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Amber61202

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 11, 2006
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5
Caution: This is a long story!
I have been a member here for a while but this is my first post. I am so frustrated, I didn''t know what else to do and am hoping for some good advice.

For a little background info... I am 22 and graduating from college in May, my boyfriend is 23 and is also still in school. In March we will have our 5 year anniversary. Everything is great in our relationship... except when I bring up getting engaged. I am ready now and I don''t think he is. For the past 2 1/2 - 3 years I have had engagement fever, bad! It usually comes and goes as I get busy with other things, but for the past probably year and a half its the only thing I can think about. Almost all of my friends are either married or engaged and I feel like I am just surrounded by it.

I know that he wants to marry me, in fact he was the one who brought it up and scared me after only 6 months. This subject just really hurts me. He has known for the past couple of years that I really would like to get engaged while I was still in school (so I could share my excitement with my friends before we graduate and possibly lose touch, etc.), and like I said earlier, I graduate in 4 months. I just know it isn''t going to happen anytime soon; he doesn''t have any money saved and he never wants to talk about it. I know this is terrible to say but I honestly feel that if he wanted something that was this important to him, I would find a way to do it weather I had the money or not. If I suggest going to look at rings he is all for it, but doesn''t want me to get my hopes up and get upset about it, which is inevitable.

I certainly don''t want to force him to do something he doesn''t want to, that is definitely not the memories I want to go with my engagement, but why is he dragging his feet?? I KNOW that he loves me and wants to marry me, but why do I want to now and he doesn''t?(Is it the whole guys are more immature thing?) Any ideas? I know I am being selfish but I have been feeling this way for a while and have no one to vent to...Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 

bee*

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 14, 2006
Messages
12,170
Hey Amber, I can certainly understand how you feel. I wanted to get engaged about two years ago-I would have been with D nearly six years then but he didnt want it. I was just finished college but he still had another while to go so money was a big issue for us too (ie we had none!!).
I think the best thing to do is to sit down and talk to him properly. D didnt really want to talk about it either, I think its a man thing, but I told him that we had to talk about this properly and that he cant go silent every time I mention it. He always told me that he wanted to marry me too so I knew it wasnt that he didnt, its just that I wanted to know what was up, when he thought we should get engaged etc.
His reasons were that we had no money at all, which is a very valid reason, we couldnt afford to move in, get married or do any of those things yet. They made sense to me, but it still didnt make me feel any better as such. Fastforward another two years and we are going to NY in the summer to purchase the ring. I''ve since gone back to college, but Im working quite a bit too and hes working full time and it just feels like the right time to do it now. We can afford to do it now and we both want to do it now.
I know that you really want to get engaged before you leave school, but I would sit down with him and seriously discuss it with him. He probably doesnt have any idea of that plan and it would be better for you to know now than hold out for it and to be dissapointed. He probably wants to get you a nice e-ring and if he cant afford that, he''s probably waiting until he finishes school to get you one and get engaged.
 

MustangFan

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 27, 2006
Messages
935
Good advise from Bee
sit down and have a talk about it, tell him how your feeling.

Maybe you can devise a plan that he could start saving money for your ring, 4 months is probably not enough, but if all your friends vanish after college then were they really friends anyway? You''ll soon have co-worker friends to share your excitement with...
He probably does want to but doesn''t have the money right now and probably doesn''t want to see you with a cheapo Walmart engagement ring. We might not have enough money for another year or two, but at least he''d be trying hard with good intentions...
 

Independent Gal

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 12, 2006
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5,471
Hi Amber,

I''m going to play devil''s advocate a bit, because there were some things in your post that made me wonder (could just be points of unclarity!). Has HE said anything about marriage in the last year or so? Has he talked about it consistently since you first started dating and he first brought it up (when he was, what 18?) Going to college opens up whole new worlds, as you know, and paricularly if you guys are from a small town, what he thought he wanted as a future when he was 18 might not be what he wants now. That in NO WAY means he doesn''t love you. If he''s stuck with you all through college, that boy LOVES you, Amber. But many people fall in love without wanting to get married. Timing, compatibility... If you''re the only girl he''s been with, or the only one he''s had a ''grown up'' relationship with, he may be scared of missing out on youthful adventures. That''s good if he KNOWS that. Lots of boys get bullied into marrying their first girl (I don''t at all mean that YOU are bullying him! just that some girls do) and then the marriage goes sour because they feel they missed out. Or the man cheats.

You need to have a serious talk with your man about what HE wants. He obviously loves you and doesn''t want to lose you, but that doesn''t mean he wants to marry you either. If he clams up whenever you bring it up, it seems pretty clear to me that it''s probably because of this. If he says ''I don''t want to get married yet'' he worries you''ll leave. But he can''t honestly say he does want to get married. So, your job is to make him feel safe and comfortable telling you what he really wants.

That said, if you want to get married ASAP, and he doesn''t, you probably should at least consider moving on.

It also sounds a bit like you want to get engaged because everybody else is. That you feel ''left out'' and want to be able to share it with your friends at college. Examine yourself carefully: if these are people you may lose touch with (as in, not really your FRIENDS), why is it so important to you that they know you got engaged?!? It sounds a bit like you''re worried about what they think of you as a non-engaged girl, that this has a little to do with status and popularity. Everybody ELSE has a fiance. You want one too. That sounds more harsh than I mean it, and I''m just saying it that way so you think carefully about how much truth might be in it.

Trust me: you do NOT want to marry a man who is seriously not ready to get married. You''ll have the pleasure of the social status that comes with being engaged now, and the possibility of decades of misery to come. Is it really worth it? I think not.

Get that boy to TALK to you and tell you what he really wants! Listen to him carefully. Respect and accept what he says.

Just my 2 cents.
 

anchor31

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Messages
7,074
Haha... this could almost have been written by me a little over a year ago... and here''s what I did: I asked him point blank what he had in mind and what were his intentions. You''ll never get a straight answer if you don''t ask the questions plainly.

Welcome to PS and the LIWs!
 

Amber61202

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 11, 2006
Messages
5

Thanks everyone. Everything y'all said made a lot of sense. I am glad to see you went though it also Bee, I know money is a big part of it as well. Mustang - That's true about coworkers and you're right, if we lose touch then they weren't good friends anyway!




Independent gal - That was definitely hard to read but I see what your saying. It has crossed my mind before but those things are definitely not the things I TRY and think about. I guess I do feel a little left out, but that's not the only reason I want to get married and I didn't just start thinking about it when everyone else got engaged, this has been on my mind for a while. But you have a good point about everything, I don't want to marry someone who isn't ready that's for sure, and maybe he just doesn't want to. We are going to have to have a conversation soon.

Anchor - What happened? Are you happily engaged/married now?


Thanks again everyone it feels better to talk about it

 

NYCsparkle

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 23, 2006
Messages
1,371
Marriage is a HUGE step and you are both so young. maybe he''s not ready because of school, money, or just emotionally yet. it doesn''t mean it won''t happen for you 2, just enjoy the relationship you have with him. ask him point blank if marriage is something he''s ready to think about....he may have other things he needs to do first. you say everything is great until you bring up getting engaged...are you trying to force him into it or have you had rational conversations about it? take your time and don''t rush because your friends are all engaged or married. make time for yourself and think about the things you want in life besides marriage.
 

anchor31

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Messages
7,074
Date: 1/31/2007 12:06:17 PM
Author: AmberLA002

Anchor - What happened? Are you happily engaged/married now?




Thanks again everyone it feels better to talk about it

Well, here's my story in a nutshell:

Sept. 05: J starts talking about proposing. Keeps mentioning it, but is still too vague for me to figure out what he's up to... It was driving me insane, not knowing if he intended to do it in six months or six years!

Oct. 05: I find PS. (real life saver it turned out to be, too!
)
Nov. 05: I ask J what his intentions are and if he has a timeframe in mind. He says he wants to propose in 2006. Yay!

May 06: We order our engagement ring.
July 06: J takes me with him to pick up the ring, takes me for a walk in a beautiful city park and proposes on bended knee! We're getting married on September 20th 2008.


So... I'll tell you exactly what I was told when I was in your position in September-November 05: Ask him if he has a timeframe in mind. It doesn't have to be a specific months, mine was a whole year and I was fine with it.

Good luck!


ETA: Our situations are similar too: I'm 21 and graduating in April 08. My FI is 25 and has been working for 2 years. Sometimes age is a factor, sometimes it isn't. Your BF may want to want until graduation to get married though! It was important for me that I graduated first.
 

musey

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Messages
11,242
This:

Date: 1/31/2007 7:45:14 AM
Author: MustangFan
He probably does want to but doesn''t have the money right now and probably doesn''t want to see you with a cheapo Walmart engagement ring.
...was the reason my bf was dragging his feet. Have a talk with him and find out what is holding him back. You guys have been together long enough that you talk about everything, why should this topic be off-limits? Whatever his obstacle(s) is/are, you may be able to figure out a compromise or a way around them.

Good luck, you''ve come to the right place!!
 

havernell

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 10, 2006
Messages
571
A lot of guys grow up seeing husbands as the ones who provide for and take care of their wives. While women today (esp college educated ones like yourself) are more than capable of providing for themselves (and most men understand that) most men STILL want to feel like they are in a position to take care of their wives.

So, if your boyfriend is still in school and doesn''t have a job that makes enough income to live on, he may not want to get married yet jus for that reason. It''s a guy PRIDE thing. (So is getting your girl a bigger diamond like musey mentioned.)

So, just like you want him to understand that YOU want to get married now, try to understand that there may be tons of good reason why HE doesn''t want to get married now. There are always two sides to the story when two people are involved- make sure you are really trying to understand his side, not just yours.

I guess my question to you is, why do you *need* to get married NOW? Why is this *soooo* much better than waiting for two years until after you have both finished school, have established yourselves professionally, have gotten to know each other in the real world (which is quite different from knowing each other in the college world)? You can continue to love each other as boyfriend and girlfriend just as much as you would love each other as husband and wife. What would you *gain* by being husband and wife NOW that you would lose by waiting two years? Just something to think about.
 

Independent Gal

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 12, 2006
Messages
5,471
Sorry that was hard to read! Sometimes it can be good to really ask hard questions, particularly when you ask them and realize that YES everything IS just as it should be!

It seems we gals are pretty much unanimous about what your next move should be: sit that boy down, make him feel as comfortable as you can that you''ll listen carefully and understand as well as you can what he wants to say, and then ask him ''what''s on your mind about the future?'' Then really hear him out before you respond.

Thereafter, you can get a pretty good sense of whether he''s really ready by having all the hard conversations a couple should have before getting engaged: how would you manage money? when would you have kids and how would you raise them? where would you live? what about grad school? how would you resolve issues that arose? If he''s uncomfortable having those conversations in a serious and mature way, then he may not be ready for marriage. If he''s down with the seriousness of it all, then great!

That said, as some of the gals have pointed out, there''s no reason you can''t stay together for a while and NOT get married quite yet. But if marriage is way up on your priority list right now, and it''s not on his, then you have to ask yourself some hard questions.

Keep us updated, ok? Let us know how the conversation goes! We''re rooting for you and here to support you.
 

DMBsGirl

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 29, 2006
Messages
1,589
My boyfriend and I also started dating when we were very young (17 and 18), we are now 26 and 27 and guess what, NOT ENGAGED yet, lol. Unlike you, engagement was not a thought in my mind at 21 and 22. I did not feel mature enough and my parents were still supporting me financially. Now, my boyfriend owns his own apartment, has a great job and I have a masters degree and wonderful job as well. Now, it MAKES sense. I understand that everyone is different but marriage has to be thought about logically, and if neither of you can afford to be on your own then it wouldn''t make much sense. However, if you wouldn''t mind a looong engagement, then maybe it could be a logical choice at this age.
My boyfriend, like yours, began talking about marriage very early in the relationship. However, he was not singing the same tune at 21 and 22. He had grown up a bit and realized it''s not that simple. Many guys realize this in college, and it makes them wait a lot longer than we would like to get engaged. They also don''t feel the same pressures that we do.
I agree that you should have a talk with him, unfortunately the two of you just may be on different levels at this point.
 

bee*

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 14, 2006
Messages
12,170
Date: 1/31/2007 4:18:33 PM
Author: DMBsGirl
My boyfriend and I also started dating when we were very young (17 and 18), we are now 26 and 27 and guess what, NOT ENGAGED yet, lol. Unlike you, engagement was not a thought in my mind at 21 and 22. I did not feel mature enough and my parents were still supporting me financially. Now, my boyfriend owns his own apartment, has a great job and I have a masters degree and wonderful job as well. Now, it MAKES sense. I understand that everyone is different but marriage has to be thought about logically, and if neither of you can afford to be on your own then it wouldn''t make much sense. However, if you wouldn''t mind a looong engagement, then maybe it could be a logical choice at this age.

My boyfriend, like yours, began talking about marriage very early in the relationship. However, he was not singing the same tune at 21 and 22. He had grown up a bit and realized it''s not that simple. Many guys realize this in college, and it makes them wait a lot longer than we would like to get engaged. They also don''t feel the same pressures that we do.

I agree that you should have a talk with him, unfortunately the two of you just may be on different levels at this point.
Your situation is the exact same as mine DMBsGirl! I starting dating D at the same age and Im just a year younger than you! I think we''re definitely due a nice ring for all our patience!!
. I wasnt thinking about marriage at all at 21/22.

Did you get to talk to him yet Amber? You just have to realise what you want in life too. When I mentioned it to D nearly two years ago, he wasnt ready at all and I was so upset to hear that. He said that he wanted it, in the future though, so I went home and thought long and hard about it and Im happy with my decision to stick with the relationship and we are so happy now. On the otherhand, one of my friends was going out with her man for 5 years and she was anxious to get the ball rolling earlier this year in relation to getting engaged, moving out etc. She spoke to him and he said to her that he didnt plan on moving out of his parents home until at least 36....he''s only 27 this year
So its definitely worth finding out his opinion on it sooner rather than later!
 

TravelingGal

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
Messages
17,193
Date: 1/31/2007 1:42:49 AM
Author:AmberLA002
Caution: This is a long story!
I have been a member here for a while but this is my first post. I am so frustrated, I didn''t know what else to do and am hoping for some good advice.

For a little background info... I am 22 and graduating from college in May, my boyfriend is 23 and is also still in school. In March we will have our 5 year anniversary. Everything is great in our relationship... except when I bring up getting engaged. I am ready now and I don''t think he is. For the past 2 1/2 - 3 years I have had engagement fever, bad! It usually comes and goes as I get busy with other things, but for the past probably year and a half its the only thing I can think about. Almost all of my friends are either married or engaged and I feel like I am just surrounded by it.

I know that he wants to marry me, in fact he was the one who brought it up and scared me after only 6 months. This subject just really hurts me. He has known for the past couple of years that I really would like to get engaged while I was still in school (so I could share my excitement with my friends before we graduate and possibly lose touch, etc.), and like I said earlier, I graduate in 4 months. I just know it isn''t going to happen anytime soon; he doesn''t have any money saved and he never wants to talk about it. I know this is terrible to say but I honestly feel that if he wanted something that was this important to him, I would find a way to do it weather I had the money or not. If I suggest going to look at rings he is all for it, but doesn''t want me to get my hopes up and get upset about it, which is inevitable.

I certainly don''t want to force him to do something he doesn''t want to, that is definitely not the memories I want to go with my engagement, but why is he dragging his feet?? I KNOW that he loves me and wants to marry me, but why do I want to now and he doesn''t?(Is it the whole guys are more immature thing?) Any ideas? I know I am being selfish but I have been feeling this way for a while and have no one to vent to...Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
First, let me say I am sorry you are going through these frustrations.

But the line I highlighted speaks volumes about the very little I know about your story. I will assume you two love each other very much and that is the MAIN reason you want to get engaged, but the reason you posted for getting engaged while in school is...well...immature. If I were your bf, I wouldn''t humor you if that is your big reason for wanting to get engaged while in school. And while I would bet you wouldn''t admit it, it probably was a very big reason you wanted to get engaged early. I don''t think you have to hypothesize about his immaturity, but you may want to look at yours.

I don''t mean to be harsh (and it seems like I''ve been the resident PS wedding grump lately), but truly if you guys love each other, it will happen! My advice is to enjoy the time you are just a girlfriend...as you may never get that time again if this engagement happens soon. 5 years may seem a long time to have a relationship (and I''m not negating that it definitely feels that way) but 5 years at a younger age is different than having a 5 year relationship at an older age. That probably sounds silly to you, but for many people it''s true.

Hang in there!
 

Allisonfaye

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 18, 2004
Messages
1,455
Let me introduce myself to you. I am the woman who dated many of the divorced men who were talked into getting married very young. I heard the same thing over and over. They said getting married was ''expected of them as the next logical step in a relationship". It was more like they had no good reason not to, so they just went through with it. Oh, and I met a few that were still married and essentially living a secret life on the side (no, I didn''t date them).

I think marriage is something that you both have to want...and frankly, your odds of staying married if you marry at this young age are very low.
 

TravelingGal

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
Messages
17,193
Date: 1/31/2007 6:31:12 PM
Author: Allisonfaye
Let me introduce myself to you. I am the woman who dated many of the divorced men who were talked into getting married very young. I heard the same thing over and over. They said getting married was ''expected of them as the next logical step in a relationship''. It was more like they had no good reason not to, so they just went through with it. Oh, and I met a few that were still married and essentially living a secret life on the side (no, I didn''t date them).

I think marriage is something that you both have to want...and frankly, your odds of staying married if you marry at this young age are very low.
LOL...thanks for clearning that up Allison...that is good to know!

*phew*
 

Amber61202

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 11, 2006
Messages
5
I wanted to thank everyone again for all your advice, I definitley needed someone to tell me not to worry about it, that it will happen when it does!

I think some people got the wrong idea, I did have some sort of timeline in my head to be engaged before I got out of school but the reason I listed wasn't the only reason. I am a big planner which isnt necessarily a good thing but I always seem to be planning my future way in advance. So of course I am already planning to move out as soon as I graduate in May and to buy a house not long after that. I would really like to live together and do this together, but I really didn't want to move in together until we were married. ( I know it is probably a good idea to live together before making such a big commitment but it is a personal moral thing) So to get to the point, I had "planned" that it would be perfect to get engaged while in school, be engaged for at least a year, then by that time the timing would be right for us to maybe buy a house together. Its going to be hard not living together and paying two rents, I hope I can do it! Anyways it doesn't really matter I guess thats what I get for thinking that far in advance!

We did have a talk today and everything went good. I just told him what I was thinking and asked him what he thought about it. At first he was kind of offended that I asked him if he did want to get married. He said he does and he knows he wants to marry me, he just isn't ready financially (I guess it's like you said havernell with the guy pride, he wants to be able to take care of us both financially but I never really thought it was an issue since in May I would be able to support us both if need be) He said he doesn't bring it up as much as he would like to becuase when he does bring it up I would think in my head that something was going to happen, then be dissapointed and upset when it didn't. (Now that I have a better idea of when to expect things that won't be happening anymore and we can talk about it more) As far as a timeline he said when he is more stable financially and more mature (yes he actually said that! I dont know if that will happen though! lol)

But everything is great, I feel better about the whole thing, I will just try to keep my mind on other things until it gets closer in my future.
 

RoseAngel04

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 8, 2006
Messages
865
ugh!! the net ate my message I was editing!

basically my message was to be patient, when the time is right for both of you, it will happen. And trust me it's worth the wait, I know from experience! FI proposed on the eve of our 4 year anniversary and it was perfect! And make sure you both are going into marriage for the RIGHT reasons!!! Not bc "everyone else is doing it." Marriage is a HUGE step, make sure you're both ready for the lifelong commitment that getting married brings.

Good luck, and welcome to the LIW board!
 

galeteia

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 9, 2006
Messages
1,794
Date: 1/31/2007 9:29:41 AM
Author: Independent Gal
Hi Amber,


I'm going to play devil's advocate a bit, because there were some things in your post that made me wonder (could just be points of unclarity!). Has HE said anything about marriage in the last year or so? Has he talked about it consistently since you first started dating and he first brought it up (when he was, what 18?) Going to college opens up whole new worlds, as you know, and paricularly if you guys are from a small town, what he thought he wanted as a future when he was 18 might not be what he wants now. That in NO WAY means he doesn't love you. If he's stuck with you all through college, that boy LOVES you, Amber. But many people fall in love without wanting to get married. Timing, compatibility... If you're the only girl he's been with, or the only one he's had a 'grown up' relationship with, he may be scared of missing out on youthful adventures. That's good if he KNOWS that. Lots of boys get bullied into marrying their first girl (I don't at all mean that YOU are bullying him! just that some girls do) and then the marriage goes sour because they feel they missed out. Or the man cheats.


You need to have a serious talk with your man about what HE wants. He obviously loves you and doesn't want to lose you, but that doesn't mean he wants to marry you either. If he clams up whenever you bring it up, it seems pretty clear to me that it's probably because of this. If he says 'I don't want to get married yet' he worries you'll leave. But he can't honestly say he does want to get married. So, your job is to make him feel safe and comfortable telling you what he really wants.


That said, if you want to get married ASAP, and he doesn't, you probably should at least consider moving on.


It also sounds a bit like you want to get engaged because everybody else is. That you feel 'left out' and want to be able to share it with your friends at college. Examine yourself carefully: if these are people you may lose touch with (as in, not really your FRIENDS), why is it so important to you that they know you got engaged?!? It sounds a bit like you're worried about what they think of you as a non-engaged girl, that this has a little to do with status and popularity. Everybody ELSE has a fiance. You want one too. That sounds more harsh than I mean it, and I'm just saying it that way so you think carefully about how much truth might be in it.


Trust me: you do NOT want to marry a man who is seriously not ready to get married. You'll have the pleasure of the social status that comes with being engaged now, and the possibility of decades of misery to come. Is it really worth it? I think not.


Get that boy to TALK to you and tell you what he really wants! Listen to him carefully. Respect and accept what he says.


Just my 2 cents.



Yes! You nailed every red flag that start waving around in my head like a parade of cadets. I keep attempting to add things but you just summed everything up so nicely!

Amber, I agree you need to ask some point-blank questions. Most people I know exited from university a completely different animal from who they were when they went in. It sounds like he's had a shift in what he wants, but better to find out for sure.

And lastly, you deserve someone who eagerly wants to marry you. At this age, you have a lot of time to figure out who you are and what you want from life, and what you want from a partner. It's better to find someone who fits, as they are, than to try to make someone fit.

ETA: Just read your last post. It's good that you had a heart-to-heart, and are feeling reassured about what he wants from the relationship. But based on the many threads I've read about 'boy soon' I would caution you about how 'soon' it will be before he feels 'mature' enough to get married. It could be years.
 
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