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#2125724 09/11/08 03:21 PM
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I'm looking for some opinions from other folks on my current situation.
My BF and I have been dating for almost 4 years, he's 25 and I'm 28. We've got a good relationship with open communication and we share many activities. There have been rough patches because I've had to learn to be a little less independent and he's learning to be more independent. We pretty much do everything together. We do have conflicts once in awhile, but we always manage to work through it.
My issue is I wish to get married and he does too, but our timelines are years apart. I wish to get engaged now and plan for a wedding within a year or two (our families live in different states and with a few other factors it is going to take a fair amount of pre-planning to get everyone together). He on the other hand, wishes to get engaged followed with a quick wedding. However, he wants to hold off on the engagement for an undetermined amount of time.
His reasoning behind waiting is he wants to be financially set and be ready to buy a house right away. I counter that we are pretty well off financially (less than $15K for both of us between cars and student loans - no CC debt) and we are doing well budgeting and saving. I should point out that my BF & I do not live together and don't really have any plans of moving in together without being married.
I also have told my BF several times that we may not be able to get a house right away until he is committed to a career and employer. It wouldn't make sense financially right now to get into a house and then find out that he will have to commute an hour or more for work. An apartment in the interim will do just fine as far as I am concerned. I've been living on my own for over 10 years solo or with roommates. He still lives with his parents; he never even moved out for college.
My big question is how long should I keep hanging on if I'm not getting the commitment I want from my BF? I wish to be married to someone that I can have a partnership with. I don't know if I'm being irrational about this or not. I want that marriage commitment. I've been through this type of thing before where I get really involved with a guy and he starts talking marriage and making a life together, only to later find myself sitting on the other end of the phone getting dumped because "something better" came along. I'm not going to let that happen again, even if it means that I have to walk away to find someone that actually wants to be married to me instead of just talking about it.
Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thank you!

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He has yet to cut the umbilical cord and you want to marry him?

You may love each other but you seem incompatible. You are arguably a self sufficient woman and he is arguably not a self-sufficient person. You are dreaming and planning of a future and he is not. He is delaying and waiting. He is not the same type of person that you are.

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It seems that you don't have same goals in mind. Both people need to want the marriage at the same time, otherwise it won't work. You never want to hear from your husband "I married you ONLY because you pushed me to." When both people want the marriage and commitment, they will find a way to plan an engagement and wedding that works for both of them.

Four years is a long time and a long investment. You have few options:
A. Continue with the relationship as it is without pressure of marriage and understanding that the two of you might never get married
B. Push for marriage - you will lose him most likely because he is not ready (he needs to stop living with his parents first and be on his own and then think about marriage)
C. Find someone else who really will want to marry you - you seem very self-sufficient, so no matter what you think you will be fine.

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Don't know if you two have had sex or not. But if you have - stop. It will make a guy hang on to you and put off anything he doesn't want to take responsibility for. And if it s one of your big needs as well, it will make it even harder for you to let go.

Dr. Harley is right about it messing with your mind and objectivity in a relationship. I know, I've been there and had to get out.

Best Wishes,
RMW

RMW #2154095 11/06/08 09:02 AM
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Thank you abch123, Looking4Answer2, and RMW. You've all pointed out what I've been trying to ignore these few years. I'm ready to plan for a future and he is putting off growing up and planning for the future. I would have to agree that the intimacy that we have shared has clouded my judgement and messed with my outlook on the situation. I've thought about it and it will stop today.
This may be the end of this relationship, but maybe not. I guess I'll know soon enough.
Thanks for listening and pointing out what I have been ignoring.

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Whatever happens, just don't feel like you are alone!! I've had to do the same thing and sex is in my top 5, so it was EXTREMELY hard for me. Especially when he was meeting the other 2 top needs. But he wasn't consistant (at all). He still has issues with his parents to work through. He finally admitted it this morning. But he isn't wanting to do the work it takes to get past the problems he has. All I can do is pray. And stay seperated from him until he decides he's ready.

We do email, but we no longer have anything else going on together. I'm afraid that he will go back to drinking. Even though he saw the neg. stuff it can cause and quit. Unless he finally decides he wants to work on his negative stuff, it'll never get any better for me I know.

We're here for you if it comes to the point that you need a shoulder to cry on!!

RMW

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This is a really interesting situation and I think it's one that a lot of women are in these days.

Normally, I would tell you not to wait much longer at all. I guess the difference here is that he is only 25.

My fiance and I got engaged when we were both 25 but I think that's quite rare with men these days (at least it is in my social circle). They tend to want to wait till their late 20s or early 30s.

You know, I think it depends on how he views you and how he views women. There are definitely men out there who think that women are "a dime a dozen" and that they will always be able to forge a rewarding relationship with another woman should they lose their current one. I think men in that category are not going to be easily budged from the timeline for marriage that they set up in their minds.

Then there are men who just genuinely believe that their current partner is the only one for them and would not risk losing that particular person for all the world.

I suspect it's the life experiences that your man has endured that will make him fall within one category or another. (And I'm not saying those are the only two categories either - but they do describe the dichotomy).

What are his reasons for not wanting a long engagement? Is it because he doesnt know if he'll want to marry you within a year or two? If that's the reason then I think you have your answer. Don't wait any longer because if he doesnt know that by now he's probably not a man who is going to make you happy in the long run, for a multitude of reasons!

In my case my fiance proposed to me after just a little over a year (we'd known each other for much longer though and he'd wanted to be more than friends since the beginning of our acquaintance) of dating. I had slight reservations over finances. He had so much more money saved up than I did (about ten times more) I just really wanted to wait till I had more to contribute financially before getting married. In the end I changed my mind on the basis that fianances are only one aspect of what gets shared in marriage.

Why do you need to be able to afford a house before getting married? Even if you rent you'll still save more money by being married and living together won't you? Which will mean you can get the house sooner?

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I wish I could say I had finally gotten the guts to change my situation, but I haven't. I was able to implement some changes, but then allowed myself to slip back into my old ways with this relationship. It's become real obvious over the last few months that I probably need just as much, if not more, work on myself if I am ever going to be successful in any relationship.
I'm now taking steps to break away - slowly. I'm seperating what little we shared with phones. I'm taking back all my keys from my BF this week. The biggest thing will be getting my apartment keys back. I gave him a set a long time ago really for no other reason than I could continue about my business and not have to wonder if he's waiting at my door while I'm doing laundry, working out in the exercise room, or anything else that has me away from the call box in my unit.
It's real sucky, but I'm not happy with how things are. I'm becoming an angry person and that is really not healthy.
I'm going to be selfish for a little while and do some things that I feel I need to do. Maybe this relationship will last, maybe it won't.
I'll be checking back periodically for talks.
Thanks for listening.

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Have you read here about Love Busters and Emotional Needs? Following that is a great way to improve yourself and see if your relationship can be improved as well.


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