Hi! I believe I can be of help with this issue.
First, let me say I can imagine how confusing this situation must be for you. Your boyfriend has moved, in speech at least, from boyfriend/girlfriend to talking about being your fiance. He wants to make this relationship his marriage. You are clearly a normal, caring, loving person. So you hear this and you understand it to mean a very specific type of commitment: marriage is a total commitment to each other. That is indeed how our society has always understood what marriage means traditionally.
And this is actually the key to my answer to you that you need to consider and think about. In fact, you may decide it will be worthwhile to print it out and read it together with your fiance at a Starbucks or some other neutral site. This is not an issue of right or wrong. It is an issue of values. You understand the emotional commitment and exclusivity of marriage to be exactly what it says and you are concerned that he does not.
You are treating engagement as a warm up to the marriage. If he is going to say he wants to marry you and loves you, he needs to show you that this is true and real, now, not just after the wedding ceremony. All the rules apply in your eyes. There is an exclusive level of commitment in that relationship.
So, this is going to be a very pivotal discussion. I want you each to spend some time thinking about what marriage means to you and what your VALUES are. And see if they match. Because if there is a mismatch in the values between you, you need to know that now and decide if this problem is going to pop up continually and erode the closeness of your marriage. That one person sees the relationship to be one thing and require certain things and the other person sees it to be a different thing and require different things is not a good basis for a strong marriage.
BOTH of you need to understand that the central issue is that marriage is a BESTOWING of one's "specialness" to one human being. That includes sex, but is not just sex. It is emotional fulfillment, comfort, etc. It is the things that make a relationship "special". That means exclusivity. That means to you and to most people with traditional values that close friendships with people of the opposite sex are a violation. Now for the important point:
When one partner in a marriage feels that the other person has done something to lessen that relationship, the other person is actually being called upon to REAFFIRM the bond of "specialness" I refer to. I often see it in my office when husbands or wives are flirtatious at social events. Or that the spouse has a “friend” of the opposite gender that they feel is “just” a friend. The other spouse gets hurt. The real question is, even if the flirtation is innocent fun, why would the husband or fiance be MORE attached to that need for flirtatious fun than to their spouse’s discomfort with it? Even if the friend is just a friend, why would the husband or fiance be MORE attached to that need for the friend than to their spouse’s discomfort with it?
That's our question here. For this period of time, your fiance is acting more attached to these relationships than to your needs. Why? Your needs are the needs of his future wife. That is supposed to be special. You see, this is why these are values issues.
Okay, I wish you the very best!
My goal is for you to feel like you've gotten Great Service from me and the site. If we need to continue the discussion for that to happen, then please feel free to reply and we'll continue working on this. If the answer has given you the help you need, please remember to give a rating of 5 (Great Service) or 4 (Informative and helpful), or even 3 (Got the job done) button. This will make sure that I am credited for the answer and you are not charged anything more than the deposit you already made by pressing any of these buttons. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue now or in the future, just put "For Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, XXXXX XXXXX