Boyfriend moves so slowly

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-02-2011
Boyfriend moves so slowly
15
Sun, 08-17-2014 - 1:41pm

After 1 year of dating, my BF hadn't said "I love you." Says this was because he's never even said it to his own dad, let alone any girl he's dated, & wasn't ready. He Finally gave me his apartment key after 1 year. at first he said he's religiously opposed to living together, but I wanted to. now, he apparently has been looking for fancy apts for us to move in togeter. But he says "I'm concerned even that won't make you happy, bc you seem to just want to get married. I'm not there yet, but I do want to have a family with you/marry you & I wish you'd trust that yes I'll propose when the moment is right. But I feel like you want it right now & there's no other way to make you happy." I said, "if you care about me then yes, I'd think you'd want to buy me a ring & get engaged, as something YOU want too." He said, "I don't just care about you, I love you." (First time he'd ever said that out loud to anyone before other than his sister, which was only once ever.) Should I just relax?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-25-2013
Sun, 08-17-2014 - 5:20pm

I'm glad you're both happy and that the relationship seems to be going places. You are just emerging from the honeymoon period of getting to know each other. A year is not always long enough to know if a person is the right lifetime partner for you. What's your big hurry? At least two years of knowing someone will give you an even better idea. You will then see each other at not only your best, but also your worst. You will see if he treats you well when you are sick, or if he helps out when your car breaks down. You will see if he has a good work ethic. You will see whether or not he is faithful, respectful, caring, and makes time for you.

I think with your apparent wish to be married within the next few years, that it's a mistake to move in with him. Once that happens, if he's averse to the idea of marriage, or it's much later than you wish, say 5 or more years, then it'll be harder for a break up to happen. Dividing finances and furniture and one person having to move out becomes more complicated. Living together, he won't feel the need for marriage, since he already has what he wants without marriage. You won't want to make an ultimatum because you love him, but also don't want to force his hand.

What would I do? I wouldn't move in with him. I'd lead a full life besides being with him, such as spending plenty of time with girlfriends, going to the gym, taking up a new activity or hobby, etc. Never make the man the center of your universe. It makes them feel nervous that your whole center of happiness depends upon him. I think he may feel pressure from you already, with the comments he made about you not being happy by just living together. Take that pressure away by living separately. When you are active in other things, you will be a more interesting person to him. You have more interesting things to talk about with him. Then I would date him for one or two more years. If he hasn't popped the question by then, you will have to decide whether or not to wait around for him on his timeline.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2010
Sun, 08-17-2014 - 5:41pm

Yes you should relax. IMO you should take a step back. It sounds like you're pushing for things to happen on your timeline, not when they naturally evolve. What's your rush? How old are you, how old is he?

Your bf is religiously opposed to living together? What does that mean? No sex before marriage? If so then no you shouldn't live together because there will be sexual temptation all the time; and if you're pushing him to disregard his religious beliefs then that could cause problems later. If sex is okay but not living together then that doesn't make sense and its probably an excuse. And that brings up why he would want to make excuses? Because you're pushing him to do things that he's not ready for. He's told you in words and in actions but for some reason you're not listening or believing, you just keep pushing your own agenda.

He's being honest and practical when he says he thinks that living together won't satisfy you, and before long you'll be pushing him for marriage. And in the bigger picture he may be concerned that he will never be able to do enough to make you happy, there will always be something else that you will want.

If he is treating you well and showing you by his actions that he loves you, that is actually more important than the 3 words. Anyone can just say them (and many have in order to get something, often sex) but that doesn't guarantee they really mean it. But if hearing those words is really important to you then you should think about that he may not be a guy who will say ILY very often and you may always be wanting something that you're not getting.

You should proceed very carefully. If he does things just to placate you then he may later resent you, and you may always have doubts about whether he really wanted to be with you. If your timelines are too different then both of you might be happier in the long run if you set him free, and look for a guy with a timeline like yours.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-02-2011
Sun, 08-17-2014 - 6:14pm

Well, he's already made progress doing things it seemed he would "never" do- saying "I love you," giving me his key, then looking for apartments for us to sign a lease together. And I believe when he says he does want to marry & start a family with me, just doesn't feel tied to a strict timeline. Realistically if I dumped him for someone who wants to move faster, it could equal out to the same # years in my life anyhow, or more. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Sun, 08-17-2014 - 7:05pm

I agree that 1 year is not that long to get engaged.  I have a 25 yr old DD--her BF just turned 30.  They have been dating for over a year (can't remember exactly) and they are just talking about moving in together when her lease is up next May.  I told her to discuss the future with him before they move in together--a lot of times the woman sees it as a step toward marriage while the guy then feels we are living together, so why should we get married?  I think that pushing someone to make a decision on marriage before he is ready can just backfire on you.  He should be sure too--otherwise, you will just end up divorced.  Now if it's been 5 yrs  and you are both adults with jobs and independent then it seems like that's too long and the marriage will probably not take place, but I don't think that 2-3 yrs is out of line.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2010
Sun, 08-17-2014 - 8:39pm

"Realistically if I dumped him for someone who wants to move faster, it could equal out to the same # years in my life anyhow, or more."

My point was not that you should dump him so you can be married to somebody in X number of years. It was that you want to be hitting relationships milestones at a very different, faster pace than your bf does---your original post sounds like you think some of these things (the key, letting slip that he loves you) should have happened sooner. He has agreed to get a place together but has expressed that he thinks you will still want more that he is not ready to give. He thinks he will eventually propose and marry you but seems to have no idea when. Understandably you could become unhappy with waiting especially if it runs into 4 or 5 years.

There are plenty of guys who know they want to be married and are just trying to find the right woman. Guys that you wouldn't have to cajole into saying I love you, guys who will want to live together and put a ring on it once they feel confident that you're "the one".

If your attitude was "I know I love him and I just want to be with him and see where this goes" you wouldn't have posted about him moving so slowly. You cite the "progress" that he has made but the theme is that its still not far enough for where YOU think the relationship should be. Having the different attitudes and timelines is an incompatibility. Some incompatibilities can be ignored and others become a bigger problem. I'm just pointing out things for you to consider based on what I got from your post.

Again, how old are you and he?

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Sun, 08-17-2014 - 11:19pm

You should be THRILLED that this boy is waiting before he buys you a ring and marries you.  How much education does he have?  How much do YOU have?   What kind of job does he have?  What kind of job do YOU have?  If you turn up pregnant, can he support a family?  If he gets hit by a bus, can you support yourself?  AND a child?   These are all far more important issues than why is he taking so long to marry you.  There is NO rush.  Sounds like you need to grow up.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-02-2011
Tue, 08-19-2014 - 8:39am
After over a year, I don't know why me saying I'd like to get engaged in a few years is a problem. He tells me to trust him & that he'll propose "when the time is right," but can't even give a basic, approximate time frame. And in the next breath he says "you're taking the fun out of everything" and tells me to get out & he doesn't want to be with me. Oh wait, but just 1 hour earlier he was telling me to "trust him"?!
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Tue, 08-19-2014 - 2:52pm

How would you even expect someone to know when they will feel they will be ready to get married?  I could see someone having an idea, say if they are in grad school and want to finish up their degree first, but is it even realistic for someone to say "in 2 years I will automaticlly know whether or not I want to marry you."  What is wrong with taking one day at a time and enjoying life?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-02-2011
Tue, 08-19-2014 - 11:07pm
He is doing his usual: giving me the cold shoulder & literally not speaking. I said "if you tell me you don't love me, I'll leave. Really." And he won't say that or "leave!" To me, so I'm guessing this relationship must not really be over?
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Wed, 08-20-2014 - 10:57am

Maybe it's not over but this is not the sign of a good, mature relationship.  When people have issues, they should talk them out, not give someone the silent treatment--and what was the reason for that?  Did you have an argument or did you just want to talk to him?  I can see someone needing to cool off and waiting til they calm down to talk, but the silent treatment just hopes you will go away so that by the time he is ready to treat you normally again, then you won't want to discuss any issues.  What kind of relationship is that?

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