I simply get nervous when after 3-4 months of dating we talk about being married, but any serious discussion about specifics makes him uncomfortable, yet I don't want to go much past 6 months without an engagement ring. We both agreed one year is the max we should date without being engaged, but that's the absolute longest I would want to wait. I think it's fair given our ages and that we have both been married before and know what it involves.

Should I be concerned? Or just more patient?

HE SAID:

When I read your question, I sensed it came from a “planner,” one who likes to have things in order, know where you’re going, and be in control. The reason I felt this was because I consider myself a “recovering” planner.

Although my “job” demands I strategize for the future, know details about events weeks and months down the road and have control of each situation, I have learned to remain unrestricted and flexible with arbitrary timeframes I set in my life and (try to) allow God to orchestrate His work in His time.

You noted many “time” references - divorce is more than 3 years in the past, I get nervous after 3-4 months of dating (with no) serious discussion about specifics (regards to marriage), I don't want to go much past 6 months without an engagement ring, one year is the max we should date without being engaged…. and don't understand feeling "pressured" when I want to talk about a timeline.

I just have one question for you, “Where does God fit into your ‘timeframe’?”

After an abusive marriage of fifteen years, you want to be engaged after six month to someone who is “marriage-minded,” has “shownno character issues, emotional problems or addictions (in four months), is the only person (you’ve) dated since (your) divorce, you “feel” God brought, is the only man who has shown an interest, and “seems” to (be) a great match and potential for marriage? And without a doubt you’re ready to set a date to bring this man into your home with your child?

I understand it takes energy for (you) (and all single parents) to support both (your) role as a single mom and being in a relationship, but don’t you want to ensure you find the finest step-father, provide the best environment, cause the least disruption in and for the life of your child, and be with the one God created for you?  

Your boyfriend may be as good as you say and recognizes the gravity of marrying a single mom, the change it will mean for your child, and how open communication and compatibility takes time, or even better because he is waiting to hear for God’s voice to lead him in your relationship, rather than rushing into setting dates and following yours.

If this is the man God wants you to marry, allow Him to show both of you when He wants you to be “joined together,” instead of trying to make Him fit into your schedule. A relationship God “meant to be” will be there in a year, two or longer.

SHE SAID:

Thanks so much for so much for sharing so many details in your question. I love that you are both in the best place possible before venturing into marriage. You are out of debt, you have gotten the healing you need from your past marriages, you are serving in the church, you are waiting to have sex after marriage, and so forth. So many single adults simply want to rush into marriages without realizing these areas can cause huge problems in the future if not dwelt with. So congrats.

Now onto your question. From all the things you have mentioned I feel you are progressing as need be. I think most people know within 3 months if the person is a potential marriage partner; however, I don't think everyone is ready to be married right away. Because you are both are praying and hoping this is your last marriage, you do need the extra time to make sure you are compatible, to make sure without question that you are right for each other. If you go too fast while dating you may have regrets once you do get married. Conversely, I have never heard anyone say that the extra time being friends, courting, or dating was a bad thing. It just allowed more time to get to know each other.