Boyfriend of 8 years possibly hinting at marriage
November 19, 2018 8:41 PM   Subscribe

My boyfriend of 8 years seems to be hinting at marriage. Should I wait in the next couple of months to bring up the topic of marriage again?

Hello! It’s been so long since I’ve been on this forum. I’ve been with my boyfriend for 8 years and wow, we’ve just grown so much. Looking back on my posts here makes me chuckle with my immaturity and inability to handle minor relationship issues. Anyway, I feel like our relationship has grown so much stronger, through tragedy and through celebrations, milestones, we’ve learned each others love languages, etc. over the years I feel like the love grows more and I’m so happy to see him at the end of the work day.

Enough gushing. We have been living together 2 years. Prior to moving, I told him my intentions of wanting to be married and he said I wouldn’t have to wait long. Needless to say, in this past year we’ve had four weddings in the family (being in the weddings) and his grandparents passed. Despite all this he’s often been bringing up wedding we’d like to people in conversations, rings, and even babies. The other day he randomly told me he would like a diaper party lol. Yesterday he flipped through a magazine and told me how cute the baby clothes were. He never does this.

We have. Huge family trip coming up, holidays, our birthdays, so I feel like this might be it. I don’t wanna get my hopes up but I’m dying to bring up our future and see our timeline.
posted by Asian_Hunnie to Society & Culture (17 answers total)
Then bring it up. Did you take some kind of oath not to? Otherwise, you're a grown person, and if you have desires for the future of a relationship, you need to express them. Hanging around for years wanting to be married but acting like you have a rare disease preventing you from taking basic control of your own life is a recipe for deep disappointment.

(If he "would have" married you except for the fact that you brought it up, you need not to be married to him. No one should be.)
posted by praemunire at 9:05 PM on November 19, 2018 [54 favorites]

Bring it up! This is your future too. I'd tell him that you're ready to get married, you'd like it to happen by xx and you'd like to start talking timelines. Also, depending on the wedding you want, some places book out a year or two in advance so that's also something to consider. Anyway. You know he wants to, you want to as well so there's no point in being coy. As they say, the proposal shouldn't come as a shock as you both should have discussed this before, just the when and the where of it. It's been eight years. IT'S TIME.
posted by Jubey at 9:07 PM on November 19, 2018 [2 favorites]

Oh lord, just ask. Who the hell knows if he's hinting or not. But it's been 8 years, he should know if he wants to or not by now. If he truly "doesn't know," then the answer is no, he doesn't want to.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:08 PM on November 19, 2018 [13 favorites]

Marriage is full of topics that will be uncomfortable to bring up. Start getting used to discussing your thoughts and needs with your partner now. Your future marriage will thank you for being present and authentic in your relationship.
posted by odayoday at 9:11 PM on November 19, 2018 [29 favorites]

Weigh how much you want the possibility of being surprised on one of these big trips vs. how disappointed you might be if you do nothing and he isn't waiting to propose vs. how much you'd like to bring this up now as opposed to after all your maybe-proposal-prompting trips.

(For what it's worth, I say this not knowing what the answer will be for you—it all depends on what you value and how much.)
posted by Polycarp at 9:13 PM on November 19, 2018 [1 favorite]

I dunno, I think I'd follow praemunire's advice... after the holidays. Sounds to me like he can hardly contain himself. Planning something special for someone you love is wonderful! I think you should give it just a little more time.
posted by kate4914 at 9:17 PM on November 19, 2018 [10 favorites]

Normally I’d say “bring it up” but he’s sending you pretty clear and obvious signals that he’s thinking about it and you sound like the kind of person who would enjoy the “surprise” of a proposal or some such... which is fine! It’s sweet if that’s part of your relationship. So frankly if You’re more stressed than excited or you have a strict timeline, go ahead and bring it up (nothing wrong with that) but if you’re looking forward to a romantic gesture, yeah, it sounds like it’s coming soon and it’s fine to wait. Whatever feels right is fine, there’s no wrong answer if it’s done in a spirit of love and openness and self-respect.
posted by stoneandstar at 9:31 PM on November 19, 2018 [4 favorites]

In my experience and in my social circles, the idea of a surprise proposal is dead.
People discuss the practicalities and do it or don't do it.
posted by k8t at 9:43 PM on November 19, 2018 [6 favorites]

I would not disagree with kate's long as you don't think you'll be crushed if he doesn't propose over the holidays.
posted by praemunire at 10:03 PM on November 19, 2018 [1 favorite]

Swear to yourself to bring it up on Monday, January 7, 2019, if you aren't pleasantly surprised over the holidays. That's 7 weeks from today.
posted by Iris Gambol at 10:24 PM on November 19, 2018 [18 favorites]

Getting engaged is a series of conversations, not a single question. If you want to marry this guy then start that conversation, directly. No reason you can't start it rolling soon. Tell him you have been thinking about marriage a lot recently and you're ready to open up that discussion when he is ready. Then listen to what he says. If getting married is what you want/need from him then it's only fair to tell him this. Also in this conversation are other potentially nerve wracking topics like kids (when, how many, child care) and money (debts, assets).

In terms of practical logistics, I wouldn't push to have a whole big conversation prior to the holidays/vacation. I also wouldn't assume he is going to propose soon. Hell, maybe he does and it's amazing, but maybe he is waiting til Valentine's day and getting your expectations up will ruin you fun over the holidays. In the meantime use your time wisely to discuss the many adjacent topics that come with a marriage.
posted by KMoney at 4:45 AM on November 20, 2018 [10 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks everyone. I can tell it’s definitely been on his mind a lot more. We discussed prior to moving in that we do want to marry each other one day. I know it’s been many years but it wouldn’t be right just a few years ago because I didn’t have a career, he was working on more money, and he lived with his sisters in their family house and I lived with my parents. We’ve talked about kids and how many. What if I couldn’t have any. J When to have them. I’m in grad school finishing up so I know this next year wouldn’t be best lol but I’m about to be 30. So maybe in the next 3 years.

I’ll start bringing up the topic also. Just to continue conversation. I wouldn’t be bummed if he didn’t propose during vacation and holidays.
posted by Asian_Hunnie at 4:59 AM on November 20, 2018 [1 favorite]

You know, you are also allowed to ask him to marry you!
posted by rikschell at 5:20 AM on November 20, 2018 [20 favorites]

So much stress and worry in an effort to what? Preserve the possibility that your man can "surprise" you by asking you to spend the rest of your life with him? Isn't that a decision that involves (as said above) multiple conversations between equal partners in a relationship?

Sorry to rain on some "romantic" parade, but this vision of relationships isn't healthy for anyone. It's not 1950 - why hang on to a relic from the past?
posted by she's not there at 5:51 PM on November 20, 2018 [1 favorite]

My now husband proposed to me 3 years ago after just over 10 years of living together (and it was a total shock). I don't think the surprise proposal is dead, and I'm so happy I didn't know it was coming. It was brutal not knowing, though :)
posted by getawaysticks at 8:39 PM on November 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: @getawaysricks, what took him so long?
posted by Asian_Hunnie at 9:05 PM on November 25, 2018

Sorry to rain on some "romantic" parade, but this vision of relationships isn't healthy for anyone

It can be perfectly healthy, this is nonsense. Just because you’re talking openly about marriage doesn’t mean your communication skills are good, or you know what you want, or anything else.
posted by stoneandstar at 2:15 PM on December 1, 2018

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