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getting engaged cold feet

Source: skynesher / Getty

I can’t say what triggered it, but recently my boyfriend has been on one about proposing—more specifically about the fact that he is not proposing any time soon and that I need to be okay with that. Again, I didn’t bring up proposals. I haven’t been dropping any sorts of hints. I don’t know why he’s suddenly so certain that every time he bends down to tie his shoe I think this is the moment. I’m not thinking that. Maybe it’s because many of my best friends recently got married. Maybe it’s because several of his close friends recently had kids, which could lead him to believe I’m worried we’re far behind. I’m not thinking any of that. I’m personally not ready to get married for several more years. My man is my man who I want to spend forever with but, to me, a wedding represents a sort of celebration around several accomplishments and life milestones—several of which I haven’t yet achieved. Even though I’m not ready, my boyfriend thinks I’m waiting for him to propose and it insults me.


We can’t just plan a trip

Any time we plan a nice couples’ getaway, his panic sets in. If I so much as mention a romantic place to get a sunset drink, he says, “You know I’m not proposing on this trip, right?” Ugh. Can’t a woman just find a cocktail spot with a view without implying something?


I’m not allowed to discuss proposals

You better believe that if I say one thing about how happy I am for my friend who just got engaged, he reminds me that he’s not proposing soon. So I can’t even mention the existence of proposals without him thinking I’m asking for one.


Or weddings

I can’t really talk about weddings either. Sometimes, I just get really into the details of them—the place, the dress, the cute signature cocktails, and the song chosen for the father/daughter dance. I’m not day dreaming about my own wedding. I’m just admiring somebody else’s. But if I admire it out loud, well, you know what my boyfriend thinks.


He’s gender-stereotyping me

I don’t necessarily appreciate the subtle gender-stereotyping going on here. I’m a woman of a certain age in a committed relationship so I must think that marriage is the ultimate goal in life, huh?


We have expressed intent to marry

For the record, we have told one another that we plan on marrying each other one day. So even if I were wondering, a little bit, if a proposal were around the corner, it wouldn’t make me as nuts as my boyfriend is making me out to be. And I’m not wondering if a proposal is around the corner.


I wouldn’t wait around if I were unhappy

For another, important record, if I were in a relationship that I felt was stagnant or not moving at the pace with which I were happy, I wouldn’t just silently suffer. My fate and my life are too important to me to just leave them in the hands of a man. I’d speak up if I felt like we were long overdue for an engagement.


It’s something we should discuss

I do think we should discuss when we’ll get engaged. I wouldn’t want to know the exact day and time it would happen but it’s a decision—and a big one—made between two people. So the more specific timeline is something I’d want to talk about in advance. There are important conversations couples should have before getting married, and that’s one of them.


I have a lot more to worry about

I have a lot more to worry about than when I’ll get engaged. I’m trying to advance my career. My father has been ill. I have a busy social life. I don’t have nearly as much room in my brain for engagements as my boyfriend is making me out to have.


He’d require instructions, anyways

I love my boyfriend, but, he’d require some instructions on this proposal. I have rules about where and how I’d want this to go down. Should it be very public or very private? Should it be somewhere historical to our relationship? He doesn’t even know the answers to these questions and I should be consulted.


He worries about planning nice nights

I feel like nice date nights have dropped off since his new obsession (or, fear) developed. I think he worries that if he plans a really nice date night that I believe the proposal is coming. Can a woman just get a steak dinner without proposal panic in the air?


We’ve been together for a long time

We have been together for a very long time. We’ve been together six years, living together for three. We adopted a dog together. Again, I don’t want him to propose right now. But I don’t appreciate him acting as if if I did want that, it’d be nuts. Look at our life—we built one together.


My sister just got engaged

My sister just got engaged, which was a trigger for him. That really got him thinking I’d want to get engaged, to follow in her footsteps. Um, excuse me but I’m a big girl who doesn’t need to copy my big sister anymore.


I’m honest about my needs

I’ve told my boyfriend time and time again that I am not expecting a proposal right now. When I say this, he just looks at me suspiciously—doubtfully even—and says, “Okay…if you say so…” I don’t appreciate him implying that I’m lying. I’m honest about my needs. I don’t set traps.


I could also just propose

Let’s not forget that it is 2018 and I could just propose my own damn self if it were so important to me.


I’ve said nothing about rings

For the record, I haven’t even said anything about the type of ring I’d want. So, it’s irresponsible of him to even think there could be a proposal before we’d gone over those details.

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