I could count on my two hands the number of women who have voiced to me this question – with utter worry and confusion stewing in their mind. All I can do is sit back and watch, listen, and brave the rush of answers running through my mind. It all would seem too easy to spew in that moment the truth, as they give me the look of, “I don’t understand WHY he hasn’t jumped on marrying me, and WHY he has not proposed yet!” All I can do sometimes is just raise my eyebrows, and bite my tongue.
That being said, sometimes it difficult to handle the cold, hard truth. And I mean it – whether it’s a painstaking ending just taking it’s course, or a simple quick fix to get things on the right track.
I think we try to avoid the fact that there are many reasons for a man not wanting to propose to their long term or short term girlfriend – other than not believing in marriage. Because if that’s the only case here, why continue the relationship thinking you can change his mind?
Otherwise, if you believe to be in a stable, healthy relationship, you should be able to cross these off the list without a doubt in your mind: the reasons why he has yet to propose.
Reasons Why He Has Not Proposed
(The honest to God truth)
He tells you he doesn’t believe in “the marriage thing“
For whatever reason that be – maybe his parent’s divorced (since that’s fairly common in today’s generation), or he’s already been married once before. And if you currently aren’t sure if he believes in it, then here’s the question to ask yourself: HAVE YOU TALKED ABOUT IT?
Whether you’ve been together 2 weeks, or 2 years, this question should almost be as normal as “Do you like food?” in the dating world. Because seriously – if you’re life long dream is to be married to your prince charming, live in a high castle and live happily ever after one day – shouldn’t you know if he wants and believes in the same dream as you, too?
If he has already told you he doesn’t believe in marriage (whatever the case) and doesn’t want to get married, then here might be your next issue. You either pushed that problem to the back of your mind (thinking: I’ll deal with this later and see what happens), or here you are years deep into your relationship where you want marriage (still knowing he doesn’t).
Again, did you think you could change him? Make him a believer? Sure, yes, it does happen. But why do you want to rely on that so much as to give up years of your life where that change in commitment may never happen? Yes, you love him – it shouldn’t matter and that is why it’s called unconditional love – but what about that unconditional love for yourself in which he may not be able to give you? Don’t forget that!
Now, there’s also a difference between a young twenty-something year old guy saying, “I’m not sure I want to get married…” Give the guy a little credit – he may just be spooked, and probably just doesn’t want to rush into that “forever and ever and ever” kind of something. But keep in mind this topic being something you discuss as far as something your future together holds.
The point is, if YOU believe in it, knowing he doesn’t, don’t go through the relationship thinking you can change him into a believer for that 50/50 chance of disappointment.
He’s getting his life in order
This isn’t a bad thing at all. Every woman should want an established man who knows how to take care of himself, has his career in order and has a stable roof over his head.
If your partner is in the middle of finding a job, trying to complete school or in the process of reaching the goals towards his career, this could be a good reason why he has not proposed. Don’t be the reason that he did not get to complete his life achievements – marriage may be a priority, but he wants his assets in place beforehand.
If money is already and currently an issue, it is also likely marriage is the last thing on his mind (because a wedding doesn’t come cheap these days!). The thought of marriage could be an added pressure financially. Most men want to feel confident in that aspect, and be secure in their career or stable in life before taking on having a wife.
Unless your partner has set in his roots for some time, where you both are financially stable as a couple, yet continues to use his “career goals” or “financial aspects” as a reason to postpone marital goals, it might be time to question his motives or other reasons.
He’s afraid of letting go
Letting go can be a legitimate worry for anyone. Many are perfectly happy knowing they spend the rest of their lives with that one person, because they feel they’re gaining rather than losing. While others may feel they will be giving up their dreams, independence, and promiscuity.
If you are pushing your partner because of this, shaming him for feeling that way, then you are probably doing more harm than good – for you and your partner’s future together.
Everyone feels different towards monogamy, and everyone takes it’s serious meaning in different ways. It’s up to you whether you can handle accepting those feelings, and waiting until he is ready. It’s as simple as that.
It could just be too soon
To you, three months together might feel like three years, but it’s not always the same for your partner. If you’ve slept together, moved in together, met the parents, traveled together, and made big purchases as one all within six months – sure, it might feel like “We’re so in love – we just can’t wait to live our lives together!”, but there’s still no ring, is there? It could be that you’re also taking every milestone you’ve encountered as a couple out of context.
You have to remember, guys may be able to live these milestones freely. And many may not see living together, having sex, saying they love you, meeting the parents and getting an apartment together as a reason to jump on getting married. They like you, or love you, no doubt about it there. But your partner may be more comfortable doing those things without a stronger commitment hanging above their head.
This is where your expectations come into play. I would not have moved in with my husband (boyfriend, at the time) without the notion of our relationship being the “real deal” – meaning, there was a solid marital future. I just wasn’t going to be that woman to keep around as a housemate, or live-in girlfriend, without knowing we were in it for the long haul.
If your partner refuses to live together early in the relationship, it isn’t all necessarily a bad thing. We tend to automatically assume that if our partner refuses to amp up the commitment – that they never will. Again, remember timing is everything for each individual. If you’ve been together for years, have talked about getting married and a future together, yet has rejected the moving-in scenario – you could be dealing with someone who moves extremely slow, or someone who talks with no intent of action.
You’re obsessing over it
I get it. There comes a time when you know you’re ready, and you feel like everyone around you is saying yes to the dress and I do – except you. And it begins to feel daunting.
Whether you’ve both talked about it, or maybe you haven’t spoken a word and you’re just waiting for it to happen. Natural reaction is to start pointing it out and making innuendos to your partner. While that may be innocent at first, it can quickly become excessive to your partner. And believe me, I’ve seen relationships back-track, and fail because of it.
Guess what? Now you both aren’t on the same page, anymore. And isn’t that the point of moving up in your commitment as a couple – because you’re on the same page?
Now, there’s a complete difference between loving weddings, everything that comes with it, and dreaming up your own one day. But when you’re obsessing over why you’re not officially planning your big day, and laying that pressure on your partner, is where the entire situation can turn sour. Your attitude can begin to change, which can negatively affect the relationship.
And with that, the natural reaction for your partner might be to take a step back – if not question everything.
He can’t live up to your pricey expectations
The carrot size, the big wedding – all of it. Whether this be something he can honestly and confidently tell you, most guys shy away from explaining to you the difference between your worth, and what he can afford.
That beautiful ring you keep eyeing and talking about – the one that costs more than both of you can afford – could be making him question his own worth to you. It has nothing to do with him not wanting to give you the world – but he simply doesn’t want to be in debt over it. I’d say that’s fair.
Just something to think about if you’re not financially on the same page.
He’s worried marriage will change you
Marriage is for better and for worse, yes. And there will be times of our best and the worst. If your relationship currently has been rocky, or sour, whether just in general or from any of the reasons above – this could be what is laying unresolved in his mind.
And I know what you’re thinking right now, “So, I can’t have a bad day, or an off week, or a horrible month without my partner feeling like I will be changed after marriage?” Trust me, I get it.
Hear me out. Your partner wants to marry the person for the reasons he fell in love with. And in relationships you argue, and disagree – no doubt. You even go through changes together, or individually – through grief, loss, and child-bearing just to name a few. But if the wanting of a proposal or the blatant desire for that wedding takes over the woman he fell in love with, he may be heading for higher ground.
Be more reassuring of this fear – it’s more common than you think.
You act like an old married couple already
Everyone might be guilty of this – I mean, what better way to know what married life is like without that piece of paper. Might as well see if it’s right for you as a couple. I commend those that remain celibate or apart from living together until marriage (hoping those that do are still together today).
I couldn’t imagine that for myself.
But a lot of times your partner might get carried away from natural habit, and just be thinking:
…We already act married, so why make it official? It’s just paper.
…We’ve been together so long, without expecting marriage, so I just figured there was no reason.
…I don’t want to ruin what we have by getting married. Marriage leads to divorce more often today, anyhow – why ruin a good thing we have?
…If we love each other, why do we need marriage to confirm that? We’re both happy where we’re at – why shake things?
This is a classic reason as to why more men refuse to marry. And it’s an important concept to grasp as either a new couple, or a couple that has been in it for the long haul for some time.
You’re two people, you have to figure out what you want for yourselves, and do just that. And If you make the choice of accepting the thought of never being married in order to be with someone, you CAN’T point blame on your partner later in life.
You’re a ‘wifey’, not a Wife
I hate that term, so much. I understand using it to be funny (girls even call each other that now), but it seems it has been turned into this way for men to string along girlfriends they know they’re never going to marry. And it has suddenly become a relationship status.
Are you kidding me?
If you’re married, and you use this title: you earned it, go ahead and use the crap out of it.
But I’m talking about the young and single. When you’re 18, yeah the word can mean absolutely nothing but humor. But when you’re in your twenties and still called that, or calling yourself that within your relationship – that’s where the line is drawn. And no, this is not the same thing as women calling their husbands “Hubs” or “Hubby”.
“Wifey” is used against women to make them feel like “wife material”, without the intent of actually making that commitment. It directs the idea that those women will do and give their partner everything a wife does, but without any expectations and for free.
And that’s harsh, I know. But that word is now almost like the I Love You phrase today – it can be a positive notion used to bring about hurt and suffering. So, know the difference between what it means – whether you call yourself that or your partner does.