Author Topic: Is it not okay to talk about our possible future together? Long post!  (Read 13916 times)

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PeasNCues

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Re: Is it not okay to talk about our possible future together? Long post!
« Reply #45 on: August 08, 2011, 10:19:03 AM »
I also spoke to BF. I tried to press him to say whether he would be ready to buy a house and get married in the next year. We've always been open to each other about finances and goals and everything so it was strange to have to pin him down for a straight answer. He kept saying "we'll see what happens" but he had this cheeky grin like he was planning something. He's amazing at surprises and keeping a secret so I have no idea what's going to happen but he seemed happy.
You don't "surprise" people by talking about your future together and a relationship, especially when your SO is trying to talk seriously with you about it.
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Redsoil

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Re: Is it not okay to talk about our possible future together? Long post!
« Reply #46 on: August 08, 2011, 10:30:19 AM »
It seems to me that in his mind the process is something like this:

Girlrfiend/possible wife = responsibility/settling down/kids/end of fun

Buddies = good times

Therefore, he is leery of talking too much about a future with you, because he sees it as "the end of his fun times" so to speak.

But buying a house with his buddy - woohoo!!! Let the good times roll!


Just my take on it.
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sarahj21

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Re: Is it not okay to talk about our possible future together? Long post!
« Reply #47 on: August 08, 2011, 10:33:33 AM »

For example, have you discussed your ideas and expectations regarding gender roles and household chores?  Do you have concrete evidence that your BF is competent at household tasks (cooking, cleaning, laundry, yard work, maintenance, managing bills) and is able to do so on his own initiative, without being reminded or nagged?  Or is he still in the phase where he thinks magic pixies do it? 

When you have kids,  how will you handle that?  Will you both continue to work, or will one of you stay home, and if so, how long?  Will he change diapers and be an equal partner, or expect you to manage the kid stuff?  Are you interested in home schooling?   Do you plan to raise kids with a religious background or not? What are your views on discipline and child rearing (permissive vs strict, etc)? Do you plan to stay in your home town indefinitely, or does one of you have a job or training that would require relocating at some point?

BF and I have already gone over our tasks around our respective households. I am the cleaner/cook and he is the handyman/yard person (and BBQ cook!). We have that all sorted. On weekends, we browse the newspaper to see how much houses in particular areas sell for to figure out where we can one day afford to live. Buying a home is a huge issue here for young people/couples because it's so unaffordable.

I'm not sure how in-depth we need to go with the kids discussion at this stage. He sees how his cousins (high school age) act and have been brought up and has strong opinions about being strict with his future kids - I agree. We are both lucky to have come from loving, supportive families and from what we've shared about growing up, we have similar expectations for raising any kids we may have. We've even decided on future pets.

I think we've discussed everything except the time frame for these events. That's what really drove me to post here originally. BF had been really stressed about paying off his debt and then he got a new job not long ago. Now that we have a set time frame for saving the money for a house (one year if we're in it together), I've been chattering away as usual about our future plans. I think my mistake was making too many comments. So my question has been answered - when it's just potential future plans, the less talking/daydreaming, the better.

As for my unspoken question about whether I should stay with BF or not, well, I'm staying for now. But now I have experiences from other women about guys who won't commit so I'm stronger for that.

Thanks everyone for posting!

Elfmama

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Re: Is it not okay to talk about our possible future together? Long post!
« Reply #48 on: August 08, 2011, 10:49:19 AM »
It seems to me that in his mind the process is something like this:

Girlrfiend/possible wife = responsibility/settling down/kids/end of fun

Buddies = good times

Therefore, he is leery of talking too much about a future with you, because he sees it as "the end of his fun times" so to speak.

But buying a house with his buddy - woohoo!!! Let the good times roll!


Just my take on it.
Mine too.  The buying a house with a buddy sounds like "Hey, y'all, it's 24-hr FRAT PARTY!" 

Whatever "surprise" he has, don't fall for it.  "Oh, honey, a diamond ring big enough to choke a horse?!?  Thankyouthankyouthankyou!!!!" is NOT what you should be saying.  It should be the springboard to talk about ALL the things he's been avoiding.
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Lynn2000

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Re: Is it not okay to talk about our possible future together? Long post!
« Reply #49 on: August 08, 2011, 11:27:58 AM »
I just want to say that although I realize the OP wouldn't have posted here if she didn't have a problem, I've really enjoyed reading all the insightful advice others have given her. I have also known people who've stayed with others for five years or more, only to be told at the end that no, we're never going to get married, which they had been hoping for.

OP, it sounds like you've already talked to your BF about a lot of things, which is good. The timeline discussion is also huge, though. I think you ended by saying you were going to give it a year and see if you two had progressed to specific goals, like saving up enough for a house together--right? That sounds like a good plan.

I'm torn on the "little comments about the future," though. From what I read, when you would say things like, "When we get married..." and he would get very uncomfortable, it did seem like you were assuming this would happen one day, and he was clearly not assuming the same thing. It might be a good idea if you stopped making the comments from a base of the assumption that they'll come true eventually; but I don't think you should have to stop making the comments altogether. Maybe try, "If we get married..." or, "Someday, at my wedding..." without necessarily drawing him into the scenario, and see how he responds. At this stage, I think he shouldn't cringe at those statements and deflect discussion--he should either embrace them as his own goals or discuss why he doesn't agree. I don't think such important, life-altering events such as marriage or having children should be "hot topics" that are best avoided with a partner you've been with for this long. But, perhaps you just need to reframe them to be more hypothetical, like, "How many children do you see yourself having?" as opposed to, "How many children should we have?"
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LifeOnPluto

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Re: Is it not okay to talk about our possible future together? Long post!
« Reply #50 on: August 08, 2011, 11:14:14 PM »

I also spoke to BF. I tried to press him to say whether he would be ready to buy a house and get married in the next year. We've always been open to each other about finances and goals and everything so it was strange to have to pin him down for a straight answer. He kept saying "we'll see what happens" but he had this cheeky grin like he was planning something . He's amazing at surprises and keeping a secret so I have no idea what's going to happen but he seemed happy. :)


The cheeky grin could mean:

(a) "Little does she know that I'm currently saving for a ring! I hope to propose to her in six month's time."

But it could also mean:

(b) "Aw geez, not the marriage talk again! I definitely don't want to tie myself down with marriage and kids just yet. Plus, I don't even know if she's The One for me. But she's ok for now, and I don't want to be on my own. I'll give her my cheeky-little-boy smile, and that should hold her for awhile."

I also agree with Blarg that it's a great idea to live by yourself for awhile. Even if it's just for six or twelve months. It's a fantastic way to build independence and resilience.

JoyinVirginia

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Re: Is it not okay to talk about our possible future together? Long post!
« Reply #51 on: August 08, 2011, 11:38:37 PM »
The cheeky grin could mean: (a) "Little does she know that I'm currently saving for a ring! I hope to propose to her in six month's time."
But it could also mean: (b) "Aw geez, not the marriage talk again! I definitely don't want to tie myself down with marriage and kids just yet. Plus, I don't even know if she's The One for me. But she's ok for now, and I don't want to be on my own. I'll give her my cheeky-little-boy smile, and that should hold her for awhile."
I vote for B. In the movie, "The Holiday" Didn't Kate Winslett's male friend give her that cheeky little boy grin right before he announced his engagement to someone else? Haven't we all seen tons of Lifetime movies where the villain has the cheeky little boy grin right before he goes psycho and chases the heroine around the house with an axe/ chainsaw/ baseball bat?
OK, I am getting a bit carried away..... Too many Lifetime movies!

blarg314

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Re: Is it not okay to talk about our possible future together? Long post!
« Reply #52 on: August 09, 2011, 01:00:02 AM »

This thread reminds me of the story of a friend of mine. She got married fairly young, to a boyfriend of several years. She was really keen on getting married, having a house, being all domestic and planning for having kids, whom she loved.

She had fun for the first couple of years. Then the novelty of playing house wore off and she got tired of handling all the heavy loads in the relationship. She studied part time and worked to pay the bills and did all the laundry and cooking and cleaning and planning. Her husband, meanwhile, was a nice enough boy and good fun, but really hadn't grown up yet. He went out drinking with his friends, and bought toys they couldn't afford, and flunked classes because he didn't study.   She got fed up and they divorced, fortunately before they had kids.

It actually took her longer to pay off the credit card bills than the marriage itself lasted.

She's since remarried to a nice, stable, adult man who has a steady job and carries his end of the relationship, and they have a couple of kids.

So I guess the moral is to not marry someone on the hope that they're going to grow up, get responsible, and settle into domestic bliss.

threepenny

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Re: Is it not okay to talk about our possible future together? Long post!
« Reply #53 on: August 09, 2011, 08:16:58 AM »
Chiming in a bit late here, but...

The other PPs are right.  You say you "tried to press him" to discuss your future.

He clearly does not want to be pressed.

Discussing "when we get married" and pondering what your bridesmaid dresses will be when no proposal has been made is, frankly, off-putting to men.  Heck - it'd be off-putting to anyone to have that sort of pressure put on him/her when nothing has been set in stone.  The fact that he said oh, yeah, we may get married someday does not give you carte blanche to make such blanket assumptions.  I will give you an example.  The man I am dating made a casual comment that nearly had me running for the hills.  Especially since we haven't been dating long.  He asked me if I like his house.  I said of course, it's gorgeous.  He then proceeded to tell me how he envisions me living there as well.  I had to reign that in pretty quickly and, honestly, he's lucky I didn't end it right then and there.  Bottom line - presumptions and pressure are not appealing.

As others have said, you have not yet experienced life as an independent adult, responsible though you clearly are.  It seems to me that you are focusing on a BWW rather on what marriage actually entails.  Mind you, I am not married, but I have enough experience with relationships to know that pressuring someone to conform to what YOU want that person to be is the surest way to ensure that that person is not going to stick around long.

Additionally, and again, reiterating what others have said, his wanting to buy a house with a friend is a red flag.  I do find it slightly ironic that you actively discouraged him from doing so, citing all the financial reasons why it is not a good idea, yet feel that it would be a GOOD idea to do the same with you.

I believe it was Blarg who said it may be in your best interest to not put all your proverbial eggs into one basket and that it may be in your best interest to date others.  Does it sometimes work out when it is your first and only serious relationship?  Of course.  But I do honestly have to say that it seems to me that you like the idea of a big sparkly on your finger, a wedding, etc.; it also seems to me that while you want marriage or living together, you really do not know what that really means.

I think you need to take several steps back, stop trying to "press" him into giving you the answer you want.  A wink and a "we'll see" does not mean a proposal is forthcoming.  Please don't get your hopes up - you will most likely be setting yourself up for a major disappointment.

I wish you the best of luck.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2011, 01:02:19 PM by threepenny »

Lynn2000

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Re: Is it not okay to talk about our possible future together? Long post!
« Reply #54 on: August 09, 2011, 10:02:29 AM »
A lot of the advice here may not be to the OP's liking or what she was hoping to hear; but I think most of it is very insightful and wise, and I hope she will thoughtfully consider it, even if it tells her exactly the opposite of what she was hoping for.

Living on her own, taking a break from the relationship, or even breaking up with him and dating other people could all be very good ideas--but I just wanted to acknowledge how hard those things are to actually DO, especially when you've never done them before. OP, if you feel that that advice is best for you, I hope you won't be too afraid to pursue it. Ultimately only you can decide what's best for you and your relationship.
~Lynn2000

courtsmad25

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Re: Is it not okay to talk about our possible future together? Long post!
« Reply #55 on: August 09, 2011, 01:10:30 PM »
OP, as someone that has been there before, and has watched several friends and family members go down this road, PLEASE see that you are looking through this situation with tunnel vision...since YOU want to get married to him, YOU want to get the house ect..
  I understand that you are at an age where your girlfriends are getting engaged, moving in, having kids what have you..and I also REALLY understand that in our socity we have the unspoken "there must be something wrong if they are not married by X age"...and we have the unspoken "Every princess needs to feel special by having a prince"..
  Point blank: your BF isn't ready and is still in post college party mode...He's not ready to settle down and no matter how suble the hints are of "we an use this stove at our new house" ect he needs a few more years to play. It dosen't make him a bad guy, it makes it more realistic that he didn't feel the pressure to settle down, and he settled down cause he was ready. I married my first husband when we were 25 because I thought I loved him and that the time was right..After a TON of drama and a divorce later we have both found out life partners and it was because we found "the ones" not cause the timing sounded good.
Good luck

dawbs

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Re: Is it not okay to talk about our possible future together? Long post!
« Reply #56 on: August 09, 2011, 02:27:53 PM »
I also spoke to BF. I tried to press him to say whether he would be ready to buy a house and get married in the next year. We've always been open to each other about finances and goals and everything so it was strange to have to pin him down for a straight answer. He kept saying "we'll see what happens" but he had this cheeky grin like he was planning something. He's amazing at surprises and keeping a secret so I have no idea what's going to happen but he seemed happy.
You don't "surprise" people by talking about your future together and a relationship, especially when your SO is trying to talk seriously with you about it.

This in spades.
I know there's value in surprises and cute grins.
But sometimes you need a black and white discussion.

And I'd strongly STRONGLY urge you to discuss kids at length instead of assuming that the discussion had thus far is enough.

I say that as someone who discussed kids--or thought I did, w/ my husband before marriage.  But since we 'seemed' in agreement (about wanting them and timeframes.  And not to far off base with numbers) I didn't push us exploring the roots of that. 
when the 'timeframe' came due, he floored me with a confession that he had changed his mind and wasn't sure he wanted kids.  if we had actually explored what he thought about kids (as opposed to the assumption that 'normal people' want them at some point, that 'it's different when they're yours', that he'd feel more ready [instead of less] in 2years, etc).  This didn't break our relationship (obviously--since we just had our first kid almost a year ago  ;))  but it causeda GREAT deal of pain and heartbreak for both of us.

The cute grin is great and cute.
But I find the lack of real discussion to be worrisome.  :-\

virgo

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Re: Is it not okay to talk about our possible future together? Long post!
« Reply #57 on: August 09, 2011, 07:33:26 PM »
The fact that you are the supplicant in this relationship sends up a red flag to me.  ::) If you are both on the same page about marriage, etc., he should be as ready for marriage as you are.  But, instead, he is being coy about future plans while he is enjoying all the perks of marriage without any of the responsibilities.
 
I would NOT move in with him.  It would just be more of the same. You would be the laundress, cleaner, lover, food shopper, cook, etc.  I would stop mentioning any future plans and play it cool if you are going to stay in the relationship. Get on with your life and your financial plans, etc.   Let HIM worry about your commitment to the two of you as a couple.

SamiHami

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Re: Is it not okay to talk about our possible future together? Long post!
« Reply #58 on: August 09, 2011, 08:29:04 PM »
I strongly feel that it would be a huge mistake for you to move in with him prior to marriage. I believe that for some couples, living together is a step in the path to a marriage/kids/future. For others, it is because one person wants to get married and the other doesn't, but also doesn't want to break up, so living together becomes their compromise. As time goes on resentments can grow and can move in two different directions; they get married primarily to placate the one who has their heart set on it, or they never marry. Either way resentments can build and the relationship can be lost entirely.

My own DH was a bit marriage-shy. I knew he loved me and I knew he as the one. But I also knew that he lived with a girl for 5 years and they never married, which made her very unhappy. I didn't want to end up in relationship limbo, so when it got to the point where we needed to either move forward or split, I was honest with him and said it's marriage or nothing-no living together first. He did not like that, and told me straight out that he would never marry someone he didn't live with first.

Obviously, this was a pretty big problem for us. I ultimately told him that we should break up (even though it broke my heart to say it) since we would never agree on the issue. Our relationship cooled off considerably, and I started making plans for a future without him.

Before long he came to me and said that he loved me too much to lose me and that if marriage is what I wanted, then that's what he wanted as well.

We didn't get engaged right away, but it cleared the air and we knew what direction we were going in. A few months later he proposed, and a year after that we were married. 22 years and still going strong.

I'm not saying living together is bad; I'm saying that some couples shouldn't. It sounds like your BF may be the type that would see living together as a way to placate you for a time, and when pressured about a wedding pull away and make excuses for why it isn't necessary.

For your sake, I hope I am way off base. But I have seen too many friends go down this road and end up hurt and bewildered when the man they thought was committed to them really wasn't.

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Lynn2000

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Re: Is it not okay to talk about our possible future together? Long post!
« Reply #59 on: August 09, 2011, 08:46:58 PM »
I think what SamiHami says makes a lot of sense. It will not apply to all couples, of course, and may not apply to the OP, but it's worth considering. I think it comes back to each person's goals: if person A sees living together as a step on the path towards marriage, and person B sees living together as, well, anything else (a step forward but with no specific goal; a compromise to push the marriage discussion back; etc.) there's always going to be tension and eventually, resentment. Same with any other major "couple" decision, like... getting a dog, for example. (Person A: dog is "pre-baby," to see how responsible they both are; Person B: dog is something to have fun with)

I think moving into a house you've just bought together could be a mistake. However, you could always try an apartment with a short-term lease--no longer than a year, just six months if you can find it. Have both names on the lease and see how it goes. If a one-year legal commitment to you should happen to daunt BF... well, you'll know where you stand, at least.  :-\
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