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You Asked: Am I Expecting Too Much Too Soon?

Dear Sugar,

My boyfriend and I have been dating for a year now. We got together while I was still with my previous partner, something that I'm not proud of, but everyone involved has come to terms with it and we've all moved on. I was
with my ex for five years, and marriage was always top of mind for me, but I realized we were not meant to be. Now that I'm with my new boyfriend, I still have those nagging feelings. I am so in love with him and I really feel that we are perfect for each other, however he's had a failed engagement, so he's naturally scared about making a mistake again.

I understand his need to be cautious, but I want more assurance that I'm not going to have to wait another five years to get married. When I try to talk to him about it, we don't get far — he just says that he eventually wants to get married, but he never gives me a straight answer on timing. Am I expecting too much too soon? I just want to know that I'm not going to be waiting forever and that he's not going to be too scared because of his past experience. Help! — Jumping the Gun Gina

To see DearSugar's answer

Dear Jumping the Gun Gina,

Getting engaged is a funny thing; once you have your mind set on it, it's hard to let it go, but putting too much pressure on your boyfriend could end up backfiring on you if he's simply not ready. While I understand your need to get reassurance in your relationship, asking for a set time might be asking for too much. I'm hearing you when you say you don't want to wait again, but as hard as it might be, you must separate your past relationship from this one — just as you want him to do.

If I were you I'd have a calm heart to heart with your boyfriend about your future — get the answers you need to feel secure in the relationship, but if you're not ready to give him an ultimatum, I suggest you go easy on the wedding talk. When the time is right, it'll happen for you, so in the meantime, try to enjoy the relationship you have now.


Join The Conversation
ProVlogger ProVlogger 8 years
Great article, He may just be nervous. Great post!
ErikaAli21 ErikaAli21 8 years
I can completely relate to that feeling of just wanting to be the wife of the man that you are so in love with, but sometimes I think we put too much weight on the title of marriage. I am getting married in September and I am so excited to finally be married, but my fiancee and I have been together for five years. It really is about the journey that you guys share together. If this is the right guy you will have so many more years together. Just enjoy the feeling of falling in love and don't rush to make it into something. Just let it evolve naturally. That way when you do get married, whether that is next year or five years from now it will be because you are in the best place you can be and are ready to embark on your life together as a team.
sparklestar sparklestar 8 years
You need to assess your priorities here. You could go out tomorrow and find some needy clingy guy on a dating website who will happily marry you after 6 months - but would it be right? OR you could wait for your current boyfriend to be ready to marry you (if you say he is so perfect for you) in which case you lose control of the situation and are on his terms. You might be waiting another year or two years. Are there any milestones he wants to cover before engagement? Such as buying a house or is he saving for a new car? I was pretty hung up on the idea of marriage for a LONG time because I've always been in serious long term relationships lasting over 2-3 years. The topic does come up and it gets discussed or ignored. If it's being ignored then you need to ask yourself if this guy is EVER going to be ready to give you what you want? My current situation is that I am with a guy who has told me he will one day propose but he needs to feel we are in a secure enough situation for him to do so. Right now I am in grad school and his job climate is uncertain, he's paying back a loan on a car and we rent our place. In a couple of years I know he'll be in the right frame of mind to propose and I'M happy to wait. You need to assess the whole situation and ask yourself - are you?
princess_eab princess_eab 8 years
Personally, I don't feel like a year is too soon AT ALL. I've had a couple of different friends fall in love and get married within six months recently - we're all about 29-31, so perhaps it's different. I think when you know, you know, and if you're both ready to start a life together, why put it off? As babysoftpink said, you only have so many childbearing years. I'm struggling with this with my new boyfriend right now - I don't want to give an ultimatum, because he is "the one" - but I need him to understand that I don't want to wait around forever for a big question mark. I think he should know, too.
cptnruthless cptnruthless 8 years
You and him arent on the same timetable, that's all. I think you should just give him time - unless he has said specifically that he NEVER wants to get married, just leave it be. Oh, and once his guy friends start getting hitched to their girlfriends... watch out, he'll be wanting to jump the gun.
MissJules5x MissJules5x 8 years
honestly, I feel like you want the engagement more than you want the relationship. it seems like you have a fear of wasting your time so you keep looking to move onto something else. if you leave your boyfriend and go find someone else because you feel like youre wasting your time you will have to start an all new relationship, and wait even longer to put in the time before that guy will consider marrying you. if you are as much in love with your boyfriend as you said you are a few more years is NOTHING when you plan on being with someone forever. the engagement is not that important for you to constantly leave people because they dont propose after a year.
babysoftpink babysoftpink 8 years
Forget to clarify my statements above, "meeting Mr. Right" phrase refers to marriage with Mr. Right prior to having a child.
babysoftpink babysoftpink 8 years
with regards to the kids issue, if I am 38 and not getting younger by the month that is what the doctor said. Then I have no choice but to not wait for the right guy nor spending years waiting for all those guys who won't commit, I will definitely move forward and have an arranged marriage and have a kid. Because I am not going to let "waiting for the perfect Mr. Right" to be in my regret later for unable to have a kid. Seriously, ladies, do you know how hard it is to get pregnant when you are over 35? Seriously, do you know? You could have sex every night for half a year and you won't conceive without extra help and even with the extra help, there are side effects, pain and a lot of emotional issues... ladies do you really know?!!! especially when you have aborted a few babies before and you really really want a kid now. Meeting "Mr. Right" is no longer the issue as the other issue of pregnancy is so important that you can just have the kid and deal with meeting "Mr. Right" later on in your life. You can meet Mr Right at age 80 but how easy and likely you are going to have a kid when you are 80?!!!!
babysoftpink babysoftpink 8 years
What amuses me in my friend pool, colleague pool as supposed to the board here is this: listen, when someone announces their marriage to another in less than half a year, everyone in those 2 pools were like, oh let me know if you need any help, let me this and let me that, very encouraging and almost positive, pushing the couple to move forward with 100% thumbs up. What I am reading on the board here everywhere in the posts is theme, "Why the rush, it's only been a year and marriage is serious and it is not as what its reputation used to be, then ask why the rush?" I am suspecting that the ladies here are really no different than my friends and my colleagues at work. My issue is why aren't you guys have the guts to tell the couple in real life in that lecturing and "it's all for the better of you" manner whereas you feel so very comfortable telling it like it is on a forum behind anonymity? sigh :(
geebers geebers 8 years
And adding- if you can answer these confidently then either you are with the wrong person who is just not where you are at or you love him enough to wait. Neither choice is wrong but that is what it is.
geebers geebers 8 years
I understand your feelings but what gets me is that you mentioned a few times your PAST relationship. I think your feelings about that relationship not working out is affecting your current relationship. Are YOU ready to be married? Seriously- think about what marriage entails. It is not just a wedding and having his last name or doing married people stuff. It is most certainly not a race with your friends. It means sharing a home and life together. It means having to include him in major financial decisions. It is about compromising a lot of yourself to meet him halfway in order to make a relationship work and same goes for him too - dont you want a guy who is absolutely ready? If not you are going to get a guy who eventually resents that you have "changed" him when in reality a marriage is about give and take. And don't forget to discuss things like children -do you want them? If so -how many? Can you support them? What are the expectations for one of you staying at home to raise the kids? What about your career- can he handle a woman making more than him? What about if a job changes and he needs to move- will you drop everything to go? Would he do the same for you? Trust me...these are just SOME of the questions you need to answer first. Don't forget to discuss money and spending.
melizzle melizzle 8 years
Back off. Just because you're in that lingering stage mentally doesn't mean your boyfriend has to be. And if you don't like it, break up wit him.
karlotta karlotta 8 years
You sound like me with kids. I brought it up to my boyfriend the other day, because I'm not getting younger and it was on my mind a lot, and I think I freaked him out so much by pushing a 2-day conversation about something that he's not ready for and that's a giant terrifying step for a guy, that I set back our "conception" date by 2 years. Yay me! So leave him alone, leave yourself alone, the only thing you need to know is that he wants to get married, so if he loves you and things progress at a pace acceptable to him and his needs, there's a chance you'll be the one walking down that aisle with him. If you push him too hard, or make marriage the goal and reason for being of your relationship, I can promise you it will never happen.
Janine22 Janine22 8 years
Yes, you are expecting too much too soon! You have only been dating for a year. What is your rush to get married? Don't you want to be certain yourself that he is the right one for you and also you cannot rush someone into this type of thing. That is a huge commitment to make, and if you bring it up too much you will just scare him away. If he is truly the man you want to be with forever, then a ring and a contract should not matter that much. What should matter is that you are happy together. If your main goal is not to be with him, but just 'to be married' then go ahead and rush it. If it doesn't work out, I am sure you will someone else that wants to get married quickly. the man you are with has not ruled out marriage. But if you are truly with this man because you believe he is the right one for you, then you would respect his feelings and let the relationship develop organically.
mcockram mcockram 8 years
Just enjoy the ride.
mcockram mcockram 8 years
Getting married, what would that prove? Are you worried about having children? I agree with the other posters. It's not as serious a deal now as it used to be.
Miss-Senorita Miss-Senorita 8 years
I think a year is a bit much but hey to each its on.
Rori-Raye Rori-Raye 8 years
My entire coaching practice and expertise is about this - What are you doing being exclusive with a man before he asks you to commit to him permanently? This "girlfriend" stuff past college age is useless, miserable, and totally mind bending. Stop it right now. Start flirting, learn to engage with men everywhere you go. If someone nice wants to sit down and have coffee with you, do it. If a nice man wants your number or email address, tell him you have a boyfriend at the moment, if he's like to give you his card, you'll let him know if anything changes. And when you can, simply share with your boyfriend that you love him and love being with him, that it feels good - and that you're starting to feel weird and pushy and don't want to pressure the relationship, and that you've gotten some invitations lately for simple coffee dates, or to go somewhere and that you're considering keeping those options open until he knows what he wants with you. That being exclusive without life-long commitment is feeling bad. Try it, it's a magical change of direction. Sincerely, Rori Raye
babysoftpink babysoftpink 8 years
actually, let me correct myself. I am just kidding. I may consider stepping onto this route myself. so don't take it as if I am not serious. ^_~
babysoftpink babysoftpink 8 years
The surest bet out of all for solely the security factor is an arranged marriage. Steps includes, meet the guy, meet the parents, meet the relatives, set a date, get the act together, go down to city hall and wrapped up, all happy and go home to where they come from. ^_^Y. j/k
macchiatolove macchiatolove 8 years
Xandara has some really awesome points. I know how frustrating this must be for you! but funnily enough, I am in almost the opposite situation. I ended a relationship almost a year ago, with a guy who bought me a diamond ring (he didn't propose though) and he would talk all the time about wanting to grow old with me, travel the world with me, etc etc. Although he said all the right things, and for a long time I truly believed them as they were what I wanted to hear, his actions suggested that he had no intention of following through, and that he simply wasn't ready for commitment like that. Following this, I'm with a new guy, who is everything I've been looking for, but I am very closed with him, as I would much prefer him to wait until he is 100% sure about his feelings, than realise later on that he wasn't ready, and have him back out on me. And if he never feels like that, if he's never able to commit to the level of commitment I want, then we will discuss it and may end up parting ways. Much better that it is like that, than to live a lie. My suggestion would be, don't rush! I know, I know, it's really easy to want to take that next stage, but 1 year really isn't long! Like one of the other posters said, you don't want him to get the impression that you're desperate to get married to anyone, not him in particular. Good luck!
julieulie julieulie 8 years
Good things are worth waiting for. Are you so, deeply, truly in love that you want to be with him forever? If so, provided he does not come out and say that he is not interested in marriage, and you are both very happy in the relationship, then you wait. If you love him, but are more in love with the idea of being married than in love with your boyfriend, then you need to leave, out of respect for both yourself and him. Marriage is not easy, it does not guarantee forever, and it does not mean happily ever after. My husband and I were together 6 years before we got married, and I don't regret it at all -- I'd much rather date someone for longer than shorter; after one year, there was still so much I didn't know about my husband, I couldn't have imagined committing to spend the rest of my life with him at that point. Think of it this way: would you rather wait and have your boyfriend propose to you when he is ready, and you know he has reached the point where he realizes he doesn't want to spend a single day without you, or would you rather him propose out of obligation because it's what YOU want, even though he's not ready? Personally, I'd rather wait and know it's absolutely, without a doubt, what he wants.
Xandara Xandara 8 years
I was in a boat similar to yours, except the difference was, my boyfriend didn't have a failed engagement... he hadn't even had a move-in-together serious relationship yet!!! I think I scared the poor guy so much when I would talk about getting married. But after two years together and probably blabbering at him about wanting to marry him for a year, he casually mentioned his told his family he was ready to marry me and I f-f-f-frreeeaakkkeddd! I had gotten so used to hearing "someday," "when I'm ready," and replies like that, that I actually gave up on asking him with any seriousness to avoid getting more and more hurt by the lack of reciprocation of feelings that -I- had. Well, nearly three years and he still hasn't asked, but he's asked for my parents blessing! We've looked at engagement rings together! But I learned quick not to think he'd ask me on a holiday, after being disappointed like three holidays in a row, hahaha. So here's my advice, as if I were telling past-me: Don't pester him. Watch his actions, because they will always speak better than words when it comes to guys in general. As long as he gives you no reason to the contrary, his dude mind replies "someday, when I'm ready" when you ask about wanting to get married. He thinks he case is closed, he's told you his opinion. Guys are pretty simple like that. So when you ask him over and over and over and keep bringing it up in hopes that the answer has changed, he's pretty much going to think you're nuts. But if he loves you, he'll SHOW you he loves you, and if his love isn't enough to make you happy, marriage won't be, either. Marriage is not the end goal of a relationship... it's more like a comma that starts the next part of the sentence. Hee hee, comparing marriage to a sentence and I'm not even married! ^_^ For the record, I'm 24 and the boy is 23. People may think it's a young age to get married, but it's YOUR heart, not theirs. Only you can judge your feelings! But remember to think with your head and not just your heart. Marriage is LEGALLY BINDING. Love does not need the law to know it's real.
kristyy kristyy 8 years
Don't you think 1 year together is a bit too soon? You didn't mention how old you are. If you started dating your last bf when you were 16, then now you're 22. And that's a huge difference for someone who is only 22 vs. 32. (And I still know 32-year-olds who aren't ready for marriage!) Anyway, I'd give him another year or so if you really think he's the one. If he's still unsure then, you'll have to re-evaluate your relationship if you really want to get married that badly.
princess_eab princess_eab 8 years
I seriously get what you're saying, and I feel your pain. Deeply. I don't have any recommendations, though - I can't think of a solution.
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