Is he considering marrying me?
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Old 01-25-2010, 07:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Smile Is he considering marrying me?

Hello all, I am new to the forums and still have yet to master the art of a thread title. It might be a little misleading, but I hope to stay close to the topic. Basically, in a nut shell, I am having a hard time judging where my relationship of 3 years is at, and where my boyfriend stands in it. I am 22 (23 this year) and he is almost 24. I have the horrible habit of seeing signs that are or aren't there depending on what outcome I'd like to see, so I am having a really hard time determining if the guy I am with is sending signs that he wants to marry me or signs that he doesn't want to - and to be quiet honest, I am seeing both (when weighing his actions with lists for he is/isn't thinking of marrying you.)

So now I am driving myself up the wall. I would like nothing more than to marry him because he fits all the qualities of a good husband. He is loyal, honest, smart, caring, nurturing, has good work ethics, is responsible etc. (You all know the list) He is also the man I love more than any other man in the world (other than my father of course) and can see myself spending the rest of my life with him - with or without children. I have no desire to birth children - but would be open to adoption (as would he) is the time came that we want children. Yes, we've had the child talk, and has noted on more than one occasion that the medication I take (nothing serious, just some annoying health issues) cannot be taken while pregnant or breast feeding. (Sign that he is considering children with me? Or is he just noting the fact to note it?)

Also, while we were in college we lived together - primarily because the first year we were dating we lived apart but we were always together and one apartment always went empty. It was easier to consolidate our bills and just live together in a two bedroom apartment (I had 'my' room and he has 'his' - but eventually one room became a study room with a bed in it). As I am finishing up my last year (Aug-May) of college I am living alone, and he is living alone working in the city where he took his job. I would like to note that he took a job in a city 1 1/2 hours away from where I am, in the town he grew up in, instead of taking a job that would require him to move around from state to state, even though he probably would have liked it more. He only considered those jobs he could take and still stay in the same area. (Because he wanted to stay close to me? Or because he'd grown up there and is comfortable there?) I know his parents - in fact he introduced me to them the day after we started to date, and apparently his mom 'practically knew me already' and I have a great relationship with them. I love them like a second set of parents. I know this is a sign of 'potential' but since he introduced me so early in the relationship does it mean maybe his parents just wanted to meet someone they'd heard so much about?

Another thing I would like to mention is that he has been talking about us getting a house together once I graduate because I am also taking a job in the city he already works - and in fact he is already saving up money to buy a house (after splurging on a his/her gaming systems for the two of us - basically all his graduation money went to the systems.) He is pretty serious about it, and has cut out a lot of extra expenses in his life so that he can save as much as he can. Typically saving money is a good sign that he's ready to commit - or at least thinking about it, but he also will want a house regardless if I am living there or not. Everyone wants their own house, right? I told him I'd like to live with him again, but would feel more comfortable if we were married before buying a house together. (Which I don't know if I should have said or not...though its the truth.)

In the past when we've talked about marriage, particularly us getting married, he gives mixed replies. About two years into our relationship he seemed like we'd be getting engaged shortly after I graduated - but recently he's been saying he's not sure if he's ready to get married yet.

Now, I am not asking "omg omg omg, is he going to marry me? Does he want to? Will he ever get married to me? WHEN! OMG OHMIGOD!" I am just asking does it seem that he's tossing the idea around in his head? And if he is, do his mixed replies about getting married stem from the fact that in just 4-5 months I will be out of school and our discussions from a year ago are scaring him? Is it possible for someone to get cold feet about getting engaged?

Once he asked what would change if we got married? We already act like a married couple - thinking of the other while making life choices, make plans around the others schedule, bounce financial decisions off one another, have lived together, plan yearly vacations in advance, etc. So really, besides the legal stuff, what would change in marriage? I would like to hear from some people who are married for this answer, because the only answer I've gotten thus far is "It just gets harder." Not really a full answer.

One thing I would like to clear up, just in case it is misleading, I am not trying to get married now or anything like that. I would really like to wait until I have a least worked a while before getting married. I'd like to make the transition from college to the work force before deciding something as life changing as this, however I would also like to know if he is considering marriage? Like I said before, he's the guy I would like to marry (not have to marry at this moment.)
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Old 11-18-2010, 09:47 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is he considering marrying me?

"what would change in marriage?"

I tried to highlight part of your question but couldnt figure out how to do it...

that stood out to me..i think a mistake sometimes women tend to make is doing *everything* they would if they were already married...like you said ,then what would change but the legal status? imo you have to not do/offer everything you would in the relationship, that you would if you were married..it takes the challenge out of it for the man and also what do you have to look forward to?
it works out for some people that way, but overall i think its not helpful for the relationship to act like your alreayd married, leave some for the marriage part and something for him and you to look forward to

so if you feel like your doing eveyrthing now you would be doing in marriage with him, my advice is to pull back a bit, stop doing EVERYTHING, and hold out some of it for marriage
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Old 11-18-2010, 06:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is he considering marrying me?

There are certain benefits to marriage that don't exist for simply living together. I've been married once before, and now am in a live-in relationship with my boyfriend of a year. The differences (aside from the simple fact that it's a better relationship) are mostly of a legal standpoint, in terms of tax issues, health issues (I have no say if something were to happen to him), stuff like that. It's stuff that really has no effect on our relationship in the day to day, but in the larger picture, over a lifetime, could have an impact. I think he may be thinking of proposing soon, which I am excited about, but do not feel I *need* to have happen right now either. The changes between living together and marriage are not something you would necessarily notice, as I said, in the day to day living of your relationship, but you might notice them over the span of 5 or 10 or 20 years together, as bigger life decisions need to be made and although you and he may discuss them and decide together, in the reality of a particular situation, you would have no voice.

As for whether or not he's thinking of proposing, it's hard to say. I think my boyfriend is getting closer to it, because I know him well and certain things he says come across like hints that he is thinking of it. But it's not something that someone outside our relationship would necessarily recognize as such.

Here's the thing, though. You can't ask him, unless you want to ruin the surprise of it. See, I'd like to know if that's what my boyfriend is thinking, but I won't ask because I'd rather be surprised totally by his proposal than to know it's coming. And since you're not looking for a proposal right now anyway, I'd just enjoy the relationship and wait for it to happen when he, and you, are both ready.
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Old 11-22-2010, 07:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is he considering marrying me?

Hi Janesk,
To most guys the question of marriage is a big deal and needs much and long consideration. While women know pretty soon into the relationship that they can see themselves with a man for a lifetime, men take a lot longer.
As silly as it sounds, the hunter/gatherer is still in their DNA, so even though they love you more than anything, marrying still means the end to all possibility of ever spreading the proverbial seed the way nature intended. One of my male friends put t very fittingly "It's not about how much I love the girl, but about losing the illusion that I have freedom of choice in my sex-life."
To me the key word here is "illusion." Men like to believe that they could have any girl, which they intellectually know they can't, but just having the illusion of that being true makes them feel empowered and more like a man.
Having been married and divorced myself I can tell you that as soon as man loses that illusion of freedom he starts feeling a little caged and that can have a negative impact on your relationship unless he had fully prepared himself for it in advance. If he isn't 100% sure this is not only the right woman but also the right time, mental state and financial situation to get married, the marriage will not be built on a strong enough foundation to last.
Since you sound like a strong woman that knows what she wants, no marriage right now anyways, then simply take your relationship day by day. Really marriage only provides that desired stability if both partners enter it at the right time and mental state, if that's not the case you'll be much happier just loving your relationship the way it is.
Make it a point to be there for each other, spend time together, include each other in fun plans and financial/life decisions.

These are 3 steps I do every day to make my relationship as fabulous as it is right now:
1. One hour for yourself and your body
Exercise, mentally give thanks to everything you're grateful for in your life.
2. Tell your man he is sexy and you love him
Weather it's a text message/phonecall/email doesn't matter as long as you do it from the heart.
3. Do something you enjoy
Take time for a movie, dinner, walk, phonecall to a close friend, drinks with the girls etc. Anything that you can look forward to all day and will keep your mood up. If you're in a good mood all day, your relationship will reflect that.

Also I make sure these three things are a part of my life:
1. Rediscover your Confidence
Spend time on yourself, your body. Weather it be getting your hair done or buying a cute dress, do what makes you feel like a sexy woman.
2. Strive for your personal goals passionately
Have a personal/professional goal that you are excited about and ready to achieve. There is nothing sexier than a woman that lives with passion and contributes to society in her own way.
3. Plan a date night a week/trip every 6 months
Get away, just the two of you, even if it's only for a weekend. Also getting out for a nice dinner/movie or even cooking at home is key to reconnect and make sure that you know what's going on in each others life on a weekly basis.

Good luck, it sounds like you are on the right way!
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Old 11-22-2010, 08:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is he considering marrying me?

Good thread and thanks for sharing your honest thoughts.

This is a toughie as he does sound like he does love you. I think he probably faces the dilemma most men face at his age - he's in love with you (it does sound like he loves you by you describing his behavior) but wants to be able to be the main provider for the family and is thinking, "How do I afford a wife, health insurance, a house, and all that goes with a marriage? It's a huge responsibility."

This is a good and a bad thing.

It's good because you can sense (at least what I can sense from what you wrote) that he takes life seriously and marriage seriously and you seriously. He's not just saying, "Let's go to Vegas this weekend and get hitched." It's bad because admittedly, if you waited until the moment you could afford everything in life, you'd be 78 years old.

I am not sure when the average guy thinks about being "ready" for marriage - upper 20's, 30's?

Okay, this isn't helping. . .the best advice I can give you is to really tell him what you feel (what you wrote was what any guy who loves a woman wants to hear) but also in the same breath, you do have to put a deadline on your affections (which sound like they run deep), that you want to settle down and build a life with someone.

I don't mean you have to say "Next week. Next month. Or next year." Tell him you are so attached to him, you can't possibly think of anything but him but you know if the relationship drags on and on and on without progressing, with no goals or a "mission statement", that you know you'll become restless and unhappy (you will).

A little background (which is just a way of showing my bias). . .this woman I am seeing right now is 27 years old and was in a relationship with a guy for over 2 years and has broken up with him because as much as he TALKED about marriage to her, he never got serious about it. He just lived at her parents and worked odd jobs and took unemployment every year. The tipping point for her was when he said how much hunting was important to him and was going to be the main importance in his life (he said this casually).

What am I trying to say?

Men (speaking as one) have a hard time growing up and realizing they have a good thing in front of him. They're kind of drifting at your guy's age. . .trying to figure out what they want out of life.

He had her. She just wanted a small condo, an apartment, nothing grandiose at all and to build a life together but he wanted to screw around with a hobby or who knows what he was thinking (he's crying every day now about losing her).

I am not at all trying to draw a parallel to your situation other than the two guys are close in age (but different in temperament) and see this pattern.

I'll admit I wasn't ready for marriage when I was 26 years old. I had no idea what it really entailed even though I played "house" for a year before getting married.

No, "Playing House" does not really prepare for marriage because that's just a "Joint Venture."

A marriage is a "Partnership", a union of 2 into one, not a "Joint Venture." It's deeper, different. . .you have to resolve stalemates with compromises. . .well. . .too deep to go into here. Maybe someone else can pick up or articulate better what I am saying.

Good luck.
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Old 11-28-2010, 01:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is he considering marrying me?

it was very very significant to me, to learn that most men know within a short amount of time in a relationship, if they plan to marry the woman they are with...

all the talk about how men need alot of time to figure stuff out, is that- talk. most men are pretty decisive- ever see a man anguishing over what shirt to buy? no, they just decide, "I like that shirt" and buy it...
so if you've been with a man for a year or more and he is parroting the line about 'needing time', I would be very wary and careful of that


getting married is a more serious decision obviously but for most men, its not all that complex- either they love and want to be married to the woman their with, or they see her as 'hang out girlfriend material', meeting a particular need(s) for certain time in their life...

chances are pretty good that the man your now with, within the first 3 months of meeting you, already placed you in one of three files - future wife, girlfriend, or someone to have a good time with

Last edited by Ladybugs; 11-28-2010 at 01:26 PM.
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Old 12-24-2010, 07:24 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by laelsmom View Post
chances are pretty good that the man your now with, within the first 3 months of meeting you, already placed you in one of three files - future wife, girlfriend, or someone to have a good time with
He's talking about getting a house with her, if that means both names on the mortgage, I think she is safely in the future-wife bucket.
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Old 12-24-2010, 11:00 AM   #8 (permalink)
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You both are so young! Why is it even an issue now if you say you don't want to get married until you have worked for a few years. Are you looking for a long term engagement?

If he is wishy-washy about marriage my guess is he isn't "there". After three years he should know what he wants and frankly his non-committal attitude is a red flag. If he wants to wait for you to finish school or him to get a house that's all well and good but at this point the conversations should be about how much he loves you and wants to build a life with you.

And if he wants to buy a house let him do it on his own, do not buy a house together unless you are married or have a wedding date set in stone!
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Old 12-24-2010, 07:33 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Laelsmom -

I don't want to sound abrupt but what is the source of your statement "most men know within a short amount of time in a relationship, if they plan to marry the woman ...".

From what I've been reading in reputable sources - reports on the 2010 census - even Janesk's cohort is moving away from marriage unless kids will be a part of the equation, and sometimes even if they are.

I think a lot of males recognize good chemistry soon after meeting a woman, and can see a future together but even my aging cohort is often deciding to forego marriage in favor of living together because of financial issues, Medicare/Medicaid laws, inheritance - many state laws require one third of a spouse's marriage go upon death to one's spouse, therefore no longer available to children and grandchildren. If a guy marries, dies with assets, his estate could end up supporting the widow's next boy friend, instead of putting adorable grandchildren through college.

At 62 I'd prefer a trust arrangement that would provide for my loving SO (if when such a woman appears in my life) which would not make her exploitable, and would pass to my children and grandchildren if she didn't outlive the principal.

I'm not a lawyer, check with yours before making life changing decisions if you have real assets stashed away after years of deferred gratification.




Quote:
Originally Posted by laelsmom View Post
it was very very significant to me, to learn that most men know within a short amount of time in a relationship, if they plan to marry the woman they are with...

all the talk about how men need alot of time to figure stuff out, is that- talk. most men are pretty decisive- ever see a man anguishing over what shirt to buy? no, they just decide, "I like that shirt" and buy it...
so if you've been with a man for a year or more and he is parroting the line about 'needing time', I would be very wary and careful of that


getting married is a more serious decision obviously but for most men, its not all that complex- either they love and want to be married to the woman their with, or they see her as 'hang out girlfriend material', meeting a particular need(s) for certain time in their life...

chances are pretty good that the man your now with, within the first 3 months of meeting you, already placed you in one of three files - future wife, girlfriend, or someone to have a good time with
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Old 12-24-2010, 08:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I have no desire to birth children - but would be open to adoption (as would he) is the time came that we want children. Yes, we've had the child talk, and has noted on more than one occasion that the medication I take (nothing serious, just some annoying health issues) cannot be taken while pregnant or breast feeding. (Sign that he is considering children with me? Or is he just noting the fact to note it?)
Why would a healthy young man bother to adopt children when he could just find a woman capable of having them?

Why bother to marry a woman that doesn't want to have children?

Why even assume for one minute that he'd be happy without a family of his own flesh and blood?

Adoption isn't awful by any means, but lets be completely honest and agree that it is the Plan B and not the Plan A for everyone.

I wouldn't marry a woman that wasn't giddy at the idea of me getting her pregnant.
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Old 12-24-2010, 08:37 PM   #11 (permalink)
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You would love to be assured by your bf that you should be his priority choice in his best spouse selection but you know yourself not ready to get married, yet.
Not sure if this is related to self esteem issue or maybe you're a dreamer- the beautiful wedding, the sweet marriage, the happiness ever since... You need lots of sweet talks from your bf. Behind that, you don't want to get married now because of this & that.
Why must you get answer now?
Why must your bf give you an answer when you're not ready? You just want to test his love, so to speak.
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Old 12-25-2010, 10:48 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Why would a healthy young man bother to adopt children when he could just find a woman capable of having them?

Why bother to marry a woman that doesn't want to have children?

Why even assume for one minute that he'd be happy without a family of his own flesh and blood?

Adoption isn't awful by any means, but lets be completely honest and agree that it is the Plan B and not the Plan A for everyone.

I wouldn't marry a woman that wasn't giddy at the idea of me getting her pregnant.
How many men enjoy having sex with their wives? How many men would not really enjoy going months without sex, then months more without the same quality sex it used to be before their wives got pregnant and had kids?

How many men are terrified that their marriage and sex life will go down the tubes as soon as their wife sees that little blue stick?

How many women are worried about health complications, stretch marks, weight gain, breast feeding, or temporary incontinence after the birth? My guess is ALL OF THEM. Some are so scared they won't have kids; others think "no big deal if I get to have my own baby." I'm actually a little terrified of the day when I'll have to have a baby--I'm very slender and honestly don't know how a baby will fit inside of my hips, let alone travel outside! These fears are very real for many women (and men), but most of us get over the hump and go ahead with pregnancy and childbirth.

There are pros and cons to having your own children and adopting children and not having any children. A lot of why people are nervous about having children is the change that they bring, or their potential to disrupt a marriage. Yes, it is an evolutionary drive in some ways, but people are willing to suppress it out of fear or uncertainty. It also comes down to personal philosophy--what is the meaning of life? To continue life? To procreate? To find happiness? People have different ideas and therefore different choice with respect to having or raising children.

Personally, I share your attitude (as does my SO)--we want our own kids! Adoption is not our Plan A, but if we couldn't conceive on our own, adoption would be a pretty freakin awesome Plan B. I love kids and I know I'll be a great mom! If adoption were the only way I could have children, you bet I'd be on board.

That said, this exact attitude about having biological children is the reason I'd be incredibly hesitant to give my own child up for adoption if I had an unplanned pregnancy. All those depressed couples trying for years to have their own baby, spending thousands upon thousands of dollars on infertility treatments, not to mention the counseling and emotional baggage...parenting my kid? NO THANK YOU.

I would much rather pick a family who has a different attitude towards adoption than I do--a family whose Plan A is adoption. Hypocritical? Maybe. But I think biologically it makes sense as I want my biological child to receive the best love and care and have the best upbringing possible.

Anyway that got off on a definite tangent! But I do think adoption really is a Plan A for people out there. It's not common, but it does exist, and if the OP's boyfriend is on board like she says he is, then I think they could be great adoptive parents.
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Old 12-27-2010, 12:39 AM   #13 (permalink)
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All those depressed couples trying for years to have their own baby, spending thousands upon thousands of dollars on infertility treatments, not to mention the counseling and emotional baggage...parenting my kid? NO THANK YOU.
Adoption seems to be part of plan A more and more these days (and not just because the stars started doing it). I have heard a few young couples mention that they don't plan to have bio children--they feel the planet has enough people, and some of these people are children needing families. One of the guys even said he didn't think his genes were so special that he needed to reproduce.

Also, many families today were built through adoption--adoption only, or bio + adoption. To people raised with adoption as part of their family/extended family, it seems like a normal thing to do--I was raised with cousins who were adopted and I always assumed I'd become a parent through the bio route and through adoption. That's how it worked out, too.
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Old 12-27-2010, 07:54 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Most unwanted babies are aborted these days. If you want a halfway normal kid via adoption these days you better get on a waiting list now, or start saving up money for foreign adoption.

There's a good supply of babies born exposed to crack and alcohol, though I would general advise against adopting them as the damage can be quite extensive and single brain damaged child can all but destroy a family though their need.

Start talking to people that have tried to go the adoption route in the last few years. The stories are quite heartbreaking sometimes.
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Old 12-28-2010, 09:44 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Interesting points! I had a pregnancy scare last year and looked up online some information from a regional adoption agency in my area. Their whole site is sort of geared towards adopting babies from lower income backgrounds who have had potential drug or alcohol exposure. That said, they were very focused on fighting the stereotype that all domestic adoptions come from these sorts of backgrounds. I found that an interesting conundrum.

I do believe that people adopt as part of a plan, rather than a back-up plan. However, after seeing the website, I was rather disappointed in the number of people who genuinely wanted to adopt from the start; there were a surprising number of couples in their forties who had been trying for years (like over 10 years for a few!) to have biological children.

The interesting thing about adoption is that the potential birthmother usually chooses the family with a domestic adoption. The adoptive parents can request certain things (ie: no drug exposure, racial preference) but usually requesting a white, healthy baby from an upper middle class background will mean that a family will wait for years. My hunch is that these families are the same families that tried for over ten years to have biological children. They're going to be 50 when they finally get a baby!

I was surprised at how much race came into play. I come from a very mixed family wrt race, religion, country of origin, and socioeconomic background, and race has never been an issue as far as marriages or adoptions were concerned. I found it a little close-minded to refuse a baby from a different race, or a multiracial child, simply because they would "look" adopted (they are adopted and they should know that about themselves from an early age). I also felt that some people refused African American babies with the assumption that there would be drug exposure, even when they could request no drug exposure.

Lastly, I do agree that most "unwanted" babies are aborted. Adoptions usually happen because the birthparents are either 1. too coked out to notice they're pregnant, or 2. genuinely concerned for their child and want the best future for him/her. Married couples give children up for adoption when they can't afford to raise them; I wouldn't classify that as unwanted.
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