Home › Forums › Advice & Chat › How to relax re engagement
- This topic has 66 replies, 10 voices, and was last updated 4 years, 2 months ago by LisforLeslie.
The engagement before moving is important to me because i have several friends who indicated they were interested in marrying their partners yet after several years of living together, they still aren’t married. The piece of paper/ formal commitment matters to me.
We are still talking through what some of the concerns are – nothing feels quite authentic to me as the reason just yet (ie the canoe thing!). I suspect it is more about his past (he is divorced) than it is about us but we have some time set aside to explore further and my therapist has provided recommendations on a couples’ therapist. I agree there is more work to be done to shift from “me” to “we” thinking – on both of our parts. He is seemingly more understand about the house selling challenge than he was before so that’s a step in the right direction.
We really aren’t social media folks so i don’t think it’s about the optics of the proposal and i’m not sure we know anyone who has had a big flashy engagement (or wedding for that matter!).
I feel like if we work to get to the root of the concerns and shift into more of a “we” mode, then we can move forward. Until then, i think plans need to be put on hold/not be under a deadline.
I really appreciate the feedback – thank you.LisforLeslieGuest
I think you’re giving this the right weight and concern. If he doesn’t understand we versus me that’s a big issue if you’re supposed to sell your house and upend your life with no expectation of “we”.
Put your foot down. If he really wants a we – he knows what he needs to do.EssieParticipant
It sounds like you’ve thought this through carefully. FWIW, I’d be thinking the same way you are about not moving unless there’s more “we” than “me.” Not so much because I’d care about the symbolism or the paperwork, but because I think you’re seeing some hesitation from him about making that kind of commitment that goes beyond wanting to do a fancy proposal.
The thing that does concern me a little is that you’re framing this in terms of having to be engaged/married, as if that’s a goal he must keep moving towards, and you just have to get him past his concerns and over the finish line. If I felt the slightest bit of uncertainty or hesitation from a partner, engagement would be off the table, moving in together would be off the table, I’d tell him to put the ring in a safe-deposit box to take the pressure off, and we’d just keep going as we were until his feelings clarified one way or the other.
I get that marriage is an important goal for you. I’m just saying there’s some danger here of him proposing to please you, or to keep from losing you, when he might not do it without pressure from you.JDMember
Marriage is between two people who intend to stay together forever, not a goal or milestone to hit. Attempt to remember that.MPGuest
LW this is just my curiousity but why is it important for you to be engaged before cohabitation rather than married before cohabitation?
I ask because I come from a culture where traditionally (and still commonly today) cohabitating only comes after marriage (folks typically live with their parents until they get married off also). I broke the rules though and we cohabitated before getting married though much to my parents’ frustration lol. I am so fascinated hearing about different cultural attitudes about marriage & relationships!SpaceyStephParticipant
The subtext of your last post is this: He has doubts about marrying you.
You don’t want to just drag a man to the altar. You want him to be excited to put that ring on your finger. He picked canoe season because its a long ways off. He’s stalling. Time to pump the brakes on selling your house, moving in together, and marriage while he deals with his concerns.JDMember
Let me tell you LW, I waited for my ex to be “ready”. He kept saying at this time or that time we’d be engaged. 10 Years later I left. My husband was near begging me to marry him. Not literally but he was so dang excited to be with me and marry me he proposed in the dang shower! Chose the person who can’t sit still they are so darn excited to marry you. Trust me!KateGuest
At first I was like, what are you worried about, but now I don’t like this guy and agree he’s stalling. I don’t know what his issue is, but I’m sure it’s not that he’s an awesome dude and you’re undeserving.KateGuest
Do you have to move to be with him? Are you long distance now? It sounds like maybe he wants the companionship and such, but the marriage / commitment may not be as important.SkyblossomParticipant
I’d be wary of him getting engaged just to keep from losing you if he is ambivalent. The couples counseling is a great idea. If you can discuss his fears, which are probably very real, and deal with them in a healthy way and then he wants to get married go ahead.
I’d give yourself a time frame, say maybe a year, at which point you know that if he can’t be excited about getting married that you move on because you can only put your life on hold for so long. You can literally waste a decade of your life that could have been spent with a partner who wanted you. A decade seems to not be that unusual before a woman gives up and leaves in frustration. My cousin did that with a live in girlfriend. Don’t let someone take a decade from you. You get to say that waiting doesn’t work for you and you can leave. It’s empowering. If you reach that point it also allows you to take back control of your life and gives you the opportunity to meet a guy who wants to marry you as much as you want to marry him.MPGuest
Skyblossom, good point! I know numerous women that have been engaged for over half a decade with no wedding date in sight. And now that I think about it, engagement isn’t really a formal commitment and involves no paper like LW wants (unless it’s a fiance visa type situation but even then you have to get married in 90 days).wannabGuest
@MP – that is an interesting question – i’m not sure why the engagement is “enough” of a commitment to move in rather than being married first. That is an interesting point to raise. I’ll definitely ponder that.
I think maybe i have been picking up on his doubts which is why i’ve been feeling anxious about the entire thing. I guess i just need to know if the doubts are about me/our relationship or if it’s about something else. In either case, we need to discuss it and then i need to figure out what is right for me. Back when we talked about things hypothetically, he was enthusiastic but i think with the (self/jointly imposed) timeline for co-habitation getting closer, the actuality of it all may be a bit much. I definitely want a partner who “can’t sit still they are so darn excited to marry” me (@JD) and “a guy who wants to marry you as much as you want to marry him” (@Skyblossom).
@Kate we are not long distance but there was an extenuating circumstance beyond our control (ie government process – not related to immigration, incarceration or anything of that nature) that kept us from moving in sooner/continually shifted our plans.