Sep 5, 2017
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Hi all! I'm new to the forum, just needed someone to vent to. My boyfriend is a 3rd year med student. We've been together for quite some time (5+ years). We've gone through quite a bit together: college, LDR, medschool applications, graduate school for me, and surviving STEP 1. We recently moved in together. My boyfriend is great with helping out around the house and spending some time with me with his busy schedule.

Right now, I'm having a really hard time when discussing our future together. He always said he'd like to wait until after medical school to get married; I didn't feel the same way but I can understand his reasoning. Now that is getting closer to that time, I'm starting to worry he'll never commit. He shrugs it off, says "I don't know" or jokes if I try to bring up getting engaged. It's very hurtful and Im not sure how to have a good conversation about this without feeling like I'm making an ultimatum. A few weeks ago I told him that I was feeling anxious by the fact that he didn't seem to be thinking about moving forward with our relationship, he said he could understand my feelings, however, the conversation ended there.

I havent been able to stop thinking about it since and it's making me feel unhappy and insecure. Any advice? I'm feeling a little stuck. Thanks!
 
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Playing devil's advocate here......

Why is the label of marriage so important to you? I mean, you say he hasn't committed, but I'd say he's shown a solid degree of committment in being with your for over 5 years and through a lot of tough academic and probably personal times.

Could you be with this person forever without said label? Would you leave him if he wasn't willing to legally marry you, even if he was more than willing to stay with you?

Do you think he could just be a person who isn't into all the hooplah of modern marriage and the ceremony involved? (E.g. all the overblown engagement photoshoots and stuff people do nowadays - who even started that shyte - but I digress)

Don't think of it as hurtful - his avoidance may mean he want to say something but feels like it would hurt your feelings if it isn't what you wanted to hear.

Have you specifically asked him his feelings on it, or just made him aware of you own? For example "Hey, I appreciate that you listen to me when I bring up these concerns, and I am glad you can see my point of view, but I also want to hear your thoughts on the matter. Your feelings are just as important as mine and I feel like you are more hesitant than me on the subject and I'd really like to know what you are thinking." Have a "no-judgement" conversation in a comfortable environment. Listen to him, even if he expresses worry or concern that may make you feel insecure.

If you just recently moved in together, that may be contributing as well. Moving in together can almost be like starting a relationship from scratch sometimes. You start a totally different (and extremely close, much closer than just dating) type of interaction with said person and it can be a bit disconcerting at first. How has that been going? Perhaps he feels a bit overwhelmed and needs some time to settle?
 
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Move out of the place you share and see he changes his tune about marriage. He's getting what he wants now with you two living together. What incentive does he have to put a ring on it if you're giving him so much of your time without a permanent commitment?

You've already tried to have a conversation about it and he told you exactly how he felt by ending the conversation with little regard for your feelings. He gave you your answer, so now it's time to act if you are, in fact, unhappy playing house with him without a permanent commitment. Only you can decide what you'll put up with.
 
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Move out of the place you share and see he changes his tune about marriage. He's getting what he wants now with you two living together. What incentive does he have to put a ring on it if you're giving him so much of your time without a permanent commitment?

You've already tried to have a conversation about it and he told you exactly how he felt by ending the conversation with little regard for your feelings. He gave you your answer, so now it's time to act if you are, in fact, unhappy playing house with him without a permanent commitment. Only you can decide what you'll put up with.
I would want a guy to marry me because he wants to, not because I threatened to leave if he didn't. The latter is not exactly a solid foundation to build a marriage on. I don't think the above is the best way to go about it.
 

AshNiffler

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Move out of the place you share and see he changes his tune about marriage. He's getting what he wants now with you two living together. What incentive does he have to put a ring on it if you're giving him so much of your time without a permanent commitment?

You've already tried to have a conversation about it and he told you exactly how he felt by ending the conversation with little regard for your feelings. He gave you your answer, so now it's time to act if you are, in fact, unhappy playing house with him without a permanent commitment. Only you can decide what you'll put up with.
Tbh you have a point.
 

smq123

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I would want a guy to marry me because he wants to, not because I threatened to leave if he didn't. The latter is not exactly a solid foundation to build a marriage on. I don't think the above is the best way to go about it.
Exactly.

Hi all! I'm new to the forum, just needed someone to vent to. My boyfriend is a 3rd year med student. We've been together for quite some time (5+ years). We've gone through quite a bit together: college, LDR, medschool applications, graduate school for me, and surviving STEP 1. We recently moved in together. My boyfriend is great with helping out around the house and spending some time with me with his busy schedule.

Right now, I'm having a really hard time when discussing our future together. He always said he'd like to wait until after medical school to get married; I didn't feel the same way but I can understand his reasoning. Now that is getting closer to that time, I'm starting to worry he'll never commit. He shrugs it off, says "I don't know" or jokes if I try to bring up getting engaged. It's very hurtful and Im not sure how to have a good conversation about this without feeling like I'm making an ultimatum. A few weeks ago I told him that I was feeling anxious by the fact that he didn't seem to be thinking about moving forward with our relationship, he said he could understand my feelings, however, the conversation ended there.

I havent been able to stop thinking about it since and it's making me feel unhappy and insecure. Any advice? I'm feeling a little stuck. Thanks!
Don't be too hard on him. Have an honest conversation about what you want and why you want it (why marriage is important to you, etc.) But 3rd year is scary. Not just because of the added responsibilities and the complete shift from classroom work to rotations. It's the first time you feel unsure about your future - what are you going to do? Which specialty will you do and can you have a family while doing it? Where will you be? How long will you be a resident? Can you support a family while being a resident? He probably has a lot of questions going through his mind and he may not feel ready to make another decision about anything.

This is also a good time to make sure that you understand what his future entails, before you push both of yourselves to commit even more. What if he matches to a residency that's across the country? He'll have to go; he doesn't have a choice. What if he wants to do a really time consuming specialty that takes a lot of time, like neurosurgery or orthopedics? What if he wants to do primary care, which is more lifestyle friendly but may not pay as well. Would you stick by him no matter what? Or will you balk if he tells you that he'll be a resident for another 7 years, in a city where you don't know anyone and never dreamed of living in?
 
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Tbh you have a point.
I've known a few wonderful ladies who thought moving in with their guy was a step towards marriage. Turns out it was just a step towards cohabitation and all of the conveniences and comforts it entails (cheaper rent, shared laundry duties, emotional support, sex, etc etc).

They all ended up moving out and finding other men who wanted to marry them within a year or two. I was shocked, but there you have it.

For every story about a couple that cohabits and doesn't marry, there's one about a couple that does, so please don't take my word as gospel. Give the other approach that was mentioned a shot, and see if he listens more closely to your feelings about marriage approaching it from a different angle.

Moving out doesn't mean giving him an ultimatum for marriage. It just means giving him the chance to respect you. You are letting him run roughshod over your feelings repeatedly by being the one who's cool with him shutting you down when you bring up a topic that it entirely appropriate to discuss (y'all have been dating for 5 years), and giving him all the comforts of being together without the commitment that is so important you. Good men think self-respect is attractive, so don't be afraid that you're gonna lose him by standing by your values and stating your course of action calmly and rationally... then following through with it.

If you are patient, he'll start to pursue you once more. If he's not the right man for you, you'll be free of this dead ended relationship.

At least 3 or 4 guys in my med school class did the long distance thing with their gfs and got married after year 1 or year 2. These guys wanted it to happen, and they made it happen in spite of the craziness of our schedules.

If you think marriage is important, it is. Your happiness is important. Don't compromise your values, as they are the foundation of a lifelong commitment.
 
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OP
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Sep 5, 2017
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Thank you for all the thoughtful replies everyone! I appreciate them :)

When we've discussed things in the past, he's always been very open to the convention of marriage! And wants a large family, etc. It's always been more of a timing issue; I don't think he wants to have to divide attention during medical school. I'm just getting worried he will always feel busy and time will continue to pass by.

Im very committed to him and I actually moved across the country 2 years ago and now into the same city/apartment (after finishing my own schooling) to be close by to support him- neither of us knew anyone in the area. I'm ready for all the craziness that residency could bring and we have talked about that before.

I don't think moving out is something I'd consider, especially as a play to force his hand. I'll try to have a thoughtful conversation on one of his shorter rotation days this week with some of the suggestions posted above. I'll try to update after that!

Thanks again everyone.
 
OP
H
Sep 5, 2017
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Exactly.



Don't be too hard on him. Have an honest conversation about what you want and why you want it (why marriage is important to you, etc.) But 3rd year is scary. Not just because of the added responsibilities and the complete shift from classroom work to rotations. It's the first time you feel unsure about your future - what are you going to do? Which specialty will you do and can you have a family while doing it? Where will you be? How long will you be a resident? Can you support a family while being a resident? He probably has a lot of questions going through his mind and he may not feel ready to make another decision about anything.

This is also a good time to make sure that you understand what his future entails, before you push both of yourselves to commit even more. What if he matches to a residency that's across the country? He'll have to go; he doesn't have a choice. What if he wants to do a really time consuming specialty that takes a lot of time, like neurosurgery or orthopedics? What if he wants to do primary care, which is more lifestyle friendly but may not pay as well. Would you stick by him no matter what? Or will you balk if he tells you that he'll be a resident for another 7 years, in a city where you don't know anyone and never dreamed of living in?
This reply really gave me more insight into what's likely going through his mind right now. It helped me to see a different perspectice, so thank you!
 
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sb247

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I'm going to second the opinion that this guy might not feel a reason to upgrade the title. This is about to sound very red pillish but bear with me.....

He already has someone to split bills, hang out with and sleep with...all you are offering him with marriage is a different title and the risk of losing half his stuff.

You can play this however you want but you are not getting what you seem to say you wanted out of this (husband) and he's clearly getting everything he wants. I'm not even necessarily saying that marrying this guy would be a good call but you're providing no real motivation as evidenced by his complete lack of interest.

You mentioned his timing discussion. Think back and be real blunt with yourself here. Has this guy said, "I'm marrying you right after graduation" or has he said "I don't want to be doing/talking about that before graduation"?
 

okokok

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I think you know the kind of person you've been with for 5 years and whether he's a "why would I buy the cow when I can get the milk for free" (or however the saying goes) kind of person or not.

You are anxious to get married, and I do wonder why. Have thought about your reasons for wanting it so bad now?

To share my experience and hopefully give you some perspective of what he's going through, my boyfriend proposed the summer before third year and I was thrilled. It's now a couple months into fourth year and I've put 0 effort/time/stress into wedding planning. It might look like I'm not excited or I don't care, but really, my life has just been pretty consumed with third year. Any wedding decision just felt lik more stress in my life, and I felt too distracted to do anything. It's possible your bf is feeling similarly like he can't deal with anything else on his plate right now. Maybe he feels (rightly, in my opinion) that it's a huge decision that needs proper thought and consideration, and he just doesn't feel like he has the mental space.

On the other hand, you want what you want and you have a right to live your life. I think it would be good for your relationship to wait til he has a break (maybe xmas?) to talk more seriously about your feelings about this. I'm struggling between wanting you to know that you have the right to voice your opinion and live the life you want and wanting you to know that if I were in his position third year, this is not a decision I would be able to handle and it would not have my full attention. Not because it's not important, but just because third year is all-consuming.

(Fourth year, on the other hand...Maybe that's a good time for wedding planning.)

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sb247

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I think you know the kind of person you've been with for 5 years and whether he's a "why would I buy the cow when I can get the milk for free" (or however the saying goes) kind of person or not.

You are anxious to get married, and I do wonder why. Have thought about your reasons for wanting it so bad now?

To share my experience and hopefully give you some perspective of what he's going through, my boyfriend proposed the summer before third year and I was thrilled. It's now a couple months into fourth year and I've put 0 effort/time/stress into wedding planning. It might look like I'm not excited or I don't care, but really, my life has just been pretty consumed with third year. Any wedding decision just felt lik more stress in my life, and I felt too distracted to do anything. It's possible your bf is feeling similarly like he can't deal with anything else on his plate right now. Maybe he feels (rightly, in my opinion) that it's a huge decision that needs proper thought and consideration, and he just doesn't feel like he has the mental space.

On the other hand, you want what you want and you have a right to live your life. I think it would be good for your relationship to wait til he has a break (maybe xmas?) to talk more seriously about your feelings about this. I'm struggling between wanting you to know that you have the right to voice your opinion and live the life you want and wanting you to know that if I were in his position third year, this is not a decision I would be able to handle and it would not have my full attention. Not because it's not important, but just because third year is all-consuming.

(Fourth year, on the other hand...Maybe that's a good time for wedding planning.)

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5+ years they've been together.....dude has had time to think about it
 
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okokok

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5+ years they've been together.....dude has had time to think about it
I don't know, I didn't spend a ton of time in my previous relationships weighing the pros and cons of marrying the person. Maybe it's just been on the table in the last year or two as they got more serious. Regardless, third year of med school is distracting, there's already a ton of anxiety about your future as far as your career goes, and thinking about getting engaged is a lot different than actually deciding to do it, looking for a ring, buying it, planning the proposal, etc. I'm not saying the guy feels one way or another about marrying OP, just trying to let her know school is likely pretty stressful and all-encompassing right now. And also I'm wondering if she's looked at why it's so important to her (because telling him the reasons why you're worried about him not wanting to marry you or the reasons why you feel like you need to be engaged right now is probably going to get you farther than just asking "why haven't you proposed yet???")

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