Waiting to propose: from a MAN's perspective


#1

Hi, I'm a guy. I am thinking of proposing to my gf who I've been with for several years now. But whenever I look up information about proposing, specifically on taking too long to propose, it's ALWAYS in the woman's perspective. "Why is he taking so long?" "How to get your guy to propose", etc. but I want to see if from guy's perspective.

I have my own reasons for hesitating, but I want to see those addressed. Always on these websites and stuff, it comes from the angle of the poor innocent girl wanting for this "lazy" guy to commit, and he's "stringing her along" and doing all this other bad stuff. Never do they even consider that he may be experiencing emotional issues as well. It always just sounds like a guy taking advantage of a girl or not showing any concern.

But I'm a guy and I definitely show concern. I love my gf, and we get along really well.

Can any guy please give his perspective on proposing? Did you take a while to do it? Did you have any fears? How did they make you feel? Etc. Anything you can add.

Thanks.


#2

[quote="phil8888, post:1, topic:197807"]

Can any guy please give his perspective on proposing? Did you take a while to do it? Did you have any fears? How did they make you feel? Etc. Anything you can add.

Thanks.

[/quote]

Yes, it would take a while to really see if I wanted to spend forever with a girl. I would drag my feet, get to know her very well, and see if we could talk about everything before I'd even CONSIDER asking the question. I'd wait several years, and a lot of experiences together. Being broke, chilling out and doing nothing, arguing (this one is huge, if she argues fair or not).

I wouldn't have fear. If I get burned, it's totally my fault, because I read her wrong. She didn't do anything wrong. I did.

Think hard about this one.To have an engagement end badly is a devastating thing.


#3

Hey there Phil,

As a guy, I would like to say that more importantly than worrying about if you're "stringing her along" before marriage, you have have to worry about how it will be you both during **the marriage. I don't think it matters how long you guys go before a proposal, as long as you're getting closer to God in the meantime. After all, with 50% of marriages these days ending in divorce (I don't know how accurate that statement is...I have no sources :shrug:), you two owe it to yourselves to know that you're getting married to **GOD before to each other.
If she is not willing to wait a little bit, then maybe she wants to be married for the wrong reasons! My best advice: talk to your parish priest!


#4

Don’t spring a proposal on her without discerning marriage together. An engagement should not be a surprise, a proposal can be sure, but not an engagement.

Seek pre-engagement counseling. See a priest about help in discerning your future together. Take the foccus test (yes, before engagement). Discern it fully together, in prayer. Then, we you both decide that you are called to marriage to each other, than you can propose without fear, and it can be a surprise if you want.


#5

I don’t know how accurate that statement is either, but I THINK they count indivudal people who’ve been married several times, like a person going to their third or fourth marriage. Not a young couple going into a marriage.

Like I said, I THINK that’s the “official” stat. Just my gut feeling.


#6

I am a woman so I can't give you a guys perspective. However, I am a bit confused as to what you are asking.

First it seems like you are having a problem with taking to long to propose. Then it seems you have good reason for waiting and simply need a place to sort out your concerns which leads me to think you are OK with waiting but simply want a place to deal with your concerns.

I am left to guess at what you need.

Do you simply need a place to deal with your concerns?

Is your gf putting guilt trips on you for not proposing?

Do you feel bad about yourself because you are not ready to commit?

I would need more information to help you

CM


#7

I find that women just love to complain simply for the sake of complaining. They also are hardwired to gain sympathy. That is why women complain about guys taking time to propose. They are trying to hitch you up before some other girl gets you or you leave. Complaining is a woman's way of trying to convince you to do what she wants you to do. It is good to take as much time as possible before committing. That way you know have more time to discern and make the right decision. Dont bow to pressure simply because women like to complain and put pressure on guys.


#8

I’m a woman…
I’ve been to 2 weddings in my life where the groom essentially grabbed me, dragged me into the bushes, wrapped his arms around me with a death grip just minutes before his wedding and said: “You know me better than anybody else… so tell me I’m doing the right thing…”

Both guys did the whole formal proposing-to-the-girlfriend thing. My husband and I never did.
We did the put-your-feet-up-and-sit-around-talking-about-it-joint-decision thing.

The first guy did find the proposal thing difficult. He was very much torn between her and a former girlfriend who had gone off and gotten engaged to somebody else…but the present girlfriend was so, well, incredible… and so it seemed like the right thing to do…it had to be the right thing to do… and he just had to do things all up “right” because that’s how things are supposed to be done… the whole proposal thing with the ring and all just like the movies…
Then from pre-marriage counseling to caterers… it was a whirlwind year…
but 5 minutes before the wedding there he was*…“You you know me better than anybody else… so tell me I’m doing the right thing…”*

The second guy had moved 1000 miles from home for a new job…when the hand of management had landed this woman at his desk with a kerplunk:
(was this a gift from God or what? hey, thanks, God!)
They got on just so well together… and they were so much alike… and they shared so much the same background…and interests…and values…and so it seemed like it was all so fitting with the cosmic “plan” of life to go buy a ring… and do the formal proposal thing… it had to be the right thing to do… and he just had to do things all up “right” because that’s how things are supposed to be done… the whole proposal thing with the ring and all just like the movies…
From counseling to caterers… it was a whirlwind year with her mother’s wedding consultants…and he had done everything just right according to everybody’s plans and expectations…
and yet he too had a death grip around me in the bushes 5 minutes before his wedding… “You were my best friend… you know me better than anybody else… so tell me I’m doing the right thing…”

I wasn’t ever their date or their girlfriend. I was the tennis partner. I was the study group and the cycling group and the one who typed and edited papers and masters’ theses and who brought over hot soup for the sick and always heard the latest stories about the latest breakups. We were friends, sure, but I wouldn’t ever have said that I had known either of them all that well at all… and yet 5 minutes before their weddings both of them had called me their best friend and said I knew them better than anybody else…and they had wanted me to tell them they were doing the right thing getting married. It was bizarre.
What can anybody say? “You’ll be just fine…congratulations… have a good life…”

The first one was divorced in 5 years.
The second one was divorced in 15.

I didn’t say it…
but when they had told me that I knew them better than anybody… and then asked me if they were doing the right thing just before their weddings…
what had gone through my mind was the frightening thought that they honestly didn’t really know themselves at all beyond their own and everybody else’s plans and expectations…

The moral of the story?
Long before you ask anyone to marry you…
make absolutely sure that you honestly know yourself well enough to know exactly who you are…
such that you don’t have to find out the hard way.


#9

[quote="agapewolf, post:4, topic:197807"]
Don't spring a proposal on her without discerning marriage together. An engagement should not be a surprise, a proposal can be sure, but not an engagement.

[/quote]

Fully agree with that one.:thumbsup:
My own DH did take some time, in my eyes, to propose, but well, some of it had to do with real questions he asked himself, and I'm glad he took his time for those, and some of it had just to do with "being impressed at the hugeness of the step".;)
BUT we had discussed and were discussing marriage extensively nevertheless, long before the thought of a proposal was in our thoughts.

Really "surprising" somebody with a proposal is indeed the best means of reaching a situation like those depicted by formerCatholic : "oh, so romantic, I love him, hey, that's great, I'm going to tell everybody, let's start planning... YES !" and then wondering, once everything is well in gear, if it didn't go a bit too fast.


#10

what the heck are you waiting for is a legitimate question. Have you asked it of yourself?


#11

Truer words have never been written. This is the first time I’ve heard it put that way, but such is an excellent point!


#12

Wow. that’s an really horrible view of women. If you’re a man you need to fix your attitude and if you’re a women you need to seriosly look how you view yourself.

I think long/short courtship is really the view of the couple and NOT anyone else’s business. I believe in a friendship (1yr or so) a decent courtship (1-2years) an one year engagement and then marriage. Atleast for someone my age. I’m a type-A personality and I KNOW what and who I like very soon and it wouln’t take me that long to see someone’s quirks. You get to know their family. And rather than settle into a dating “routine” you make the decision to enter into Marriage together. I know many people who met and married in a matter of months and those who took a decade. What it really came down to was a decision to love and work together. I think when people are serious about entering into marriage and not “dating seriously”.

It’s also very age-dependent. If I met a guy in college, I’d definably prolong that courtship until college ended…same with High School. But I think that a normal, functioning adult can make a decision to marry in less than 4 or 5 years.


#13

[quote="former_Catholic, post:8, topic:197807"]

The moral of the story?
Long before you ask anyone to marry you....
make absolutely sure that you honestly know yourself well enough to know exactly who you are....
such that you don't have to find out the hard way.

[/quote]

Best adivce here. I am a women and totally agree.

Honestly if you have been waiting a few years then you have a few questions to ask yourself: Do you not know yourslef? Do you not know what you want in a future spouse? Are you ready to sacrifice yourself for your partner? Do you have a good prayer life? Has your relationship gone stagent?

I just had a friend who broke off his engagment. He was to be married in early July. They both relaized that they were settling for a spouse. ITs not that the didn't love each other its that they were excited that someone love them in return. They stayed in the relationship and yes they had problems but who doesn't. The figrued the next logical step is engagment so why not? Luckly they figured out during the engagement period that there were fundamental difference on how they react to situtations or what the other one really want in a spouse etc. Once the blinders of the "love: feeling were off they both took a hard look at the situtation and relaized this marriage was not meant to be. i am proud of both of them. Now they are focusing on themselves and figuring out who they are. (both are in the late 20's)

A can't say it enough. KNOW WHO YOU ARE before you even think of marriage. No those things you are willing to compromise on and which your not. Discernment will not stop even after you get engaged. it actually gets deeper! A broken dating relationship or engagement is much easier to get over then the pain of a damaged marriage or even divorce.


#14

[quote="former_Catholic, post:8, topic:197807"]
I'm a woman....
I've been to 2 weddings in my life where the groom essentially grabbed me, dragged me into the bushes, wrapped his arms around me with a death grip just minutes before his wedding and said: "You know me better than anybody else.... so tell me I'm doing the right thing..."

Both guys did the whole formal proposing-to-the-girlfriend thing. My husband and I never did.
We did the put-your-feet-up-and-sit-around-talking-about-it-joint-decision thing.

The first guy did find the proposal thing difficult. He was very much torn between her and a former girlfriend who had gone off and gotten engaged to somebody else.....but the present girlfriend was so, well, incredible.... and so it seemed like the right thing to do....it had to be the right thing to do.... and he just had to do things all up "right" because that's how things are supposed to be done.... the whole proposal thing with the ring and all just like the movies....
Then from pre-marriage counseling to caterers..... it was a whirlwind year....
but 5 minutes before the wedding there he was*...."You you know me better than anybody else.... so tell me I'm doing the right thing..."*

The second guy had moved 1000 miles from home for a new job....when the hand of management had landed this woman at his desk with a kerplunk:
(was this a gift from God or what? hey, thanks, God!)

They got on just so well together..... and they were so much alike.... and they shared so much the same background....and interests.....and values.....and so it seemed like it was all so fitting with the cosmic "plan" of life to go buy a ring... and do the formal proposal thing.... it had to be the right thing to do... and he just had to do things all up "right" because that's how things are supposed to be done... the whole proposal thing with the ring and all just like the movies...
From counseling to caterers..... it was a whirlwind year with her mother's wedding consultants...and he had done everything just right according to everybody's plans and expectations...
and yet he too had a death grip around me in the bushes 5 minutes before his wedding.... "You were my best friend.... you know me better than anybody else.... so tell me I'm doing the right thing..."

I wasn't ever their date or their girlfriend. I was the tennis partner. I was the study group and the cycling group and the one who typed and edited papers and masters' theses and who brought over hot soup for the sick and always heard the latest stories about the latest breakups. We were friends, sure, but I wouldn't ever have said that I had known either of them all that well at all.... and yet 5 minutes before their weddings both of them had called me their best friend and said I knew them better than anybody else...and they had wanted me to tell them they were doing the right thing getting married. It was bizarre.
What can anybody say? "You'll be just fine....congratulations.... have a good life...."

The first one was divorced in 5 years.
The second one was divorced in 15.

I didn't say it....
but when they had told me that I knew them better than anybody..... and then asked me if they were doing the right thing just before their weddings...
what had gone through my mind was the frightening thought that they honestly didn't really know themselves at all beyond their own and everybody else's plans and expectations....

The moral of the story?
Long before you ask anyone to marry you....
make absolutely sure that you honestly know yourself well enough to know exactly who you are....
such that you don't have to find out the hard way.

[/quote]

The was a wonderful response. The only thing that I would add (DISCLAIMER - I'm not married) would be why have you been going out several years and it only now comes up. If you weren't sure years ago what would make you sure now? I wouldn't think it advisible to marry someone just because it's expected. :shrug:


#15

I have a couple thoughts here.

  1. While the advice here is great, hesitation and even fear is not always a bad thing. I once went to a priest for spiritual direction about my vocation. He gave me some great reading to do on discernment. One key aspect of discerning a vocation is overcoming fear.

Fear is VERY normal when making a huge decision. We don't all feel perfect clarity from day one like a minority are so blessed to experience.

Now here's the thing. My boyfriend took "too long" to propose. Let me say, it's not a simple answer. It's not just women being "selfish" and "poor me." The thing is, you CAN waste a girl's time. Us ladies are more limited to our biological make-up. If we're called to marriage, it's ideal to marry in our 20's. On many levels it is unfair for a man to take years to discern as those years are very precious to us. I did struggle with anger and frustration over my bf's taking so long.

That's not to say you should force marriage, either. But the issues and hesitations need to be dealt with and worked on in a purposeful manner, so that things are moving forward. One of the best things my fiance did for me was allow me to date for awhile when he was still pondering. He didn't keep me to himself. I did date some good Catholic men, and honestly I almost ended up with one of them instead of my fiance. But ultimately, after spiritual direction from a good priest, my fiance became convicted that he wanted to marry me and wooed me back to him.

It was one of the most mature things a man has ever done for me. His honesty and sacrificial love - allowing me to live my life and not just proposing out of pressure - demonstrated real character to me. Ultimately it made it easier for me to feel through-the-roof excited when he did propose!


#16

[quote="zaramarie81, post:15, topic:197807"]
I have a couple thoughts here.

  1. While the advice here is great, hesitation and even fear is not always a bad thing. I once went to a priest for spiritual direction about my vocation. He gave me some great reading to do on discernment. One key aspect of discerning a vocation is overcoming fear.

Fear is VERY normal when making a huge decision. We don't all feel perfect clarity from day one like a minority are so blessed to experience.

Now here's the thing. My boyfriend took "too long" to propose. Let me say, it's not a simple answer. It's not just women being "selfish" and "poor me." The thing is, you CAN waste a girl's time. Us ladies are more limited to our biological make-up. If we're called to marriage, it's ideal to marry in our 20's. On many levels it is unfair for a man to take years to discern as those years are very precious to us. I did struggle with anger and frustration over my bf's taking so long.

That's not to say you should force marriage, either. But the issues and hesitations need to be dealt with and worked on in a purposeful manner, so that things are moving forward. One of the best things my fiance did for me was allow me to date for awhile when he was still pondering. He didn't keep me to himself. I did date some good Catholic men, and honestly I almost ended up with one of them instead of my fiance. But ultimately, after spiritual direction from a good priest, my fiance became convicted that he wanted to marry me and wooed me back to him.

It was one of the most mature things a man has ever done for me. His honesty and sacrificial love - allowing me to live my life and not just proposing out of pressure - demonstrated real character to me. Ultimately it made it easier for me to feel through-the-roof excited when he did propose!

[/quote]

How long were you dating before he proposed?


#17

I am a woman. I felt like my now husband was taking forever to propose and I did end up giving him a ultimatum, but I was almost 33 years old and if he didn’t want to marry me and have children, then I needed to move on. We had been dating for 2.5 years at that point.

It wasn’t that I was trying to trap him , etc, but my clock was ticking and I had to know what his true intentions were. If I had not done that, it would have taken him forever to propose to me. That’s just the way he is :slight_smile:

So not all women just want to “trap” the guy before he finds someone else…she just wants to make sure that she isn’t wasting her time and that the relationship is actually going somewhere.

That being said, a man should never jump into marriage with a woman b/c he feels pressured. A man should be sure that he’s ready to make that big step and that he’s with the right person for him.


#18

[quote="phil8888, post:16, topic:197807"]
How long were you dating before he proposed?

[/quote]

We dated 2.5 years. I was 29 when he proposed. We will have been together over 3 years when we marry. For devout Catholics very purposely seeking marriage, this felt like a very long time. I felt like I needed to know where we were headed around the first year mark or if I should be open to other possibilities.


#19

My wife and I went on a number of "get to know you" dates before we decided that we would formally date, court, whatever-you-want-to-call-it. At that point, we established pretty clear ground rules -- the first, second and third purpose for dating was discerning marriage. Much of what we did during that time was directed towards that end, and we agreed that if either one of us discerned that God was not calling us to marry the other person, then we owed it to the other person to simply stop dating.

If you aren't doing explicit things to move towards marriage, then you should ask why you are dating. What we found helpful was to sit down and make a list of all the things that we wanted to make sure we had talked about before getting married. Then we would pick 2 or 3 of them in advance and discuss them at a mutually agreed time. That way, if it was a potentially difficult conversation, neither one of us would be wondering why the other person was bringing it up. For us, I think this process streamlined the journey towards marriage, and it helped to make us discuss things that we might have otherwise found too awkward.

You could also write down the specific obstacles to marriage that you see right now, and then make sure to take concrete steps to get rid of them.

Granted, I'm probably not coming from the most helpful perspective -- we got engaged 9 months after our first date, 6 months after we agreed to discern marriage together. As well, I think that when we decided to formally date, we had in some ways already decided that we wanted to marry each other -- it was just a question of doing due diligence in getting there.


#20

[quote="Prometheum_x, post:19, topic:197807"]
My wife and I went on a number of "get to know you" dates before we decided that we would formally date, court, whatever-you-want-to-call-it. At that point, we established pretty clear ground rules -- the first, second and third purpose for dating was discerning marriage. Much of what we did during that time was directed towards that end, and we agreed that if either one of us discerned that God was not calling us to marry the other person, then we owed it to the other person to simply stop dating.

[/quote]

Great advice for a man!!!


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