Okay GT. I need married/engaged GTers to help me out here.

ETA: Sorry, I wasn’t clear...we already live together and have for about 6 months.

Some background...I am really a recovering commitment-phobe. I never wanted to stay in a relationship (or get married) all through my 20s. I dated mostly broke artists and both of us would be super clear that marriage/kids were not an option.

However, I’ve been with my current boyfriend for 2 years now and after about a year of dating, we started seamlessly talking about how we want to get married and really build a life together. He is really the best.

Now, I’m in a very uncomfortable position. My boyfriend is finishing a PhD in a year and half. He is in the U.S. on a student visa. Our plan is to move wherever he can get a research position (my job is more flexible). We talk really openly about this and have the same plans for the future.

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Yesterday he asked me if I “would have to be engaged” to move to another state with him. I was really taken aback and was like, well I wouldn’t “have” to be but I would prefer it, because it would be such a big step and that would make me more comfortable. He then said his plan was to graduate, move, get set up, save up money, and then think about proposing. This would be in about 2.5-3 years, when I will be in my mid 30s. The truth is, I would be uncomfortable taking that big step without being engaged.

It all makes me uncomfortable to talk about because at my core I hate talking about commitment and being vulnerable. My biggest fear is falling into the female stereotype of begging and pushing for a ring.

However, I feel like I can’t just sit back and wait for the surprise of a proposal when it would affect my life so much. I feel uncomfortable with the whole notion that in 2016, women still have to go with the flow and act cool and be surprised by the man with a ring, like it is a gift for them rather than a life changing decision that should be discussed and agreed upon.

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So, people, what do you think? Did you talk about timelines and what made you comfortable before you got married?