When it was time for me to leave, he asked how was he going to manage without me, and I said, “We could get married and then you could come to London.” He agreed, and so, since December, we’ve been discussing wedding plans. He told me he wanted something small because his finances were not good at the moment. He then said we’d have something bigger in London once he arrived and got a visa to settle with a spouse.
My family and I were planning to go to Jamaica in May, so I suggested we get married then. He agreed, and I brought the dress and the engagement ring because he said he’d buy the wedding bands. He told me he had booked the registry, but, when I called to change the date, I was told there was no wedding booked in our names. I asked him about it, and he acted surprised and said he would call to straighten it out. But later he said the location was horrible and we should book a different location for the same date. He was dragging his feet, so I took the initiative to find a cost-effective venue and he agreed that the price was good and he’d go inspect that place and book it it if were up to standards.
A few days later I asked him if he had been to the second venue, at which point he began to say he’s been thinking about it and he feels we are rushing and this could affect our marriage in the long-run. I was devastated and told him I had already bought my dress and told people. He said I’m still going to use the dress but that we need to get to know each other more and that two weeks is not enough time. He said that he doesn’t want this to be a marriage of opportunity where he can get to come to England and that he doesn’t want to feel like he’s selling his soul and committing to things he wouldn’t normally commit to. He said that if we were in the same country, he wouldn’t be marrying me so quickly. He then said he’d call me back later, but he didn’t. He messaged me the next day asking how I was and what I was up to. We had general chit-chat. I didn’t mention anything about weddings or why he had made the decision he had — I just asked if I should return the ring, to which he replied “not yet.”
So I am really confused, disappointed, and upset.
Today I messaged him and it’s been an hour and I’ve had no response from him. He’s at work, but he normally replies promptly. I don’t know if I am over-reacting, but my mind is racing and I feel like I need to know why he so suddenly made the decision he did. I asked him if there was someone else, but he said no.
I am not sure whether I should continue in the relationship as my ultimate goal is marriage and I don’t know how long he will drag this out or if he’s even serious. I am even wondering if he WAS only planning to marry me for a visa and now he has a guilty conscience and doesn’t want to hurt me.
I am going to visit him in May and will be staying with him until my family arrives, but now I feel awkward. And I am annoyed that he only spoke to me briefly about his decision to postpone our wedding plans and didn’t call me back or even console me. I feel like he doesn’t care at all. — Ready or Not!
Two weeks of in-person time, serious communication issues, feeling awkward staying with him in a few months, feeling like his wanting to get to know the person he might marry is “dragging things out,” and worrying about being used for a visa? Yeah, sounds like maybe you aren’t so ready for marriage, after all.
I have no idea if this guy is using you or not. Seeing as it was your idea in the first place that he marry you and move to London, and he’s the one who’s put the brakes on the fast-track marriage, my gut feeling is that he had no intention of using you, that his feelings are most likely genuine, and that his “sudden change of mind” is due to the whiplash fast path you’ve pushed this relationship down and that he’s barely had a chance to process what’s happening. As soon as he realized you were totally serious about the marriage thing and that it wasn’t just something you said in reply to his very innocuous comment about missing you when you returned to London after your visit in November, he probably started freaking out about how to deflect you without seeming like he was flat-out rejecting you.
Could he have handled this much better? Absolutely. The lying and the avoidance are red flags — not that he’s using you for a visa, but that he’s freaked the fuck out and isn’t ready for this shit. And I don’t believe you are either, no matter what you say your “ultimate goal” is. Marriage isn’t a race. You don’t “win” the second you sign that license and lock it down. Marriage is about building a life together, hopefully on a strong foundation that you lay in the months and years before you tie the knot. You do not have that foundation. And it doesn’t sound like you’ve even discussed much what kind of life you want to build together. Where will you live? How often will you visit the other’s home country? Will you try to have kids? If so, when? How will you support them? Do you have any clue what your boyfriend’s finances are like? What kind of debt he might have? Have you discussed these and other issues you should know before marrying someone? My guess is no. My advice is no. Just, no. Slow down. Continue getting to know each other. If you need to lock someone down in order to keep him in your life, he’s not the right one for you.
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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.