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Why Won't He Marry Me? Relationship Help

Updated on December 6, 2013

Some women lament because the guy they are dating won’t commit and they wonder why? She’s ready; why isn’t he? It could be a number of reasons.

Ask him.

This may sound simple but if you want to be with this man for the rest of your life you need to find out what he is thinking and if he is considering marriage at all or in the near future.

Communication is the most important part of marriage and if you don’t start now you’ll have problems from here on.

Ask him how he feels about marriage in general. Some have preconceptions about what it means to be married. He may be just fine with the way things are now and see no reason for marriage.

He may have come from a broken home.

Men who were raised in a divorced or tumultuous atmosphere may see marriage as a bad thing. He doesn’t see beyond his own experience and realize there are people who are happily married.

He may never change his mind but showing him content relationships helps. You don’t have to list a lot of people you know who are doing well, he’ll learn more by seeing it for himself. Try to set up double dates with happily married couples you know letting him see examples.

Maybe you are making it too easy for him.

You’ve heard the old saying, “Why buy the cow if you can get the milk for free?” The wording is a bit harsh but it has a lot of truth to it.

You have to put yourself in his shoes for a minute. What will he gain by marrying you? In his mind he already has you so proposing isn’t going to change his situation.

Don’t put him under pressure.

Constantly hinting or asking him about marriage isn’t going to work. Some women do get a proposal from nagging or trickery but those marriages are never happy and seldom last. You want a good healthy marriage based on trust, love and understanding.

He’s a player

Even though he currently appears to be faithful and you see no signs of cheating: he’s still looking. You may not be everything on his ideal woman list so he doesn’t want to sign any papers until he is sure there isn’t a better deal out there somewhere.

Some men are slow to grow up and think they are too young to settle down even if he is in his 30’s. He might keep putting it off thinking he’ll prolong his youth, “I’ll settle down when I’m 35.” Thirty-five comes and goes and he pushes the age to 40 then one day he realizes all his friends are married and he’s all alone. Married guys seldom hang out with single fellows so his friends start to dwindle.

Allergic to commitment of any kind.

If he has trouble making long-standing agreements with other people and not just you, he could have issues with commitment.

These guys don’t want to buy a house and only rent vehicles so they can change their mind if they feel like it. He may change jobs often or have trouble making up his mind.

Of course this is a worst-case scenario but if you notice these types of signs in other aspects of his life it might be why he doesn’t want to go the next step in your relationship.

You aren’t what he had in mind.

This is not to say there is anything wrong with you but men all have an idea of the type woman they think would make the perfect wife and no two models are the same, lucky for us. Their mother and grandmothers help form his ideal woman but that doesn’t mean they necessarily want a woman just like dear old mom. Some look for the exact opposite so don’t try to be a cookie cutter of his mom. It’s best to be yourself and find a man that likes you just the way you are.

These are just hypothetical reasons some men don’t commit and in no way meant to reflect your personal situation.

Perhaps he wants children and you are past childbearing years or too ambitious in your career giving him pause to whether you’d be a good mother to his future offspring. Or maybe he doesn’t want children at all and you’ve talked about having them.

Maybe you aren’t quite what he’s envisioned in his mind as his future bride. Most men have a specific look they want. They don’t all get it but some will hold out trying anyway.

As well as looks, guys have specific attributes they want in a wife and they aren’t all the same. Maybe he wants a better cook, better lover or better housekeeper. If he points out your flaws often you can guarantee those are on his list of things he expects a wife to be good at.

His family doesn't approve.

If his mom or dad don't think you are a perfect match it can cause friction. Remember, you don't just marry a man, you marry his whole family so if you don't get along with his mother or she doesn't think you are right for her son that could be the problem. His parents might be nice and cordial when you visit but you need to find out what they really think about your union. They might think you are okay as a person but just not the right fit in their family.

Maybe it’s time to walk away.

If you’ve given him a reasonable amount of time to propose, you’ve talked to him about your future together and he still shows no signs of moving forward it might be time to look elsewhere.

Some men don’t realize what they have until it’s gone. Many fellows have thought the grass might be greener in other pastures so they kept their options open “just in case” but took too long and Miss Right got tired of waiting.

Not until she marries another man does our fellow realize what he lost. Some lament for years but it’s too late.


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    • AmandaJon profile image

      Amanda Jones 

      5 years ago

      Comprehensive Hub with some useful tips!

      Very informative! Voted up!

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Mandy, there are many benefits to being married and not just for men. I wrote an article explaining that.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I asked my bf why he's afraid of getting marry. He told me he's afraid of all the changes. Like moving in living with me and my parents. He said there's not much changes for me while he has to move out of his place to be with me and he said he's afraid that our kid will be handicap cuz I'm 31 and he's a few years younger. He also said raising a child is costly. I did not know he thinks so much out of this situation. But yes, these are some of the things guys might be afraid of when thinking of marrying you. We are engage now. Communication is so important. If I did not ask and address his concerns, he would not bring it up. A lot of woman are afraid to end the relationship that's why they can't talk to the guy. If the guy really loves you, he'll stay no matter what. If not, it's better to move on rather than be with someone that's waiting to find someone better then dump you. I think as a woman, we got the end of the stick if we don't get marry. It will only benefit the guy.

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Thanks, Mike. I wrote this after reading a few laments from women wondering why their guy wasn't proposing.

    • profile image

      Mike Cee 

      6 years ago

      Seriously? you were afraid of offending with THIS blog?

      I give you a perfect 10 for the entire thing, Pamela!!

      "This is not to say there is anything wrong with you but men all have an idea of the type woman they think would make the perfect wife and no two models are the same, lucky for us. Their mother and grandmothers help form his ideal woman but that doesn’t mean they necessarily want a woman just like dear old mom. Some look for the exact opposite so don’t try to be a cookie cutter of his mom. It’s best to be yourself and find a man that likes you just the way you are."

      That bit is the gem of your blog.

      Everything else was written PERFECTLY and was dead on.

      Move over Stephanie Faris, a new romance blogger is in town!!! lol

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      7 years ago from Oklahoma

      Certainly, Kay.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      May i comment on my situation

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      7 years ago from Oklahoma

      Angie, commitment isn't for everyone and sometimes we just haven't found that person with whom we are compatible. Thanks for your comment.

    • Angie Jardine profile image

      Angie Jardine 

      7 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

      Great hub, Pam! Very useful ... I've had three husbands so far and ain't looking for no mo' .. They've all been all too keen to commit ... (they didn't find out I was a tyrant till later ... :))

      Seriously, I think the bottom line is to value yourself ... no-one likes a needy woman. If he won't marry you move on ... or find something more worthwhile to occupy your time.

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      7 years ago from Oklahoma

      Thanks for reading, Kashmir56.

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 

      7 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Pamela, great information and advice within this well written hub, thanks for sharing this information so it may help others in their relationships .

      Have a wonderful Christmas my friend !

      Vote up !!!

    • jeyaramd profile image


      7 years ago from Mississauga, Ontario

      That is so true. Many men of our generation take a win win perspective. They look at the family as a whole. Thanks for sharing.

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      7 years ago from Oklahoma

      Thanks for reading, Prasetio.

      Jeyaramd, some guys might be old fashioned and feel they need to make enough money to support a wife and kids but it's just as likely today that his girlfriend might make as much or more income.

      Having his families blessing is important to many men; I agree.

    • jeyaramd profile image


      7 years ago from Mississauga, Ontario

      Men often have cold feet. Men sometimes have a greater responsibility towards the financial well being of the relationship. And, so they may want to wait until they feel that they are stable in their career and education perhaps. It takes guys more time to take the commitment plunge. Obviously, we all enjoy the companionship of relationships. However, it could be a case the eldest son leaving the family. Perhaps his family is used tot he financial support. It could be an issue of that nature. Maybe he feels that he must involve his family or may feel guilty about not having his family know. The only way to know is to ask. Guys sometimes have to be taught how to communicate when it comes to sensitive topics. Take a shot and try to get him to open up. Anyway, great advice. Love the first advice. Its the best. voted awesome.

    • prasetio30 profile image


      7 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Hi, Pamela. How are you? I hope you always fine and healthy...amen. I love this hub so much and I learn many things from you. You have good advice for us and I am glad to follow your tips. Thanks for writing and share with us. Rated up (useful, awesome, beautiful, and interesting). God bless you!


    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      7 years ago from Oklahoma

      Glen, we all have a subconscious list even if we don't realize it and it's important to find a person that best suits our needs. Thanks for reading, nice to have a man's perspective.

      Homesteadbound, it amazes me the people who mention problems they are having with a spouse or significant other and when asked if they talked to them about it they say, "no."

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 

      7 years ago from Texas

      This is really good advice. I too believe communication is the key. Communication helps make the whole marriage easier and that's what you have after the wedding. Great hub.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 

      7 years ago from Long Island, NY

      I guess you will get mostly women reading this. But I was interested to know what you had to say about it. And I think you hit the nail on the head with every point you made. IN my case the biggest problems was that I was going with women who didn't fit my "list of things I expected in a wife" as you called it. And without realizing it at the time, I guess I was hoping for a better match to my "list."

      As you mentioned, if they would have spoken up and asked me, maybe we might have ended it sooner and moved on.

      Moving on is important because later in life I realized that the women who were on my list were already taken by other men who had the same list and married them. I missed out on those women because I kept going for long periods of time with the wrong ones and didn't look around while involved.

      So as you can see, you pinpointed the issues very well. I voted up and useful and awesome!

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      7 years ago from Oklahoma

      Daffy, first let me say that women in their 50's should not have children even though it is scientifically possible it is a terrible idea. The older a woman gets the higher the incident for birth defects but that is a different article.

      As far as how long she should wait, that is up to the individual woman. Only knowing a man a year or 18 months is a relatively short amount of time, in my opinion. Everyone's situation is different so I wouldn't put a time on it.

      Thanks, randomcreative.

      TLPoague, you bring up a wonderful issue I hadn't thought of. Knowing a man long enough to see his true self. Rushing a man into marriage you may not see all of his flaws and in your daughter's case she found a very serious one.

      Martie, I've been married to the same man for a long time. It is a great joy to have someone to share those moments with.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      7 years ago from South Africa

      Pamela, you have certainly covered this topic thoroughly. The older we get - women as well as men who happen to be single - the more reluctant we are to marry again. Although I sometimes wish I was (still) married - normally while it is raining - I enjoy and appreciate my freedom and independence much to much to commit myself to one man, and therefor I keep a safe distance between myself and any man who is looking for a wife. Thumbs up for this profound hub about men who duck and dive marriage.

    • tlpoague profile image


      7 years ago from USA

      Great hub! My daughter earlier this month was contemplating marriage, but instead broke it off with the guy when it dawned on her how much of an abusive relationship it had become. I was very proud of her and surprised when she wrote a hub about it to share with others her own age so they didn't make the same mistake. Thanks for sharing information like this to help others.

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 

      7 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      I agree with ktrapp completely! Great resource.

    • Daffy Duck profile image

      Daffy Duck 

      7 years ago from Cornelius, Oregon

      Enjoyed the hub Pamela N Red. A couple of questions come to mind though.

      What is a reasonable amount of time to wait fro the proposal? 1yr, 18 months, 2yrs?

      Isn't there always someone out there that's better? It's just a matter of time and it's a matter of his state of mind. If he keeps looking and hasn't found someone who is truly better, couldn't his standards be lowered just so he would have a reason to go?

      If it's a matter of child bearing a woman can have kids in her 50's. Chances are this is not a reason why he wouldn't propose. Although it still might have something to do with having/raising kids.

      Good points!

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      7 years ago from Oklahoma

      Marlena, you are both young and have plenty of time but there are financial reasons that being married is beneficial. I wrote an article on the importance of getting married.

      So true, breakfastpop. Communication is the most important part of any relationship. If you don't ask you may never know.

    • breakfastpop profile image


      7 years ago

      "Ask him" is the answer. You can waste a whole lot of time by refusing to just ask. You may not like his reply but do it anyway. if it's the wrong answer move on.

    • Marlena Oechsner profile image

      Marlena Oechsner 

      7 years ago from Wisconsin

      Great hub, but you also have to look at what's important to both people. My boyfriend and I have been together for almost three years. We live together and share a great life, but marriage may just not be in the cards for us. Both of us come from divorced families and my boyfriend has been married (and subsequently) divorced before. He doesn't want to deal with the drama again. I have told him that even breaking up a relationship is like a divorce, especially when you live together, but there is something about the legality and stigma that neither one of us wants to confront. And quite honestly, we are both content with that. Marriage isn't always the finish line, but I really enjoyed the down-to-earth approach you made. Communication is won't know anything unless you ask. :)

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      7 years ago from Oklahoma

      So glad to see I didn't offend anyone. I was in fear of that while writing some of this but felt it was an important read none the less.

      Dashingscorpio, I thought all boys played with Easy Bake ovens and dreamt of carrying off Snow White on his black steed. You have crushed my dream. ;o)

    • dashingscorpio profile image


      7 years ago

      Very interesting hub! I especially found the following statement insightful. "You have to put yourself in his shoes for a minute. What will he gain by marrying you?"

      Not enough people put themselves in the other person's shoes. They only think in terms of (what they want). By the same token what does she stand to gain by marrying him? That's also a key question. Truth be told nothing "magical" happens after the wedding day. He'll be the same guy he was.

      As far as most men see it if they are in a "monogamus relationship" they have already "committed". Going back to the statement of having the woman put herself in his shoes. The woman has to keep in mind that as a boy he most likely was not dreaming of some day being a groom, playing with baby dolls, and Easy-Bake ovens. He has no fear of turning 40 without having ever been married. In fact he believes he can get married anytime he chooses.

      If a woman is with a man who hasn't proposed to her she always has the option to propose to him! Sometimes you're better off knowing where you stand as opposed to sitting around waiting. If it turns out that he doesn't think she's "the one" then it's safe to say the he is NOT "the one". It has to be mutual for it to be real. You should not have to sell or persuade someone to exchange vows with you. At the very least a marriage should start off with (both) people wanting to get married. One man's opinion! :-)

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Excellent advice.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      I know a few people who need to read this. I am forwarding your good advice and information on. Great stuff! Voted up!


    • gabgirl12 profile image


      7 years ago

      I have to agree with that last sentence. I typically never fall for the ones who 'cant' or 'wont' settle down. I can see those coming a mile off. And usually those are the ones who get over it pretty easily. Not only will they never commit, but they don't see any value other than how good you will make them look. It's very sad to see that, but its the truth. Either way a woman needs to value herself even beyond that kind of relationship, and be happy with or without the one she thought was Mr. Right.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      7 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Very informative Pam! I'm going to share this for those in need. Much appreciated:)

    • ktrapp profile image

      Kristin Trapp 

      7 years ago from Illinois

      While I am not in need of this advice personally, it is solid information. I particularly like your first point, "ask him." That's great advice for lots of situations in relationships.


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