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Pressured Into Getting Married? Are You Really Ready?

Updated on December 5, 2009

Does she want you, or does she just want to be married?

I received this comment on my HUB "When Your Girlfriend Wants to Get Married and You Don't" from KLChicago:

What a great topic and advice Veronica. I hope you can shed some light on my situation. My girlfriend is 32, soon to be 33, and I just turned 32. She was previously engaged but broke it off because her ex fiancé was a druggie and this is really the first serious relationship I have had that lasted more than 9 months. We've been together for just over a year now. We recently went on a break about a month ago for various reasons. One of these reasons was that she expects me to talk about our future more but doesn't really hear it from me. We love each other but I am the type to only talk about things like moving in together, marriage, children, etc. only when I am ready and when I can truly see that happening (maybe its just a guy thing). Anyway, I make a very decent salary but have always had money/credit issues since college...trying to dig out of debt, etc. We had a discussion tonight that ultimately drove me to search the internet and find your website. It went like this: We go out to eat A lot and I almost always pay the bill (dinner for two in Chicago can get expensive). She wanted to go to dinner this Friday at a very nice Italian place and I told her I felt like we shouldn't go out as often because I need to really start saving money for my debt issues and to be able to be comfortable for the future (I know, I'm 32 and should be there already but I'm a late bloomer and have always had an issue saving $$). She brought up the fact that I spend money on other things (golfing, etc) that can get expensive and I agree I need to budget better all the way around. However, the conversation led to the fact that she looks around at all my friends and they are almost all married with kids and she feels "behind" and that she's "not getting any younger" and she doesn't want to be like some of her friends that are in their late 30's/early 40's with no family or significant other. I agree with this but I am not ready financially and want to be together for another year or so before I even start thinking of marriage and to be able to give myself some time to really fix my money issues. She wondered out-loud what I'm waiting for (to start saving for a ring, etc) and I'm thinking "what heck, we've only been together a year and most of my friends dated for 5 - 7 before getting married". I feel she is pressuring me before I even have a chance to be ready to marry her and if I tell to wait a year I'm not sure how she'll react. Any advice on my rambling? Thanks!



Despite the ages, your girlfriend is not as mature as you are when it comes to the future, relationships, and marriage. If she were better equipped her first priority would be getting you out of debt, even if it was to manipulate you into marriage.

Let me put it to you in an example. If you had a girlfriend that wanted to marry you for all the right reasons, really cared about you, and was mature and ready enough to enter into this next phase of life, she would be behaving much differently. Number one, she would be thinking about you and what's best for you and what will make you happy, as any loving potential life partner would. She would ASK you what some of you concerns are, and she would take your debt situation seriously. She would view it as her problem as much as yours. I'm not saying she would pay your debt, I am saying she would handle your "now" with her much more like a partner. She would pick up the check half the time. She would encourage picnics, hikes, and lower cost excursions where you can still be together which should be her priority. She would be trying to help you budget, glad that you make a decent salary, and she would be working in golf to that budget since you obviously work hard and deserve to play at something that makes you happy.

She would not be trying to go out for dinner so much. She would not be letting you pick up the check most of the time. She would especially not be suggesting expensive Italian places and giving you a hard time when you said something future-conscious like it would be better to watch spending right now. She would be happy that you are aware of how to move into the future comfortably. She would be cooking, teaching you how to cook, and trying out other cost saving ideas. When eating out she would be suggesting places where you get a good bang for your buck, and maybe even planning out how you both could fix good lunches for the next day out of leftovers if you order right.

When she talks about marriage, she would be telling you how she feels about you, how she sees her future with you, how she can't imagine having children with anyone but you. She would not be talking about your future by the barometer of other people, like your friends that are married or the women she knows of that are 40 and without families of their own.

KL, what makes me nervous about your situation is that she sounds like that classic myopic woman that wants to get married more than she wants to be with you. While I don't doubt that the two of you love each other, she is clearly much more in love with getting married. She wants what she wants and that seems to be more important than you are in her world. She was willing to take a month break from your relationship because she is so focused on what she wants rather than what she HAS, in the present, with you. Nothing of what you said shows sacrifices she is making toward her goals or toward her commitment to you and the future; it only shows what she wants you to do, like give up golf and take her to expensive restaurants, and talk about things you aren't ready to talk about.

There are bad signs all over this situation. Dating for a year, (with a one month break over exactly this problem,) is not long enough for her to be freaked that you aren't talking future. Don't get me wrong. Some people know quickly that they want to get married and that's great. But clearly you aren't there. Clearly you would like some time. Clearly you have some reasonable financial goals prioritized. And clearly, your feelings on this don't actually matter to her.

She's picking and choosing the facts that she likes and ignoring the facts that she doesn't. Like, she brings up that your friends are married without adding that they dated for years and years first. This goes to her inability to rationalize and think things through.

You said you're hesitant to even tell her to wait a year because you don't know how she'll react. Honey, if that's the case, then you know what to do. Is that how you want to spend your life? What you see now is a foreshadow of things to come. You think you're being pressured now? You think you can't talk to her now? You think she doesn't understand money management now? You think she doesn't listen to you or care about your feelings now? Wait. Just wait until you're married. I guaran-damn-tee you, all those behaviors will be magnified exponentially.

She has a very narrow and incorrect view of marriage. She sees it as something she wants, and isn't looking at your debt, your needs, your goals, or what life would be like with someone she's pressured into making this commitment. You, on the other hand, see marriage for what it is: a huge life altering step that needs to be entered into with preparedness, thought, and mutual goals.

Look, if you really want to make this work with her, give her some goals and a solid timeline. Tell her you will start planning for marriage in 2 years after you have X and Y paid off completely. And that means no more expensive dinners. Period. If she truly loves you this will calm her anxiety and she will accept this very reasonable timeline. If she doesn't truly love you, she will end this on her own.

But I don't think you really want to make this work. I think you're seeing how she behaves as a partner. I think you are seeing. See clearly.

You can't build a "tomorrow" with someone who can't even build a "today." You asked for my advice KL. My advice is to find someone that will work with you toward common goals and care about your feelings and concerns.

Be with someone that appreciates you, that communicates, that values your needs and your happiness in return for your appreciation of theirs. Take your time and don't let anyone pressure you into anything you aren't truly ready for.

If you like this HUB please click the “Thumbs-Up” below just before the comments.


All text is original content by Veronica.

All photos are used with permission. All videos are used courtesy of Youtube.


Submit a Comment

  • profile image


    6 years ago

    Veronica, I need your input.

    My current bf and I went to middle and high school together and reconnected after about 10 years. We knew eachother ok in highschool but didn't talk after we graduated. We have been together for about a year now--we are both 28. He was very serious about our relationship right after our first date--HE was always the one to bring up a future together and marriage and blah blah blah. He is the best guy I've ever dated.. very supportive, does nice things for me all of the time, very loving and affectionate. I had a rough upbringing and I honestly feel like he is the best man I've ever had in my life. About 2 months into dating, we started to look into destination weddings. After realizing it was something we couldn't really afford, we decided to put it off a little. He had a little bit of a financial set back a few months later and borrowed money from family. When we talked about marriage after that, he had said he wanted to pay off his debt and then we would think about marriage. Both of our families are starting to ask me "when is he going to propose?". He says it's purely financial but yet he won't give me any type of timeline. I've mentioned taking the next step of moving in together but he thinks it would compromise his parents' religious beliefs. What bothers me about this is that we both own our own houses (and have roommates renting from each of us). We are both paying mortgages and my thought is if we moved in together, we could be saving by only paying one mortgage and work on paying off debt with the extra money. The other thing that concerns me is that he is an electrician and has the opportunity to get a $10/hr increase just by studying and taking his journeyman's license. I currently have a career and am going to school part time to set myself up better for the future but he seems to not want to take initiative in doing this to remedy some of the financial burdens that are setting us back with taking the next steps. I really feel as though I am a good catch and deserve someone who can't wait to marry me, someone who will bust their butt to do so. He says he knows he wants to marry me and that I am the one. But what I don't understand is if he really feels the way he says he feels and it is purely about money, than why won't he move in with me to save money or why won't he take his test to get more money? I also would like to add that I insist on paying for things (probably over half the time) when we spend money to go out together. I also decided to sacrifice going on a spring vacation since money has been a concern with the marriage subject, I tell him not to spend money on anniversaries, bdays, xmas because I want him to put it towards his debt. Being able to take this next step means more to me than getting gifts from him. Also, we both agree that we want 3 kids. Even if I were to be married at 30, I really do not want to rush and have kids right away, I'd like to enjoy being newlyweds first. I don't want to have kids one after another, I'd like a little time in between. I don't want to be having kids in my late 30s or 40s. I really feel like he is taking all of the control in the decisions and I have to compromise what I want. I have to wait around until HE is ready. He thinks I am unrealistic. Am I ridiculous for being concerned about these types of things? For wanting to take the next step or at least get an idea of where my life is headed with him? He insists that he feels I am the one and that he will marry me. Do I trust that he is making progress or do I realize that we don't want the same things right now and find someone who is on the same page? Do I have too high of expectations?

  • profile image

    John Lu 

    7 years ago

    I want happiness, contentment, affection, trust and love in a marriage. All the simple ways of life that to really look forward to. I want to see us growing old together, have a nice family and a place we call home.

    She’s coming off now as just wanting a wedding, babies and a house. Not literally, but as a matter of speech. I think it’s very superficial and immature, to think of us as just going through the motions as “milestones”. She knows what she wants, and can be manipulative at times.

    No problems at all in this. Only thing is, our wedding day is less than 2 months away. I’m starting to worry that there’s a lot of unsettled business here. I’ve brought this up hoping that we can re-evaluate this different mentality, and discuss our relationship as mature grown-ups. One option on the table is to postpone the wedding until we’re both ready, but she flipped.

    I don’t want to go into this “wedding” not knowing if the marriage will last. For once, I have doubts in us. I’ve always been sure and know what to do. Not this time. I’m stumped!

  • profile image


    7 years ago

    Chris -- Dude, you're 36 and still need to accomplish more financial goals? Wow. When I read it initially, I thought your were much younger. I too would be worried that someone guy at 36 still didn't feel financially or career stable enough to have kids. One of the things I've found as I've gotten older is that if you wait for the "perfect time", you'll always be waiting. Life is full of challenges and struggles.

    I don't think it's an issue of you not being a great guy, but it's an issue that your life goals and those of your gf may not be compatible. I have to admit not saying I love you after 2 years worries me, but that aside, it sounds like your gf is very clear about her life goals -- they include getting married and having a family. You, on the other hand, aren't as clear. You seem to want to get married but are still iffy on kids. At 36, that would be a big risk for a woman to take to think that a guy that was iffy on kids at 36 would want to have 3 or 4 later on.

    People can love one another and not be good life partners. It's very hard to love someone but not be able to build a life together because you fundamentally want different things. That sounds where your relationship is heading. Neither one of your is wrong, bad or unlovable -- you just want different things in life.

  • Veronica profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from NY

    Thank you Janellelk :)

  • profile image


    7 years ago

    Some more fantastic advice from Miss Veronica. I so enjoy reading your hubpages. Fantastic! Thanks so much!

  • profile image


    7 years ago

    Sometimes its hard to tell whether my girlfriend loves me or just loves the idea of getting married to someone who can support her vision of having a family. We've been dating for a little over two years. She has many of the attributes I'm looking for in a relationship and we are really good together as a couple. The problem is that from the first year, about once every six months, she has this conversation with me that elevates her point of view on getting married and having kids. From the start, I've told her that I will get married one day and that I don't know about kids. She comes from this huge family with tons of kids and everyone married or getting married, and I think there's pressure for her there. Even so, she's smart and capable of handling her own family. Unfortunately, she's recently told me that since I'm not ready to commit to having kids and getting married anytime soon, that we are not on the same page and need to take a break. I don't have a problem with that. Its probably a good idea, but the thing that I can't get out of my mind is the feeling that she's more interested in having a husband and children than she is interested in me. She acts loving towards me, but she's never told me that she loves me. When I talk about what I'm up to in my career and in business and share with her that my plans along those lines have to take the priority for the next three years or so, she doesn't like that. She says it is me being selfish and that you "don't need a lot of money to have kids." Then she says she wants three or four kids! Sound pricey to me! Anyways, I truly care about her and we have some phenominal aspects to our relationship. But, I am feeling very angry right now that she doesn't seem to see how remarkeable and valuable I really am -- she seems perfectly willing to throw that away because I don't fit into her scheme. I hate to say that. I can't hardly believe that's how she really thinks. But its surely starting to seem like it. I'm 36, and she's 28. Am I wrong to think that she should just cool out, relax, enjoy our time together, let me accomplish some business and financial goals, and then begin to plan something more concrete and long term?

  • profile image


    7 years ago

    I have a girlfriend and we have been dating for 1 year and 1 month she lives with her parents at the moment and she is not 23 shes 20....I work hard on 2 different jobs to have my house, my car and to be able to have all those expenses to take my GF out and visit different places around the city......I used to do many activities, sports, gym, painting, playing instruments and usually liked my alone time.....and since I met her I have enjoyed being with her we always have a great time....she is really sweet and she is the type of person that will support the things I think or ideas and admires me and obviously who wouldn't love that......I have tried to get my GF into those activities that I like and some of them we do together and helps me with summarize it she is great, we spend lots of time together I completely stopped partying or going out and I dont really mind it that much BUTTTTTT the problem is that whatever her family does she has to do since she lives with she now tells me that her parents are planning to go back to Mexico like on March or April and that what are we going to do about it??? she can be really sensitive or take something the wrong way and get upset if anything seems like I doubt being with her or the way I might answer her I have said well stay with me but she says that she cant do that to her parents because they have always supported her and it would be an insult to them to move in with someone like that (hispanic culture is usually picky about that) and to move out would be through marriage and she tells me that she doesn't really care about a wedding or anything and that she definitely wants to spend the rest of her life with me......and I tell her that she is old enough and she can make that decision and just move in and can even see if thats what she really likes before making that big of a step.....and then she answers that what is the big deal and that it is just a piece of paper to make her parents comfortable that she left in good terms and make them feel like she is secure with someone and not just moving in with a guy....and she even has told me that why am i so worried about getting married if worst case scenario we can just get a divorce if it becomes a terrible relationship.......I am an ambitious person have many goals in life and have let go many things for her or to be with her......have even offers for jobs at places or cities I wanted to move and have done nothing about it because she has made me feel comfortable being with her and I do enjoy it......have not regreted any decision I have made in life....almost always make the best and right decisions and get what I want but this time I feel if I take this step I might just keep in mind its a bad idea and that im only making it so I can keep her here......I know she loves me for me since im obviously not rich or have anything that I could worry on getting married and then divorced....but it just bothers me that I have to make that decision to keep her......but I feel she manipulates it in a certain way cause it seems like she is pushing it and then says but no im not trying to get married im just letting you know and its ok I can move back to Mexico and visit every now and then till you feel ready and while im in mexico I can finish college or something and ill wait for you for maybe a year but if its more than that then ill know that you're telling me to move on and ill understand........and yes im afraid of losing her....she nows me better than any girl ive dated and she is the only one that I have lasted this long cause I usually get tired or she might be the one and I really believed that .......but right now im not 100% sure and take decisions really carefully and plan them reallly what do you think I should do?

  • profile image


    7 years ago

    Hi Veronica I stumbled across these pages whilst trawling the Internet for help and have been by your balanced views, which is just what I need!

    Like everyone, I've experienced a couple of really difficult relationships in my time; I've been single and lived alone and then, 18 months ago I got together with the single best man I have ever met. We've known each other for 5 years through work and know I've definitely caught a keeper.

    Contrary to my home life growing up and subsequent relationships he makes me feel secure and loved. I'm 29 and he's 40 and he 'came back on the market' after being married for almost 20 years when his wife left him for another man-that was just over 2 years ago now. The problem we're in now is that I've got the relationship I've always wanted, but have never thought really exists, apart from one small matter...marriage.

    I want to spend the rest of my life with him, have a family, be married...but the breakdown of his marriage has left him feeling like marriage spoils relationships and his experience had left marriage and a being in a loving relationship completely disassociated. I know it isn't fear of commitment on his part that has meant that marriage definitely doesn't figure in his future and I know he loves me and makes me happy. I also know that I love him and won't end the relationship because he won't marry me, but this is a really difficult area for us. Neither wants to upset the other, neither wants to be selfish, but the end result is one of us will have to compromise. I'm prepared to be this person, but I need help to stop wanting to be married to him, which feels the most natural thing to do considering our feelings for each other.

    I'm sorry if this is rambling, but I'm tying myself in knots torn between wanting to consolidate this relationship with the union of marriage and being sensitive to the feelings of my partner. I hope you can help me.

  • Veronica profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from NY

    Thank you!

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    Good wise and intelligent advice!

  • Lisi Hansen profile image

    Lisi Hansen 

    8 years ago

    I agree completely with you Veronica. Very good advice!

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    Loved the on point and very true...couldn't have said it better!!

  • profile image

    Another confused man 

    9 years ago

    I have been reading all this stories and I am happy to feel that I am not alone. My story is similar to KLC's.

    Here is my story. I have been dating this beautiful girl for 3 years now. I love her and she loves me. I am 30 years old and she is almost 34. I am an immigrant who left his country looking for something better. I do not want to make the story too long, but I may say that when I immigrated I began from zero, but now my economy is much better, although not as good as hers.

    We do not live together 'cause when we began the relationship she just ended another relationship, so we agreed to take it easy. I have only met her mom, but she doesn't talk to me since she met me in a fragile economic moment and she feels that we shouldn't be together. I kind of understand her but since last year I am doing well and my career seems to get better. One of the problems is that my gf's mom has put a lot of pressure on the relationship. Like every mom she wants the best for her child and I am not what she wants for her.

    Somehow we made it 'till this point avoiding money and family conflicts, but now after the marriage of my gf's friend, she is very worried about getting old, been the last one to get married, staying alone for ever, been to old to have children, etc. Yesterday, she clearly told me that she wants to get married and that she wants to finish the problems with her mom. She said that she loves me and she understands that I am not at that point in my life and that I am not ready economically for a marriage, which I completely agreed. On the other hand, she told me that she do not believe she will find a person like me and that she doesn't want to see me with somebody else. She looked very sincere when she said that and cried for an hour. She told me she is scare to let me go and miss me when she'll be with somebody else and I think the same. I am really confused about life and the real life Vs love. I am very concerned because I love her and I don't want to loose her, but she really wants to get married soon. I do not know what to do to keep her at my side and if I keep her I do not know if it will work due to the economical differences and the pressure of the family. I am very frustrated and do not what to do because I believe that if she waits for a couple of years more I'll be at her level. please help!!!

  • Equality For Men profile image

    Equality For Men 

    9 years ago from USA

    Great Hub. Thank you for taking the time to write this.

  • Veronica profile imageAUTHOR


    9 years ago from NY


    Happy Valentine's Day to you, you very level headed thinker ;)

    Yes, you know it - those are big bad red flags. Her not saying she loves you, her not caring if you're out of work, her not prioritizing your children, this all adds up to a big NO.

    A woman that is actually READY to be a life partner isn't saying or doing those kinds of things. She is saving money, she is making you and your needs as important a priority as hers. She is concerned about the things that are part of your life like your kids, your job, your happiness. She asks you how you feel, instead of telling you over and over how she feels.

    Run away, foolsgold. Close this door so another can open. Good luck to you. xoxo

  • profile image


    9 years ago

    Great advice. I'm in the same kind of relationship with a woman who is in love with the IDEA of being married. Not once has she said she loved me. NOT ONCE. Red flag there. I'm divorced so child payments have to be met. She is insisting upon moving to another state, where of course since I may be out of work until I find a job, the payments will stop and accrue. Her answer to my objections, "they (my kids) can wait." Another red flag.

    Being debt free before entering into a marriage is a big plus because money arguments in marriage are NASTY. been there done that.

    Your statement that:

    "She wants what she wants and that seems to be more important than you are in her world." Is the right take on this. This woman is enamored with being married, that's all.

  • betherickson profile image


    10 years ago from Minnesota

    I'm giving you a thumbs-up Veronica! I really love reading it.

  • epictruth profile image


    10 years ago from Frisco

    Veronica - Another great hub. I definitely agree with your insight. It's a team effort people. :)

  • gamergirl profile image


    10 years ago from Antioch, TN

    Great advice!! Being debt free prior to marriage is just one way of saying: "I don't want our marriage to end for some stupid reason like money."

    Especially with money being one of the biggest topics of argument in relationships.

  • RFox profile image


    10 years ago

    This advice is brilliant. You are completely correct in your answer.

    What I can't believe is that the girlfriend in this situation is unhappy that her man wants to be debt free before making a major commitment. It's amazing to me that she doesn't seem to realise that he is looking towards and planning for the future if he's willing to sacrifice pleasure now for a goal down the road. This to me is a sign of a mature man who is considering what kind of husband he wants to be. He is definitely someone who will be a great husband when he's ready for that commitment because he actually thinks about what the commitment to marriage means.

    The girlfriend needs to realise how lucky she is to have such a wonderful man in her life! It's a shame she doesn't see it! Love your hubs.

  • helenathegreat profile image


    10 years ago from Manhattan

    Excellent hub, and excellent reaction to KL's question!

  • cgull8m profile image


    11 years ago from North Carolina

    Great advices, I hope KL reads it. You are right they sacrifice for each other, then the marriage won't work. All she wants a label it seems "Being Married". I think they will be needing more than a year.


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