I’ve been with my boyfriend for 3 years now. We’ve had some bumps and hard times, but we love each other and our relationship is great. The only thing that bothers me is that we’re not married and I’m not sure when we’re going to get married. He says he wants to get married, but he hasn’t made anything official, and he doesn’t talk about it much. Am I overanalyzing this?
Tired of Being a Single Lady
I remember being in your shoes. I was 23 and living with my boyfriend of three years, and I was starting to get antsy. Sure, marriage seemed like a given, but I absolutely hated the fact that I was supposed to sit around and wait for him to officially propose. The way I saw it, we were partners in crime, and every decision we made about our apartment we made together, so why did he get to make this all-important decision all on his own? I made this very argument to him, and told him that I thought we should pick a date of engagement in the near future, and make a plan together for how we would celebrate it. This was in August. I believe we tentatively agreed upon a date in November, and we were each going to start thinking of a grand plan of fancy dinner and a night in a hotel or something to mark the occasion. P.S. On September 18th he beckoned me out on the balcony of our apartment, got down on one knee, and proposed with a family ring. I’m still kinda mad he didn’t stick to our plan.
That was 19 years ago. Man, I’m old!
I know someone who gave an ultimatum and got the ring. I also know someone who broke up with her boyfriend because he hadn’t proposed, and after a month he realized he couldn’t live without her and they got engaged. I know someone whose girlfriend called off their engagement, and it broke him for many months. And, one of the most beautiful/amazing/fun weddings I’ve ever been to? That couple is now divorced. [Cue Debbie Downer waaah-waaah]
So, what’s the lesson? It is hard to cede control, to make yourself vulnerable and stand in front of another person and tell him what you want and/or need, and risk having him tell you he can’t or won’t give it to you. Marriage is a long haul. This is just the beginning. If he’s the right one, then having a conversation with him about your future plans shouldn’t be an issue. You may not get the answer you want, but better to find that out now. Or, you know, channel your inner Gloria Steinem, turn the tables and propose to him!
Whatever you decide, you should go forward knowing that the man you desperately want to marry today will be the man who consistently leaves his dirty underwear hanging on the bathroom towel rack ten years from now.
Best of luck,