So you’ve been in a relationship for some years now… and he still hasn’t proposed? We have some helpful insight for you!
There’s a shocking statistic that MOST men know within 6 months of dating someone whether or not he would marry her. Why is that so shocking? Because most men don’t propose that soon!
I keep seeing posts on Facebook from thrilled friends who’s boyfriends have just proposed to them… and they’ve been dating for 5+ years. That’s a LONG time. Don’t get me wrong, I’m super happy for them! But looking at the statistic we mentioned above, it made me wonder where the disconnect is.
So my husband and I decided to dive deeper into this whole thing and really decipher what goes on in a man’s mind when he’s serious about his relationship, but hasn’t yet popped the question.
What could be holding him back? What are some reasons he might hesitate on marriage? Should women propose? How long should women wait on their boyfriend to propose, before moving on? This blog is about reasons he might be hesitating, but definitely check out our other blog posts that answer those other questions as well!
REASONS HE MIGHT BE HESITATING:
1. His Finances Aren’t “There” Yet.
There’s a big pressure for men to provide the “societal norm” ring and wedding for his bride…. on top of the fact that he would now be fully financially responsible for her as well. If they end up homeless and on the street, guess who would be to blame? HIM. Because he would be the leader and the head of the household. That’s a lot of pressure. A pressure he may not be ready to accept until he has all his ducks in a row.
That also plays into his natural ego. No man wants his wife’s friends/family to look down on her because she now lives in an ugly house or drives a beat-up car with her new husband. Maybe he doesn’t want to be a husband that doesn’t have a steady job. Or his credit is horrible at the moment, and he wouldn’t be able to get you guys into a nice home for a while. Maybe he’s $100k in debt.
It’s okay for people to want their finances in order before getting more serious about their relationship. I know a few people off the top of my head that have said those exact words. They want to be able to take their spouse on nice dates. They want to be able to buy random gifts. You get the point.
We personally didn’t wait on all of that. We didn’t mind “struggling” together in the beginning, and building our credit and finances together…. while married. But we were on the same page with all of that. Some couples are not though, and that’s okay too.
Now onto the topic of an expensive wedding and ring…Did you know the average American wedding (depending on where you live) costs around $30k-$50k? The average wedding ring set costs around $6k. So consider that maybe he doesn’t have $6k to spend the SECOND he decides he wants to marry you, and that perhaps it’s going to take a few (or several) years to save up for a wedding.
Do we agree with spending that much on a wedding? Nope. Do women deserve all of that though, if they want it? Certainly. It just wasn’t OUR preference to spend that much. We had a small wedding and spent around $1500 for it. No regrets at all, here.
While the societal “norm” is what we described above, there’s plenty of girlfriends who wouldn’t mind a smaller/cheaper wedding. I would advise voicing that to your boyfriend if you guys are serious. Just so that he can know in advance that he doesn’t need to wait 5 years just to save up for a big ticket wedding. Or if you DO want that wedding, give your man time to save up. And find ways to contribute to that bill!
2. He Sees No Benefit In Marriage
Maybe he’s one of those guys who views marriage as “just a sheet of paper”. Or maybe you’re already giving him all the marriage benefits.
I’ve personally spoken to several people who put off marriage for DECADES because they see no benefit to it. They already know they want to be in a committed and exclusive relationship, but something about official matrimony sounds unnecessary to them.
Or maybe there’s no reason for them to “buy the cow, when they can get the milk for free”. What marriage benefits is he already getting from you? Sex? Living together? Shared income?
What else is he missing out on, that he would get if he married you? If you can’t think of anything, maybe you should start wrapping your head around the fact that a proposal might never come. Not saying that’s the case, but consider the possibility.
3. He Doesn’t Want To Miss Out On His “Fun Life”
I don’t know why people assume that you completely stop having a fun life once your married. Maybe it’s a stigma that circulates in college campuses, and in young circles.
Many men think (for the most part) that they can no longer hang out with the fellas and watch football once they have a wife. Or they can’t take random impromptu trips to the beach… or travel the world. Or they can’t go to the bar and watch a wrestling match while throwing back a few beers.
Can you do that sort of thing when you’re married? Of course! As long as you communicate with your spouse, and you guys have a healthy balance of social life. You can even bring your spouse with you, if you can’t stand to not be around them all the time! Who says you can’t travel the world with your wife?
However, it is true that once you’re married, you have a spouse to “answer to”. If your spouse has an issue with you going to Vegas with your toxic or bad-influence friend, it’s not going to be a good idea for you to ignore their wishes. Respect is huge in marriage. So is sacrifice and compromise.
That goes both ways.
Can you go to the strip club? Hang out at a member of the opposite sex’s house til 3am? Go get drunk with your ex who still has feelings for you? Travel somewhere far without first discussing with your spouse? Spend money on literally whatever you want? No, no, and no.
So yes, it is true that he’ll have limits once he’s married. But I think society exaggerates those limits, and it scares men into not wanting to give up his “freedom”.
4. His Past Is Holding Him Back
His past can be haunting him… whether it’s from some bad relationship experiences he’s had before, or bad marriages he’s seen before.
Learn about the marriages he grew up around. Did his mom and dad go through a nasty divorce when he was younger? Did he watch his dad get cheated on? Or his mom abused? These traumatic experiences can seriously affect how he views marriages. And that might not have anything to do with you personally.
If he’s seen nothing good come from a marriage, you can imagine how he would be hesitant to go that route himself.
Now think about what’s he’s mentioned of his exes. Was he married before and it was horrible? Was he engaged before, and his fiancé turned into a monster after she got the ring? Did all of his exes cheat on him? While he may not necessarily assume you will do the same things his exes did, he may be keeping in mind that it’s a possibility.
Yes, that totally sucks that you might be paying for someone else’s mistakes. But don’t take it out on him. Everyone comes into a relationship (and marriage) with baggage, and past experiences. It’s how you deal with it (and how your significant other does too), that matters. And he may not yet understand that concept.
Or perhaps he’s just not ready to take on that journey, knowing there’s a possibility it might not end up well.
5. His Focus Is On Something Else
Maybe he wants to get married… but right now there are other things he wants to focus on. These things can vary depending on his age and what’s going on in his life right now.
Did he just land his dream job and he really wants to focus on his career right now? Did he just graduate college and needs to find a well-paying job in the next 6 months before his huge student loan payments start piling up? Is his mom in a nursing home, and he really wants to pour his free time into her last days right now?
I just spoke of 3 scenarios, but I can imagine there are a hundred other possibilities of things he wants to prioritize right now. These possibilities can depend on his age, where he is in life right now, and where he wants to be in his life at the moment.
What if your boyfriend is a young graduate who has no money yet, just started his career, and is trying to get his finances in order before he decides to take on the financial responsibility of a wife (and family)…. and a wedding. If you want that dream wedding, and a financially stable husband, you may have some waiting to do.
What else could it be?
We have a few other possible reasons he could be postponing marriage, but it was too much for one blog post. So we have Part 2 here: 5 More Reasons He Hasn’t Proposed Yet.
Don’t forget to also check out our posts on Signs He Wants To Marry You, Should Women Propose?, and How Long You Should Wait On Him To Propose.
If you learn better by listening to audio, we have an entire podcast episode on this subject!
Our relationship & marriage podcast is hosted by us, a husband and wife who love to talk about common relationship issues and taboo topics! We sure unique perspectives, have unscripted debates, and share helpful tools to improve your love life!
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