where I stand in the relationship

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-01-2003
where I stand in the relationship
10
Wed, 10-01-2003 - 4:46pm
I have been in a relationship for a year a five months. I have a job and support myself and my child. The man I am in a relationship with has a good job his own house and also a son, our kids get along great! There has only been mention of the "M" word once, no mention of any other commitment type conversation. My b-day is in a few days, he said he has been thinking of a present for about 3 months that he was going to buy, all the sudden he bought a boat and then asked me what I wanted for my b-day, obviously he chose buying a bought rather than buying me an engagement ring. The boat will be fun but how and when do I know if and when the relationship will move to another level? I have been in a few long term relationships that I forget how it should be. It is great right now and I don't want to ruin anything by asking him this soon. Sometimes he wants things and sometimes he is not sure. I am very confused. I have been thinking about breaking up with him....need some expert advice!
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-11-2003
Wed, 10-01-2003 - 5:02pm
You haven't really had any conversations about what kind of relationship the two of you have nor have you discussed where this relationship is going. Did your man *ask* you to be his wife? I think you're being a little hasty in expecting an engagement ring. And has this man given you any say in how you think *he* should be spending *his* money? If he wanted to buy a boat and had the money to do so, then it's his business.

I think you need to slow down with your marriage plans until the two of actually discuss and agree that the two of you are going to be getting married.

Sorry- I had to edit my post. I see that you have been dating for a *year* and five months. Hmmm- I think by this time, you should have *some* idea as to whether or not the two of you are going to get married. Still, if you have only discussed marriage once in all of this time, then you may want to ask him about that-if marriage is what *you* want w/ this man. I don't think that I would issue any ultimatums, just steer the onversation to marriage and see what he has to say. Still,he may be planning on buying you a ring and proposing to you on the boat.


Edited 10/1/2003 5:17:04 PM ET by ibonpoint

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 10-01-2003 - 6:31pm
I typically give it 6 months before discussing marriage - a year and five months is plenty - I am surprised that you have let your child get attached to his and to him without a real commitment - I would reconsider that, IMHO, unless he says he wants to marry you within the next year, tops.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 10-01-2003 - 7:21pm
In my opinion, you have to ask yourself if you're happy with where your relationship is right now. Someone once said, and I forget who so I apologize, "if you're depressed, you're living in the past; if you're anxious, you're living in the future; just live in the now, and you'll be ok."

If your "now" is part of the problem, that's a different story.

Good luck.

~Artie

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-11-2003
Wed, 10-01-2003 - 8:16pm
Wow, Artie's correct. I'm going to remember that.

Why are you thinking of breaking it off? Is it because you don't know where you stand? If so, then ask him if would like to take the relationship further, i.e., marriage/living together. You've been together long enough to expect an open conversation, and you're more than entitled to know where things stand. However, if you're not even sure where you want this relationship to go, take Artie's advice and live in the "now".

Avatar for bearkizz
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-30-2003
Thu, 10-02-2003 - 3:16am
JMHO here, but wether someone asks you to marry them, or wether they give you an engagement ring, doesn't determine how much they care for you....If you are in a loving relationship with someone you trust, someone who respects you, and someone who works WITH you rather than AGAINST you, then you have something not worth putting an ultimatum on....A piece of paper gives you more benefits in the event of a partner's death, health benefits with family policies, etc...but it doesn't MAKE a relationship, only the two of you do that...
Avatar for mamma2my3sons
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 10-02-2003 - 8:39am
you get what you "settle" for in life. Assuming you both are at least mid 20's, 17 months of keeping steady "company" (with exclusivity) is long enough for both to have a very good idea about whether or not this relationship is a "keeper".

The days of women waiting around for the man to decide their future are gone! Esp. given that there are children's emotions at stake as well, I would initiate a non-confrontational dialogue(note-I didn't say nag or badger) about what each others future plans/"goals" are & how *you* feel about him. However, be warned, its been my experience that men usually take the inititive regarding marriage, with little to no prodding, if their feelings are strong *enough*.

I would be concerned (& reevaluate whether I wanted to remain in the relationship) if at this point, his life plans didn't include you (& your child) front & center.

Good luck to you

Barbara

Avatar for mamma2my3sons
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 10-02-2003 - 9:12am
"wether someone asks you to marry them, or wether they give you an engagement ring, doesn't determine how much they care for you...."

well actually, if both parties "believe" in marriage (& most of the population still *does*) yet one remains unwilling to get married, then that refusal IS an indication of sorts about their feelings for the other (or their belief that love may not be enough to make this relationship successful longterm) Of course there are some possible exceptions . . .

"If you are in a loving relationship with someone you trust, someone who respects you, and someone who works WITH you rather than AGAINST you, then you have something not worth putting an ultimatum on"

I don't subscribe to the bare minimums theory in relationships. (ie. trust, respect & someone that works *with* you) You get what you settle for in life. She wants the *whole* package for herself & her child, & theres nothing wrong with that. She said nothing about any *ultimatum* that I read, its certainly her right to break up with someone if she feels undervalued. . .

"A piece of paper gives you more benefits in the event of a partner's death, health benefits with family policies, etc...but it doesn't MAKE a relationship, only the two of you do that..."

While you're correct, the institution of marriage doesn't/can't MAKE a relationship successful per se, it *still* remains important to have that *status* (for many people especially women), & helpful to have that commitment (& legal protection- as you pointed out) if the going gets rough.. ..

Hope you don't feel picked on Bearkizz. Regards, Barbara

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 10-02-2003 - 9:55am
I totally agree and you put it so well! It all depends what both people want and since I don't date anyone who is not interested in getting married in the not too distant future, if that person said to me at any point that it was "only" a piece of paper, etc I would be offended. On the other hand if the couple choose to be committed without marriage, and both are happy with that situation, more power to them. I just don't condone that couple having children in that situation but if there are no children and they don't want marriage I don't see a problem with that.
Avatar for bearkizz
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-30-2003
Thu, 10-02-2003 - 10:06am
Geez, picking on me already? Hmmmffff...I'll just take my marbles and go play elsewhere, darnit....LOL
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-01-2003
Fri, 10-03-2003 - 9:33am
I thought of what you said. I am happy right now and I do believe I am being anxious in my thinking. He cares for me and would do anything for me. I have my own life and he has his to concentrate on when we are apart but always make time for each other. he does have the money to get what he wants and he has included me on his trips with the boat and the kids so he is thinking of all the people he cares about. I guess I feel he is being selfish and not thinking of what I want, I have never told him that it bothered me that he purchased something so large and expensive. I am supporting him in his own decisions and have not said any negative things to him.....the relationship is stable, we are happy and I am trying not to be anxious and don't want to give him an ultimatum because i love him and whether we are married or not, I still will love him.