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Thread: Just curious if this is normal

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    #1

    Just curious if this is normal

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    Hi everyone

    I'm just wondering if it's normal for it to take time to be ready to marry the person you're with. My gut tells me that we'll get married someday, but as of now neither of us is ready for that, or even ready to commit to the idea that we'll get married and talk about it like that. It's always a sense of "I really hope so" and "lets make it happen" but not "this is 100% what's going to happen". Over time I have learned that every couple is different in when they're ready for that. There's also the anxious part of me that likes to whisper negative things in the back of my mind, like "if this is the right thing, then what is holding you two back?" Logically, we've been long distance for 97% of our relationship, which I think extends the process. I know none of you can tell me that we're okay or not, I'm just curious if anyone else has experienced this or understands this feeling.

    For reference, we're 25, have been dating for over 1.5 and were friends 5 years before dating. I know he would make and amazing husband, and a great father to any children.
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    #2
    Totally normal to not want to rush into it
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    #3
    I agree. No rush. My fiance and I had a very similar situation to yours. We were friends all through high school but started dating when he went away to boot camp. We spent a ton of time apart for a long time. It is definitely hard having that distance during key moments of a relationship. When my fiance first brought up the idea of marriage to me it took me by surprise and I was not ready at all. I was like you. Very cautious of every negative possibility that could happen. But he was understanding and gave me time to think. Talking about the possibility that we could get married one day and what that would mean helped me feel more comfortable. There is no rush at all. If either of you feel like you aren't ready that is fine. Just take it at whatever pace is best for you guys. I would recommend to try and see him as much as possible. That will be expensive and very difficult (especially if he has a hectic schedule) but face to face time is very important when deciding if you want to marry someone. Other than that I'd say talk it out with him. Make it clear you aren't begging to go down the aisle tomorrow but it's always good to discuss your future together and what that might entail. Comparing feelings on the subject will help you be sure about whatever timing you two decide is best for your relationship. These are just some things that worked for me when I was going through that. Wish you two the best!
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    #4
    Thank you so much ceh629 and Sabrina22LE! I'm surrounded by people who fell in love and got married very quickly, so the fact that we're taking longer feels abnormal. I appreciate the support and suggestions very much!
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    #5
    I don't think it's abnormal. But I also don't think that "normal" matters in these kinds of situations. You have to do what works for you, whether it is the same thing as everyone else, or whether no one else does it.

    If you are having those feelings, I would listen to them, especially if you aren't the type to generally be self-doubtful or hesitant about big decisions. It doesn't sound like you are at the point where it is causing tension in your relationship (like it might if he was super ready to marry and you weren't). Since you are currently on the same page and generally happy with where you are today, there's no reason to mess with that or pressure yourself to change things that don't need to be changed.

    Also, I know this varies by social circles, but in mine, 1.5 years of dating before engagement is not remarkable at all. I was only dating for 9 months, but DH and I had known each other 10 years in a fairly active way, including being very good friends at times. (And everyone who knew me know I was more or less in love with this kid from the day we met when we were 15.) And still people seemed to think it was pretty fast, and it was for my social circle. So while it may be unusual in your direct network, overall I don't think it is. If someone asked me to pick a number that was a long time dating before getting engaged (while still not necessarily being worrisome or bad), I'd say maybe 2.5 or 3 years, if I had to pick. I was also the youngest of my closest friend to marry, at 26. I consider that to be a very young bride.

    Over time, as it feels comfortable, you can start discussing issues like how many kids you may want and when (ideally), if you imagine SAH (if you want kids), how joint finances might work, and other basic expectations of combined lives. Doing that not only before you marry, but before you even commit to marry is a wonderful idea. Not enough people do it. Because you are taking things slowly, you have time to explore these issues so that if and when you do commit, you know exactly to what you are committing. That's not just okay; it's wise and responsible.
    Science always wins over bullshit. ~Dick Rutkowski
  6. In vino veritas
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    #6
    Normal is relative, as villa said. Normal for some social circles (and, on a larger scale, in different socio-economic, educational and even geographical circles) is vastly different, and while there is no right or wrong, waiting longer before engagement and marriage does give you better chances at having a happy, successful marriage, mostly because it gives you time to get out of the honeymoon phase, see each other for who you really are and gives you time for you and your so to go through a few 'harder' times, to see how well you do together when it comes to trials and tribulations. It gives you more time to discuss important things with your SO, like expectations of family life, homes, kids, responsibilities, finances etc.. I think pause prior to making one of the most important decisions of your life is a great things, and something more people should do, and I do not think it means your SO is not right for you, or that marriage is not right for you, so long as your pause, think, and still think it is right in the end.

    I also think LD extends the honeymoon phase (and I say that as having done 9 years LD), so I dont think taking longer when LD is part of the equation is bad at all.

    For the record, 1 1/2 years at the age of 25 would never result in an engagement in my circles. I was with my so for 9 1/2 years prior to marriage (1 year together, 8 1/2 years LD), married at 26. My friends are all 28 ish, and are getting married sometime between 28-30, or later (some of my friends dont currently have SOs). Most of my friends were/will be together for anywhere from 3-7 years prior to marriage.
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    #7
    Thank you villanelle and Dr.VinoVet! This is very reassuring! I am a very anxious person, over analyzing things frequently, so this is a part of that. The anxious part of my mind tells me that when you're with the right person you just *know* because love is a *magical fairy tail* (this is said sarcastically in my mind) I know that's not totally real life at all, but there are people out there who experience this. It's good to hear that taking time to be careful about the choice and the commitment in marriage is a good idea, and I'm not just stupid for taking a while to grow into being ready for marriage. Your support and advice is all so helpful!!
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    #8
    It's really hard to put a "normal" label on any relationship. I think every relationship is a sculpture over time crafted by two unique individuals and circumstances. Your relationship IMO is still young enough that it's not unnatural to have doubts or question where it is going. But given the fact that this has been a LDR for a good amount my recommendation is to let the ball roll. If you are both happy with where you are then dis-spell the negative thoughts and enjoy yourself.

    Remember the foundation of good relationships are respect, communication and trust. Keep building these important attributes and you will know when the time is right.
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    #9
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    Last edited by Shoshana8; 09-20-2017 at 02:28 AM.
  10. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
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    #10
    I think it is totally normal to know you want to marry someone but not be ready just yet. Waiting until the time was right never struck me as "holding us back." Quite the contrary, we were moving forward and building our relationship together the whole time. DH actually proposed to me after 4 months and I said no because I wasn't ready yet and I didn't think he was either (based on his reasoning at the time). I calmly let him know that I did want to marry him in the future but I didn't think we were ready yet, and where I wanted us to be before we were ready, and requested for him to ask me again when he thought we were ready. To his credit I think he handled it very maturely and really listened to what I had to say.

    OK so he proposed 2 months later and I said yes. That probably seems crazy to a lot of people but the second time he asked I felt we were both ready. We are getting ready to celebrate our 7th anniversary this year and so far so good! I have absolutely zero regrets about saying no the first time and yes the second time.
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