I have been with my boyfriend for seven years. We are high school sweethearts and 24 years old. We both agreed that once we finished our master's degrees, we would get married. We graduated in May and while there has been talk about our engagement, there's been no ring! Recently, our good friends who have been together almost as long as we have announced their engagement. Even though I am happy for them, part of me is really angry, jealous, and upset. Seven years is an extremely long time to be with someone, and I am ready to take the next step. As I said, we have communicated about marriage and I know it's what he wants too, but I am feeling more and more frustrated that he hasn't asked me yet. He is caring and kind and I know he loves me, so I don't know if I should say something to him, or wait a little longer, in hopes that he is planning a special engagement. What should I do? — Ready For a Ring Rachel
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Dear Ready For a Ring Rachel,
Being ready for the next step in your relationship when your partner isn't can no doubt be extremely frustrating, but sometimes being patient is well worth the wait; you don't want to pressure him into a premature engagement that could lead to resentment down the road. I can see why you're jealous of your friends' news, but try not to compare your relationship to theirs. From your tone in this letter, I can tell that you're extremely anxious about this entire situation, so the best thing you can do for yourself is to talk to your boyfriend about how you're feeling. If you keep all your frustration bottled up inside, it's bound to come out in other ways.
Since getting engaged is something that you've talked about before, don't hesitate to bring it up again. Don't act pushy or angry when you broach the subject, but do make sure you're on the same page. If you think there could be some sort of surprise up his sleeve, I advise you to hold off, but if your impatience is getting the best of you, getting the answers you need is the only thing that will put your mind at ease. Good luck!