Not exactly selfish. Everything we do is selfish in some manner. Even mother Theresa. But he is telling you he is content with your relationship as it is and does not see any need to favor you over other parts of his life. He is undoubtedlying getting every benefit he wants from marriage to you already. He is sufficiently confident... arrogant... that you will accept things as they are. Will you? Here's what I think. He has given you a massive vote of no confidence. At 30plus, the clock is ticking for you if you want kids and I think he feels you do not have better options and he is willing to risk losing you to maintain control of the relationship as it is. A low cost ring set of titanium with a cubic zirconium setting is less than $300 and you would be no less engaged or married. He does not plan to marry you and it would not shock me if he summarily cuts you loose before age 35 for a newer "boat". Do not try to "negotiate" some paliative deal. He has told you where you stand and now you have to decide where you stand.
This may sound harsh, but if you're in your 30s and you've been together for 5 years and you aren't seriously discussing marriage at this point, he doesn't want to marry you. The question is, does he want to be with you but just doesn't believe in or see a point in getting married? Or is he just kinda floating along with you til it gets too hard or complicated, not wanting to actually commit to you as an individual?
Or maybe he wants to get married but sees engagement rings as a scam.
None of us know your boyfriend. Chances are, whatever the answer is here, you already know it deep down somewhere...
So you do know that engagement rings are a scam right, it was an invention of Debeers the diamond company to sell more diamonds back in i think the 20's. Besides why is a hunk of gold and diamond so damn important. That having been said, he might not want to marry you.
Of course you likely won't read this because you seem to be only responding to opinions that confirm what you agree with.
Rings are a pointless material thing. You can't really get any value or fun out of a ring. If I ever get married, I'll make a ring put of some nice wood, and hope it fits her lol. So much cheaper. Personally I would much rather have a boat, you could use it to travel (if it's a long range boat), on your honeymoon.
Why would you rather have a ring than a boat? No fun in a ring
Can you provide food for your family by fishing off of a ring? Can you provide hours of entertainment to not only yourself but to friends and family with a ring? Can you travel over water with a ring? The boat is simply more useful. Who's being selfish? :D
its not that he can't afford to buy you an engagement ring, he just doesn't want to marry you but isn't honest enough to tell you the truth. quite frankly, he is stringing you along or too cowardly to say he ain't tryna wife you up at all. if you have been together 5 years he at least owes you the honesty to stop waisting your time if he knows marriage is what you want. if you are in your 30s and have been with a man 5 years and he is no closer to marrying you than he was the day you met - leave him alone because you are waisting your time! not trying to scare you, but you have to take charge of your life. if you want children, a family, or to be married these are moves you need to make now. he probably won't get to go where your life is taking you, you gotta leave him behind if marriage is what you want.
He showed what his priorities are... Engagement rings aren't that expensive at all, trust me, I checked. The price range is huge so that's not a real excuse. It looks like he doesn't want to marry you right now or not at all. My advice is don't waste your precious time on him and find someone deserving of you instead.