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How long do I wait for DP to propose?

(145 Posts)
HoldingBreathandCountingtoTen Fri 13-Sep-13 20:06:22

Been with DP over 2 years, known each other for 5 years as friends. Lived together over a year and a half now. We are both early 30s. We are very happy.

I want to get married. To DP. I am just SO ready. I have told DP I want to marry him, said DP let's get married. He said he wants to get married to me but will propose "as and when he is good and ready". So he is not ready yet.

I don't want to twist his arm into anything, any proposal needs to be his own free choice. But how long should I wait? I don't want to waste my 30s child bearing years with a man who is never going to marry me. At what point would you draw that conclusion and walk away?

Faithless12 Fri 13-Sep-13 20:56:07

I agree with HRH but I would set that deadline and then leave if it doesn't materialise. Seriously wish I'd done the same myself and stuck to it.

Corygal Fri 13-Sep-13 21:01:34

I'm seconding the others who say if he thinks he might lose you it might spur him on. Caveat - if you ultimatum, you have to mean it. Real caveat - you seriously should mean it if you know what's good for you. You're only 30, miles of time to get someone else.

Why does he get to decide when you get married? Fuck that, and fuck waiting for a proposal. If I were you I would tell him where you are at, ie you want to be married within (eg) 2 years and have a baby within x years aft the wedding etc etc. he can get on board or not. And if he doesn't - he's not for you.

YoureBeingADick Fri 13-Sep-13 21:11:11

as usual SGB speaks sense. snort at Angelina jolie grin

YoureBeingADick Fri 13-Sep-13 21:13:31

sod all this playing games shite to 'spur him on' tell him straight you want to sit down tomorrow evening and set a date, discuss venues, budget, etc. up to you what you do if he wont but I know what i'd be doing.

Pachacuti Fri 13-Sep-13 21:23:38

Do you definitely want children? More than one? Does he definitely want children? More than one? Do you definitely want to be married before you have children? Does he? You need to know the answers to those questions before you can work out your own personal deadline timeframe.

As a rough ready-reckoner, suppose that hypothetically you do definitely want to have children with someone , and that you want to have at least two children. Fertility declines quite rapidy after 37 (yes, you could be lucky and have a whole string of babies in your forties, but equally you could not and it's a risky thing to plan on doing). So say you have babies at 35 and 37; you'd need to conceive the first baby at 34, more or less. Even setting aside the risk of fertility issues and the extra delays that would build in, it's quite normal to take six months to conceive. So you'd potentially be looking at starting to ttc when you had just turned 34. If you definitely want to be married first, and you want a wedding that will take some planning rather than a quick register office job, you'd probably be looking for a definite commitment to marriage (proposal or just decision between the two of you that you were engaged and planning to get married in the near future) not long after your 33rd birthday. Now bear in mind that if he doesn't actually want to marry you/have children and you decide that ultimately your happiness means that you have to leave him and find someone else who does then you'd need to allow some time for actually meeting said Other Man and getting to the point of commitment... potentially if you're just "early 30s" you don't have as much time to play around with as you might imagine.

DISCLAIMER -- that's just a worked-out example for the purposes of illustration. You're the only one who knows how strongly you want children/how many you want/how you want them spaced/how much of a risk you're prepared to run with your fertility/whether you want to be married before children or not/etc., etc. so I am very definitely NOT saying that the numbers that fall out of the paragraph above are those you should adopt.

TBH if you actually said "let's get married" and he responded "I'll propose when I'm good and ready" he sounds like something of a sexist arse. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt if you're sure he isn't an arse, but it's not a good impression.

WorrySighWorrySigh Fri 13-Sep-13 21:33:33

If it doesnt matter to him then he should be happy to get on with getting married. If it does matter to him then he is saying that he isnt sure that he wants to marry you yet.

I asked DH, at the time it mattered more to me than to him. At the time he felt that the mortgage for the house we were buying was the bigger commitment.

If I had waited for him I would still be waiting now 22 years later!

DH is not the sort of person to feel that his masculinity has been challenged by me having done the asking.

Twattergy Fri 13-Sep-13 22:01:44

I'm going to stand up for your dp as no one else is.perhaps he is quite traditional and wants to do things in a certain way, ie ask parents permission, buy a ring, plan the proposal himself. For many men, my dh included this is how they want to start married life. Now he knows for definite it is what you want a proposal could happen. Only you can judge how serious you believe his intentions are towards you. I personally don't think two years is that long.

mameulah Fri 13-Sep-13 22:08:30

When you are ready, if he has not proposed you simply say 'if you are not going to propose then you need to leave me.' If he doesn't like it then he can walk away from it. Why should you be the baddie? We went through this and I got the whole 'we need to be sure we are right for each other' etc etc. Basically, I woke up one Sunday morning and thought, this is it. Either you love me enough to make my dreams come true. Or not. If not then you need to let me go so I can find that person. And for me being married was a fundamental part of my dreams coming true. I also said that he wasn't going to put a silencer on me by saying that we couldn't speak about because of putting him under pressure. You are worth it. Men happily have their cake and eat it. As long as we let them.

JoinYourPlayfellows Fri 13-Sep-13 22:12:32

"perhaps he is quite traditional and wants to do things in a certain way, ie ask parents permission, buy a ring, plan the proposal himself."

or in other words, perhaps he is a sexist twat who thinks you shouldn't get an equal say in when you get married.

SpottedDickandCustard Fri 13-Sep-13 22:23:05

Please don't demean yourself by playing games to get him to marry you.

If he really wanted to get married then he would agree to it today. After knowing you 5 years, he knows you well enough to make that decision.

If marriage is a deal breaker for you I'd ask HIM to marry you. If he says "not yet" or "when I'm ready" then I'd move on.

Otherwise you could be waiting years!

ageofgrandillusion Fri 13-Sep-13 22:23:59

Is he the one OP? He actually doesnt sound like it for some reason.

HoldingBreathandCountingtoTen Fri 13-Sep-13 22:29:23

Twattergy I agree he is the kind of man who would want to go about things in the traditional way.

We both 'believe' in marriage and we both agree that we want to be married before having a family.

The good and ready comment - he is really not a sexist arse at all - he is someone who considers all decisions very carefully. I think he needs a bit of time and I respect that. The question is how much time do I give before I just conclude that he is not going to marry me / waiting for Angelina Jolie?!

Kundry Fri 13-Sep-13 22:32:35

My DH asked me when I wanted to get married. I said we should get on with it and the following day we started looking at venues and we were married 6 months later. He still doesn't know how this happened as he hadn't been intending to propose - indeed as a proposal it was rubbish as he proceeded to talk about the tax advantages to marriage, possibly the least romantic proposal in history hmm However he is very pleased as we both like being married grin

When your DP said he wanted to marry you, you should have taken that as a proposal and got planning. Instead he got a chance to back out of it.

If you really want to be married to him, start up another conversation and if he still says he wants to get married, don't wait for a proposal, move the conversation on to dates - if he still squirms then you need to pin him down as to why. He may never be 'ready' and you are worth more than wasting your fertile years while he decides whether or not he wants to grow up.

HoldingBreathandCountingtoTen Fri 13-Sep-13 22:36:26

I am not bothered about having a big wedding either and have told him that, so he doesn't need to worry about cost or organisation etc.

Pachacuti Fri 13-Sep-13 22:40:08

Does he actually understand that female fertility drops off so sharply? I've known a whole bunch of intelligent, well-educated men in their early-mid 30s who genuinely thought that women were pretty much fertile all the way up to the menopause (and, of course, some women are. But most will find their fertility dropping way, way off many years beforehand) and therefore couldn't understand why their DPs were pushing for commitment/children. In at least one case a couple of his friends who were doctors had to sit him down and almost literally draw him a diagram.

If he does want to get married to you and does want to have a family with you then he needs to give some serious thought to how much he can dick around before being good and ready.

Corygal Fri 13-Sep-13 22:42:09

FWIW, OP, no one I know who booted out a reluctant partner has regretted it.

I know 2 women who were left childless after hanging on for years, however, and they certainly regret that. They don't like the husbands much either, probably because the dilly-dallying originated from them.

I know 3 more women who were dangled for years then dumped at knocking 40.

The awful thing for you is that, like it or not, doing nothing is not an option. You're young but you need to keep it that way to meet someone new.

ModeratelyObvious Fri 13-Sep-13 22:44:20

Yy pacha.

YoureBeingADick Fri 13-Sep-13 22:45:02

op only you can answer the question as to how long you should wait. others can only give you their own perspective- which they have done- you need to decide how long YOU are prepared to wait to be asked.

in your shoes I would just start planning and if he doesn't like that then take it as a very firm signal that you have crossed wires and need to have a discussion. in your shoes I would be telling him it was either being planned now or the relationship was off. but that's me.

sooperdooper Fri 13-Sep-13 22:47:22

I don't get all this waiting for him to propose business, it's a joint decision, he shouldn't get to be the one in control of it!!

You've discussed it already, so tell him straight that getting married is important to you, if he agrees then say right we'll set a date * whenever * and that's it, plan the wedding!

I don't agree with waiting for him, dropping hints, waiting until he's 'good and ready', proposals when you've already decided to get married are unnessesary

cece Fri 13-Sep-13 22:55:43

OP in a similar situation, many moons ago, I gave my now DH a deadline in my head of a certain date. I told myself if we weren't arranging a wedding by then that I would dump him and move on. Luckily, for DH, wink he managed to propose within 4 months of my deadline (that he knew nothing about...)

EsTutMirLeid Fri 13-Sep-13 22:55:43

My circumstances were different... We had been together since we were 18. Lived together from 23, bought a house together at 28. He asked me what I wanted for my 28th birthday and I told him outright. I wanted to get married and I wanted a proposal and a ring. He was a bit oh - I didn't know you wanted to get married. I said I did and that I wanted to be married by 30 and I wanted to have a child by the time I was 32. He said okay that's sounds great. Let's go pick a ring! So in answer to your question I waited 10 years and had to ask for my proposal.

Tell him exactly how you feel and exactly what you want. If he doesn't want it then you know what you have to do. If he wants it too but wants more time, give yourself a deadline for that proposal and then do what you've got to do. If he wants it too I hope you'll be very happy.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Fri 13-Sep-13 22:59:07

Actually my DH proposed when in his head he felt ready to do it. No amount of discussions would have made it happen any quicker. He just one day decided he was going to buy a ring and propose. I've been married for almost three years. Bollocks to anyone that doesn't agree with it.

defineme Fri 13-Sep-13 23:03:57

Why, in your early 30s having been together some time and discussed kids and so on , would you wait-what on earth is he considering-other than he doesn't want to marry you?
How do people have relationships like this? How do you not talk to each other? You've obviously discussed lots of things, but you're not saying what you're saying here, so you're not telling the man you want to spend the rest of your life with how you actually feel about your future.

defineme Fri 13-Sep-13 23:10:44

Is that really true Es -surely you were waiting from the moment you told him-28th birthday and he immediately agreed? Or were you thinking about it from the age of 18 when you met and kept expecting him to ask?

pobble that really makes you sound like a surrendered wife...I hope you had more choice and mutual decision making than that account suggests.

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