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Grounds_Crew
06-08-2008, 05:34 PM
My g/f Michelle and I have now been dating for 2.5 years. The past month or so we've been having problems and we have taken a break. I'm hoping that things work out because this girl is the one I want to marry. In fact, we've talked several times in the past about getting married, but I never pulled the trigger. So, if things end up working out in the coming days/weeks, then I'll look back at this tough time that we are going through and use it as a learning experience. It has given me the kick in the butt that I needed, which means I now know that I can't take this girl for granted...ever.

With that said, if things do work out, then I'm going to take the next step and ask her to marry me. So, I'm curious to hear about any creative ideas that you may have come up with for your proposal. :beerme:

The Baumer
06-08-2008, 06:18 PM
You might be better off asking the non-married guys how they proposed.

:D

RBA
06-08-2008, 06:20 PM
You're having problems, so the solution is to marry her? Or maybe the problem is she is tired of waiting for the proposal?

wally post
06-08-2008, 06:37 PM
You can't live without each other in that when together you feel complete and happy... she (or he) laughs at your humor... in a way you are best friends that get to also have great sex. You are each totally open with each other...

If you've got this, then who cares how you ask! It's about time you ask! If not?.. then...?????

OldRightHander
06-08-2008, 06:40 PM
I made a bumbling idiot out of myself and she still said yes. What's the point of that? If she loves you and wants to marry you, she'll say yes. I'm not convinced there's much a man can do to sway that decision one way or the other.

SunDeck
06-08-2008, 06:54 PM
We'd been shacked up for two years. We wanted all the gifts, so we just decided to make it legal.

It was very romantic.

Buckeye33
06-08-2008, 07:10 PM
Went to vacation on the Outer Banks in North Carolina and my best friend was the only one who knew I was going to ask her. He hid the ring up until I was ready. We went for a beach walk right after sunset and we walked ahead of the rest of the folks who were with us and after a few minutes I stopped her and asked. Her first words were "You are f*cking kidding me!" , that sure made things easier.

Anyway, she said yes and the rest of the folks who were with us had brought fireworks and set them off after they saw she said yes.

It was a great night.

KittyDuran
06-08-2008, 07:22 PM
I'll chime in even though I've never been proposed to... what's the problem??? - just ask!

Let me tell you about how my Dad "proposed" to my Mom. BTW, my parents will be celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary in August. :thumbup:

Anyhoo... My Mom would never tell me and my siblings how Dad proposed to her saying that somethings need to remain a secret. I finally asked my Dad about 15 years ago. And this is his story... he was in the Navy stationed in Michigan but home on leave (his parents at the time lived in Hamilton). He goes to a "dude ranch" outside of town and meets my Mom who is with other friends. By the end of the night my Mom has had a few drinks and is somewhat tipsy. So my Dad jokingly says "Can I carry you?" - but my Mom in her state thinks my Dad says "Can I marry you?" Which, of course, she says yes. Dad doesn't realize this until later when she calls him up to remind him (maybe she wasn't so tipsy after all). Dad must have been somewhat smitten and tells my Mom that he needs to go back to Michigan not only to get back to the base but to say good-bye to his live in girlfriend... :eek: Remember, this is 1948! They dated when he was on leave for about 4 months and were married in August of that year.

Moral... ya just never know!

OldRightHander
06-08-2008, 08:08 PM
I'll chime in even though I've never been proposed to...

Are men intimidated by a woman who knows more about baseball than they do?

KittyDuran
06-08-2008, 08:28 PM
Are men intimidated by a woman who knows more about baseball than they do?Maybe... I all know is that my worst dates have been with guys who loved sports (but didn't know I did before the first date.. which was usually the last). :confused:

OldRightHander
06-08-2008, 08:37 PM
Maybe... I all know is that my worst dates have been with guys who loved sports (but didn't know I did before the first date.. which was usually the last). :confused:

You'd think guys who love sports would be attracted that, but maybe it's just unexpected.

Falls City Beer
06-08-2008, 08:54 PM
We'd been shacked up for two years. We wanted all the gifts, so we just decided to make it legal.

It was very romantic.

The man knows his stuff. Exactly how my wife and I did it.

Reds Freak
06-08-2008, 08:58 PM
I'm not qualified to answer your question as I'm not married but your post just struck me as the exact same thing my girlfriend and I are going through right now (except we have been dating for 4.5 years and we are on month 2 of our "break"). I never thought I'd feel so much pain for a woman, but you know you really love someone when you can't function without them, when you can't focus, your performance is down at work, your health suffers, etc. Every day through this stretch I regret taking her for granted, as you mentioned. I didn't answer your question, but sometimes I think it's helpful to know there are other people out there going through similar issues. Hope everything turns out okay for you...

cincinnati chili
06-08-2008, 09:54 PM
I forget.

Grounds_Crew
06-08-2008, 10:00 PM
I'm not qualified to answer your question as I'm not married but your post just struck me as the exact same thing my girlfriend and I are going through right now (except we have been dating for 4.5 years and we are on month 2 of our "break"). I never thought I'd feel so much pain for a woman, but you know you really love someone when you can't function without them, when you can't focus, your performance is down at work, your health suffers, etc. Every day through this stretch I regret taking her for granted, as you mentioned. I didn't answer your question, but sometimes I think it's helpful to know there are other people out there going through similar issues. Hope everything turns out okay for you...


Wow...you really are in the same situation as me! Ya know, I'm sorry to hear that but like "they" say, misery loves company...right?

My g/f asked for a break as well so that she can decide whether or not "we are meant to be, or if it is time to move on". So, I've been in a state of misery and confusion for the last week or two. She also gave me the, "I love you but I'm not sure if I'm in love with you anymore". We've since talked because I have been stubborn and have called her. I have to lock myself down though and respect her wishes for a break. The thing is, as weird as it may seem...I am "glad" that this has happened because it has given me the kick in the butt that made me realize that I can't take her for granted. It really has proven to me that I don't want to live without her and that I'd love to spend the rest of my life with her. Maybe that was part of her intentions, so that we can both realize that we have to move to the next step. We have talked about marriage several times in the past year or more. So, I think she has that in the back of her mind. Only time will tell.

If she decides that we can work it out then I'm not taking anything for granted. I'm going to do what I should've done a year ago and propose to her. I really hope that things work for the best...she means the world to me and I'd be lost without her. I hope that's what is currently going through her mind as well.

Wish US luck!

SteelSD
06-08-2008, 10:04 PM
My g/f Michelle and I have now been dating for 2.5 years. The past month or so we've been having problems and we have taken a break. I'm hoping that things work out because this girl is the one I want to marry. In fact, we've talked several times in the past about getting married, but I never pulled the trigger. So, if things end up working out in the coming days/weeks, then I'll look back at this tough time that we are going through and use it as a learning experience. It has given me the kick in the butt that I needed, which means I now know that I can't take this girl for granted...ever.

With that said, if things do work out, then I'm going to take the next step and ask her to marry me. So, I'm curious to hear about any creative ideas that you may have come up with for your proposal. :beerme:

Here's my creative idea for proposing in your particular situation:

Don't do it.

At least not right now. Not knowing the circumstances of your "break", I can't comment as to the actual effect a proposal would have at this point, but a "break" is almost NEVER the guy's idea so I'll let probability be my guide. You've been together for 2.5 years with this girl and the "break" was likely predicated by something she can't get or get past, as your "kick in the butt" comment implied. That's not a good sign of a successful marriage, regardless of how often you two may have spoken about marriage. There are no "breaks" in marriage.

And frankly, 2.5 years ain't a whole lot of time for two potential life partners to get to know each other. My own brother and his GF of three years took a "break" when he was in college and after the "back-together", they took another 2 years to figure out that they weren't ever going to be apart. The message here is "Don't jump the gun". If she's into you for all time, she'll be into you whether or not you're married to her. That doesn't mean she'll wait forever for a proposal, but if she won't wait at all then that's more about the wedding than it is the relationship and that's simply a doomsday clock a' ticking.

Two people should end up in wedlock only because that's the obvious next step and it needs to be obvious to both parties. SunDeck's response was very telling in that both he and his wife obviously felt already "married", so it was obvious that they should get married. It doesn't appear to be quite so obvious for you two right now and it also appears, via "break", that you guys have some things to work through before "obvious" happens. So take the time to work through them before potentially setting yourself up for disaster down the road.

Grounds_Crew
06-08-2008, 10:09 PM
Here's my creative idea for proposing in your particular situation:

Don't do it.

At least not right now. Not knowing the circumstances of your "break", I can't comment as to the actual effect a proposal would have at this point, but a "break" is almost NEVER the guy's idea so I'll let probability be my guide. You've been together for 2.5 years with this girl and the "break" was likely predicated by something she can't get or get past, as your "kick in the butt" comment implied. That's not a good sign of a successful marriage, regardless of how often you two may have spoken about marriage. There are no "breaks" in marriage.

And frankly, 2.5 years ain't a whole lot of time for two potential life partners to get to know each other. My own brother and his GF of three years took a "break" when he was in college and after the "back-together", they took another 2 years to figure out that they weren't ever going to be apart. The message here is "Don't jump the gun". If she's into you for all time, she'll be into you whether or not you're married to her. That doesn't mean she'll wait forever for a proposal, but if she won't wait at all then that's more about the wedding than it is the relationship and that's simply a doomsday clock a' ticking.

Two people should end up in wedlock only because that's the obvious next step and it needs to be obvious to both parties. SunDeck's response was very telling in that both he and his wife obviously felt already "married", so it was obvious that they should get married. It doesn't appear to be quite so obvious for you two right now and it also appears, via "break", that you guys have some things to work through before "obvious" happens. So take the time to work through them before potentially setting yourself up for disaster down the road.

Very, very well spoken. Thank you. Just to set my message straight, I wouldn't intend on a proposal immediately after getting "back together". I'm not even sure THAT is going to happen yet, but I sure hope so. I guess what I meant to say is that this tough time has proven to me that she is the girl that I don't want to live without. If she tells me that we can work things out then I'll eventually spend the rest of my life dedicated to making her happy and keeping a smile on her face. If she tells me that it is time to move on, well...I might just end up spending the rest of my life missing her. True story!

SteelSD
06-08-2008, 10:35 PM
Very, very well spoken. Thank you. Just to set my message straight, I wouldn't intend on a proposal immediately after getting "back together". I'm not even sure THAT is going to happen yet, but I sure hope so. I guess what I meant to say is that this tough time has proven to me that she is the girl that I don't want to live without. If she tells me that we can work things out then I'll eventually spend the rest of my life dedicated to making her happy and keeping a smile on her face. If she tells me that it is time to move on, well...I might just end up spending the rest of my life missing her. True story!

I missed your prior post before posting my response, so please allow me to highlight something you noted:


She also gave me the, "I love you but I'm not sure if I'm in love with you anymore".

To me, one of the basic tenants of marriage is mutual respect. That is, IMHO, the simple truth of "in love" because "in love" has to carry itself through an entire lifetime of experiences (even the hard times). Someone who says, "I love you but I'm not sure if I'm in love with you anymore" is actually saying, "When we met, I respected you as an equal and as a potential provider, but I'm not sure that's still true..." I've heard that cliche myself in the long-ago-time and it's pretty near a relationship death sentence, even if you get back together excepting two things:

1. You've actually willingly changed to meet your potential.
2. You've decided to be completely subservient to your partner's needs.

I'm not a professional marriage counselor, nor did I recently stay at a Holiday Inn Express, but right now I'm sensing that #2 would be fine for you while you attempt to accomplish #1. Unfortunately, #2 tends to become a habit for the kind of girl you're describing while #1 can only be attained by someone who puts themself first via ego, drive, and ambition.

And here's the simple truth based on what you've posted:

The girl you're referencing does not respect you to the same extreme that you want her, at it doesn't appear that it's even close. The girl you're thinking about marrying will not accept you as you are. It's your choice to change either for your own good or for her acceptance. The former is good. The latter is not, because if you change due to only her needs, that will only reinforce that she can control you. It might keep her happy for a short time, but it will not pave the way for an honest and respectful partnership. In the end, it will bring you even more heartache and, eventually, financial loss.

The question I have to ask of you is this:

Do you want to go through life always catering to someone else's needs or do you want to find an equal with whom you can experience all there is to discover?

Maybe...just maybe...that can put your current "break" into perspective.

cumberlandreds
06-09-2008, 07:19 AM
I'll chime in even though I've never been proposed to... what's the problem??? - just ask!

Let me tell you about how my Dad "proposed" to my Mom. BTW, my parents will be celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary in August. :thumbup:

Anyhoo... My Mom would never tell me and my siblings how Dad proposed to her saying that somethings need to remain a secret. I finally asked my Dad about 15 years ago. And this is his story... he was in the Navy stationed in Michigan but home on leave (his parents at the time lived in Hamilton). He goes to a "dude ranch" outside of town and meets my Mom who is with other friends. By the end of the night my Mom has had a few drinks and is somewhat tipsy. So my Dad jokingly says "Can I carry you?" - but my Mom in her state thinks my Dad says "Can I marry you?" Which, of course, she says yes. Dad doesn't realize this until later when she calls him up to remind him (maybe she wasn't so tipsy after all). Dad must have been somewhat smitten and tells my Mom that he needs to go back to Michigan not only to get back to the base but to say good-bye to his live in girlfriend... :eek: Remember, this is 1948! They dated when he was on leave for about 4 months and were married in August of that year.

Moral... ya just never know!

Great story and picture,Kitty! The lady to the left of the man (I assume your dad) doesn't look too happy about things.:)

BTW, My proposal was nothing fancy. We had been dating only a month or so. We were both lonely and ready to settle down. So one night on the couch we were talking about things and I said "well let's just get married." She said yes and a few months later we walked down the aisle.

15fan
06-09-2008, 09:59 AM
My grand plan was to propose on her birthday, and get married a year later on her birthday. Only 1 date for me to have to remember. I like to keep life simple that way.

I never told anyone. Not a soul other than the guy who was making the ring.

At a wedding a few weeks before the intended proposal, 3 of her friends came up to me independantly of each other and asked if it was true that I was going to propose on her birthday. I told them I had no idea what they were talking about.

It was clear that I needed a plan B. If for no other reason than just because.

Her birthday rolled around, and she was all set for a proposal. We were just out of school, didn't have much $, and a friend was in from out of town earlier in the week for work. So we got pizza for dinner, then went to a $1 movie. Sense & Sensibility. Lots of marriage proposals in that movie. Got back to her apartment around midnight, and she was clearly down that I hadn't proposed. Pulled out some leftover cake from earlier in the week. Then at 12:10 am on the morning after her birthday, I got down on one knee and proposed.

She teared up, said "yes", and then proceeded to call me a string of names that were mostly derivations of 4 letter words.

We're into our second decade of wedded bliss.

westofyou
06-09-2008, 10:05 AM
We'd been shacked up for two years. We wanted all the gifts, so we just decided to make it legal.

It was very romantic.

7 For me.. 5 years of dating prior to that, I said, So we're going to Vegas for a concert eh? We should just get married.

And we did.

And THAT'S why we can sleep together when we are in Ohio.

IslandRed
06-09-2008, 10:27 AM
There's no one right answer. It depends on whether there's any element of surprise, whether she prefers the big public display or a private moment, etc. You just have to know your audience here.

In my case, the proposal was purely anti-climactic, as we'd gradually and comfortably slipped into using "when" rather than "if" when talking about marriage. Rather than try and pull off a surprise moment when there was absolutely no chance of her being surprised, I just asked her to go ring shopping with me, which she enjoyed more than she would have enjoyed having me pull out a ring in some fancy restaurant.

Grounds_Crew
06-09-2008, 10:33 AM
Hmmm...not a bad idea. I wonder if asking her to go ring shopping just to "look around" would be a good thing. It would let her know that I am serious about our future together. Which...the lack of my seriousness is what has gotten us into this break. Anyway...that might work out well and it would give me the opportunity to see what she really likes. After that, I could then begin a creative approach in a surpise fashion.

However...things have to get worked out first...obviously. I'm hoping for the best.

sonny
06-09-2008, 10:40 AM
I entered a recording studio with a song I had written for her. I popped the CD in right after a nice meal, and after the song she turned to hug me and found me on one knee holding out a ring.

IslandRed
06-09-2008, 12:57 PM
Hmmm...not a bad idea. I wonder if asking her to go ring shopping just to "look around" would be a good thing.

I've heard that you just need to go to the mall and let her catch you looking at the jewelry-store display cases. Her subsequent reaction and attitude will tell you what you need to know. :laugh: Can't say I've tested the theory.

KronoRed
06-09-2008, 02:04 PM
Me: So who do you think we should invite to our wedding?
Her: We're getting married?
Me: Yeah, I mean if you want too.
Her: Sounds good.
Me: Cool

:D

Cedric
06-09-2008, 03:26 PM
On a hill overlooking Florence, Italy. I got lucky that the time I wanted to propose was also right after we both graduated college. I proposed after 7 years of dating and no breakups. Be really wary of that.

TeamSelig
06-09-2008, 07:10 PM
Hate to say this, but usually the "I love you but not sure if I'm in love with you" is often times a nice way to break up with someone that they care for, but just don't want to be with.

If you guys get back together, make sure its not because she feels sorry for you or anything like that. Make it mutual.

After that, when you've decided you want to marry her, I'd just explain to her your feelings without coming out and proposing. If she seems to be on the same page as you, then plan your proposal.

In our hometown, there is a HUGE display of Christmas decorations, lights, etc. She had been complaining for weeks about wanting to go see them. We decided on Christmas Eve to exchange gifts. I waited until she had unwrapped all of hers, and then I brought out the good one.

guttle11
06-09-2008, 07:33 PM
In our hometown, there is a HUGE display of Christmas decorations, lights, etc. She had been complaining for weeks about wanting to go see them. We decided on Christmas Eve to exchange gifts. I waited until she had unwrapped all of hers, and then I brought out the good one.

And you proposed shortly after? :eek:

KittyDuran
06-09-2008, 07:49 PM
Hate to say this, but usually the "I love you but not sure if I'm in love with you" is often times a nice way to break up with someone that they care for, but just don't want to be with.Well, I was going to mention that as well - but it was such a downer. :( I'm trying to remember a Jeff Foxworthy stand-up where he talks about "break-up" lines from women...and what they really mean.

RBA
06-09-2008, 09:15 PM
Here's an idea:

Buy a Big Mac Meal and tell her: Half of this can be yours if you say yes.

Yachtzee
06-09-2008, 10:18 PM
Hate to say this, but usually the "I love you but not sure if I'm in love with you" is often times a nice way to break up with someone that they care for, but just don't want to be with.

.

I think you're right. I've had someone say that to me before. After another 6 months of on-again off-again business, I recognized it for what it was, a hedge. She wanted a break to test the waters to see if there was someone out there who might have been a better option. She "loved" me, but not enough to look past the things that bugged her, so she wanted a chance to look around. But then she was also afraid of being alone, so she didn't want to say it was an outright break-up. I think the only way you get back on equal footing in that sense is if you take it for what it is, a break up, and start seeking other options. If she comes back and you find you want to get together, at least she'll know you weren't spending your time pining for her like a lost puppy.

Maybe I'm wrong. Everyone's situation is different. However, the willingness to use the cliche "I love you but I'm not in love with you" should be a big red stop sign that makes you think. You have to ask yourself if this is someone who loves you for who you are and can look past your shortcomings, or is this someone who is always going to be wishing you were something you aren't?

ABEsolutely
06-10-2008, 09:26 AM
I proposed while driving.
And she was shooing a fly out the window.
We knew each other for 3 months.

Blimpie
06-10-2008, 02:33 PM
I have been married for nearly 14 years (we dated for about two years prior to marriage)....

I proposed the weekend before Christmas while we were in Louisville staying at the Seelbach Hotel. We were in town to see "A Christmas Carol" at the Actor's Theatre.

Our family has now grown to five and has made attending the play at Christmas time an annual tradition ever since.

Ltlabner
06-10-2008, 04:30 PM
She want's to test the waters, isn't sure about the relationship and "is in love/but not in love".

You are thinking about buying a wedding ring.

That's about as two seperate pages as people can possibly be on in terms of relationships. Serriously, say those words out loud and listen to yourself.

If you are thinking of dangling the wedding rock in front of her to entice her back you might as well start sending money to a divorce laywer and therepist right now. Obviously I'm playing Dr. Phil based on your two posts, but it comes across to me that she's not happy and wants to look elsewhere and you're suddenly thinking marriage as a way to prevent her from doing same.

Sorry to be so harsh, but this girl has already moved on. Likely, you should do the same.

_Sir_Charles_
06-10-2008, 06:20 PM
I proposed on the fourth of july by the lake-side just as the fireworks finale was finishing up. Afterwards, I got a standing ovation from the other lake-side viewers. When we got back to the car I had the CD player set up to play our song as the first song she heard. All in all kinda corney...but it worked and it remained memorable. We ended up getting married the following year on the 3rd of July (15 years ago...shortly). There's a tip there for you aspiring hubby's...plan a date that's EASY to remember. :O)

Reds Freak
06-10-2008, 08:43 PM
She want's to test the waters, isn't sure about the relationship and "is in love/but not in love".

You are thinking about buying a wedding ring.

That's about as two seperate pages as people can possibly be on in terms of relationships. Serriously, say those words out loud and listen to yourself.

If you are thinking of dangling the wedding rock in front of her to entice her back you might as well start sending money to a divorce laywer and therepist right now. Obviously I'm playing Dr. Phil based on your two posts, but it comes across to me that she's not happy and wants to look elsewhere and you're suddenly thinking marriage as a way to prevent her from doing same.

Sorry to be so harsh, but this girl has already moved on. Likely, you should do the same.

I don't know, just by going from his posts, I wouldn't be so quick to throw in the towel. I obviously don't know the whole situation but it doesn't seem like she is "testing the waters" during this break. They've been dating for quite some time and often times long term dating relationships have a tendency to get stale and lose that spark and it just takes a small time away from each other to regain that spark. Obviously, there are many issues that would need to be worked out before you two would think about marriage, but I wouldn't lose all hope yet..

Ltlabner
06-10-2008, 09:18 PM
I don't know, just by going from his posts, I wouldn't be so quick to throw in the towel. I obviously don't know the whole situation but it doesn't seem like she is "testing the waters" during this break. They've been dating for quite some time and often times long term dating relationships have a tendency to get stale and lose that spark and it just takes a small time away from each other to regain that spark. Obviously, there are many issues that would need to be worked out before you two would think about marriage, but I wouldn't lose all hope yet..

Of corse we are operating on very limited information (as I mentioned previously) and my advice is exactly what you paid for it.

That said, I've been in the OP's shoes. Many of the guys reading this thread have too. There's a lot of common themes that likely have many guys shaking their heads up and down...and thinking "yep....been there".

"I love you, but am not in love with you" is relationship kryptonte. That's a soft way of saying, "I realized that a relationship with you isn't going any further". No amount of puppy-dog phone calls is going to change that and in many cases just turns the woman off even more.

"I want to take a break" is often, but not always, code for "I really want to see who else is out there because an upgrade would be nice". Again, sorry to be harsh, but why else would she "need a break" ? If she can't possibly process all of her thoughts and emotions while simlutaniously contiuning to see somebody what on earth is she going to do when she's actually married? Is she going to need "a break" when the adjustment to living together takes place" Is she going to need "a break" when kids come along and the relationship changes? What about if there's a medical issue or other stresses?

Keep in mind the OP said they've dated for 2.5 years and had problems "the past month". So suddenly in the space of a few weeks she's gone from dating and occasionally talking about marriage to "don't call me". That's a pretty drastic change. Either there was big time problems all along and she realized it OR another, more interesting option has come along that she'd like to explore.

Another issue to consider: the gf broke things off to push things towards marriage? Wow. That's pretty damn manipulative stuff. That's relationship time bomb with a capital divorce. Obviously we're not privy to all the details so that one is a shot in the dark, but based on some of the comments the OP made, it might be a possiblity. If that's what really going on here, the OP should run and never look back. It gets back to what SteelSD was talking about with mutal respect. Maybe not at all what's happening but it's not out of the relms of possiblity.

Relationships are complex things and everybody is different. That said, a lot of the themes are consistant from relationship to relationship. Instead of being distraut and trying to contrive ways to talk to the ex-gf (been there) his energy would be better spent moving on and seeing what else is out there.

There's a great big wide world out there and while the loss of one relationship can *seem* like the end of the world, if we wallow too long we might miss the next chapter in our lives. Sit back, regroup, explore what lessons you should learn from this relationship and move forward. If this relationship is "meant to be" it will happen. No amount of manipulation and tinkering is going to force something to work when it's simply "not meant to be".

RedsManRick
06-10-2008, 10:25 PM
If I can offer my perspective...

In college I was the guy a girl dated while on break with her long time beau. She just wasn't sure he was the guy she wanted to marry. There were some things she wasn't sure were deal breakers and simply wasn't ready to commit beyond what they had. They talked/emailed just a few times over a 4 month period. This is from two people who talked an hour or more in person and exchanged multiple emails/texts every day, long distance, for 3 years. But the spark was gone and she was tired. And I was somebody new and exciting (says her...).

In reality, she had lost perspective. She had grown to focus on the problems in their relationship, taking the rest for granted. Throughout our brief relationship, she was frequently distracted with thinking of him, though she wouldn't admit it. She was coming to the realization that no relationship would be perfect, that no angel would come down and tell her he was the one. And he was the one person who could not help her see that, despite his efforts. She needed to learn it on her own. Meanwhile, he was going through the same process. He was dating other women too.

We officially dated for about 2 months. I broke it off when I realized her heart was still with him. They summer after college, they got back together as friends at first. They fell back in love. The next summer they got engaged. They've been married over two years now.

That's not to say your girl will come back to you. But you should let her go. You cannot convince her to stay. And likewise, you have to explore the idea of moving on. You have to rediscover you without her. That's the you she fell in love with after all. And if after exploring, she wants to come back. And if after exploring, you want to come back, then good for you both.

But don't start with the wedding ring talk. That's putting the cart way in front of the horse. If you get back together, give yourselves time to enjoy each other again away from the pressure of a lifetime commitment. If that's in the cards, things could move in that direction quickly. But you can't make it happen.

IslandRed
06-11-2008, 12:49 AM
Of corse we are operating on very limited information (as I mentioned previously) and my advice is exactly what you paid for it.

That said, I've been in the OP's shoes. Many of the guys reading this thread have too. There's a lot of common themes that likely have many guys shaking their heads up and down...and thinking "yep....been there".

"I love you, but am not in love with you" is relationship kryptonite. That's a soft way of saying, "I realized that a relationship with you isn't going any further".

Agreed. Yet, there are multiple possible reasonings here as to WHY it's not going further. One possibility is that she's realized she wouldn't want to marry him. The other is, she doesn't think he'll ever want to marry her, and she's attempting to disengage before that wound gets any larger. Since Grounds_Crew mentioned a "lack of seriousness" as a factor, the latter scenario is entirely possible here.

I wouldn't lead with the ring if I was GC but at least alluding to the possibility might flush out her real feelings on the matter.

fearofpopvol1
06-11-2008, 03:16 AM
There are some pretty insightful posts in this thread. With that said, here is my take...

I went through something almost identical to your situation GC. Only difference was we had dated longer (4 years to be exact). Things had been pretty rocky for a while, but there were a variety of variables that I think allowed us to stay together for that time.

One day, I got the dreaded, "Let's take a break" statement. I wasn't psyched about it, but obviously it wasn't my call and all I could do was hope for the best. I decided not to contact her during the break at all. Well, at least that was the plan. About 6 weeks had passed and I had heard nothing, which was surprising to me given our past. I got word that she had moved on and was with someone else. I then decided to make contact and confront her about it. She was with someone and lied about it, but that's a whole different story.

Obviously, there are lots of facts GC about your relationship that only you and her know. From the sounds of it, I think the girl has moved on. I know that may be a tough reality to face, but you need to at least consider it as a realistic, but unfortunate possibility. Where I empathize with you is the fact that before I knew for sure the girl had moved on, I refused to acknowledge or believe it. I was thinking up scenarios to try to combat everything that were only favorable to the results I had hoped for. Ultimately, it was all unrealistic. And I was willing to sacrifice whatever needed to try to keep things going. That's not something I would ever do again, but it's in the past now.

As for advice, I assume you have friends that are girls. Talk to them about your situation. I found a lot of the stuff that my friends told me was pretty dead on (later). Secondly, try to detatch yourself from the relationship, even if it's just a little. There's no real harm from doing it. If it doesn't work out, it'll make things easier. If it does work out, you haven't lost anything. Third, let some time pass. That's the hardest thing to do, but time will do the talking. Lastly, don't do anything you'll regret later. I think that's important.

Best of luck. It sounds like a bad situation, if I can be perfectly honest. Just be open-minded and don't expect too much.

camisadelgolf
06-11-2008, 08:49 AM
If marrying her is so important, just get her pregnant.

Falls City Beer
06-11-2008, 09:08 AM
Here's an idea:

Buy a Big Mac Meal and tell her: Half of this can be yours if you say yes.

Boo-ya.

registerthis
06-11-2008, 10:11 AM
Here's an idea:

Buy a Big Mac Meal and tell her: Half of this can be yours if you say yes.

"And yes, baby...fries DO come with that shake."

Roy Tucker
06-11-2008, 10:15 AM
Some thoughts...

- In every relationship but one, when we've hit the "let's take a break" fork in the road, she has gone her way and I've gone mine.

- I know it seems tragic at the time, but time heals all wounds and it's really best to move on rather than flog a terminally-ill horse with black flies buzzing around it. If it's so hard to make the relationship work, then that is a very telling statement.

- I used to think I needed to make every relationship work. But I found that the best ones just work organically and sail along. If it doesn't do that, its time to re-think things. As Woodie Allen said in Annie Hall, "relationships are like sharks, they have to move forward to live, what we have here is a dead shark".

- BTW, the "but one" exception is now an ex-wife. Think about it.

rotnoid
06-11-2008, 10:24 AM
I proposed the day before Valentine's day after a night out (dinner, movie, what not). We returned to her parents' house, where she lived at the time. I stopped her on the front porch, got out the ring, got down on one knee and looked into her eyes and said my speech and what not. Just was I said the me in "will you marry me?" her then 15 year old brother starts beating on the window yelling, "Dan, motocross is on! MOTOCROSS!" So after we stopped laughing and she said yes and put on the ring, I went inside to "explain" to him what he'd just done.

He's getting married this weekend and I'm in the party. Not sure when yet, but the term Motocross will be coming out of my mouth at some point during all the festivities.

registerthis
06-11-2008, 10:46 AM
I think our story is kind of neat...

We had been dating for nearly a year, and both of us knew that we had something special going on, although we hadn't really discussed marriage. Our one year dating anniversary was coming up, and while I had given a passing thought to proposing then, it seemed a little too cliched for my liking. Additionally, we were planning a trip to Australia that fall and I considered that a far greater opportunity.

Unbeknownst to me, my wife (then girlfriend) had thought she had picked up signals that I was going to pop the question on the night of our anniversary dinner. We had dinner at a nice restaurant in central DC, then took a stroll down to the Jefferson Memorial. I thought we were just out for a pleasant summer walk; she clearly was thinking something else. I had actually gotten her a pair of earrings as an anniversary gift, and I gave them to her while we were at the Memorial...I thought at the time that her reaction was a bit subdued, but passed it off to the fact that she hadn't actually gotten me anything as a gift, and probably felt a bit bad about it. (Turns out she was quite upset about this, but naturally I didn't pick up on it at the time...)

Fast forward three months, it's our fourth (and last) day in Sydney, and I had been carrying the ring around with me in my pocket for each of them, unsure of the time and place I was going to propose to her. Knowing that this was to be our last night in Sydney, after dinner I sugested we walk down to the habor and sit in front of the Sydney Opera House. The weather wasn't bad, but there was a strong wind blowing, and we were both tired--nonetheless, she reluctantly agreed to my suggestion. We strolled down to the harbor and sat on the second bench in front of the Opera House, facing the Sydney Harbour Bridge. After a few minutes of chit-chat (which I don't really remember at all), I reached into my pocket and brought out the ring; I think she was saying "yes" before I could even get the question out of my mouth. I couldn't have pictured a better setting, honestly.

TeamSelig
06-11-2008, 12:26 PM
If marrying her is so important, just get her pregnant.

LOL

vaticanplum
06-12-2008, 06:21 PM
If I can offer my perspective...

In college I was the guy a girl dated while on break with her long time beau. She just wasn't sure he was the guy she wanted to marry. There were some things she wasn't sure were deal breakers and simply wasn't ready to commit beyond what they had. They talked/emailed just a few times over a 4 month period. This is from two people who talked an hour or more in person and exchanged multiple emails/texts every day, long distance, for 3 years. But the spark was gone and she was tired. And I was somebody new and exciting (says her...).

In reality, she had lost perspective. She had grown to focus on the problems in their relationship, taking the rest for granted. Throughout our brief relationship, she was frequently distracted with thinking of him, though she wouldn't admit it. She was coming to the realization that no relationship would be perfect, that no angel would come down and tell her he was the one. And he was the one person who could not help her see that, despite his efforts. She needed to learn it on her own. Meanwhile, he was going through the same process. He was dating other women too.

We officially dated for about 2 months. I broke it off when I realized her heart was still with him. They summer after college, they got back together as friends at first. They fell back in love. The next summer they got engaged. They've been married over two years now.

That's not to say your girl will come back to you. But you should let her go. You cannot convince her to stay. And likewise, you have to explore the idea of moving on. You have to rediscover you without her. That's the you she fell in love with after all. And if after exploring, she wants to come back. And if after exploring, you want to come back, then good for you both.

But don't start with the wedding ring talk. That's putting the cart way in front of the horse. If you get back together, give yourselves time to enjoy each other again away from the pressure of a lifetime commitment. If that's in the cards, things could move in that direction quickly. But you can't make it happen.

RMR, I really thought you were about 50. You must be younger than I am.

It's times like this that I realize I've made assumptions about people on a message board without ever noticing I've done it. And it's times like this that I think, perhaps I should step away from the computer.

M2
06-12-2008, 07:11 PM
Some thoughts...

- In every relationship but one, when we've hit the "let's take a break" fork in the road, she has gone her way and I've gone mine.

- I know it seems tragic at the time, but time heals all wounds and it's really best to move on rather than flog a terminally-ill horse with black flies buzzing around it. If it's so hard to make the relationship work, then that is a very telling statement.

- I used to think I needed to make every relationship work. But I found that the best ones just work organically and sail along. If it doesn't do that, its time to re-think things. As Woodie Allen said in Annie Hall, "relationships are like sharks, they have to move forward to live, what we have here is a dead shark".

- BTW, the "but one" exception is now an ex-wife. Think about it.

What Roy said.

I broke up with everyone I ever thought I should break up with except my ex-wife. Had I listened to the splitsville voice inside my head I wouldn't have regretted things not working out despite the time we spent together. What I regret are the years I wasted after that.

GC, I think you've got to be conscious of the very real possibility that what you're going through isn't missing her as much as the disorientation of being single for the first time in 2.5 years. Wanting to propose to her is a definite sign that you're romanticizing the situation.

My advice to anyone whose significant other has suggested they take a break is to see other people, no matter how weird that feels at first. Maybe we should see other people? No, definitely you should see other people. You very well might find you don't miss her nearly as much the second you have a good date with someone else. Also, often the person who delivers the "love you, but not in love with you" speech has their eye on someone else (or is already seeing someone else). That can be rough, but don't be the guy pining away for a girl who has moved on to another guy (not saying that is the case here, but the person in your shoes is always the last to know). Put your energy into yourself and take the opportunity to see who else is out there.

Maybe you will get back together. I know people who've gone that route, but my caution is those people seem to be constantly working on their relationship. My wife and I have been together for nearly 13 years and we don't work on our relationship much at all. We just have a relationship that works.

As for proposing, I got my wife pregnant. It worked for my parents and grandparents and apparently I learned from the successes of my elders.