Ask Amanda: Why Hasn’t My Boyfriend Proposed?
posted on January 6, 2017 | by Amanda Holstein
I am very happy in the relationship I am currently in. My boyfriend is the man of my dreams with his sense of humor, love and support. His one flaw is that he won’t settle down. We have been together for two years, as adults, and I think it is time to get engaged and move towards marriage. We act like we are married with family functions and staying over on weekends, so I don’t think marriage is a huge jump.
He has said a number of reasons why he hasn’t proposed. One of them is paying for a ring and another is his parents disapproving. He still sounds excited about our future and even brings up marriage sometimes. I’m just not sure what to tell him anymore. I’ve done everything from ignoring the subject of marriage, to having discussions of goals, to asking him if I could propose, and none of it seems to be working. What would you say to my seemingly confused boyfriend?
Yes, two years is a respectable time to be together before getting engaged. But, I think you need to respect his feelings on the matter and be more patient. Just because two years makes sense for you as a time frame doesn’t mean it’s the right time in your specific situation to get engaged. And just because you both may be emotionally ready, doesn’t mean it’s the right time either.
There are other factors involved like his ability to buy a ring and needing his parents’ approval. Those are both two big factors and it makes a lot of sense why he hasn’t proposed. Try your best not to read into this as it meaning he doesn’t want to marry you—it really doesn’t sound like that’s the case.
If you know you love each other and want to be together for the rest of your lives, what’s the difference in being engaged now or in another year? Try not to care so much about how it looks from the outside—maybe your friends are engaged or you think people will wonder what’s going on if you’re not engaged at this point, but none of that matters. What matters is if it’s the right time for the two of you, considering all aspects, not just the relationship.
I think you need to give him a break and believe him when he says why he hasn’t proposed. If you know he loves you and wants to marry you, then try to let that be enough for now. How you truly feel about each other is really what’s the most important.
Blair Staky Says
good advice! my husband and I talked about marriage after two years of being together, but he didn’t propose until 3 years after that. timing is truly everything and if both parties aren’t 100% sure ready, it’s not a smart idea to rush into anything!
Sorry but that’s not a great advice, it could be a year and it coud be 10 untill he says “sorry i met someone else (or any other reason), i don’t owe you anything, bye”. Is he doing anything to change his parents mind? Is he saving money for the ring? Or is it just excuses co he’s comfortable with the way things are since you alreasy act like you’re married, why bother, you won’t go anywhere! If i was in a similar situation i would concentrate more on doing my own things and become less avaiable for him, get a new hobby, skip a stay over on a weekend or 2. If he’s really set on spending the rest of his life with you he won’t let you slip away. Although be prepared that he won’t be ready for the big step and has different intentions.
Amanda SaysPost author
I totally understand your response and I do agree that they need to talk about what actions he’s taking to solve the issues with his parents and his finances. But at the same time, distancing yourself from your boyfriend is not an open and honest way to deal with the situation. It’s a very passive aggressive way of going about it. It’s best to be upfront and express how you’re feeling about the situation directly, especially if you believe this person is who you want to spend the rest of your life with.
i was not talking about a passive agressive distancing, rather an active and positive way of paying more attention to yourself and all the great things you do on your own time, rather than focusing on the guy, to push him out of his comfort zone a bit.
it should not be like “i don’t wanna see you until i get the ring”, more like “sorry i couldn’t pick up, i was having lunch with the girls, not seen them for ages!” or “im so sorry i can’t stay over this weekend, but i’ve signed up for this super awesome photography trip, im so excited about it, see you when i get back!”
as i understand, they already had an honest conversation about it where the girl openly expressed she wanted a proper family with the guy and got a bunch of excuses in response! if he is comfortable with things the way they are he won’t have a reason to change anything.
Amanda SaysPost author
Ah I see what you’re saying! Yes, I totally agree it would be beneficial for her to focus on herself and not rely on him so much. But I do think it’s important that she voices that to him so there isn’t any miscommunication. I’m a firm believer in upfront, honest communication — perhaps even over-communication, which some might not agree with. But it’s best that he knows what she’s thinking so he doesn’t have to guess (and vice versa). I also still believe those are legitimate excuses and it sounds like he really does love her and wants to get married, just at the right time :).
Everyone is different, but I feel 2 years of relationship is not long enough to embark in a huge commitment such as marriage.
I am in the second half of my twenties and I have been with my boyfriend for 5 years now. I can tell you, there is a lot you dont know about your partner after 2 years, even more if you are not living together. I absolutely love my boyfriend and everything I have learned about him in the last few years has made me love him more. But we are different regarding certain things and it could have been a dealbreaker.
How does he handle stressful situations? How are his relationship with his parents and siblings? How does he feel about having kids? What are his political views? Do you have to pick up after him and cook for him all the time? How does he feel about both parents working when having young kids? What are his long term goals? Does he want to move and live somewhere else? Does he tend to communicate his worries or he keeps them to himself?
These are just a couple of questions I feel partners should know about one another. It is possible to know the answer to these questions after 2 years. But most of the time, it is through life experiences that you learn how your partner deals with them, and 2 years is often not enough.
Amanda SaysPost author
Thank you for your input! This is incredibly insightful and I completely agree. Those questions are so important to discuss with your partner and it takes time!