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My Boyfriend Keeps Changing His Mind About Marriage

"Will We Ever Be on the Same Page?"

This question is from a Group Therapy post in our TrèsSugar Community. Add your advice in the comments!

My boyfriend and I have been together since April of last year; we were introduced through someone I worked with at the time. When we first starting hanging out, we both said we weren't really looking for anything too serious, but if things became serious that was okay. Long story short, we really hit it off, so we became exclusive. In what felt like a natural manner to me, marriage started getting mentioned in conversations last summer, somewhere around July or August. At one point in August or September, I said something to the effect of, "I can see myself being married to you by this time next year," and he agreed. So, I was very happy, thinking that I was in love, and on the same page as the person I was in love with. I casually started looking around on the Internet at rings, dresses, and places to get married and every now and then we would even talk about each of our preferences. We agreed on a beach wedding, and I found this place we both loved in Florida.

Christmas came around and he wanted to know what I wanted. So, I tell him not to spend a bunch of money on a present, but to instead put it toward an engagement ring, because money is tight for us. He gave me pearl earrings and a dress for Christmas, and I loved both of them. On New Years Eve, us being married by the following summer came up in conversation. Hearing this, NYE, he proceeds to tell me that he didn't mean that, he just agreed with me because he didn't know I was being serious. WTF!?!  I just freeze; I can't think, talk, nothing.


The next day, we talk it over as I am (I think understandably) very hurt. I don't want to rush him into getting married, but I know that I want to be with him for the rest of my life. I am 23 and he is 25, we get along wonderfully and have the same goals. My family adores him, his mom loves me, in short we are perfect together. He says that he thinks it is normal for people to be engaged about a year after they start dating, so I am thinking that everything is fine and our relationship is still on the route for marriage.

A couple of days ago, we had a big discussion about what the next few years will bring for us. I am going to go back to school to become a dental hygienist and he either wants to go back to school or become a contractor. It will take me about three years to get through school, so I said that I would really prefer to be married before I start, as we won't really have time to once I am in school. I make it perfectly clear that I am not trying to force him into a corner, but that this is just how I feel about things. He says he would love to get married to me very soon, and I am over the moon, thinking things are finally okay.

Last night, he tells me that he didn't mean that, either. He explained that he said it because he wants me to go to school now and is trying to trick me into thinking we will be married first...I don't know what to do anymore. We live together, we are in love, we both want to get married. I don't see the hold up! I don't want a big wedding, we wouldn't go broke over it. My dad would of course, chip in, and I know his family would help to. I am just very ready to take this step and he keeps giving me false hope.

What should I do? I don't want to leave him, but I really don't see what good it will do to wait years and years to get married.

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Ryah-Cooley Ryah-Cooley 5 years
You should talk to your boyfriend and find out when (if ever) he sees you guys getting married. Also, you said you've only been together since April, so you guys haven't even been together for a year yet. So you might need to slow down a bit and enjoy your relationship if your guys just sees you guys getting married a year or two down the road. You're only 23 (And I'm saying this as someone who's 22, been with my bf since I was 19 and probably won't be getting married till I'm 25.), even if you guys got married when you were done with school, you'd be 26 which is still definitely on the younger side to be getting married these days. The important thing is to establish that your boyfriend does want to marry you and at what time he sees that happening. If he can't at least give you a range (Ex: a year from now) that you should leave. You shouldn't have to waste your time on someone who doesn't want what you want.
bluebellknoll bluebellknoll 5 years
What's your rush to get married? You're in a committed relationship and live together. I don't understand why you need to be married before you start school. Not having enough time sounds like a flimsy excuse to me. IMHO, you sound like you are obsessed with marriage and you're probably putting pressure on him without even realizing it. You've already decided how, when and probably where you want to get married. You already know that your family and his will help you pay for the wedding (and the proposal hasn't even happened yet). He doesn't sound ready. It does sound like he loves you but I think you need to relax and ease up on the guy.
dashsuede dashsuede 5 years
Well, he doesn't want to get married. Ask him to stop lying and just say what his concerns are. But even after he expresses them and you talk about it, he probably still won't be ready to get married. If you believe in your love, you can wait. If you want to be married just to be married, then go find someone who wants to get married right away. Waiting might just spare you a divorce later.
springfellow3 springfellow3 5 years
Well, my advice to you is that I would recommend that you talk to your boyfriend and sort out things during some conversations. Everything will become clear and simple. Surely the social network is not the right place for such discussion. Have a nice week-end and Goodbye. <3
susan88 susan88 5 years
I guess I just have a really over romanticised view of the whole thing. I don't normally rush things, but it seemed like he wanted it just as badly as I did, and I got excited. As for why I wanted to be married to him, he just seemed so perfect and we seemed so in sync with each other. We had plans to move into a house, fix it up, blah, blah, blah. I don't think it makes sense to have your lives soooo intertwined in so many ways and NOT be married. Oh well. Just me and the dogs now!
zabrow zabrow 5 years
i'm more in line with luckyduckyy. i don't know that he LIED to you, per se. it sounds like he got caught up in the talk of marriage & the excitement & daydreaming with you & when it comes down to it, he's just not ready. there's a huuuge difference between daydreaming & pillowtalking with someone & actually proposing marriage. i think like a few other posters have said, you have to ask yourself why you want to be married to him. not why you want to get married to him. it sounds a little bit like you're caught up in the excitement of getting married & having a wedding & you're not thinking all that much about what a marriage would be like day to day. it would be a much different situation if you guys had been together for four or five years & he was still sidestepping you, but you've been together under a year? & you're only 23? you two will both be doing so, so much changing in the next few years. give it time. forever is a loooong time if you go into it for the wrong reasons.
missmaryb missmaryb 5 years
You say that you want to get married, he wants to get married. Unfortunately, that statement is only half true. He doesn't want to get married, at least right now. It's awful that he lied to you, what a horrible way to mess with someone's mind. He's old enough to know better. You have a couple of options. You could decide that he will probably never want to marry you and you could break up. You could stay with him and take the marriage issue totally off the table for now. Wait for him to properly bring it up first and ask you. What you do from here is your decision, but I wish you the best.
luckyduckyy luckyduckyy 5 years
"I thought it always came about naturally ya know?" Yeah, that's true. But natural takes time. What you're doing is unnatural and forced. "And as for not wanting to wait, I just think its stupid." Well, while you may think it's stupid, your boyfriend and most other people would agree that it's not. Why would you want to wait years and years to get married? Because maybe you want to be married to the right person, that's why. Also, you say that you "know 10-12 people fairly well who were engaged less than a year after they started dating." So what? Are you or your boyfriend one of those people? Nope. Do either of you share the exact same experiences, mentality, demeanor and personality that either of the couples possess? I doubt it. The fact of the matter is that each person is different. Each couple is different. While you may know some people that were engaged after less than a year of dating, I'll bet you know even more people who were engaged after much longer. So stop worrying yourself sick over what's supposed to be "natural." Your boyfriend is lying to you only because he's getting caught up in the excitement of the moment. You say that you want to get married to him, his ego fires up, and by now he's so flattered/happy/ecstatic/excited that he's jumping on the same "high" you're on. The thing is, on some level, he probably feels the same way you do. It's just that even though he may feel it in his heart, he doesn't yet feel it in his head. That's not to say he's having doubts about you. It's that he can't yet wrap his head around the idea of marriage. He needs more time than you do to digest it. And that is natural. Every person is different. Although you may be ready for marriage right now, he is not, so you should respect his feelings and not push the subject. Let him go at his own pace, and just enjoy being with him. In the meantime, have a talk with him about his bad habit of lying. You need to tell him that you want honesty; that you previously thought you two were on the same page, so you're very confused by the very different things he's saying one day to the next; that you don't appreciate his flip-flopping from one declaration to the next; and that you love him, but you can't excuse his behavior on account of love. I think you need to think for yourself why you want to rush a marriage. Do you perhaps have insecurities in regards to your relationship? Where may those insecurities have come from? Were you "burned" in a past relationship? Did your parents/relatives/friends have bad relationships? Are you a jealous person? Were you raised to be religious? Also, ask yourself why you need to be married. What is so important about a marriage to you? Will the marriage/relationship be any different now than it would be in 3/5 years? If you're afraid that he doesn't want to marry you at all, and that you'll be wasting your time with him if that is the case, then that points to an insecuritiy on your part. You fear the unknown in this relationship and want to make your relationship more solid in the form of a marriage. Well, marriage isn't solid. People divorce left and right. And I'm guessing you don't want to be one of those people who divorce, so it's reasonable to assume that even if you get married within a year, you'll move on to a different insecurity that he'll divorce you instead of breaking up with you (as per marriage vs. gf/bf relationship dynamics). Instead of making marriage the focus of your relationship, just stop pushing the subject, give your bf more time, and reflect on yourself and work on fixing your own personal issues.
henna-red henna-red 5 years
"I don't see the holdup". That is exacty the issue. You don't see and you're not looking. You know what you want and you don't understand why you're not getting it. the only person with the answers to this question are your boyfriend. And your language, "I just don't see what good it will be to take years and years...." Everything here is about you and what you want and what you see and what you don't get. "I know what I want and I don't see any reason to wait." Well, the reason to wait is that this guy you're looking to marry has put you off twice. So this perfect relationship is not perfect. It's time to widen your focus. Marriage is about "we". And your "we", isn't working. Time to slow down, talk, and listen. Listen. Listen.
lovelyk lovelyk 5 years
You sound a lot like me at the beginning of my relationship lol (I'm laughing at myself not you ok) just please girl please make sure you really want this cause 1 year is not enough to really getbo known someone. Me and my bf had the same goals at first too... But after 1 year and a half of dating him I started seeing all the " bad" things in him now that we re engaged I see I ven more! It's different cause you r already living with this guy. Me and my "fiancé" are not intimate yet so you probably have a deeper connection with him then I do to mine. But please just take more time to know him better and really make sure you do what YOU want for your life because you might change your mind later on and it might be too late if you are already married.
Mickey128 Mickey128 5 years
Maybe just enjoy it for the are so young at 23 and you have your whole life ahead of you...your biological clock isn't ticking yet, and 25 is very young for a guy to make that kind of commitment as well (because they tend to be more immature than girls). Time is on your side. I would say get married after school. I am 25 and I know I am not ready for marriage even though I love my boyfriend because it is a lifelong commitment I know I'm not ready to make.
susan88 susan88 5 years
He makes more money than I do at this point but my name is on the lease. And I get that everyone moves at different speeds, I just thought we were on the same page. I wish I could tell my heart to stop caring, but I just know what I want, and it isn't the same as what he wants.
kurniakasih kurniakasih 5 years
I meant to write: It doesn't mean that..not 'it means that' LOL oh well..
kurniakasih kurniakasih 5 years
everyone has different opinion about this and may have different amount of time to get ready for marriage. Just because it happened to 10-12 people you know, it means that everyone get engaged that quickly or are comfortable with that idea. My personal experience is I actually got engaged less than a year of being with my husband, but my cousin, was with her husband for 8 years before he finally proposed to her. I'm just giving an example on how people move differently. The way you write that you're going to tell him to leave, makes me wonder if he's by any chance reliant upon you financially.... He did lie to you, though, which I think is a red flag, and twice too. And getting married is no small matter to lie about. Good luck.
Helen-Danger Helen-Danger 5 years
You're missing something here. An important piece of the puzzle. You don't really know what your boyfriend wants. You think you do. But you don't. If you really knew, all would have gone according to plan. The fact that it didn't means you've been missing some important information. If you've got a guy who loves you and wants to please you, you must be careful about being too overbearing with your agenda. He'll try to go along with you because he loves you. But in his heart, he's doing it for you, not because it's his personal desire. That is not the basis for a lasting marriage. You can line up all the facts and reasons in the world as to why marriage on your timetable is in both of your best interests. And it won't make any difference. Your being 'right' makes no difference. You can't use logic to convince the heart of anything. Hearts can't be convinced. They open on their own when we feel heard and loved and understood. Concentrate on creating those feelings for your boyfriend. Time to scale your wedding plans way back. Time to start listening to what your boyfriend needs. And make it okay for him to tell you things you might not want to hear. What makes you happy might not make him happy. Listen to him because you care about him. His happiness has to be half of the equation here or no marriage will take place.
susan88 susan88 5 years
Also, I didn't think that it would be unusually for us to decide to be married so soon after getting together. I know 10-12 people fairly well who were engaged less than a year after they started dating.
susan88 susan88 5 years
I posted this. I thought it always came about naturally ya know? And as for not wanting to wait, I just think its stupid. We act like a married couple without being married which is to me, a bad decision. I think I'm going to tell him to leave. I feel lied to and I don't know that I'll get over it.
kurniakasih kurniakasih 5 years
It's not so confusing. He is not ready to get married to you. Perhaps will never be ready. Either you accept it or move on. You can't force him, the two times you attempt to push him forward getting married to you, he's lied/sidestepped you, if that's not telling you what he really feels, I don't know if any of us can tell you anything. The truth is, the whole thing seemed very rushed (from your part) about the marriage thing, jmho. I don't see why you guys can't get married after you finished school. You're going to still be young, but have graduated, possibly have your own income and 3 yrs older perhaps wiser too :) And in 3 years after going through more obstacles and facing the not so -honeymoon-phase of relationship, you can see if he's still compatible or will still the man you want to marry too. But per your bf, he's cowardly to not set you straight. That's red flag. Well, then again, he may not want to lose you, perhaps he's afraid you'll dump him if he's being honest, and you never know, he may never want to marry you period (who knows by now since he's lied to you twice already). Uh, although you say you're not pushy, your content of the post makes you sound pushy..maybe you're not, whoever knows, but if I were your bf I would feel like I'm being pushed to the corner too esp. when I know I'm not ready to get married anytime soon. Good luck.
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