations. If person A feels one way and person B feels completly opposite, well, then, there has to be a compromise obviously. You can''t get your way all the time. Jeeze
There are a lot of couples on this site with different timelines - someone has got to give. Thats all.

My suggestion was to just put in in perspecitve since 2 years is not that long even thought it may feel like it is.....Just listen to what he has to say.

Forever is a really long time.....
 

sammyj

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Date: 4/8/2009 3:29:18 PM
Author: Pushin40
I just re-read BFs original post and it does say they are planning on buying a house together this summer. My bad.

It looks like he wasn''t totally clear on the fact that he needs to get engaged first, or he didn''t want to hear it, yet somehow the 2 are in agreement they are buying that house this summer. So - to buy the house together he MUST move forward. Right? There is a disconnect somewhere because he doesn''t want to get engaged yet, and he said so. It is what it is.

Yep - you gotta talk to him. I say let him buy the house himself, and he can propose to you when he wants you to move in. Once you get married it will belong to the two of you via the power of marriage, anyway.

BTW all - I am not telling BF to ''not stick to her guns'' or anything of the sort. But I DO think its helpful to explore someone else''s perspective in all situations. If person A feels one way and person B feels completly opposite, well, then, there has to be a compromise obviously. You can''t get your way all the time. Jeeze
There are a lot of couples on this site with different timelines - someone has got to give. Thats all.

My suggestion was to just put in in perspecitve since 2 years is not that long even thought it may feel like it is.....Just listen to what he has to say.

Forever is a really long time.....
Oh, for sure! I''d be fine with compromising if it meant getting a bigger diamond than I want/need...but not if it means I have to wait an extra year or two!


(jk)
 

Bia

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Date: 4/8/2009 3:18:45 PM
Author: brilliant fire
He is the one buying the house. I will not mix finances until I hear those 4 words and we are on our way to having a life together.


NEL: I have met his coworkers and their wives and they all have reasonable rings. It is the younger people he works with (they are not actuaries, just in the insurance business) that are filling his mind with this nonsense. His best friend is getting married next month and his fiance is sporting a $20K ring, too much for us but he feels as though he has to measure up to that. I tell him no and that far less will do.


He is very traditional and the thought of presenting me with a large stone is 'what is right.'
If he's buying the house then that might be a whole different ballgame. I still think that you shouldn't move in before an engagement if you feel strongly about it though. You have to move in because you want to, not as a way to progress the relationship because that can backfire. *AND often will.

*ETA
 

Treasure43

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655
BF: All these ladies have excellent advice! Ultimatly you need to figure out what YOUR timeline is and then talk to him. I know when BF and I first started dating he said he wanted to buy a house before we got engaged. I told him no and he said he''d pay for everything and I could live there. Personally I was uncomfortable with the idea and told him that I wanted our house to be just that, OUR house. Thus, we needed to get engaged/married first. We compromised and moved into a two bedroom apartment with BOTH of our names on the lease so it is BOTH of our place but we will not be buying a house for awhile. Especially after we talked to his sister who just bought a house with her husband and is realizing how many unexpected expenses creep up when you purchase a house. This way he can save for a ring and then we can have the wedding and THEN save for the house. Buying the house JUST for a tax break or because of the economy is may not be the wisest move.

What will work best for you and your BF, only you two can decide but just make sure it''s a timeline the two of you create together, instead of just one person''s timeline.

As for the ring, I can understand how he might feel like he has to compete but honestly I think the current emphasis diamond sizes are a bit out of control. Many people (not saying this about your bf AT ALL or anyone on PS) equate ring size/cost with how much the man loves the woman and that is completely false. It''s the meaning behind the ring and the committment it signifies. Sure a huge ring might be great but personally I''d prefer something that my BF can afford and doesn''t look ridiculously large on my finger.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do, communication is key :)
 
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