Relationships Community
6.39k Members
Avatar universal

Getting engaged

I'm 24 years old and have been with my bf for over 2.5 years. He is about 2 years older than me.  I have a steady job, but he is out of work.  He is still looking, but it's hard to find a job in his field so he has been temping, without much luck.  He has quite a bit of savings but not enough to live off of on his own.  We have been talking about moving in together for a long time and are preparing for it in many ways, but can't do so until he has a steady job.  I understand this and don't think we should because we don't want to strain ourselves financially and want to save more money first.

The thing that bothers me is that we are not yet engaged.  Considering that we discuss it ALL the time and have told each other that we want to get married, spend our lives together, have kids, etc... we know that's what we're going towards and we are both ready for the commitment.  But he doesn't want to get engaged yet, and not just for financial reasons.  It is so frustrating because he is always the one who brings up getting married and has it set in his mind that within 2 years, we WILL be married.  So, aren't we practically engaged already?  Why not just make it official?

This is a guy who says "when," not "if," when referring to getting engaged/married. "When we get married..." "When we have kids..." etc.  The other day he even mentioned that he wants a friend of his (a bakery chef) to design and make our wedding cake.  He has asked a couple of times if I will take his name when we're married or if I will hyphenate it.  A couple of months ago he even asked me what my ring size is, but... still not engaged.  It frustrates me so much that I'll say things like, "Well, *IF* we ever get married..." and he gets really upset and thinks that I don't want to be with him.

I told him over and over that I don't want a diamond (for many reasons) and I don't want something expensive, and considering the savings he has, he has way way more than enough for a ring.  So I just don't understand the hesitation.  He even talks to his friends openly about me being "the one."  But is he all talk?  I guess the most frustrating part is that we're presenting ourselves as if we're in it for the long run, but it's not official and I still have that uneasy feeling like it might not work out.  Why not just commit?  Any insights?
16 Responses
Avatar universal
It sounds like it is official except for the actual proposal and giving you a ring, which you told him you were not worried about, so is it possible he is getting mixed messages? In his mind he is committed already and has told you that, but the formalities of it all have been put on hold. Probably would be a good idea to jokingly tell him you would like to make it official and remind him of the ring size and tell him what kind of stone if any you want in an engagement ring. He probably thinks a wedding band is all that is necessary at this point. Sounds like you guys are sending mixed messages is all. Congratulations by the way, I think it sounds pretty official, but get the ring! Shopping for it together would be fun....
Avatar universal
I probably left out that I asked him that if he really wants to marry me, to buy a ring and propose to me officially but he keeps saying "not yet" and "I have plenty of time." Which really upsets me.  I want to have time to enjoy being engaged, plan a wedding at my leisure (since I work and won't have THAT much time) and time to save up money.
134578 tn?1578157483
The only thing about your post that seems odd to me is that you would want him to buy you an engagement ring when he isn't working.  You don't want him to think you are mentally calculating how much money he has saved and determining for him how he should spend it.  

Maybe you could go for a costume jewelry ring, if you need an engagement ring.  When I got engaged, I didn't have a ring, because we were just going to have wedding bands.  If it had mattered to have a ring at that point, I would have been fine with a costume ring because I wasn't going to wear it with the wedding band anyway.

It sounds to me like your bf is just waiting for inspiration and the right moment to stage a romantic proposal.  
Avatar universal
You're right, but it's more unfortunate timing than anything else.  He literally brings it up almost every day, to the point where I just want it to be official and not some kind of pipe dream.  He could give me a gumball machine ring and I'd be happy, and he knows that.  But he wants to give me a real ring.  All I want is to make it official, share our excitement with our families and friends, start planning when/where/how we will get married and settle down together.
1035252 tn?1427227833
sounds like he doesn't want to ask you to be his wife until he's sure he can provide for you...I give him props for this. It doesn't sound like commitment issues to me...try to wait it out and be patient. It'll be worth the wait, you know it will :)
Avatar universal
Maybe he has a date set in his mind that he wants to ask you on. Something he is working on but may be hard at this time with no set income. Give it some time, you don't  want to mess up a good thing.
Avatar universal
After thinking about what yall said (thank you for your input) I am still confused.  Tonight I joked about how he doesn't "own" me and he said "yeah and I don't plan to yet."  So, when he's not talking about the things he wants for our wedding, married life, and future children... he's talking about how he is putting off making a real commitment for as long as possible.  I just don't understand and at this point I feel like actions speak louder than words.  Maybe he is just saying what he thinks I want to hear.  I am frustrated and gettin restless.
Avatar universal
Oh and things are looking good for him work-wise too but still he has this attitude.
Avatar universal
He seems.....odd. I mean maybe he wants to confuse you so when he does propose it is a big surprise orrrr maybe he's just gets himself freaked out about it. Try being indifferent when he brings up marriage and your future. If he asks why let him know he's never serious and you're not getting your hopes up.
Avatar universal
"He seems.....odd."

Hahaha:) that gave me a good laugh:)
but yes, I think you are right with everything you said... but I don't know... I can't tell what he's really thinking... has anyone else been in this situation?
973741 tn?1342342773
Hm.  Confusing.  Ya know, my husband took me to a jeweler's office and we looked at diamonds.  Just the rocks and the jeweler asked me a lot of questions about what I like and so forth.  I was so excited I almost peed my pants.  He got some stones in a row that I guess I liked and wrote something on a little piece of paper and slipped it to my then boyfriend.  I sat there with this grin that I was trying to hide.  My husband gasped, recovered and nodded his head yes.  The jeweler slipped the stones into a little envelope.  And then he looked at me and said "well, thank you for your time."  (I exaggerate a little bit but that is pretty much how it went down.)  
Okay, so I know I just picked out the diamonds for my ring.  I'm not always the smartest bulb------ but I figured that much out.  So the next thing would be to get those babies set and propose.  So . . . I waited.  and waited.  and waited some more.  Waited some more.  and waited.  Was sure it was happening on this date.  Then sure it was happening on that date.  And still . . . no darn ring or proposal.  7 . . . YES SEVEN . . . months . . . YES . . . MONTHS . . . later he proposed to me.  He had a picture in his mind of how he wanted to do it and it had to be just right.  (someday I'll tell ya the story of the proposal!)

So, be patient.  You can't rush this along or force it.  Let it happen naturally and just be patient.  good luck
Avatar universal
(this is wisconsin15 I started this thread just forgot my password lol)

Hey everyone just wanted to bring this back!! I honesty don't know where else to find an opinion from people who might know.  Okay so you can read my post back up at the top.... now my bf and I are together for about 3 years and not long after that original post, he landed a great job, then about a month after he started we found http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Relationships/Getting-engaged/show/1294068a great apartment and moved in together!  We have been so happy together and I thought it would be a tough transition to living together, but we realized that we have been so close all along that living together and sharing our everyday lives only brought us closer! So of course we have been taking about spending our lives together...getting married...two couples we know just got engaged and we went to their engagement parties and got their save the dates and he keeps saying "when we get engaged we should do this" and "at our wedding we should do this"... yet some times I bring it up and he doesnt want anything to do with engagement/marriage.

So for christmas of course it's on my mind that maybe he will propose... christmas morning and I open my gift - it's a ring! BUT it's a cheap stering silver ring with my birthstone (it was beautiful though!) and NOT an engagement ring. I told him i loved it and put it on my right hand.  Later I asked what the ring meant.  I said is it an engagement ring (i knew it wasnt) or does it mean that I'm not getting another kind of ring for awhile... he just said it was just something he saw and he thought i might like it because it had my birthstone.

NOW I'M CONFUSED! lol...I can't see him getting me this ring, then another one any time soon. I really thought it would be this :(  Any thoughts??
Avatar universal
I really don't know about your boyfriend, it almost sounds to me like he is "all talk". Since you are already doing everything a married couple does, except actually being married, why would he propose. You already live together, so there is no push to go forward. I think you need to have a good heart to heart talk with him about where he sees the relationship in a years time. Then you can kind of set an internal dead line for yourself as to how long you will stay with him if he won't propose. Personally, I would not want to stay with a man forever who will not marry me. My boyfriend talks a lot about marriage and says "when", not "if", but he does not have a great job yet, and I know he wants to be able to provide for me. But if in 5 years, we still are not married, I will move on, as hard as that sounds.  
973741 tn?1342342773
Getting a ring for Christmas is nice------------ be appreciative of that at least!  But I know the disappointment you must have felt that it wasn't "the ring".  Ha---------  I could tell you the story of my friend that "knew" she was getting engaged one night and then nothing happened.  It happened about 4 times before he really did propose and it was not in any way she suspected.  Her thoughts of how he would do it and when she thought it would happen went out the window.  He had his own plans.  I suspect your boyfriend does too.  

I would really try to put it out of your mind for right now.  I would have told you, to be honest, to not go ahead and set up house with him.  I think living together lengthens the process for some men in terms of getting engaged.  He's doing a trial run right now.  I'm more of a --------- you gotta marry me first type.  Make sure you continue with your own life and things you want to do.  Keep friendships going and stay active with your own activities.  

I also think that if you just can't stop worrying about this and are feeling anxious---------  you could ask him "we've talked a lot about marriage.  What is your time frame for that?"  You can tell him what yours is as well.  

Good luck.  It is hard to be patient!
Avatar universal
I had a quick talk with him last night about how it is so confusing that he is "all talk" about marriage but we've been living together now and still no sign of marriage or engagement.  He said he has to save up more money.  (I don't know why he would use that as an excuse when I help him organize his checkbook so I know exactly how much money he has and it's more than anyone in our situation would ever spend on a ring....he knows I also told him nothing expensive.)  I really felt like that was just an excuse.  I got flustered and just went to bed and didn't finish the conversation.  In the morning we didn't speak of it again until tonight when I asked him again...what does the ring you got me for christmas mean?  He said it just means I love you and I thought you would like this.  I don't know how to tell him to me the ring means, I'm not going to buy you a real engagement ring any time soon.  I don't know how to bring up this conversation again without seeming nagging or getting emotional.  I really just want to talk it out so I know where we stand.
973741 tn?1342342773
Okay, don't get confused-----------  you got a nice Christmas present and that doesn't mean that you are not getting an engagement ring soon.  Seperate that out.  Unless he was trying to send you a message or is cruel (either of which I doubt)------  he bought you something he thought you woud like.  Leave it at that.

Now.  You have at this point made it clear that you'd like to get engaged and married sooner rather than later, right?  He's gotten the message.  He knows how you feel.  You don't need to tell him again.  You know he is saying not yet.  He's not saying never but not yet.  So . . . you just have to drop it.  And look at the calender and circle on year from today.  Live with him, enjoy him, have a fantastic relationship.  In a year---------- tell him that you think that now is a good time.  And would he marry  you. And if he says no, then you go ahead and move on.  Okay, give it a year.  Don't be in such a rush.  I know you live together (which is not my favorite thing to be honest when someone is desiring a marriage proposal)------  but just drop this subject.  Patience. It won't be the last time you have to practice patience.  

I do hope it works out for you hon. Hang in there.
Have an Answer?
Top Relationships Answerers
13167 tn?1327194124
Austin, TX
3060903 tn?1398565123
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
How do you keep things safer between the sheets? We explore your options.
Can HIV be transmitted through this sexual activity? Dr. Jose Gonzalez-Garcia answers this commonly-asked question.
For people with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), the COVID-19 pandemic can be particularly challenging.
A list of national and international resources and hotlines to help connect you to needed health and medical services.
Here’s how your baby’s growing in your body each week.
These common ADD/ADHD myths could already be hurting your child