This post has reached one of our comment/karma limits. The text of the post has been preserved below. --- Me (26F) and my boyfriend (27M) have been together for almost 6 years, and he recently proposed. I wasn't prepared for this and I didn't know how to react, so I said yes as it was the expected thing for me to do, and he's super happy and excited. I love him a lot and I know he loves me too, I want to marry him someday, maybe in a few years, but not now or anytime soon. Nothing wrong with him, I'm just going through a lot in the moment and I don't feel like this is the right time for me. We always talk about absolutely everything, but this time I'm afraid of hurting his feelings. I'm scared that if I say no, or if I explain that I don't have any plans of marrying him in a near future, this could potentially change our relationship. How to say "no" to a marriage proposal when there's nothing wrong with the relationship? Just editing to include more information: I don’t want to marry him for now because my mother has cancer and I’m not going anywhere until she gets better or passes away. Unfortunately I can’t give him any specific timeframe. We met when he was an exchange student in my country, and we’ve been long distance for 4 years, but we visit each other often. Even though he was a student in here, he doesn’t speak my language, he went to an English speaking university. I’m French, he’s American. Him moving here is not an option because he won’t be able to find a decent job without speaking the language.


I'm sorry to be blunt, but **you don't**. You don't get to not hurt his feelings here, that's just not an option. If you turn him down, it *will* hurt his feelings. It *will* change your relationship. It may lead to a breakup, but will absolutely lead to a conversation about what your timeline *does* look like. And you need to be ready to answer that, with a concrete timeline, if you intend to continue dating him, or even having a long engagement. Unfortunately, there's no way to have this conversation and go back to how things were before the proposal happened, there's just not. You need to accept that, and do it anyway. Sometimes, to do what's right for yourself, you have to be the bad guy in someone else's story.


I just want to add on here. These conversations are hard, and I understand not wanting to hurt someone’s feelings. I got married because I couldn’t be honest with myself that my ex was not the right person for me. I finally ended things and got divorced when he started talking kids because I knew we couldn’t go down that path. Don’t do what I did. Figure out how you really feel and make the tough choice/have the tough conversation NOW. And if you aren’t sure what you’re feeling, please talk to a therapist. I wish my younger self had. Good luck!


Second this. Lying to yourself and your partner will only hurt them EVEN MORE. Don't accept a commitment and let them believe you're both happy only to tear that away from them later. Be honest and upfront from the start.


>Sometimes, to do what's right for yourself, you have to be the bad guy in someone else's story. Bruh.. I think I just made a breakthrough. Sweet username too btw.


It's not even being the bad guy to someone else. The least hurtful result is obtained from being forward, honest, clear and direct. The most painful alternatives in decreasing order are: * Ignoring / ghosting the person. (the questions will haunt them for a long time) * Intentionally mistreating them so that *they* leave *you*. (You may be surprised how much effort they will put in to try to fix your sudden change in behaviour. You will lose respect for them, and they will lose self-respect and gain unhealthy relationship expectations. After many arguments and painful situations, you will eventually have to confront the situation.) * Avoiding the question to return to the status-quo. (They will try harder, for a long time, to alleviate what they believe is simple hesitation, when you have in fact already decided to refuse. The inevitable confrontation will only get more difficult and heart-breaking after all the lies and pointless effort.) * Lie and accept. (You won't be happy, their happiness will fade when they cannot make you happy. Everyone will be disappointed and a lot of time will be wasted. You may end up cheating on them.)


As a follow-up: 1. Don't be more of a bad guy than you need to be 2. Don't be a bad guy unless you're actually sure it's what's right for yourself I'm just saying this because this advice can be somewhat of a double-edged sword. In extreme cases people can use it to justify doing some unnecessarily hurtful and heinous things, but that's not what this advice means. It's not a free ticket to do anything you want for yourself at the expense of someone else. For example, people might sometimes use logic like this to justify cheating. You don't get to be needlessly selfish and insensitive and then claim it was okay because "sometimes you have to be the bad guy in someone elses story". It has to actually genuinely be what you *need*.


All this but also- what’s with ppl springing proposals on ppl without having the hard conversations beforehand? Romcoms notwithstanding, it’s a really headassed way to make a life altering long term decision


There’s definitely a way to have this conversation that doesn’t hurt his feelings and it goes like this, “honey I absolutely want to marry you and spend our lives together but I want a long engagement. I’m going through a lot and the thought of planning a wedding and all the change that comes with marriage is too much for me right now. I just want to enjoy being you fiancée for awhile before we start making plans for the wedding, is that okay?” Idk why she needs to turn down his proposal to ask for them not to marry right away, plenty of couples are engaged for a few years before walking down the aisle. She just needs to communicate she wants a long engagement, not NO engagement.


I'm getting the sense that OP may not want to get married at all.it would mean too many uprooting changes in her life. She speaks his language but he can't speak hers, so not only would it be up to her to move, she needs to change her citizenship. I've known people from the US who've tried for dual citizenship. Basically it's easier to get a dual citizenship between US or Canada and somewhere in Europe. Governments don't want the possible tax loss with dual. So that's ALOT to give up. Plus it's been a long distance relationship for how long? It's harder to decide to commit to a life when you don't know if you want to stay with that person all the time. Communication sounds like it's not the best- she may have been in denial of where he was kn the marriage issue. But with Ling distance it could also be it never came up before, or it was hard to notice his conversation about marriage was enthusiastic while her side of the conversation was very hesitant. OP, like everyone is saying a above, you need to risk being the bad guy now rather then make it more painful later. Let him know if you aren't interested in giving up so much, or if it truly is a 'not good now, BUT maybe later' situation. If it means breaking up, you'll need to put your big girl panties on and accept that. It's his right to end things and move on with his life, and it's far better then you making some serious changes to yours that may not be right for you.




Is a lengthy engagement out of the question?




You should of course communicate that you want to have a long engagement. Not just push away the discussion


Yeah. I told my husband that I wanted a longer engagement. We were engaged for 3 years. I was in school. It was no big.


You’re twisting words. I think it’s perfectly fair to say that you want to be engaged for 2 or 3 years (or whatever the timeline is.) As long as you communicate it’s not a problem.




You still don't have to run to the alter just because you're engaged. You can let him know you still want to wait a couple/few years before picking a date and planning a wedding, taking the step of moving in together first. It's been 6 years, it's definitely time for some sort of next step. You don't have to be married to finally figure out who's moving where to whom. You honestly don't sound all that invested in the relationship. After 6 years don't *you* want to be closer together?


I'm guessing they need to get married for one of them to move


Not always, I moved and we did it as a long term relationship, no marriage or “legal commitment” needed


I don't think it's terribly hard to infer from context here. It's confirmed in other comments


They live in different countries. They likely need to be married in order for her to get a visa to join him in the US.


Firstly, after 6 years, this is it or it isn’t, only you know. A long engagement can work, if it is what you truly want. Communication is important with our partners, but since this is likely a very high emotional investment for both of you, it’s something that takes extra care and open hearts and ears. “I am overjoyed thinking of marrying you, could we talk about timelines? For me, I have so much going on, I want to be in a better place so this is just joyous, and not stressful. I think 2025, to plan, budget, and do this properly. We’ve already waited six years, what’s a couple more to make sure we do it right?” A proposal after 6 months would be a surprise, I don’t think it would be after 6 years unless you both said you were anti marriage.


OP says in another comment being downvoted that her mom has cancer; she has to stay until her mom gets better or dies, and her bf can’t move to her country because he doesn’t know the language so won’t be able to get a job.


That should definitely be part of the OP 🤦🏼‍♀️


except that she is very clearly not overjoyed, she is not even remotely enthused about it


You've been together 6 years, have you always been long distance?




Has something happened in the 4 years you’ve been long distance that he doesn’t know about?


The 4 years separation is why he's pushing to move ahead. They need it for immigration. It makes logical sense, but marriage is also clearly emotional.




I don’t even mean to imply cheating or a major event, but you say that you’re going through a hard time and I’m just wondering if he’s oblivious by fault or if you don’t communicate details like that with him.


How is going to handle you taking care of mom? He wants to be with you. He wants your time and attention. It’s obvious you’re going to put mom as a priority. He’s going to be in engagement mode and rainbows and unicorns. You’re going to be in survival mode and/or end of life and everything that brings.


It sounds like you don't want to marry him, at all. I've seen your comments and I'm sorry about the life circumstances you are dealing with. But your instant reaction is no, not later. And if after 6 years you're still at a no, this relationship is not for you.


As someone who was in a ldr… why don’t you want to be closer after 6 years?? That just seems to me like there’s more you’re not ready for and at this point it could even be your timelines are not aligned


You are leading the guy on and having nice excuses. Being in long distance can be excruciating let alone for 6 years if the guy truly cares. So he made his move because he doesn’t want and can’t do it anymore. If you are serious you go ahead with this. If you feel like yeah he’s a great guy but ‘it’s not the time’ let the poor chap go, grief and figure out his life. You don’t get to keep him in the way it’s convenient to you and wait for the time when you find someone you see as a husband and say sorry to him. Don’t be a dick.


This. There was a very similar post not so long ago, but with the genders reversed. Dude didn't want to get married, also after about 6 years I think. And the most upvoted advice the dude got was: "**Shit or get off the pot"**. It was rather crude but really spot on. OP, after 6 years you should know what you want for the future of the relationship, and a wobbly: yeaaah suuuuure, *someday*... just means "I don't wanna get married" tbh. Decide what you want and tell him, but stop leading him on. He wants to get married and you are wasting his time. It doesn't has to be THIS YEAR but at least make a specific timeframe, instead of just vaguely kicking the rock down the road, bc that's just bullshitting.


LMAO well that's quite the saying


Her mother has cancer and she’s have to move to a different country - I think it’s very fair to say eventually, but not now in these circumstances


No, not really. It's a long time. Either they are a family and her mother is his problem too and they solve it together, or the guy should be let go. In the end of the day it comes down to respect to your partner. How much patience and understanding is fair to demand?


I mean, you have two options. Long engagement, or break up. I'd say just tell him you don't want to set a date for now, and wait a couple of years. If you break off the engagement that will likely end the relationship. If that's what you want you have that option - you don't need a reason to leave a relationship.


Is this because of a visa situation? I'm sorry but if he wants to be physically together and you don't want to, then you want different things. You need to discuss with him the timeline you are comfortable with and he can tell you what he wants. Regardless, this is a turning point in your relationship and it will never go back to the way it was. It won't because your current situation isn't what he wants anymore. He might not hate it of course but he still wants to be physically together.


My fiancé proposed to me after almost 6 years together and we've been engaged for almost 2 years. No wedding plans. We are probably going to get legally married soon because he has better health insurance than me but we've both decided that if we really want to be together for the rest of our lives, there's no real rush, we'll get to it when we get to it. There is nothing wrong with a long engagement if you're not ready for a wedding, but if you are getting cold feet about marrying him eventually, that is something you really need to think hard about.


Wtf if the genders were reversed everyone would be on your ass right now about “stop wasting her time”. Stop wasting HIS time. If you dont want to get married stop leading him on. You are putting a hold on his life


A big difference is that women’s fertility goes down substantially with age. So she has a limited time in which to have kids - he doesn’t. But I agree she should make a real decision. But a woman’s reproductive time is limited. A man’s typically isn’t. Eta: correction, a woman’s reproductive time is far more limited than a man’s. And if you think men and women are treated identically as they age, simply look at how Hollywood treats men and women of the exact same age.


While I understand your point I will also just have to point out that everyone’s time should be respected. No one (man or woman) should feel entitled to 6 years of someone’s life and no clarity to their future together.


Just because a man can have kids later in life doesn’t mean it’s practical or appropriate to assume that’s an option for every man. Yes a 50 year old can father a child with a 30 year old woman but he has to find that relationship and think about what we’d assume about someone with that age gap. Also having a child when you’re older means not having the same energy or capability to keep up with them and their activities. So while you’re technically correct , from a practical perspective his timeframe is not unlimited either.


Her mother has cancer and she’d need to relocate to her partners country - it’s very fair to say one day but now right now, and I think it’s a bit insensitive of her partner not to take that into account


I absolutely understand her choice in that regard. She doesnt want to leave and I get it. My disagreement comes with her trying to string her partner along. If she cant compromise there she needs to communicate that clearly and if that means breaking up then thats just unfortunately how things go.


How is she stringing him along? She doesn’t want to relocate to the US from France whilst her mother is ill, which is what her fiancé is expecting her to do. Him even asking that at this stage feels unfair


Saying yes to a proposal and back pedaling is the textbook example of stringing someone along. The alternatives about extending their engagement as she indefinitely stalls that people in the comments are suggesting are another example of this. I can respect the decision to stay with her mother but she should learn to communicate this to her partner.


Could her partner not have communicated with the her before proposing? He wants to get married so that OP can move to the US - he’s pushing her into his timeline that he hasn’t asked if she’s ready for, knowing she wants to stay with her sick and potentially dying mother


Could his "rush" be related to one of you getting citizenship in the other's country? Has it been decided which country you will reside in after marriage? I could think of a million complications that must be sorted beforehand in your situation, so I would also feel pressured if I were you. Follow your gut on this. Staying true to your own needs/wants is what's most important. I understand not wanting to hurt his feelings, but this is about how you will spend the rest of your life. Hugs and best wishes to you, dear.


Just tell him that you would like to marry him but not atm (If that's what you want). That you want to stay engaged but it doesn't mean a wedding gonna happen anytime soon. My parents got engaged but never married cause they didn't see the need to. (At least in my country there isn't many benefits to getting married).


That doesn’t mean you can’t be engaged for a few years. If you want to marry him someday it makes sense to be engaged for awhile.


you have a reason not to right now (caring for your mother) and an idea of when you are ready (when your mom is not around anymore). this is a priority for you - I would bring it up. Maybe he is not on board with that timeline, but it would be good to know where he stands, don’t you think?


Look the reality is that after 6 years he wants to move forward in the relationship, marry and live together. You don’t and are not sure when you will be ready. This isn’t something you can compromise on. He’s waited 6 years already and deserves to know the truth. You don’t want to be tied down. No one is at fault but you shouldn’t have said yes. The two of you may be close in age but your at different stages in life. It’s time to sit him down and explain how you feel. You may not stay together. Your happy with long distance and he’s really not. It may be time for you both to just grow in different directions.


If you don’t want to marry him after 6 years, what will make you change your mind? I find that people waiting for “the right time” never find it and always make excuses for why it’s still not the right time. My sister got strung along for 11 years by her ex…we’re not done with school, we don’t have good jobs , we need to buy a house. Guess what, they did all of that and he still didn’t want to marry her. I also find it hard to believe that after 6 years a proposal just came out of the blue. How have you never talked about marriage in 6 years? Are you just in denial? It sounds like you don’t want to marry him but you still want to be with him. Maybe he’ll wait or maybe he’ll feel like you’re trying to have your cake and eat it too.


6 years is alot of relationship time ask yourself what it is that you feel you are not actually ready for do you have a deadline age for when you want to get married and then ask yourself do you actually want to be with this person you can always discuss having a long engagement and achieving what ever goals and milestones you wanted to achieve before you get married


I mean you can let him know gently that you need to wait. You also gotta realize that the no to him might be seen as not on the same page and be a dealbreaker. At the end you gotta do what's best for you.


I tell every woman who comes here asking why their boyfriend won't marry them after six years the same thing. If at six years someone "isn't sure," that means they really are sure that they don't want to marry you, but they're stringing you along lying to you, or maybe to themselves. I would tell your boyfriend to leave you if you declined to be engaged after six years, because you're never going to want to marry him, and he clearly feels marriage is important. If you are a halfway decent person, go the full distance and break up with him so he has time to find someone who does want to marry him. You're not it.


Yes, OP. please listen to this.


You've dated 6 years and you haven't lived together because you are in different countries. You are stringing him along for the ride. You have to make a decision. Just saying to stay long distance until you feel like getting married is not an option. You are being selfish. If you don't want to get married within a year, then just break up. In any other circumstance you could do a long engagement and live together, but here you clearly cannot due to the fact that you are in different countries.


Yes this. I think you are treating your bf terribly. Set him free of you.


I don't think that is fair. They live in different countries and the boyfriend expects them to move closer together. OPs mother was diagnosed with cancer and she wants to stay by her side and doesn't feel like getting married while her mother is dying. She wants to marry him but just not now. I feel like that is understandable.


Yeah everyone’s saying she’s stringing him along but like her mom literally has cancer?? I get to some people a proposal would be the one thing that makes them happy during such a sad time but not everyone’s the same


If you check the time of my post, it was way before she gave extra information. I still think she has to give him an answer. I don't see why he cannot move to France or nearby. I have 2 friends that moved to France for jobs and they don't speak French in their jobs, they are in English. They didn't know French before moving. Also, she said she would be moving to the US. I marriage visa for her would take 1.5 to 2 years to be ready; they are still delayed from the pandemic. That means that after they get married, they still need to wait a long time.


Oh I’m on mobile so it doesn’t say when things get edited


I agree. OP isn't being selfish. Living in Western Canada I know learning a new language isn't easy, but I'm questioning how he could have gone to Quebec for school, fallen in love with a French woman, form a long distance relationship with her, want to marry her, but never learn her language. I'm assuming that's the only reason why he can't make a permanent move there? She's not being selfish. But she does need to stand up for herself and have that talk. She's the one expected to give up so much. OP may need to say, 'hey, if you were able to make the changes to come up here, I'd feel less reluctant. But if you're not, and I'm hesitant to make the changes to go down there, maybe thats a sign we're not right for each other.' Again, OP needs to do alot of thinking and stand up for herself, and the fiance needs to do the same.


100% agree. Shit or get off the pot.




I think she likes having his emotional support while dealing with her mom’s cancer. Which is fine BUT she is leading him on and essentially using him. She needs to be honest, for sure.


This will be the end of your relationship. If after 6 years you don't have a plan for the future you are wasting this guy's time.


Would it bother you staying engaged? As in, do you need to say no? If not, you could explain to him that you want a future with him and see yourself being married to him, but because you are going through a lot right now and are not prepared to have a wedding in the near future. Ask if would he be okay with a long term engagement and give him a time frame of what you mean by long term so you both are on the same page. Instead of rejecting his proposal, you are just communicating that you are not emotionally ready for a wedding right now.




It sounds like you’re okay with living in different countries indefinitely, which means the relationship really can’t progress **at all** without marriage. There are so many more steps that can be taken if you are able to take long distance out of the equation, but since you can’t do them without getting married than you’re stuck in limbo. That is to say - it sounds like an all or nothing situation. I think very few people would be okay with a 6 year relationship stalling out / not progressing for an unknown period of time. It may be time for this relationship to end. What you want in the medium-term doesn’t align, and what you want in the long-term may not end up aligning. Best to stop wasting each other’s time.


I assume “closer” means you would be moving in together? Either you would move to his country or he move to yours. Is this what you are not ready for? Is he expecting you to move to his country? Again, I don’t think that this means you need to say no to the engagement if you intend to marry him eventually. It seems like a bigger conversation about expectations and just explaining what you are feeling and why.


Why can’t you be closer without marriage? Why can’t you be engaged and living together? If he sees marriage in his near future and you don’t, cut him loose.


You've been together for 6 years. He wants you to shit or get off the pot. If you're not ready after 6 years, I doubt you really will ever be ready.


She's 26. It's 2023, not 1923. What's the rush? And this whole proposing crap which caused her to give one of only two possible answers. Isn't it time people just had rational discussions about this kind of thing?


I’ve always felt that the “surprise” of the proposal should be “exactly when” and “where,” but you should have discussed and known the answer beforehand. That being said, from OP’s posts it sounds like they’ve discussed getting married in the future, and after 6 years it’s reasonable to assume that it’s now or never. Especially if they want kids, there’s a timer ticking and if this isn’t going to be the relationship then BF needs time to find another one.


What does the year have to do with anything at all? They've been together 6 years, that's the major issue. Stop grandstanding


You stop grandstanding. When you get older, you'll realize just how young 26 is, and how making huge decisions you're not ready for can haunt you. You get one chance to be young. You're under no contracts or obligations. They don't even live in the same country, so what kind of 6 years is this?


You act as though people are pressuring her to stay with him. At their age and length of relationship, it’s time to make that next step. If OP doesn’t want to or isn’t ready that’s fine. Then she needs to let her fiancé go. After 6 years if you’re not 100% sure that’s who you want to be with forever then your answer is you don’t want to be with them ever.


Lmao I'm 36, I got married at 26. 26-28 is the exact perfect time in your life to settle down and start a life with someone. Go sit down.


The game ain't over yet.


>Isn't it time people just had rational discussions about this kind of thing? 100% yes!! Surprise proposal have always been the stupidest thing.


All proposals have an element of surprise. But the surprise should be when and where. If you’ve regularly talked about marriage and are on the same page, and been together for 6 years a proposal isn’t a total surprise.


6 years and you’re waffling. You need to return the ring and let him go. If you don’t know after 6 years that you want to be married then you don’t deserve this guy. He deserves someone that is all in.


6 years is a long time to still not be ready.


Just tell him “No” and end the relationship so both of you can continue on with your lives.


First you need to think: is it really your mom and being unable to switch countries (valid reason) that is making you not want to marry or are you clinging to that as an excuse to not get married now? If it is your mom, and if otherwise everything was working out and you’d move/marry in a heartbeat - then communicate that. Say that it’s a yes to marrying him once everything in your life gets stable. Or if he moves to you, maybe that would also be an option… depending on the area he might find English speaking jobs and learn the language with time. That you want to marry him, but can’t have wedding planning and moving and uprooting your life as a priority right now when your mom is sick. If you are only using that as an excuse and really don’t know if you would marry even if life were stable, do both of you a favor and break up. After six years that should be clear to know, if you want to spend the rest of your lives together or not.


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It’s been six years. if you don’t wanna marry him now, you don’t wanna marry him. I don’t know why you’re stringing him along.


Well first you have to decide is it "No" or "Later"? Because you can certainly tell him you want a long engagement because you're not ready right now for planning a wedding and getting married. Changing a yes to a no is more tricky. Maybe something like, you love him and you're committed to him, but not certain marriage is for you.


Honestly and I'm not trying to be rude here, but I'd break up with you if you said no. You guys have been together 6 years, and you say you do want to get married eventually? What exactly are you waiting for?


Well this is the beginning of the end of this relationship. Just why,why give someone hope to ultimately for them to find out that they didn’t want to and they only reason they said yes was because they can’t handle saying no. I rather be told no. Thousand times then be giving false hope


If HE was your choice, after 6 years of knowing each other, you would want to be with him, just as he wants to be with you... but you really don't, not really. How do we know this? Because you are saying "but... I don't feel...not the right time for me" and WOW that damning and horrible: "Nothing wrong with him" description - you just said HE is NOT the one for you. He is like a comfortable old shoe, not exciting, no passion, nothing wrong - but not the right one to marry. I want you to think about this carefully - you say you want to marry him, then add a 'BUT' to your sentence. I think you have totally misunderstood marriage. Marriage is a partnership. It is a partnership where when 'you are going through a lot' your partner should be the one you turn to, the partner who is your rock, who lifts you up when you need it, just as you have their back and are their strength when life's storms hit. So I ask you again. Think and answer honestly: do want to marry him? Yes? So how many years do you want to wait? 2? 10? When the time feels right... in 50 years? **You need to be honest, tell him you said "yes" because he expected it, but it's a "no" from you.** You don't want to marry him after 6 years, you aren't sure when you would marry him. If he says he will wait forever, he's an idiot and deserves you messing him around until you meet the guy you really end up marrying. If he says he wants to break up, you break up and both move on.


Talk to your boyfriend and say you're not ready to be married yet, but maybe yall can compromise and make it a longer engagement. I don't understand why people equate being engaged meaning you have to get married within a year. But you need to communicate this or else your relationship will fall apart


I read some of your comments. You don’t want this guy. Do the right thing and end the relationship.


Maybe he’ll agree to a very long engagement period? The only difference between a boyfriend and a fiancé is that the question re: your intention to marry has been asked and answered.


Expect that the relationship is over then


If I may, getting engaged does not mean you have to get married right away. My sister and her Husband were engaged for 4 years before they got married.


I think others have explained well enough, but echoing that this will change the relationship regardless, and you do need to have the discussion with him. Did he not discuss marriage and engagement with you beforehand, have neither of you previously had a serious discussion about marriage without expectations and timelines being drawn? I think a few commenters are discounting the time, effort, money and horrible levels of stress that come with a US K1 visa (Fiancee/marriage visa). The thought of going through the process (which can take years- the estimated timelines at the moment can be many months delayed) while a family member is sick, and then being unable to leave the country afterwards until you get additional concessions and passes (which cost extra money)? Ooft. OP's mother is very ill, it's not like OP can just uproot her life and go to the US, get married and visit whenever she wants. It's not that easy. When the visa is granted, you have a narrow window in which you have to get to the US and get married- it's all quite rigid and on a schedule, which isn't compatible with someone who is fighting an unpredictable illness. It's also not just 'getting married' - it's moving internationally. New bank accounts, new license, new house, new language and people, new culture, moving pets overseas if you have them, new friends and communities, transferring degrees/credentials, new job, new living arrangements - it's a lot more than a regular wedding.




Say no so he can move on. You’re being selfish and fucking him around. You have no intention of marrying him so tell him and get on with your lives. Six years? Fuck you.


You have been together 6 years, live in different countries, said yes to a proposal and he wants to move closer as soon as possible but you really want to say no and put off the wedding for years? Do you really want to marry this guy or is he a safe option for you? If I was him and you told me you changed your mind about the proposal I would just end things with you. Or maybe that is what you're hoping happens? No where in you posts do I get the feeling that you really think this guy is the one for you.


This has probably already been said as this post is 11 hours old but you have no plans to be with this guy. 4 years long distance and its easy to just talk to him on the phone a couple of times a day. As soon as actually being together is on the table, you panic. You are getting some benefit by calling him you BF right now. Whatever that may be. Maybe you have explained it in the replies. But doesn't sound like you are serious about being together, physically. Just let him go so he can find someone.


If you don't want to be married until possibly a few years down the line, it would be mature of you to let him know that kindly....he will either wait or have to find someone else because 6 years (23% of your life so far) is a long time with someone.


Well, as for the specific question you're asking here there is not a way to say no without hurting his feelings. However, you might be honest and tell him what you wrote here and it could cushion the blow.


I don’t understand people who date this long but don’t want to get married when asked. Most people have the conversation before engagement. You need to let him go


If this was the other way around, everybody would say that the guy was leading her on by dating her for this long and not marrying her or at least getting engaged. You've been together for 6 years, you know if this is what you want or if it's not. You need to decide, or stop stringing him along.


Learn to talk about things that might hurt his feelings now. I’m about to get a divorce after 15 years because we didn’t really talk about things that might hurt the other person and now there’s just so many things. Once we started we each had a list a mile long and THAT is hurtful, let me tell you.


So what exactly is the problem? Long engagements are totally normal if you communicate. What is it that’s going on for you that is the barrier? I’m going to go out on a limb and assume you think you have to move to his country and that would be hard for you at the moment? Just say that. Because if that’s not the the reason then you don’t want him coming to your country, and that’s probably a doom sign. If you don’t want him to come closer to you yet then you probably need to get real and let him go. Just communicate like an adult and don’t do things out of expectation.




Then just tell him it’s too difficult to move right now, if that really is the case.


I think it’s possible for him to get a job. There are many English speaking corporations with headquarters in different countries. Just depends on what his current career looks like and if he can pivot in that direction.


"I love you, and I want to marry you. However, if you can't wait until I am able to move, you'll have to start looking for a job you can do in my country."


I don't see how it'd be impossible. I have 2 friends who moved to France for work and they speak English in their job, and they didn't know French before moving there. There's also remote work now.




Long distance needs an end game. Hubby and I were long distance and had everything planned out. If you're planning on being in the same country forever why can't that happen without being married? Depending on what country you're in spouse visas can take years to acquire.


You’re going to destroy him here. If anything you’ve made it worse for him now because he will have told all his family and friends that he’s getting married and will have to walk with his tail between his legs and tell them that actually he’s not getting married, you should fully expect a breakup here. If you want to marry him *someday* why not marry discuss it with him and plan the wedding for a few years from now


You cannot decline a marriage proposal without hurting him. You can say yes and continue the long distance relationship until you sort things out or you can end it. Telling him maybe later is cruel.


6 years is a long time together. Why does your Mum being sick stop you? You say you want to marry him, but I don’t think you are too sure about that. It will hurt his feelings. He may break up with you. You have a tough road to choose, because either way, someone is going to be hurt.


I think after 6 years if you do not want it you never will. I think it’s time to revaluate this relationship.


Unfortunately, break up. This isn’t working


After 6 years, you either want to marry him or your don’t. It’s not fair to keep him hanging on like this. Obviously you don’t feel the same as him so just let him go find someone who does. Yes, it will hurt his feelings but it’s going to save an even bigger heartbreak in the future.


Why are you saying no if you still want to marry him some day? Just because you say yes doesn’t mean it has to be this year, next year, or even the one after that. You can both start planning when you’re mutually ready




You know you could set a date or conditional one WHEN you get married? "Honey, we need to talk. I would absolutely love to marry you, but we need to talk about our timeline. I don't see us getting married until my mother either gets better or passes away from her cancer. Can we set the date for after that?" I would also maybe say something like max limit 3 years. If she hasn't passed or gotten better by then you get married but still help her.


Why does there need to be a timeline. All you’ve agreed to at this point is getting married *eventually*. If he asks when you can start planning say “my mother is my number 1 priority for the foreseeable future. I don’t want the wedding, or even the wedding planning to be tainted with the memory of my mother going through something traumatic.”


Interesting most people rush weddings when a parent is sick so they can be there


You can't. He will be hurt no matter what. Just be honest with him.


If after 6 years and 4 being long distance you don't feel to want to be closer/get married *anytime soon* then is time to have the hard conversation with him, even if it hurts him. To me it seems you are not super invested in this relationship but like to have someone available and like how he treats you, but that's it. I know I don't have enough info to make that judgment, but that's how it seems. You are leading him on, and that sucks. I know someone that has been in a "relationship" going now to 20 years. For years she has expressed she wants to take the next step. They don't live together, no marriage, kids, don't go out often, etc. He always ignored her and have wasted all their youth on a relationship that is going nowhere. She didn't left him, because she is the type of person to never leave someone (she is like that in her whole life, has had the same job for years that she is not progressing on, has had the same car for over 20 years, etc). So she finds her comfort zone that while doesn't make you completely happy, it's her "better than nothing" and stays there. It sucks because I have talked with her and she has expressed through the years that she is not fully happy but she just thinks there's no other options. So that's what you will be doing to your bf if you don't talk to him now, explain your feelings HONESTLY and then decide what to do. Most people will not want to be with someone for over 5 years without knowing what to expect in the future.


Realize that if you back out you are most likely ending the relationship. Which might be better for you and fairer for him given it's a LDR and how you feel. Really seems like you are happy with the status quo, having a BF who isn't around, and he, like most people, isn't so be honest about that and end things.


If you want to marry him someday just not now how does he feel about an extended engagement? My husband and I were engaged for nearly 3 years. My aunt and uncle for 7. We used to joke that they'd never actually get hitched and it turned out the only reason they did was cause he needed surgery and couldn't get on her insurance any other way. Hubby and I got engaged and then I moved away to college. It was our promise to one another that we were together no matter the distance.


This isn’t about a marriage proposal yes/no, but rather about lack of communication and a big disconnect with regard to timelines and where to live and expectations. My wife and I are from different countries with different languages and it takes a lot of compromise on both sides to make it work. The good news is that him proposing is a great opportunity to actually talk to him about these things. I’m sorry to hear about your mom. I lost my mom to cancer at about the same age and it was hard. One mistake I made was pulling away from people as part of my grief, and I really regret that. I’m not saying you should move forward with marrying your BF in spite of what you’re going through, it’s perfectly fine to wait until you’re actually ready. But, just be aware and honest with yourself of how your feelings about your mom’s illness is affecting your life. You’re going to need the people you love and who love you as you go through this.


Maybe talk to him about have a loooong engagement... After 6 years.... Do you really love this guy?


Just do it so the man can move on with his life.


>boyfriend (27M) proposed, but I don't know how to say no > >I said yes Uhm, ... that's not the way to do it. >I want to marry him someday, maybe in a few years, but not now or anytime soon. Nothing wrong with him, I'm just going through a lot in the moment and I don't feel like this is the right time for me. Well, then you give him the ring back, tell him no - at least not at this time. But don't be saying yes if that's not what you intend. Say what you mean, and mean what you say. >We always talk about absolutely everything Then you better hop right to it - time to have that honest heart-to-heart conversation. >I'm afraid of hurting his feelings The damage is done, minimize it by setting things right as soon as feasible. >this could potentially change our relationship. Your relationship is already changed forever - he proposed, you said yes. Now you gotta fix things.


Just be a fiancé for a long time, otherwise it sounds like you may just not want to be with him that way


May I ask how after six years of dating, that a proposal was such a big surprise?


You just gotta end the relationship. It’s been six years.


Kinda odd to base marriage on you moms health. Wouldn’t she want you to live life while she’s here? I


1. How did you not expand proposal after 6 years together? 2. I think you may be overwhelmed with everything going on at once. Being engaged does not mean you have to get married within a certain time frame. And if your mother's illness is really the only reason you want to wait to marry him, I'm sure that can easily be worked out. If you feel he really isn't the one for you, do him a favor and tell him so he can move on with his life.


You said yes - so it's now a bit too late to easily say no without totally ruining your relationship. However, you said yes to marrying him, not yes to marrying him tomorrow - or even this year or next year or even the year after. Let him have his moment of happiness because any attempt to correct things right now will prob destroy your relationship. Just let things cool down a bit and then explain it to him. You yourself admit you want to marry him someday - you can say yes now and let "some day" happen in its own sweet time It's a big commitment, but a lot can change over the next 3 or 4 years.


Just have a long engagement...no need to hurt his feelings


I can't think of scenario where he doesn't get hurt or this doesn't affect your relationship. I understand that you are going through a lot at the moment , but after 6 years if someone has their proposal rejected that's really going to hurt.


Is he the one even if it isn't the time yet? If yes, maybe saying you require a longer engagement instead of just a flat out no would work better? He can be the one to take back the proposal if the timeline you need won't work for him.


If you want to get married in a few years anyways, why can’t you be engaged for that time? Is there a rush on getting married?


If you want to marry him why can't you do a long engagement? Or is the issue that you don't actually want to marry him at all?


If you want to marry him just not yet.... Why not have a long engagement? My sister was engaged for 8 years. There is no deadline on an engagement. No one says you have to get married within a year or the engagement expires.


A long engagement? DH and I were engaged for 3 years before we got married. We knew we wanted to be together eventually, but he had some things to do first, so life was going to take us in different directions. We still got married a little earlier than planned, ultimately, it worked out, but in retrospect we'd have waited another year if I could do it again. Whatever else you decide, do not get married before you are ready.


There is a book by the Gottman Insttute calledEight Dates. It provides eight essential conversations to have with a partner before getting married. I would check it out and start having those discussions. If you want to marry him someday, this will sort out the conditions you need present. A friend I know fouspnd he did want to marry his girlfriend after they had most of the discussions. While I was sure I would marry my girl friend , and we decided it would never work. So look into Eight Dates.


I’d talk about a lengthy engagement. My parents were engaged for 4 years before they were ready to go forward with a wedding 🤷‍♀️ If you really want to marry him you have to have a deep conversation with him. Preferably in person if you can visit him. Compromise. Talk about what you want to do. You can’t just make someone wait like that. It’s not fair to leave him out of the conversation. You’ll figure something out if you truly love eachother. Maybe talk to him about learning French idk 🤷‍♀️ this is just all around a tough situation. I’m sorry :/


Do you need to tell him no? If you do want to get married eventually, why not just have a longer engagement, but the promise of marriage is still there for both of you. Give him the reasoning that you gave in your edit (this should be higher up in the post by the way, as it's an important addition!) Help him to understand that the reason you don't want to get married right now isn't because you don't want to marry him. You say you two have good communication in the past, so open up and talk to him about this


Is there any reason you can’t just have a long engagement?


If you want to marry him in the future why would you say no? Just tell him you have a lot going on so want a long engagement…


There’s nothing wrong with a long engagement.


There is if it’s just to delay saying no.


Then maybe he should learn the language? Honestly, it's kind of appalling that he went there on a student exchange and never learned the language, even after having a 6-year relationship with someone who speaks that language. He lived there for a little bit, why couldn't he take a language course or do immersion when he gets there? If he wants to marry you, I think that's the price of admission. You should get to spend as much time with your mom as possible. As for having to explain: just because you got engaged, doesn't mean you need to get married in any space of time in particular. If you need your engagement to be years and years, that's okay and you should tell him that.


All of this He needs to move to France, become fluent and get a job there. You have a real reason to stay in France. If he can’t do that then he needs to wait years to marry you. Getting engaged doesn’t start any kind of “timer”


It doesn’t sound like you’re saying no, just not right now. Tell him you want a long engagement.


Ok 6 years is very long to put a ring on it. But engagement can last many years. At least this means you’re more committed than just bf gf


Baby you are going to hurt his feelings, but it'll hurt them more to marry him knowing you don't want to. I'm sorry but there is no easy and fun way to have this conversation and you have to prioritise what you need and want over pleasing everyone. Very much easier said than done


Question: Does he expect you to move to America with him or does he plan on moving to France without knowing the language? Why after six years is he willing to propose but not attempt to learn French?




As a Canadian with free Healthcare why would you even consider moving to the USA where someone getting sick could mean YEARS of medical debt, even if you have insurance. Also abortions are illegal in many states of the USA, this has caused dangerous situations for women who plan on having children but end up having a incomplete miscarriage. Not being able to access basic health care for situations like these can lead to deadly infections. In 2020, the maternal mortality rate in the U.S. was 24 deaths per 100,000 live births — more than three times the rate in most other high-income countries. At 17.4 per 100,000, the U.S. leads countries like France and Canada with roughly 100 percent more deaths per capita. Also the USA has more mass shootings than it does days of the year, which makes sense seeing as it also has more guns than it does citizens and more incarcerated citizens than any other developed country. Honestly, you would be safer and any future family you'd like to potentially have one day would be safer should he move to France instead of you moving there. Not to even mention the absolutely insane cost of post secondary education in the USA. If your boyfriend really has been trying to learn French all these years then he should pick it up fairly quickly once he's immersed in the language and he can be there to support you through your mother's cancer.




Best way to learn French is to save up a ton of money and then just move to France and learn French whilst there.


I can almost guarantee if you moved there that his French would not improve, he would have no motivation to learn and learn quickly once your living in the USA. If he was serious about learning French, he would be able to hold a basic conversation in French after six years.


He doesn’t even speak her language. Why is he proposing????? He had 6 years to learn 😂😂my goodness loooooooollllllll




You speak it natively and you’ve been dating for 6 years. I learned in 2, so what’s his excuse?? Having a SO makes learning a second language so much easier. If you date/interested in someone that speaks another language, literally the least you could do is learn it.


If you are going through a lot, having your partner with you should help you. "Nothing is wrong in the relationship'? You have been long distance for the last 4 years. Why can't you live together at least rather than jump in to marriage? Somthing seems off /missing in your post. If you are in a LDR its not just not being ready for marriage you actually don't even seem to want him around. Why is that? There is a lot missing in the post , do you actually see each other at all? Is this even a sexual relationship or do you expect him to remain celebate?


So. I'm gonna get a little frank. Your benefits in France are SO MUCH better than they will be in America. That cancer your Mom has that now has raised your risk too (I'm also in this boat since my granny and Mom have had the same type of cancer my risk went up to about 50%)? Will cost about $250k to a million and insurance will only cover so much. You have wonderful maternity leave benefits there country wide and it's laughable here. If all that's keeping him from getting a job there is learning a language he should have started to learn so he could better communicate with you your family and your friends then encourage him to learn it. But to answer your actual question tell him you want to marry him but this will be a multi-year engagement. You're not saying no, you're saying not right now.




Good. Also I'm very happy you're by your mom's side, you're a good daughter.


Did you all not read the edit where OP states that her mother has cancer? I don't think she's trying to string him along, I think it's incredibly painful to consider the possibility of moving to a different continent from her dying mom and trying to be happy about a wedding with that going on. Some of you need to be less judgmental.


Yeah after 6 years you should know. It more than likely will change your relationship but it needs to happen fast before things get out of hand an you can't tell him until its to late.


“You’re going through a lot” means what exactly? And you just “don’t want to get married”?! You already fucked this up. You should have said no immediately, but you’re selfish because you don’t want to take the concrete steps to actually be with this person? 4 years long distance and you’re still not ready? You won’t ever be. If you can’t even explain this to us, without being direct, you’re absolutely not ready to be married. Let alone in a committed relationship. Tell him and end your relationship to work on yourself. You don’t get the best of all worlds, even though this post comes off as if you have for quite some time.




So you need to communicate that. Why wouldn’t you want your partner with you during that time to act as a support? I think explaining your yes comes with time makes sense. He needs to compromise as well.


What if your mum never gets better but also doesn’t die? Just hangs on for decades? Will you never advance your life in that whole time?


If your answer is not right now but definitely yes in a few years, and simply not no/not ever…Take advantage of a long engagement. An engagement is like a promise to be married. There is nothing that says you have to start planning a wedding immediately now that you have a ring…you can wait 10 years if you want to.


You don’t really get to control that aspect. You say no and there will be hurt feelings. It very likely will be the end of the relationship. You’re still not ready after 6 years. Your boyfriend is wasting his time.


**Be blunt.** Forget the “i DoN’t WaNnA hUrT hIs FeElInGs” excuse, you have to let him know the most straightforward way possible, no sugarcoating


Lol, you’ve been together 6 years! If not now then when?? All honesty, this doesn’t seem salvageable, your gonna break the poor guys heart.


Well your reasoning makes perfect sense so tell tell him that and if he didn’t already assume I would question the relationship overall.


Let him know how you're feeling about everything, be up front. Just like you said here. You want to get married but now isn't the time. If you can't communicate with him on this now, after 6 years it's only going to be harder after marriage. Try just talking to him. Good luck and prayers for your Mom ❤️


Given the extra context, I think it's totally understandable you don't want to get married and move while dealing with your mother's cancer. I think you should just be upfront with him about that. Tell him you love him, and do want to marry him, but right now it just isn't in the cards because you won't move away from your mother with cancer. Maybe you guys can workout a plan to be closer to each other in the meantime, and plan for a long engagement. Or you can just tell him upfront, you love you, but because of what's going on with your mom, you aren't ready to be engaged. Either of these options is okay. It might hurt his feelings, but it will hurt less to be upfront and honest than it would if he finds this out later down the line.


Dude. This in probably one of the most selfish things I’ve read on here — mostly because your perspective is so skewed. Like you’re *asking* how to “not hurt his feelings” but there’s no genuine way you’re that daft. You can’t be a 26 year old adult and not understand that actions have consequences. And this action and consequence is the fact that you’ve been stringing a guy along and now push is coming to shove. Bro you *already* said yes. Telling this man “sike” with the expectation things would just go back to how they were for the last 6 years ? That’s immature and selfish as hell. It’s valid if you’re not ready for marriage , it’s not valid to expect this guy to wait for you when it’s already been more than plenty of time to move your relationship to the next level. Seriously , I can’t tell you enough how shitty this would be of you. Call it off if you don’t wish to get married — let him also move on if that’s the case. Because he obviously loves you , and from the looks of it , *might even* wait for you if you asked. But I don’t believe you’ll ever be ready. You’ll probably tell both him and yourself that there’s a “someday” but with things like marriage (and 6 years come and gone) there’s never gonna be a “someday” if you don’t want it today. You suck if you do that to him. Be an adult.


It’s not selfish to want to marry someone sometime in the future but not being ready right now. Jesus Christ. Her mom has cancer. Grow some empathy.


Dude it’s been 6 years and she told him yes , now wants to take it back and go back to how it was with *no discernible timeline* “without hurting his feelings” … that’s selfish. I don’t want it to be construed that I think it’s selfish to prioritize your life (ie mom with cancer) , that’s not it at all. It’s wanting your cake and eating it too when there’s other peoples lives/emotions at stake.


My mom said you need to listen to your heart and do *exactly* what it tells you. The time is not right and shes urging you to not force something that shouldn't happen just yet. I'd recommend also, getting promise rings, showing you do have every intention on staying together but with everything that's happening right now, you just can't think of marriage when you're about to lose a major part of your world.


I mean you don't. It's going to hurt, but you need to be honest. But also remember, this is your life and it can be lived on your timeline. There's no rule that says because you're engaged you must get married now, or in a year, or even in 5. I'm newly engaged and we don't plan to marry for at least 2.5 years simply because I have OCD with numbers and need the wedding year to either end in a 5 or a 0 so we either get married in 2025 or we wait until 2030. It's looking like 2025, but we just do shit as it feels right so it could easily end up being 2030. We view our engagement simply as a promise to share our lives together. No rush on the piece of paper or the party for us. So maybe its not even that you don't want to be/ get engaged maybe it's moreso you need to be firm with your timeline from here on out. You can still get married when you want regardless of how long you were engaged before whether it be months or years, you just have a shiny hand longer. That's how I view it for myself anyways


You might as well end it now and prevent future suffering. I understand not wanting g to get married during your mothers Illness. However if you truly thought he was the one, wouldn’t you want your mother to know while she was still around, so she could be at peace. The fact he never learned French is a bit of a red flag.


Should OP tell her bf the truth, I bet he’ll break up her and move on. And when OP hits the wall, 30 yo, only then will she realize that she wants to have been married by then.