Maybe you’ve dreamt of your big day ever since you were little.
You can already picture the dress you would wear, the dream wedding setting, and being surrounded by all your nearest and dearest. There’s only one catch, your Prince Charming is yet to get down on one knee.
If you’ve been in a long-term relationship for a while, you could have found yourself wondering “will he ever marry me or am I wasting my time?”.
Or if you’ve recently met a man, you might be wondering whether he is marriage material and if you’ve finally met the one.
The truth is, there are no guarantees when it comes to love, but there are some things you can look out for to make sure your love life is heading in the right direction.
Before you get too worried about whether or not your boyfriend wants to marry you, take a look at the strong signs he might actually be planning on popping the question soon, along with the red flags that he’s never going to propose.
How do you know if a man doesn’t want to marry you? 7 obvious signs to look for
1) The relationship isn’t progressing
Marriage isn’t the only commitment within a serious relationship.
Other important milestones usually come first. From meeting his family to taking vacations together, and deciding to move in with one another.
There are plenty of significant steps along the way before you take that walk down the aisle.
When you start dating, you may only casually see one another a day or two out of the week. But as your affection grows, you would expect your other half to invest more time, energy, and effort into your relationship.
It’s this progression that shows you are heading somewhere.
If he hasn’t taken any of these steps, then chances are he doesn’t really want to commit to you.
He may even seem to actively avoid scenarios that would bring you closer together. For example, preferring to find a new apartment when his lease is up rather than move in with you.
2) You’ve been together a long time and he still hasn’t popped the question
If you’ve only been seeing each other for a few months you wouldn’t expect him to have got down on one knee already.
But if it’s been many years and he still hasn’t proposed, it suggests that it just isn’t on his mind.
If he’s always saying “I’ll ask you later”, “when we’re ready” or “one day” then maybe it’s time to consider the possibility that he just isn’t interested in marrying you.
Past behavior is the biggest indicator of future behavior. It’s useful to remember this in relationships. The habits you and your partner build will likely continue.
If you are thinking to yourself ‘why won’t he marry me after 5 years?’ then unfortunately 5 years down the line, you might be still sitting there and wondering ‘why won’t he marry me after 10 years?’.
Of course, love and commitment take time to build. There are lots of elements that need to be in place before someone is ready to embark on married life.
But if you have made it very clear that marriage is something you want and are ready for, but your man isn’t on the same page after all these years, then he may never be.
3) He says he doesn’t believe in marriage
If you really want to become a “Mrs” then avoid dating those men that tell you marriage is “just a piece of paper”.
If your guy doesn’t believe in the institution of marriage and thinks marriage is simply a social construct, then why would he bother proposing?
He is giving you a strong insight into his world perspective and you would be foolish to ignore it.
Is he really open to changing his point of view? We all like to think our love has the power to change someone, but in reality, change only ever comes from the inside out.
Even if he says is prepared to make sacrifices and marry you for your sake, if his heart isn’t in it, then that may impact your relationship.
If he tells you that he doesn’t think marriage is necessary, then it’s best to evaluate how important it is to you, and whether you want to find a partner who also wants it.
4) He still lives a bachelor lifestyle
You’d expect a committed person in a happy relationship to want to spend plenty of quality time with their loved one.
So if your boyfriend seems more interested in hanging out with his friends than you, it could mean he feels uncomfortable being tied down.
Married life requires sacrifices. It’s not that you no longer have a life of your own, but neither can it be all about you anymore.
If he is still constantly going out and partying, etc. then he’s probably not ready to enjoy the home life that comes with being a husband.
There’s a chance he could outgrow this phase of his life. There’s no strict timetable that comes with wanting to settle down.
But if you are waiting around for him, then bear in mind you could have a Peter Pan on your hands.
5) He’s vague about the future
Committed relationships are forward-looking. It’s about envisaging a future together and shaping that vision together.
Sharing life goals is an important part of what people want from relationships. This means talking about the things you both want in life, as well as planning ahead.
It also means discussing things like what happens when you get older or if you have children.
If your partner hasn’t talked about any of this, then it could indicate they aren’t sure where they’re headed.
It’s perfectly normal to feel unsure about your future at times. You don’t have to know exactly what you want yet.
But if your partner is always dodging questions about the future without providing answers, then it might be time to start thinking about what you want — and whether he is going to give it to you.
6) There’s always a reason why it isn’t the right time
You know what John Lennon said, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.”
Marriage shouldn’t be rushed into. There’s no denying that there are definitely wrong reasons to get married.
But life cannot be meticulously controlled either. There will always be reasons you can find to put something off. Ultimately, excuses allow us to dodge committing to something.
If your man always has a list a mile long of things he needs to achieve first or milestones he wants to reach before saying “I do”, then eventually it’s just going to sound like excuses.
If he’s constantly putting marriage off because there’s always another thing he needs to do first, then it’s possible he just isn’t willing to commit.
7) He’s flaky
Does he avoid commitment? Is he unreliable? Do you often wonder where he is, or what he’s doing?
These are all red flags that your guy is not really serious about getting married.
He may say he loves you, but if he’s never there for you when you need him, how can you trust him?
And if he’s constantly changing his plans, then he could have issues with commitment and seeing things through.
A lot of people think they’ll change once they’re married. They think their partner will become more mature, responsible, and caring. The truth is, most people won’t change overnight. Marriage takes work.
People who are terrified of commitment usually end up feeling trapped by it.
He should be able to tell you what he wants from a relationship. And if he can’t, then maybe he’s not ready for marriage.
8 strong signs he will marry you someday
1) He puts you first
You are a priority in his life. He makes sacrifices for you. He spends quality time with you. He shows you that he cares about you and your feelings.
These are not only signs of a very healthy relationship, but also signs of a mature man who is ready for the selflessness that being married requires.
It shows you that he is thinking more in terms of “we” than “I”.
It’s not just that he wants to be happy, but he also wants to make sure that you’re happy too.
He wants to give you everything that you need and want. This is a testament to his love and commitment to you.
2) You’ve made it through relationship challenges
Relationships are full of ups and downs. Just as significant as the good times, are how you deal with the bad times.
It’s easy to be loved up when everything is smooth sailing. The true test of the strength of your partnership often comes when you’ve dealt with some trying times and made it out the other side.
If you have seen each other at your worst, faced difficulties, but still stood by each other’s side then you are in a ride-or-die relationship.
If he knows he can trust you, turn to you in tough times, and that you are clearly committed to him — it makes you wifey material.
3) He is ready for a serious commitment
Even if you haven’t been dating long, you can often spot marriage material.
You know that he can’t wait to get a dog, go on mini-breaks galore and one day soon start a family.
His days of partying hard with his friends are long behind him. He’d much rather spend long weekends in bed snuggling and watching Netflix marathons.
He’s ready to settle down and take care of someone else. He’s ready to grow old with somebody.
Studies have shown that relationship readiness plays an important role in whether you stay together.
Ultimately, feeling ready to commit to a relationship makes practical differences to how you show up within the relationship.
Men who report greater commitment readiness behave in ways that maximize the development of a new relationship.
4) He’s reliable
Reliability in a relationship can take on many forms.
He doesn’t cheat on you or let you down. He is true to his word and follows through with his actions. You know that he will always be on your side and support you.
Trustworthiness is another key indicator of a man who is ready to settle down.
He treats others well. He is honest with himself and others. He is loyal to those around him.
Reliable men take responsibility seriously. That means as husbands they are more likely to want to be able to provide financially for their families. They want to be able to offer emotional support to their partners.
If your man has been reliable from day one, it’s is a great sign that he isn’t going anywhere. It shows that he has your best interests at heart.
5) You’ve discussed marriage or your long-term future together
Not only is discussing marriage a great sign that is where you both want to head, but it also shows you communicate well with one another.
This way, you’re not blindsided by any surprises later on. For example, you already know that for both of you having children is a big part of settling down.
After all, significant things like marriage, children, buying a home together, etc. take planning.
Plenty of relationships fail, simply because neither person is communicating about important issues in the relationship, and their needs and wants for the future.
They are too scared to bring things up in case they rock the boat or hear something they would rather not.
If he’s open to talking about the future and is clear he sees you in it, then it shows that a serious level of commitment is on his mind.
Discussing your future together helps you plan for the future. It gives you something concrete to work towards.
It also helps you feel more secure that your feelings for one another are strong, genuine, and won’t be changing any time soon.
6) You are living together and it’s going well
Living together is a huge step. It requires trust, communication, compromise, and patience.
When you live together you get a taster of married life and see whether you can live under the same roof and still keep things running smoothly between you.
As a cohabiting couple, you have to learn to balance each other out. That can mean everything from household chores to finances.
When you first move into your own place together, you quickly need to figure out how to get along when you’re spending so much more time together.
You need to be willing to listen to each other and adapt to one another’s differences. If you’ve done that successfully, then taking the next step towards marriage should also be simpler.
Of course, living with a partner isn’t always going to be easy. But if you manage to avoid arguing over petty stuff. You both discuss anything that’s bothering you. And you’re usually able to diffuse tension before it builds up. It all points to the fact that you are focused on building a stronger bond between the two of you.
Cohabiting happily can be a great stepping stone to marriage.
7) The rest of his life is in order
A lot of men prefer to make sure other important elements of their life are in good order before they think about settling down.
There is still often a lot of social pressure for men to provide — both financially and emotionally.
That might mean he is happy on his career path and with his progression. He feels secure in his finances. He has finished his education.
He has established himself as an adult who can handle the world around him. In addition, he knows he has a solid foundation to build a family upon.
Essentially it’s about whether he feels in a stable stage of life where he is prepared to take on the extra responsibilities that marriage brings.
With the rest of his ducks in order, even though he may not be ready to settle down just yet, he does realize that he is ready to start thinking about it.
8) He’s getting older
Getting older alone won’t tell you whether a man will marry you, but it can be an indicator of the stage he’s at in life.
A confirmed bachelor still might not be ready, no matter how old he gets. But generally speaking, as guys mature, their priorities shift.
The average age for men to get married depends on where they live in the world. In the US most men tie the knot around the age of 30. But recent stats in the UK show that the average age for men to marry is closer to 38.
What is clear is that most men certainly don’t want to rush things. A lot of guys want to wait until they’ve got some experience under their belt.
There can come a stage in a man’s life where he starts to see his friends get married, he realizes he wants to start a family, and he knows he’s not getting any younger.
At this point, he’ll probably start looking for someone to share his life with.
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