I'm hesitant to write about this in a public space, but this is essentially my journal and I can write whatever I want. I think it's important to write stuff like this down, so I can look back on it later... And besides, no one reads this blog, anyway!

So, he's bought the ring. I know he has, because I picked it out. The receipts are on the dining room table. It's a done deal.

Or is it? I'm pretty sure the thing's been ready for a week, but I know he hasn't even picked it up yet. It comes up now and then, because I keep expecting him to ask me, but he doesn't. He's asked my dad, he's told his family - we've even received a letter of "unofficial congratulations" from his grandma! But he hasn't asked me. Why?

It's kind of become a point of contention, and neither of us like to talk about it. (Shouldn't this be making us happy?) I get the feeling he's treating asking me to marry him like a chore. That's not what I want. It was eating at me so I asked him about it. One of the greatest things about our relationship is that we're perfectly honest with each other. But when he, in perfect honesty, confirmed all my fears - that it did feel like a chore to him, and he was having second thoughts, and he wants to make sure he wants to do it instead of being pressured into it - it didn't exactly fill my heart with warm fuzzies about the greatness of our relationship.

Now, I appreciate what he's trying to say, here. For one, he's being honest, not vindictive. He really wants to make sure he's doing it for the right reasons, and that's probably hard for him to assess right now, being that the environment just became pressurized. And it's not like I'm the only one putting pressure on, here. I mean, his father called to congratulate me and welcome me to the family, and I had to tell him that technically, there's nothing to congratulate yet. Talk about awkward! The problem is, the sources of pressure are:

1. The potential wedding date. We want to get married in September. We've talked about this, and agree that it would be awesome. However, it is now May. If he proposed right now, that leaves me with about 4 months to throw a wedding together. I'm not against changing the date, but if we want to keep it where it is, from a logistical standpoint we really don't have time to wait on this engagement thing. I admit I've pressured him a bit about this, but that's only because I know the wedding planning will be primarily my responsibility. I want us to have the wedding we both want, and I don't want to go insane doing it.

2. The length of time we've been dating. We've been dating for over seven years. That's a long, long time. I've been feeling pressure and fielding questions from family and friends about the engagement/marriage issue for years, but he's only just now getting a taste of it. And there is a common sentiment among our friends and family that "it's about time". They say it as an encouragement, but I think he takes it as a criticism. In a way, it is a criticism, and an honest one. He says he doesn't want me to be expecting a proposal, because then it feels like something he has to do instead of something spontaneous that he wants to do. But really, what am I (or our families) supposed to think at this point? When you buy an engagement ring, people expect a proposal will be forthcoming. I mean, why else would you buy it? And of course, it's not a surprise. How could it be? It's not like we barely know each other. Truthfully, we could've done this several years ago.

And that's part of the problem. In fact, it may be the root of the problem. Why didn't we do this several years ago? I would have. I've been waiting on him. For years and years.

He always said that he "just didn't feel ready", which is valid, I suppose, but still doesn't really answer the "why" question. So it leaves me filling in that blank with "It must be something about me." Really. I mean, you either love someone, or you don't. You can live with them for the rest of your life, or you can't. There's not a lot of room for fence-sitting, here. I'm sure, so what is it that's making him unsure?

And, in the ultimate example of tautological argument, his uncertainty is making me uncertain! The longer he waits, the more I wonder if this is so right after all. I want someone who is head over heels in love with me and can't wait to spend the rest of his life with me. I was really hoping for some unbridled enthusiasm, here. His hesitation, first with openly discussing it, and now with the proposal... well, frankly, I'm concerned.

So here I am, back in the same conundrum I've been stuck in for as long as I can remember. I love him, and I know he loves me. So what's the problem? Why does talking about (or in this case, moving toward) our future together make us unhappy? Do I wait around indefinitely for something I desperately want but may never materialize, or do I leave a comfortable relationship with a wonderful person I'm in love with because I'm tired of waiting? Neither of these options is particularly appealing.

Here I am, stuck in the middle with you.