You’ve been the best girlfriend imaginable…So what gives? Why is he taking so long? All around you, friends who have been dating less time than you two have are already engaged. And here you are, biding your time, waiting, and being aggravated when people throw things like, “So, when is your man going to pop the question?” at you as if you had anything to do with it.
There can be many reasons why you haven’t heard those four words, just yet. Everything happens in good time.
It hasn’t been long enough
Some people believe in whirlwind romances, getting married on a whim while the feeling is still strong. Other people believe slow and steady is the way to go when it comes to love.
What’s the hurry? Don’t close the door on this chapter of your love, just yet. This is the time when it’s exciting and you are still getting to know each other, developing an idea of why this might be the person you want to be with for the rest of your life. Giving it time allows the “new love” feeling to fade enough to see flaws and if those flaws are things you can both live with. The “new love” feeling usually fades after 2-3 years. This is when reality sets in.
I know you hate the “boyfriend/girlfriend” title and long to use the more eloquent “fiancé /fiancée” but NOW is precious. Enjoy this time of blooming romance and excitement. When the ring comes, the stress about how to get married comes. Enjoy this blissful time of growing in love.
He’s not sure that’s what you really want
Maybe he’s ready, but not sure about you. Some women are not the type to broadcast, loudly and clearly, “Hey! I want to marry you!” They just wait patiently and see if he takes the hint. If the two of you are lackadaisical on the communication front, there’s a chance neither of you are quite sure what the others’ thoughts are regarding making your commitment more permanent.
He’s not ready, commitment-wise
He knows it, but doesn’t know how to tell you. He may find his mind drifting. Maybe he can’t stop thinking of other girls. Maybe he’s only focused on you, but the thought of committing himself to you – forever – scares the holy hell out of him. He doesn’t know exactly what that will mean. He doesn’t know if he’s ready for all it could mean. Does it mean he has to stop going out with his friends? Does it mean fatherhood? Does it mean a house with a white picket fence in the suburbs when he always pictured himself living in a swanky high rise in the city?
Pay attention to what he has told you he wants out of life. It’s possible to be with someone for years without admitting that a wedding dress, house in the suburbs, and children are not in his plans.
A man who says, “I never want to get married” or “I do not want children” should always be taken for his word. Yes, sometimes people do change, but do you want to risk the best years of your life on someone who doesn’t know what they want?
He’s not ready financially
He knows you’re the one. However, he wants to be at a certain place in his life before making that kind of leap. He wants to be able to provide for a family. He wants to be a man you can be proud of. Maybe his parents always stressed old-fashioned values regarding where a man should be in life before he takes on responsibilities like a wife and family. If so, consider yourself lucky. This is a man that views caring for you as a top priority. He’s being smart and thoughtful. He’s planning for your future together and he’s not going to do things half-cocked.
You can tell him you don’t care about the size of his bank account and how it has no bearing on your love for him. He probably already knows this; But it’s his personal sense of duty and responsibility to make sure he is on solid ground before inviting you to step onto that piece of ground with him. It’s a noble stance. Respect it.
He wants to give you the ring you are expecting
Maybe you’d be happy with a ring from the dollar store, but he saw your eyes when you saw your friend’s ring. He’s been taking note of all his friends’ fiancées rings. Nevermind the fact that he never even noticed things like rings before, now he’s a man obsessed. He wants to do right by you. He doesn’t want you being envious of other women’s rings.
Or maybe he’s totally clueless and doesn’t know what the hell to buy you. He may even think it’s a silly, antiquated tradition. Then again, maybe you have practically shoved in his face the ring worth more than ten times his yearly salary and the poor man is stressing because he has no idea how he can ever afford what you want.
All this stress over a ring? Absolutely! It happens. Men know women make a big deal out of this ring business…and they know your friends are going to judge him by how he “did” with the ring. That’s enough to make any man sweat bullets.
He has doubts
There are things about you he still doesn’t “get”. Maybe there are things about your relationship that leave him questioning everything or less than fulfilled. If so, he knows he’s playing a dangerous game staying in a relationship where he feels like all his wishes in a wife are not met in you.
Maybe there are things you do or like that he doesn’t know if he can live with. Maybe there are glaring incompatibilities, but there is something keeping him from walking away. Maybe you’re both just together because it’s better than being alone.
His head is full of doubts he isn’t brave enough to express. But until they are resolved, he can’t even think about being with you forever. It’s a brutal truth, but one that must be acknowledged. There could be a flaw in the relationship which prevents him from committing further. Chances are, you may secretly know what these areas are. It’s time to examine if these are flaws that can be fixed so the relationship can move forward.
He’s afraid there’s a chance you might say “No”
Every man pondering the seriousness of proposing comes to this terrifying thought, “What if she actually says ‘NO’?” and suddenly, they are panicking over the purchase they just made. It’s burning a hole in their pocket. You could say “No” and they could be left down on one knee feeling like a total fool. Could they take the ring back? Could they walk away with their dignity intact? What would happen to the relationship after that? Where do you go after that kind of rejection? You bet he’s thinking it.
People in his life aren’t happy about the impending proposal
He broke the news to his family or best friends and didn’t get the reaction he was hoping for. Who knows, maybe he even called your father for permission and got a disheartening response. So now he’s in limbo. His mother may have objected and he could be waiting for her to see just what he sees in you. He could be waiting for your father to come around. The thing that sucks the most? You are likely the first person he wants to talk to about all this…and can’t!
He believes marriage is forever and doesn’t take it lightly
This is a big, big deal. His parents have been married for fifty years! How did they do it? They tell him so much of it was just in choosing the right person. Yet, he looks around at all the divorced people in the world. Did they all choose the wrong people? How do some people make it work and some fall apart? He’s terrified. He doesn’t want to marry the wrong woman. He doesn’t want to end up divorced, paying child support, not being able to see his children, or living alone the rest of his life because his heart was too broken to ever love again. Marriage scares the hell out of him because he so desperately wants it to work and there are no guarantees. He has to be sure it’s going to work.
He doesn’t want to get married
There are many people like him. Maybe he was married before and burned. Maybe marriage has no appeal for him. Some people just don’t believe in committing to one person or think that the commitment is unlucky or useless. It doesn’t mean your relationship is completely doomed. Some people have lived together their entire lives without formalizing the commitment through marriage…but will that make you happy? Know what his ideas on marriage are, why, and don’t convince yourself he will change.
He’s waiting for the right time
Men can’t always read our minds, but suddenly, in addition to the stress over the type of ring, there is the stress of how to actually do it.
Is she the type who will get embarrassed if you make it a big ordeal? Or will she be disappointed if the proposal is too simple?
Should it be romantic?
Should it be spontaneous?
Should it be a surprise?
Should it happen with friends or family witnessing?
Should it be intimate? What if he makes it too big a deal? What if it’s not a big enough deal and she’s disappointed? What does she have going on in her life? Does she have exams going on? Is the proposal going to be too much distraction? Should he postpone it till a better time? Proposals are a stressful thing!
Rest assured, if you are both in love, have both expressed thoughts of getting married eventually, he’s got an idea of the type of ring and how you want to be proposed to someday…It’s going to happen. Remember, even though it’s easy to get wrapped up in your own self pity and fears, most of the work in orchestrating the perfect proposal, working through his fears, working to save up money, etc. are all on him.
Patience should bring those four words in sweet time; And a proposal when both parties are fully ready will be sweeter still.