Left behind????

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-2003
Left behind????
Thu, 10-30-2003 - 5:21pm
I have to ask for thoughts here:

Ok, so my good friend S emailed me today after I asked her about how things were going in life…anyway, she was telling me that her and her man were talking about engagement and he is selling his current house to buy a place with her. They have been dating for four months!!!!! Four months!!! She tells me how they spend every waking second together and have traveled all over and things like that. Then my friend C emails me after I asked her the same question and she basically tell me the same thing, although they have been dating about nine months. I have been dating my bf for a year, and it took him about that long to tell me he loved me. Although we have what I consider a great relationship, we NEVER talk about any real future plans together…or I should clarify…engagement or moving in together. Of course half of this is me too. I don’t really want to live with a bf unless I’m sure I’m going to marry him. (I’ve learned through other friends that sometimes this is disastrous). And even though I’m 33, I’m not ready to rush into marriage yet with him. The thing is then, why do I feel a little, um, jealous or left behind? Two of our friends were engaged at nine months, and so was another friend of mine who moved in with her boyfriend at 4 months. Should I be feeling different about my bf? Should I be dreaming of our wedding day and thinking, “ohmygodthisistheone!” I could absolutely see myself marrying him someday, but should I completely 100 percent know this by now? Should he? I don’t know, I guess I just feel like all of a sudden our relationship is abnormal…

Any thoughts???

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-07-2003
Sun, 11-02-2003 - 4:23pm

I have a few thoughts. First, I think it is normal - not necessarily productive, but normal - to feel a little bit left behind when your friends are making major life decisions and changes such as getting engaged and married, having babies, etc. I am also 33, and many of my friends have gotten married and/or had children in the past several years, and even when I feel completely happy for them, I do for a moment feel a twinge of self-pity.

But then, I think of the situation of my friend who started dating someone at the same time I did four years ago. I thought I was going to marry the guy, but it was a very tumultuous (sp?) relationship and I broke up with him, while my friend moved in w/her guy after 6 months of dating. They got engaged after a year of dating, and married a year after that. I was happy for her, but felt a bit left behind b/c we'd both started dating our bfs at the same time and my relationship failed while hers did not. Anyways . . . she is still married. And her husband has become borderline abusive. But she doesn't leave. So when I feel that twinge now, I remind myself- I'd rather be single than in her situation, in an unhappy and abusive marriage.

As far as your situation w/your bf . . . everyone moves at his/her own pace. Are you happy with how things are going? That's really what matters. I will say that personally, at my age after dating someone for a year I'd know if I wanted to marry him or not. But that's me - maybe you move at a different pace, and that's fine.

Just a few thoughts. Btw, I think you are wise not to move in w/someone until you know you are going to marry him. That's my plan too - I've seen too many friends stay w/someone they lived with too long b/c of the logistics of moving out.


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2002
Sun, 11-02-2003 - 6:40pm
I know how you feel.

I don't have exactly the same situation as you, though. I knew I wanted to marry my bf less than six months into the relationship. Now, it's been two years, and I still know I want to marry him, but he won't propose (it is a long distance relationship, and he wants to live near me for awhile first. That will happen soon, as I move in three months.)

But man, sometimes it seems like everyone is married but you, doesn't it? It doesn't help that brides get a lot of attention and fuss made over them- they get to be the "star" during their entire engagements. (I admit that I want that as well as to spend the rest of my life with my bf.) Maybe its stupid, but many of us get little chance to be a star in our lives. Engagement provides one of the few chances for that.

That said, know that even though it is frustrating, I believe that it is best to put off marriage until both parties are good and ready. I can't speak for your bf, but it doesn't sound like *you* have reached the good and ready part yet. Let things happen when they will, and don't get married just because everyone else is. I can't think of a worse reason to marry.


Beth "Petrouchka", who is happy SHE is not the only 30-something waiting to be married.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-2003
Mon, 11-03-2003 - 11:44am
Thanks for everyone's response.

I think it's BECAUSE of my age and experience that I don't want to jump into a marriage. When I was younger I remember thinking every time I met a guy I just started dating I started putting my first name with his last time. Admit it, you've probably done the same thing!!!! :) But then of course they didn't work out in and in retrospect I think, thank god!!!! But, I really CAN see myself married to my current boyfriend, and I'm just curious if he is thinking the same thing. If he is thinking, yeah, I could see myself married to her, then I think I can relax. I guess I could come out and ask, but I want to make sure it's what I really want first.

I think no matter how progressed we women sometimes think we are, we still maybe put too much pressure into thinking I want to be married when you hear your friends talking about it.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-09-2003
Mon, 11-03-2003 - 12:32pm
I've had several occasions where I felt I was being "left behind". All of my friends married long before me. While I've been with DH for almost 9 years, we only got married 4 years ago. I was beginning to think he would never propose! I was engaged once prior to my current relationship, and thank my lucky stars I didn't marry that one!

I'm also the last of all of my friends to have kids. One of my friends has had her tubes tied, and 2 have had their DH's get vasectomies. My friends are all done having kids, and I haven't even started.

And finally, I'm the last of my group of friends to own my own home.

All of this has made me a little envious at times, but in retrospect, I wouldn't change a thing. All of friends have either been through a divorce or have had extreme difficulties in their marriages. Some have had kids for the wrong reasons, which made it all the more difficult when the marriage failed.

I may be behind in the game, but I'm still playing, and haven't had to start over:)


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-29-2003
Tue, 11-04-2003 - 7:09pm
I think you're being very smart about it. There is undue pressure on people, women especially, to get married asap as though it's a symbol of success. Remember that your friends might be feeling that pressure too and are getting married because of it. I'm a divorcee and have to say that my bf of 7 mos. has asked me twice now to move in with him but it's too soon. The pain, bitterness, and anguish of one failed marriage was more than enough for me. I do want to be married again someday but I'm going to approach it with a happy heart as well as open eyes and my feet on the ground.
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-18-2003
Fri, 11-07-2003 - 10:34am

My friend is ALSO getting married, after knowing her fiance for FOUR MONTHS! They just got engaged. She is 29, like me. I have been with my boyfriend for, hello, 3 years. He has yet to propose. But, he is younger, 6 years younger. I feel as if I am being left behind most every day of my life. It breaks my heart into a million pieces, and sometimes I take it out on him! He always says that I need to try to tune out what other people are doing and know that we all have our own timelines, but it's very hard for me to do that.

I am glad to know that there are others who feel the same. If any of you gals want to chat and compare notes ;) please email me at mycatsophie@hotmail.com !