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Husband Material 101: How to Get Him to Propose

Updated on August 24, 2017

How to Get a Man to Propose

How to Get Him to Propose

Think you found the right man? Eager to take that next step in your relationship? This article will discuss tips on getting him to propose, but be warned! This is all predicated on the assumption that you have already found a man who's husband material and deserves your interest in becoming his wife. Now that that's out of the way, let's move on to some helpful tips on how to get him to propose!

Why won't my boyfriend propose to me?

The first step to getting your boyfriend to propose to you is understanding why he hasn't already. Is he already getting every benefit he would get from a wife (someone to come home to at night, someone to provide financial and emotional support, etc..) from you as a girlfriend? If the answer is yes, then the harsh reality may be that he either he just isn't interested in taking that permanent step of proposing to make you his wife or he doesn't see any immediate, pressing need. On the other hand, it's also important to take a hard, honest look at your relationship and ask where marriage would get you both right now. Are you financially, emotionally and spiritually prepared to make that kind of commitment? Have you been together a week? A month? Ten years? These factors are all important in figuring out how to get a man to propose. First, figure out the answer to, "Why won't my boyfriend propose to me?" and then, based on what it is, determine whether it's worth it to get him to propose.

Is he husband material?

Any man can propose, but not every man is husband material. While the definition of "husband material" varies from one woman to the next, and I make no judgment as to what your personal definition should be, this series is written with women who desire a somewhat traditional relationship (finding a man with a stable job, emotional stability, and the maturity to make a good husband, father, etc..) in mind.

The thing is, women put a lot of stock in being able to turn boyfriend material into husband material. Some men are husband material at the age of 25, while others might never be. And that is okay! Instead of trying to change him, you need to be honest with yourself. In the vast majority of cases, a husband material man is going to be the one who initiates the proposal process because he knows his own mind. While there are tricks you can use to encourage a particularly oblivious boyfriend to pop the question, a man who is truly ready for marriage is not going to take that much prompting.

Talk to Him About Marriage

No, this is not a first date topic, but too many women make the mistake of waiting too long to have the important conversations. We have this idea ingrained in us that marriage is something women have to force men into, or that a man needs to be dragged down the aisle kicking and screaming. Not only is this a sign of poor self-esteem on the woman's part, but it's not really a healthy way to begin a marriage, either!

The best way to broach the topic of marriage is to do so early and honestly. Men are honest about their goals and desires in life, which is one of the main reasons why they often have an easier time obtaining them. While women are taught that if we want something, it must be couched in apathy if not shame, men are (for the most part) encouraged and rewarded for pursuing what they want.

The most important thing to realize is that it is okay to want marriage, kids fancy and any other goal that is traditionally considered "Feminine," just as it is okay to want career success! The important thing is that you are the one who wants it and that you find a man who wants those things, too.

Honesty is the magic potion.

Avoid "Nagging"

There is an old saying that when a woman wants something, it's considered nagging, but when a man wants something, it's asking. As true as this may be, don't waste your breath "nagging" a man about marriage. Either he wants to or he doesn't, and if he has told you point blank that he isn't interested in proposing anytime between now and the next total eclipse of the sun in your area, run, don't walk. Unless, of course, marriage isn't a priority (which it probably is, if you're reading this article!)

Too many women make the mistake of staying with men who just aren't interested in making any long-term commitments. Ironically, these tend to be the relationships that do last a long time, even though both partners are miserable. Usually, the woman stays in the relationship hoping she can change the man's mind on marriage and he stays until he is either tired of being pressured to do something he doesn't want to do or until he is ready for marriage--just not with her!

Ask Without Asking

If you have already talked to your boyfriend about marriage and know you both share the same long-term goals and expectations, a bit of subtle directing could be the encouragement he needs. Hinting is one of the easiest answers to how to get him to propose because it allows you to broach the subject while still allowing him to take the initiative. This is an area where a lot of women make the mistake of hinting passive-aggressively. "I'm so jealous of Karen. Her boyfriend proposed by ___." "It only took Jim three months to pop the question."

A better solution is to hint honestly. Start talking of the future as if you're both in it. Discuss all the things you want to accomplish as a couple, the places you want to go, etc.. This gives him a chance to start picturing that, too, and thinking of the future may be the boost he needs to propose. It also gives him the chance to be honest with you if marriage and the future are not on his mind. Either way, you need to know where he stands.

Too many people (men and women!) make the mistake of thinking that subtlety means subterfuge. This is the man you want to spend the rest of your life with, not the enemy! Don't let society tell you that men and women have to be adversaries when it comes to relationships. If your relationship is a healthy one, then marriage is a gift that keeps on giving for both of you.

Know Your Worth

A husband or a wife is a gift. So why do so many people treat marriage as if it's something men need to be tricked, pressured or cajoled into? The short answer is because the modern take on gender and relationships is that men are Cromagnon fools who can't be trusted to make sound decisions with their lives and women are needling, desperate creatures always on the verge of spinsterhood (because that totally invalidates us as human beings, or some such bunk.) As pervasive as both of these lies are, they are exactly that: lies!!

Presumably, you love this man enough to want to marry him because he's a good person and he makes you happy, yes? If that's the case, then in a healthy relationship, he loves you because you're also a good person and you make him happy as well. Mutual respect begins with self-respect. Never settle for a man who has to settle for you. If he's kept you waiting for years, always stringing you along with lines like, "I'm just not ready at 40 to make that kind of commitment" or "Marriage is just a piece of paper," you don't need him. Let him go to be free and happy with himself or someone else. There are marriage-minded men out there who will see a life with you for what it is: a gift to be cherished and celebrated, not an errand to procrastinate on!

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    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 3 months ago

      Why won't my boyfriend propose to me?

      There are two basic reasons

      1. Timing (He has other priorities right now.)

      2. You are NOT "the one".

      According to statistics by age 44 over 85% of men have been married at least once. Even men who have been divorced are likely to remarry sooner than divorced women.

      The average person in the U.S. loses their virginity by 17.

      The average age of a first time bride is 27 and 29 for a groom.

      Basically on average people will have at least 10 years of sexual experience prior to getting married. Any woman in her late teens and early 20s dating guys in her age range is likely setting herself up for heartache if she wants to get married.

      The average 20 something year old guy just moved out of a dorm room or escaped from his parents' basement. The very thought of marriage, signing a 30 year mortgage, and starting a family is like watching his life flash before his eyes!

      Most guys in that age range are looking to establish a career, party with friends, watch sports, play video games, and get laid. They're not in a hurry to become their parents.

      There is no biological clock ticking, they haven't been pretending to be husbands and fathers since age 7 pushing dolls around, decorating Ken & Barbie's playhouse, or making cakes and cookies in an Easy-Bake Oven.

      These days most guys don't think about marriage until they're in their late 20s or early 30s and beyond.

      Some women have attempted the strategy of locking a guy up in a relationship in their early 20s hoping that when he does reach that certain age and so on he'll propose.

      More often than not this strategy backfires because the guy still feels like he may have missed out on being "single". This is especially true if you got together while in high school or during your first two years of college.

      It's not unheard of for a guy to date a girl for several years and after they breakup he gets engaged and marries his next girlfriend. Clearly it proves he's not afraid to commit.

      There are also men like George Clooney who swore he would {never ever get married again}. After only 6 months of dating Amal Alamuddin he proposed!

      Why? Because he believes she is "the one".

      Lastly I would advise any woman who has been in a long-term relationship and has been cohabitating for years to give herself permission to propose marriage.

      The worst that can happen is he says "no" which really keeps you from investing more time in a relationship that's run it's course. If he says "no" it means he's not the one!

      The upside is he says "yes" and marries you.

      It's almost 2018 women shouldn't have to feel like their role is to sit around (waiting and hoping). Go for it!

      If it ain't worth asking for it's not worth having.

      When you think about it giving an "ultimatum" is the equivalent of making (an arm twisting backwards proposal).

      All marriages will have their problems but at the very least they should start off with (both people) WANTNG to get married.