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Mixed signals


My boyfriend and I have been dating for 9 months and have been crazy about each other from day 1.  He recently graduated and is working while I finish grad school which I'll be done with in May 2012.  We have been talking about marriage for a while now and the plan is for me to graduate, get a job by him, get married...etc.  I couldn't be happier with the thought of this but at the same time do not feel I should move to be by him without being engaged.

However, I am not OK with the thought of giving up opportunities after going to school for 7 years so we can be together if there is no concrete commitment made on his end.  Like I said, we talk about getting married all the time.  Though, when it comes to rings, he has no interest in learning what I like and what I don't.  He doesn't want me to pick out the ring but it scares me that doesn't want my opinion on anything.  

The way I see it is I'm going to be wearing this ring the rest of my life and I really want to love it.  Of course, the meaning behind it is what matters... but there are so many ring styles out there that I do not like.  I do not wear jewelry on a regular basis so he really has no way of knowing what I like.  I'd love to help him but he's so resilient!  

Sometimes I feel I'm being shallow because having the right ring means so much to me.  Am I in the wrong?  I am feeling a lot of anxiety about the thought of hating my engagement ring.  

Have any of you been through anything like this?  Any advice? 
Aug 05, 2011 @ 02:45 pm

11 Replies

The Fashion P.A.


Hi cjung! Nice to e-meet you :)

My boyfriend and I had been dating for 7 years before he popped the question. I understood his reservations about marriage but knew in my heart (and told him) that one day I would want to get married and try to be apart of the 50% who try to make it work/last. I would strongly urge you to stick to your guns about securing a stronger relationship commitment before moving to be closer to him. 9 months is a while but I feel it's still within the three year honeymoon phase.. Things really get real after knowing someone for 3, 5 years plus.
Doesn't sounds like your gent is shy about getting married which is great! Just the engagement ring pickle you're in... Because your man is not listening to what you want makes me think he's not ready... Sometimes they are listening and just don't want to ruin the surprise... This is tough, I understand why you're so worried - engagement rings are an investment and become a family heirloom. My boyfriend proposed with a cubic zirconia and let me pick out the ring I wanted. Long story short, we really came together and ended up making a tweak to the setting and became even more special to the both of us.
Start doing your engagement ring research now. Send him pics or leave them lying around of what you want.. Most rings can be exchanged but we all want the perfect one at that moment. My ring only took two weeks to make but it felt like a lifetime..
Hope some part of my response helps.. Please don't hesitant to email me if you have any questions! thefashionpa@gmail.com
Aug 05, 2011 @ 03:55 pm

Great advice @the-fashion-pa

I understand that in order to move closer to him you'll want a commitment, since, it seems like you'll be giving up A LOT. From what you described, it seems like he'll eventually want marriage but maybe not right now, and that's why he's having a hard time dedicating his thoughts to finding the perfect ring. That doesn't mean he doesn't want to marry you tho! I just think that when he's 100% ready, then he'll want to have more say in this whole situation. On the other hand, maybe he's just the type to not fuss over details like the engagment ring and doesn't see it as sentimental.

If I were you, I would have a serious discussion with him about the timing of things. Yes it's clear he wants to marry you, but when does he truly want that to happen? Is it right now, or 2 years down the road. You need to find out.

Take care and I hope he'll be more involved! But at the same time, some men just don't really care for things like that lol.
Aug 05, 2011 @ 04:13 pm

Life decisions

Thanks for your input fashionpa! I know 9 months isn't that long. I've been in relationships lasting 3 and 4 years so I do understand how things grow and change. The fact of it is, we are a perfect fit and have basically been living together ever since we started dating. We are definitely past the stage of trying to impress each other, there's not much that's held back between us now.

If the situation were different I would be completely fine with waiting for a few years before getting engaged. It's almost as if life is taking over and we are being forced to make some decisions sooner than later.

To add to everything, even if I did move to be by him without needing a commitment, we wouldn't be able to live together because of his parents. They feel we have to be married before we live together (they are unaware that we basically have been anyway) which means 2 rent checks and all that jazz. So yet another reason I think the sooner the better.
Aug 05, 2011 @ 04:23 pm

Men and details, lol

Tammyk, I think you are right on the money when it comes to him not really caring about these things. He said the other day he thinks "all rings look pretty much the same and wouldn't pick one that looked dumb"...hence my concern. Thanks for your thoughts!
Aug 05, 2011 @ 04:27 pm


9 months is fairly short in the grand scheme of things. It also sounds like you are in a long-distance relationship (otherwise there'd be no need to move to be near him).

I have been exactly where you are! I was about 1 year into my LDR with my now-husband when I decided to move to be near him. We had talked about marriage all the time but were not engaged. I was in school and he lived in a hick town so I basically gave it all up to be with him. In retrospect, I could have continued with Distance Ed or found another compromise, but heck - I was drunk with love and there was no talking sense to me at the time (believe me, my family tried). As it happened, we were engaged within 1 month of my moving over there and married just a few months later. Eventually, I went back to school and finished my degree so it all kind of came out to the same conclusion either way.

You have the advantage over me in that it sounds like you'll have graduated by the time you move over there. You speak as though there are no options for you in his city - is this just a fear you have, or is there an actual job shortage over there (in your field)? Or is your reluctance more to do with leaving behind friends & family?

I'm thinking too that your guy has all the intentions but is probably thinking it'll be a little longer yet before things get set in stone (talk is cheap, no?). Rare is the man who is actually ready to forge ahead after such a relatively short time, crazy in love or not. I'm not really surprised at the way he's acting; however, we here are obviously very far removed and can only talk in hypotheticals.

I think that at this point, you need to be thinking a little more selfishly. Do you have options in his town, even if they are perhaps less than in your town? If so, this might be a cool opportunity to break away from the comfy old life and have a little adventure by moving to a new place! But if his city is a location you would under other circumstances flat out refuse to move, then I'd say you should hold off calling the moving trucks. Move for YOU, not him... at least, not yet.

As for the ring thing, it's not selfish for you to want input. It's also not selfish for him to want to reserve a little mystery and surprise. Yes, it's the ring you'll wear for your whole life (assuming), but it is also a gift from him to you. In the same way that you can't have 100% control over Christmas presents he gives you, a little leeway in allowing him to find a ring without your hovering is not unreasonable.

To find the middle ground, you should make a few musts known. For example:

(a) solitaire or no solitaire? Do you care?
(b) diamond or other precious gem? Are you flexible, and if so, to what degree?
(c) white gold, yellow gold, or platinum?
(d) carat size - if there's a minimum, you really should say so. Shallow? Maybe. but if this is important then it needs to be said.
(e) conflict-free gems - is this a must?
(f) how do you feel about vintage? Would you be okay with granny's ring, an auction antique, etc? If so, what style are you okay with (vintage rings can be highly stylized).
(g) normal setting or channel setting - does your job prevent wearing a ring with an exposed gem (eg. nurse)?

If any of these are neither here nor there, all the better. But whichever of them are black & white choices, this is crucial info to be shared. Show him a few pictures, then back the heck off. Nothing like undue pressure to really sour the whole experience.

I told my guy I wanted a diamond solitaire and the rest was up to him. Luckily, it's pretty hard to get that wrong, so it was a diamond solitaire I received. It was later stolen, so now I'm without... but that's another story :/

You might not adore the ring he picks right away, but I bet that if it's very
Aug 05, 2011 @ 04:34 pm

late to the party

ooops, I rambled on for so long that you all came and commented before I pressed "submit". I was responding under the-fashion-pa, so apologies if my essay above is a little out of context.
Aug 05, 2011 @ 04:35 pm


Buy the ring yourself, send him the visa bill.

Joking. But seriously, I always say this to my friends but you have to be smart about relationships and marriage. Really take the time to think about what you are getting into here. Is he actually committed- do you see yourself growing old with him? This isn't so much about the ring as it the relationship. The ring is just represents the commitment. Just because you buy someone a ring though, doesn't mean you are actually committed. I think you need to take a step back and think about yourself here.
Aug 05, 2011 @ 04:39 pm


Thanks mamaluv for your advice! There are actually a lot of opportunities where he is living but I will be 5 hours away from my family and best friend in the whole world. I never planned on moving back home though, I always wanted to live in a totally new environment. The town he is in now is a smaller version of home so it's definitely comfortable but not nearly as exciting as I wanted, he'd make it worth it though. Plus who's to say we have to live there forever.

I believe my issue is I feel I'd be the only one making a commitment by moving down there.
Aug 05, 2011 @ 04:47 pm

Ring doesn't = happy committed relationship?? ha jk

@alexjc: you couldn't be more right. It's the commitment that I'm more excited about than anything, that's why I feel so petty even worrying about this aspect of it.
Aug 05, 2011 @ 04:51 pm

Again, just like me!

I had asked my guy if he'd consider moving to my town, and the response was ... not good. I def felt I was making all the sacrifices and when we argued, this fact kept cropping up. We are well beyond that now, and have since moved all over the world (including to my hometown for a 5 year stint).

Sometimes you cannot compromise, unfortunately. You can't simply say that since neither wants to move to one or the other's hometown, well golly let's just pick an in-between point and move there. That's not a compromise, that's just silly.

Luckily for you, 5 hours is not that bad - you can still go home for long weekends or other holidays. In my case it was a full 24 hour drive or $500 plane ticket. I'm not trying to be insensitive, just point out that it could be worse!

Does he have a good reason for not coming to you? In my guy's case, it was because he was an integral part of his family's business and him leaving would likely have meant it would go bust. In fact, when we decided to leave as a couple years later, the business was done for - though the local economy was more to blame by that point in time.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that you will not find a 50-50 equality in every aspect of your relationship. There will constantly be situations where one will have to give ground more than the other, and hopefully it will be an even split on who benefits more between the two of you and not a steady string of one person's wishes being trampled.

Here's the crummy old adage (you knew this was coming!): Life isn't fair. But that's just part of growing up (and really, we never stop growing until the day we close our eyes for the last time).
Aug 05, 2011 @ 04:59 pm

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