How long is too long to wait for a proposal?

Hi everyone,

I have been in a 9 year relationship with my boyfriend. We started dating in high school and I am 27 years old now.

We have talked about marriage and our future many times. My boyfriend assures me that he wants to marry me but that he needs to get his life together I. e. Finish grad school before getting married. I have tried to be patient, especially because I have my Masters already and I understand his motivation to succeed first hand.

But waiting is hard. I am starting to feel old and like I've spent most of my youth waiting for him already. I have also realized that I am dropping my dream wedding ideas as time goes by- I have sometimes thought of a quick Vegas wedding instead of the romantic ceremony I always dreamed of. I have also started to feel like I won't believe his proposal is sincere when it comes.

You see, I have talked to him about how I feel and he tells me he feels pressured and like I don't believe his love for me. I now feel like marriage is a touchy subject.

I have considered moving on many times, especially when people tell me I waited long enough and that he will not propose... but he is my best friend and I love him. In a way I also feel like I'd hate losing the time we invested in our relationship.

Does anyone have a word of advice?

Thank you.


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Most Helpful Guy

  • My advice would be to not get married then.

    If you love him and are happy with him, then it shouldn't matter if you are married. You said you even thought about a quick Vegas wedding which means you are okay in not indulging a complete bullshit princess fantasy.

    I honestly don't get this logic. You feel old and that you've spent your youth waiting? Waiting for what? He's been in your life, loving you for TEN YEARS. You guys weren't separated by war or whatever. You've lived your life in essentially the exact same way you would have.

    Well, I see that you have now mentioned that you don't live together. How about fighting that battle before worrying about marriage? Convince him to live together before worrying about even bigger commitments.

    Also, arguing that you should stay with him because of all the previous time and effort you invested in the relationship is a sunk cost fallacy. You are being blinded by emotional attachment. Don't ever let something like that hold you back if you actually want to leave.

    Then again, something such as lack of marriage ending a functional relationship is completely irrational.

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Most Helpful Girl

  • Look, you two wasted enough time waiting for 9 years, when you guys could have still gotten married. Its understandable that he wants to graduate first. But the problem is, how long will that take. You have the right to know the truth. If you can't wait that long, then move on. 9 years is a long time, but that is no excuse as to why you two didn't get married at least 5 years ago. I would have never waited that long. It just sounds like to me he's just waiting it out, and its an excuse to not get married. These days that's what I believe most men are doing now because they don't want to deal with the heartache of getting married then divorce. You need to speak to him about it or just end. Stop waiting for him if you want to get married. Just don't anymore. You waited far long then you should have, and your being stupid for doing it. He's not going anywhere with this. Everything that you telling us are signs that been saying: MOVE ON.

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What Guys Said 9

  • The fact you put marriage before his "love" makes me think that the poor guys should leave you.
    You don't want "love", you don't care about that, you just want a wedding, you just want to "be married". That's what it looks like.

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    • 2mo

      That's not what I mean. I want our relationship to progress in some way. 9 years together and we don't even live together. I see him once (or twice a week if I'm lucky). He doesn't want to move in together until we are married. Yet he isn't planning on getting married any time soon.
      I want a life companion and what I have right now is not fulfilling in that way.

    • 2mo

      That's different though. I understand not living together being a problem, it would be for me too, but not being married shouldn't be an issue.
      You should be honest with him and tell him that you really wanna move in together cause you want your relationship to progress, and you want to live with him, that's something pretty reasonable and isn't questioning his "love".

  • I don't understand the mentality of "I need to do whatever before we get married". They're completely mutually exclusive. He's unable to finish grad school if he's married? What sort of hogwash is that?

    Having said that, going through and actually planning a wedding is very time consuming. But, again, you don't have to have a wedding to be married. You also don't have to go to Vegas.

    I think the bigger issue is that you don't live together. In my opinion that should be a step taken before marriage. You're old enough and have been together long enough that you should be living together.

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  • Its been 9 fucking years tell him. Tell him to get the fuck over himself. After 5 year I woukdnt of stayed.

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  • My aunt was in a similar situation with my uncle. He was gun-shy because he had been divorced 3 times before. My aunt was divorced once before. But, she and my uncle were shacking up from about 1979ish to the early 1990s. She got fed up and put the heat on my uncle. He was not a spring chicken - he was in his early 60s - and he loved her and realized that he was going to lose her, so he married her. They've been together almost 40 years now but married for a little over 20 I believe.

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    • 2mo

      How sad that someone had to be pressured in that way to get married. I wouldn't accept a proposal like that because I would forever know it never came from him, never was his idea and that he wouldn't have done it on his own account, that he never was as excited as I was.

      If it ever has to take me to consider breaking up then for me it would be over for good.

    • Show All
    • 2mo

      @CaliSheena Well, there comes a point in life in which people need to be motivated despite their not wanting to be. With my uncle, it wasn't that he didn't love his girlfriend - he did - but he had a fear of committment to marriage. My uncle had been married 3 times; his first wife was psycho who tried to kill him. He left his 2nd wife for the babysitter who turned into his 3rd wife. She was gorgeous and he really loved her, but she left him after he changed his life significantly for her. So, when he later met my aunt, he did not want to get married for a long time. Well, my aunt was pushing 50 and had lived with him for about 15 years or so, so it was time for commitment or she felt she would have to move on; after all, she had all of her eggs in one basket, so to speak, by living with my uncle. She did make the commitment to him and it was time that he sealed the deal making the legal commitment to her. He realized that, yes, he really did love her and...

    • 2mo

      if she was going to leave him, she would have done so already. (My uncle is 16 years older than my aunt who is 16 years older than me.) It was the right thing to do and, really, at his age, what did he have to lose by getting married? So, he agreed it was time. He just needed to search his mind and heart to know that and my aunt pressuring him was the impetus needed for him to do that self-reflection.

  • I never formally proposed her: at some moment we just agreed it was time to be engaged, later we just agreed to marry.

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  • I don't think he will propose. Nine years and you don't even live together? You do need to have a serious discussion with him because you might be wasting your time.

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  • More than 10 years I guess.

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  • when your dead... thats too long

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What Girls Said 15

  • After dating my ex for 5 years, living with him 4.5 of those years, helping him buy a house, being there for him when his dad died, etc he told me just recently after I broke up with him that he never "felt right" about proposing to me. This guy sounds like he is doing the same thing to you that my ex just did to me.

    After his dad passed away in 2014 he said he wanted to be engaged by the end of 2015 and it still didn't happen. He didn't even buy the ring. I don't rant to ruin it for you if you are happy but he sounds like a flake and you are sounding like you are getting tired of waiting around for him to finally fulfill his promise.

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  • I was in the same situation with my ex for 6 long years. Finally decided that we weren't moving forward anymore and that if 6 years wasn't long enough for him to be certain that I am the one he wants to spend the rest of his life with then I need to move forward with mine. Regardless of whether I love him and invested all my effort and time with on him. I tried and gave it my all and if that is not enough then I am walking. Break up happened 2 years ago but I have no regrets.

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  • You don't even live together for a start...
    you need to move on. That's nearly a decade of your life your waiting. Yes he wants to graduate, then what? Something else will come up.
    even if he doesn't want to get married til after he graduates people have long engagements. He's just keeping you in the loop as he's happy as he is. And clearly you both want different things. It's time to move on.

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  • If you wanna get married, propose to him...

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  • It's more than likely never going to happen. At this point, marriage would only be your idea but not his. Honestly, I wouldn't continue a relationship that long if we aren't on the same page.

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  • Before you get married, there really isn't any obligation for him to stay with you and he can break up with you any time without any significant consequence. So the question would be, how long are you willing to waste time with someone who won't make that commitment? 9 years is a pretty significant amount of time to risk losing if he changes his mind about you

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  • 9 years and nothing :o sorry but seems like you're still gonna be his girlfriend for years!

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  • 9 Year is an incredibly long time to be waiting, but, you do realise you can propose to him too, right?

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  • why not You propose him?
    If he says no, and wedding is your main goal then move on, 9 years is a long time, I don't think he actually wants to marry You.

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  • 9 years is long enough

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  • Wow thats so long I would be worried after 7years I think... after that I would be thinking he's never going to propose... you need to sit down and have a serious talk with him about how u feel about it

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  • I Would Say Five Years.

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  • Do you live together?

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  • You've been together for 9 freaking years and he STILL hasn't proposed to you? Wtf are you waiting for? Leave him. He doesn't love you and doesn't want to get married with you by the looks of it!

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  • It's worse to wait and waste even more time. Don't wait forever because you already waited. in my opinion nine years is too much. He's waited too long. I would tell him that you can't be with him forever and not be married and you are going to start dating others.

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