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How to Handle Broken Timelines?

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PrincessLily2009

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Jan 2, 2009
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We were supposed to be getting engaged in 2009. We talked about it extensively throughout the past year, but (after I realized what was happening and talked to him about the matter) he admitted that he won''t be ready this year and is now talking about the end of 2010. I was handling it pretty well at first, but now that we''re actually into 2009 and nearing the months when we thought he''d be proposing, I''m having difficulties. His reasons for postponing the engagement are completely valid, and I certainly don''t want him to propose before he''s 100% ready, but I''m starting to feel more and more resentful about the situation. Has anyone seen their timeline come and go without a proposal? How did you handle it?
 

FrekeChild

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Dec 14, 2007
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I never hit the timeline he set up for himself, and he never hit my internal timeline.

I understand pushing a proposal back a ways, but when you''re in the beginning of 2009 and he''s saying not until the end of 2010...that''s pushing it a little too far in my opinion. Would you mind sharing the reasons for pushing it back?
 

jcarlylew

Ideal_Rock
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Jun 27, 2008
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3,899
Date: 2/19/2009 3:49:10 AM
Author: FrekeChild
I never hit the timeline he set up for himself, and he never hit my internal timeline.


I understand pushing a proposal back a ways, but when you''re in the beginning of 2009 and he''s saying not until the end of 2010...that''s pushing it a little too far in my opinion. Would you mind sharing the reasons for pushing it back?
i was thinking the same thing. But i will offer this - E kind of did the same thing to me, and i just had to sit down and talk to him and really figure out what was going on. He knew that i wasnt in a point of my life to just be dating for the sake of. so we hashed it out, and even though i still have awhile to wait too, it does help more knowing why.
(also, i''ll gladly let you know the reason was maturity and money - both needed to grow more!)
 

PrincessLily2009

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Jan 2, 2009
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96
There''s a lot of different factors that went into his decision. He thought he''d be farther along in his schooling at this point, for one thing. Also, I''m having problems with his friends and family members which makes him more hesitant. He also feels like he''s too young (22), but apparently 22 wasn''t too young a year ago. Mainly though, he''s just having a lot of doubts about us and our ability to make it work. It''s only been two years, so I understand that it''s soon, but unfortunately, we''d already discussed it at length.

I think he knows I won''t wait past the end of 2010, but the way I''ve been feeling lately, I don''t know if I''ll make it to 2010.
 

sammyj

Brilliant_Rock
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Aug 28, 2008
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Date: 2/19/2009 7:56:29 AM
Author: PrincessLily2009
There''s a lot of different factors that went into his decision. He thought he''d be farther along in his schooling at this point, for one thing. Also, I''m having problems with his friends and family members which makes him more hesitant. He also feels like he''s too young (22), but apparently 22 wasn''t too young a year ago. Mainly though, he''s just having a lot of doubts about us and our ability to make it work. It''s only been two years, so I understand that it''s soon, but unfortunately, we''d already discussed it at length.

I think he knows I won''t wait past the end of 2010, but the way I''ve been feeling lately, I don''t know if I''ll make it to 2010.
I hope this doesn''t come across as harsh, but it sounds like there are many other issues to deal with before marriage is taken into consideration. Perhaps when you first talked about your future in depth, things were going really well and you both got caught up in the moment.

I know you probably hate hearing this, but 22 is young. Not because of the number, but in terms of where and what you''re doing in life. For me, I need stability in my life before I can make a lifetime commitment to another person. It sounds like your BF is looking for the same thing and you should both try focusing on that, as well as establishing a good solid foundation for your relationship, before you decide to take the next step.

I obviously don''t know you and your BF, so take my words with a grain of salt. The end of 2010 does sound far away, and only you can decide if your relationship is worth waiting for that time to come. *hugs*
 

neatfreak

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Feb 17, 2007
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14,167
Lily honey, it sounds like he just isn't ready. Period. If it was early on in the relationship that you were talking engagement my guess is that he got swept up in the "honeymoon" period of the relationship. And now he realized that he's just not ready.

Only YOU can decide how long you are willing to wait, but if there are underlying problems in the relationship you guys really should focus on solving those before you even think about getting engaged. Marriage will only exacerbate those issues. I really suggest taking your focus away from getting engaged and work on your relationship right NOW. Then you'll both be able to re-evaluate whether you even want to be engaged to each other.

And really it sounds like to **me** (but of course I am not in the situation and am just a random internet person with limited information about you) that you are more interested in the engagement than the relationship. I'd take some personal time out to think about that because if you don't think that you can wait another year to get engaged even though you realize that there are valid reasons for waiting AND you acknowledge that you are having trouble in your relationship AND you are young, the excitement about being engaged might be clouding your judgement about the relationship.
 

Diamond*Dana

Ideal_Rock
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Date: 2/19/2009 8:32:49 AM
Author: neatfreak
Lily honey, it sounds like he just isn''t ready. Period. If it was early on in the relationship that you were talking engagement my guess is that he got swept up in the ''honeymoon'' period of the relationship. And now he realized that he''s just not ready.

Only YOU can decide how long you are willing to wait, but if there are underlying problems in the relationship you guys really should focus on solving those before you even think about getting engaged. Marriage will only exacerbate those issues. I really suggest taking your focus away from getting engaged and work on your relationship right NOW. Then you''ll both be able to re-evaluate whether you even want to be engaged to each other.

And really it sounds like to **me** (but of course I am not in the situation and am just a random internet person with limited information about you) that you are more interested in the engagement than the relationship. I''d take some personal time out to think about that because if you don''t think that you can wait another year to get engaged even though you realize that there are valid reasons for waiting AND you acknowledge that you are having trouble in your relationship AND you are young, the excitement about being engaged might be clouding your judgement about the relationship.
I agree with everything that Neatfreak said. It sounds like he is just not ready. Hopefully the two of you will be able to work through this.
 

Bia

Ideal_Rock
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Sweetie, I think you should listen to what he''s saying. He''s not ready. I know there are a lot of people (my bro was one of them) that are ready to get engaged at 22, but I also know many people (most in fact, myself definitely included) who are not ready at the stage of life. It has less to do with age than with where you are in your life. I''m 27 and I know plenty of people my age (men and women) who are not even thinking about marriage yet.

Of course, I don''t know the details of your relationship, particularly how long you''ve been together, but because you''re still young (don''t hate me for saying that, please!) it might be more beneficial to you and your BF if you just focus on being together and being happy. The other stuff will fall into place very neatly if it is meant to.
 

KimberlyH

Ideal_Rock
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Jun 15, 2006
Messages
7,485
As disappointing as it may be that the timeline has changed it sounds like he is thinking pragmatically about the commitment you will be making to one another and whether or not you''re both ready. Sometimes the timeline is a lot less important than events occurring in the relationship and I admire him for wanting to be married for the right reasons to the right person and taking the time to figure that out, and be honest with you about it. If 2010 is it for you, so be it, and if he''s not sure you''re both ready then, perhaps he isn''t the right person for you, nor you him. Starting a life together as a married couple can be challenging, major issues such as those you mention between you, his family and his friends, can make the transition go from challenging to nightmarish.

I''m so sorry you''re sad, but take this opportunity to examine your wants, needs, dreams, and desires with his. And take a good look at the role he sees his friends and family will play in your life compared to how you see that role and be sure you are simpatico, and if you''re not spend lots of time talking about ways to compromise this issue as it is one that will not go away.

Best of luck to you.
 

tlh

Ideal_Rock
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Dec 31, 2008
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4,511
Date: 2/19/2009 7:56:29 AM
Author: PrincessLily2009
There''s a lot of different factors that went into his decision. He thought he''d be farther along in his schooling at this point, for one thing. Also, I''m having problems with his friends and family members which makes him more hesitant. He also feels like he''s too young (22), but apparently 22 wasn''t too young a year ago. Mainly though, he''s just having a lot of doubts about us and our ability to make it work. It''s only been two years, so I understand that it''s soon, but unfortunately, we''d already discussed it at length.

I think he knows I won''t wait past the end of 2010, but the way I''ve been feeling lately, I don''t know if I''ll make it to 2010.
PrincessLilly. HUGE HUGS!
There are some things, you''ll just know in your gut. Women need to "talk" about things. Guys don''t have this need to verbalize how they feel with timelines. They show their intentions by their actions. Timelines with relationships tend to be more of a female thing. I think this has to do w/ the age old concept that a woman needed to marry and reproduce at a young age, otherwise she''d become a spinster. 22 is only as young as your life experiences have allowed. Some people have had a lot of life, by that age... others, well haven''t.

I don''t know all the details of your situation, so I can only go into my memory and life bank of mine. Without going on and on, I almost married my college beau. We were basically engaged, sans rock. I NEVER wanted to go get the ring. I wasn''t ready. I couldn''t articulate this, I was too young to really know myself, because I did love him... but I just... well wasn''t ready. We came to a crossroads in our relationship a little after the first full year of dating, and I just never got over it. We dated almost 4 years, but I was always one foot in. In the end I strung us BOTH along, when I should have just ended things... like a bandaid, one quick rip. I didn''t. Turns out time didn''t make me more ready. Time just really told me, that maybe I''d never be ready, because well.. I didn''t want to marry HIM.

Fast forward several years and I did meet the man of my dreams (nowDH) and I was a LIW and it was agony. Money was the reason we didn''t get married, not either of our readyness. But through the life lesson process, I''ve learned men aren''t ones to talk, they express how they feel through actions. Words are just momentary utterances from which bonds or scars can form. That is why I created the visual of my writhing on the floor so he could SEE MY AGONY. Yes, I looked like a loon, but it worked. My deadline was May of 07 verbaly. But financial issues came to a head and I figured 1/1/08 was the day I''d be lacing up my tennis shoes and running away. I figured there is a point when finances ARE an issue, and a point where people are just making excuses. Excuses are justifications for giving up on yourself.

My issue with your post is that you say "HIS DECISION". I do feel that internal deadlines are important to preserve self sanity. My deadline w/my nowDH was set, and passed, but he proposed before my internal deadline. I am evil. When the May-June deadline passed, I did a water test... and made sure he found out. Basically what I did was go out with girlfriends, and low and behold I came home with a couple random phone numbers in my phone. I am not stupid, if I wanted to cheat and not get caught, John would have been Jane, etc. Now I didn''t program these numbers in my phone, I didn''t want the digits, I just wanted him to know, when I say I''m walking... I mean it. So if my internal deadline passed I would have walked away, and not looked back. Thinking if he really wanted me, he can run after me, otherwise, I''m not wasting anymore time and love on him. (Granted I was able to say I can do this because of my being on the otherside earlier in life.)

My point is... when you are married, you will be a team. At some point you will be making decisions together. Don''t put your life on hold until he figures out what HE wants. Put some stock into what you want... if you are okay with waiting, go ahead and ENJOY the next year or so of your relationship. But continue to pursue your wants and desires in life. Give it the old rocking chair test, if in 60 years when you are old, rocking away, what would you want to think about?? Will the next year of waiting really break it for you? if after a year what if he is still not ready, can you actually walk then? or will you be asking yourself the same question? what this is, is just taking time to think about yourself, your own wants and desires, and figure out what your life is, and where he fits in. I cannot give you the answer, only you can.

HUGE HUGS! I''ve been there on both sides. When I knew my nowDH was the one, I just knew. I was happy I waited. However, I would have walked w/o question had he not proposed before my internal deadline passed. I just wanted to give you both sides since I''ve been on both sides...
 

chocolatefudge

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 28, 2007
Messages
383
PrincessLily, if you have ever read any of my threads you will see that I have had similar problems. My SO has never been keen on timelines, however, from comments and things he has said, I expected to be engaged by now. Last year he told me that it would happen during 2008. It didn''t. However, after much crying, talking, arguing I have now discovered that he IS saving for a ring and I am hoping that a proposal is coming in the first half of this year.

I just want to say that (and I know you don''t want to do this) you can''t make him until he is ready. My SO is almost 26, we''ve been together since he was 17, and while I have been ready since about 20-21 to get engaged, he is only just there! I used to think that this was because he didn''t love me enough or other crazy ideas, but the fact is he just wasn''t ready!

I hate to say that 22 is still young, as people used to say it to me and drive me mad BUT it is relatively young, and maybe your SO just feels too young. It does worry me slightly that your SO has commented on your ability to make it together, if my SO had said this I would certainly feel uneasy. The only reason I let my slow SO make me wait so long is because we ARE good together and I do love him and I know he loves me, he''s just veeeeeeery slow.

Talk to your boyfriend and see what he has to say about it all. I speak from experience when I say that the wait can be miserable sometimes, however you have only been together for two years so an extra year isn''t really too bad is it?

Hope things work out for you.
 

Definitely. Maybe

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 12, 2009
Messages
582

I hate, hate, hate the idea of a timeline. To me if feels like added pressure on a relationship and does nothing in the long run. I have been with BF for 5.5 years. When we were 16-17 we both agreed 24 was the perfect age to get married. Like you, we are also 22. I am pretty sure he still sees 24 as "our age" but I try and put no pressure on it. I figure everything happens for a reason and will work out the way it is supposed to. Sure, we have talked about engagement rings, a wedding, etc and it is very exciting. However, we talk a lot more about 'our' future in general. That really helps me to know that he is 'the one.'


In the early stages of our relationship I put a lot of pressure on *exactly* what I (thought) I wanted for my engagement ring. I've come to realize that although that would be a dream ring, I put the expectations out full and well knowing it would take him a long time to get there. I wasn't ready then. I am just now starting to become fully ready to be engaged/ married and now that I am getting closer I am realizing the ring, the timeline, nothing matters. He isn't ready yet and I know that and it's ok. I may not act like its ok sometimes, but I know in my heart it is.


24 is approaching us fast and I am beginning to think about what if it doesn't happen then? I read a lot on here about making *timelines* and ask myself why? do I need one? etc. I know our relationship doesn't need a timeline. I know I will be here with him ring or not 60 years down the road at that is all that matters. I don't want to give him a timeline and force him to marry me until he is 100% ready. By the time we get married I will probably be 150% ready and he'll be just hitting 100%.

Try not focusing on the timeline and focus on your relationship. Look into the future and figure out where you see the two of you. If I do that I see everything we describe. It took a while for our relationship to grow and get to the point it is now... I think that is mainly to do with I wasn't ready. Not being ready doesn't mean he loves you any less or doesn't want a future with you. I can honestly say a few years ago I couldn't *see* us down the road. It didn't mean I didn't want it (or else I wouldn't be here now), I just think it meant that I wasn't ready at that moment, which is probably where your BF is now.
 

Winks_Elf

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
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Nov 28, 2008
Messages
1,674
While I''m of the belief that two years is MORE than enough time to know whether or not you want to marry each other, 22 is still painfully young...especially for a guy. The last thing you want is a husband with a case of the "coulda-woulda-shoulda''s". You don''t want him to wonder what he gave up by marrying you, and vice versa.

If it''s meant to be, it''s meant to be. Take a deep breath, and forget the timeline.
 

fieryred33143

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 18, 2008
Messages
6,689
Honestly, I would be extremely hypocritical if I told you to walk away because I had so many timelines in the 11 months that I was an LIW and he broke all of them (I also broke a lot of my internal timelines).

Now that I''m engaged I realized my engagement fever was never about getting married. It was because I was getting pressured by everyone around me to get engaged. So I would set up these timelines, he would not meet them, then I would think about whether I really wanted to leave or not, I never wanted to, so I would stay.

I agree with NF that it just sounds like he isn''t ready. He''s only 22 and you''ve only been dating for 2 years. If he wants to wait, there''s nothing wrong with that at all. But at the same time, it isn''t wrong that you as a 22 year old dating someone for two years would want an engagement. This difference is a big one. I still think it sounds like a very good and solid relationship but the difference still exists. The real question is how long are you willing to wait for him to get ready.
 

Dreamgirl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 25, 2008
Messages
5,070
Date: 2/19/2009 9:51:12 AM
Author: Bia
Sweetie, I think you should listen to what he''s saying. He''s not ready. I know there are a lot of people (my bro was one of them) that are ready to get engaged at 22, but I also know many people (most in fact, myself definitely included) who are not ready at the stage of life. It has less to do with age than with where you are in your life. I''m 27 and I know plenty of people my age (men and women) who are not even thinking about marriage yet.

Of course, I don''t know the details of your relationship, particularly how long you''ve been together, but because you''re still young (don''t hate me for saying that, please!) it might be more beneficial to you and your BF if you just focus on being together and being happy. The other stuff will fall into place very neatly if it is meant to.
I completely agree 100% with what Bia said.
 

jcarlylew

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 27, 2008
Messages
3,899
i agree with a lot of what people say here.
Here is actually my biggest advice (besides from earlier) and all us LIW have had to come to terms (even if we dont like it).

Guy time is painfully different than girl (or LIW) time. 1 year ago, he might have been ready, but as we grow older and more mature, those time lines can change depending on the person. Heck, i walked away from a pending engagement because i realized i WANTED to be immature for awhile, and the guy i was with did not understand. Saying that, while he "might" or "might not" be ready or thinking about engagement, his timing for it will tend to be much longer than yours. example - E and i started looking at E rings, thought we had picked some out, and when i asked him a time line, he said "soon". Well his soon was 1-2 years. um. no.
. now a year(ish) later, that has changed by his doing.

right now you just need to decide we you want to stand in your relationship.

and i will agree that generally (not everyone!!) 22 is a young age for a guy.

Stick in there hun, and of course you can always hash it out with us.
 

JulieN

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Messages
13,329
I think 22 is very young (I'm 22.) If he's 22 and he wants to get married, there's nothing wrong with that. But if he doesn't...well, there's nothing wrong with that either.
 

Still_Waiting

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 30, 2008
Messages
612
Okay, so I''d been intentionally avoiding reading this thread because I was afraid the responses would hit a little too close to home. LOL! However, after reading them all, it made me realize how important it is to (as many folks already said), focus on the relationship rather than getting engaged.

A few months ago I really starting driving myself crazy with questions about why my SO wasn''t doing what he needed to do (i.e. saving money) so that we could get engaged. All hell broke loose around Christmas time (gotta love the holidays) and a series of events (cancer, weather-induced travel plans ruined, not being with my family) all became SO much more important than getting a ring on my finger...well...at some point I just realized that I really do love him, our relationship and our future and suddenly I stopped obsessing on the engagement and started focussing on "us". And I have to say I''m absolutely loving it. Of course, this is me coming off a fantastic weekend getaway, but still!

Right before the holidays I started getting a lot of external pressure (people grabbing my hand to search for an invisible ring?!). All of the friends I''ve surrounded myself with for the past 9 years (since I finished college) are married. None of them dated their husbands for longer than 1-2 years before getting married. And as far as I know, they''re all happily married. So the questions began (doesn''t he love me enough? etc.). Since I''ve stopped worrying about what other people think, I''ve become completely happy in our relationship again. It doesn''t matter that we were planning on getting married this coming summer (definitely won''t happen) or that he was supposed to talk to my dad the next time he saw him (he didn''t). I love him and am willing to wait.

Only you can decide whether or not you are willing to wait. My best advice is to try your very best to focus on your relationship (believe me, I know it''s hard!!!) rather than getting engaged. Speaking from experience, it makes a WORLD of difference. And, if it''s possible, I may even love my SO even more now.
 
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