Finally! I found my people!!! Oh my goodness....I'm going through all of the above.
This is #2 for both me an the BF, and he has a 9 year old son. We've been together about a year and a half. We're in our mid 30's...and we just "knew", or at least I did, very early on. When you've had the wrong one, when the right one is standing in front of you, you just don't need to go through the formality of the long courtship. It's like "Oh, this is how it is supposed to feel!". So I never felt a need to push, because we were on the same page. When the topic of rings came up, I said my cousin is a custom jeweler and I was not okay with him financing a ring. So poor guy is stuck paying cash. Ultimately, it's a much smarter decision...but timely because he didn't have $8K in his back pocket. But we're getting a much higher quality ring, and it's being hand made by my cousin which is so special. So I knew we were on track...I knew the plan...and I've been fine with it.
The problem arose when a few months ago we started discussing the actual wedding. We realized when looking at the calendar that there were TWO WEEKS this summer where we could all get away for a destination wedding. When I checked availability at my 1st choice...it wasn't available. I said...holy crap...we need to book this thing! So a week later, he and I made the decision to book a July 28th wedding at Beach Palace in Cancun. We also had to start letting everyone know so they could book THEIR trips too. So yes...totally awkward trying to convince your friends and family to put down money for a destination wedding when there is no ring, and no proposal. Everyone kind of fakes excitement, but in the back of their minds, you know they're rolling their eyes and saying "You stupid little ninny". I feel like a wedding-obsessed, delusional idiot! I seriously can't wait to bust out that rock and say "How ya like me now??" LOL.
I wish all of you the best of luck in 2012....and I know we will all be able to share our "moment" soon enough!