Why won't he propose?
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Old 04-11-2011, 06:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Post Why won't he propose?

I'm 23 and have been dating my boyfriend now (also 23) for over a year and a half, now I realize that many other couples date for years before committing to marriage. I graduated college last May, and he graduates in a few weeks. We have lived together since August, and have a 6-month old baby together. I completely understand that just because we have a child doesn't mean that we should be married, however, we have gone through things and overcome hardships that many other couples wouldn't survive, and he still doesn't know if he'll even propose within this year. What I don't understand is why he tells me he loves me and that he can't wait to spend the rest of his life with me, and he still isn't even thinking about proposing. Also, his parents have offered to pay for our entire wedding. It's like everything for us is set, and our relationship is better than ever. I don't want to push the subject for obvious reasons, but I have no clue what the deal is and I can't stand to see everyone I know keep getting engaged or married when they haven't even been together as long as we have and especially haven't gone through the things we have, or have the bond we have (having had a child together) Someone please help me understand what he's thinking or if it's ever going to happen...I'm losing hope.
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Old 04-11-2011, 06:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why won't he propose?

Let me get this straight. He's already living with you AND has a baby with you. You agreed to all this without the ring. Right? And now you want to know why he isn't proposing?

.....well it's cause he doesn't have to.
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Old 04-11-2011, 07:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why won't he propose?

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Originally Posted by sgm10 View Post
I'm 23 and have been dating my boyfriend now (also 23) for over a year and a half, now I realize that many other couples date for years before committing to marriage. I graduated college last May, and he graduates in a few weeks. We have lived together since August, and have a 6-month old baby together. I completely understand that just because we have a child doesn't mean that we should be married, however, we have gone through things and overcome hardships that many other couples wouldn't survive, and he still doesn't know if he'll even propose within this year. What I don't understand is why he tells me he loves me and that he can't wait to spend the rest of his life with me, and he still isn't even thinking about proposing. Also, his parents have offered to pay for our entire wedding. It's like everything for us is set, and our relationship is better than ever. I don't want to push the subject for obvious reasons, but I have no clue what the deal is and I can't stand to see everyone I know keep getting engaged or married when they haven't even been together as long as we have and especially haven't gone through the things we have, or have the bond we have (having had a child together) Someone please help me understand what he's thinking or if it's ever going to happen...I'm losing hope.
Hi,

Sorry to hear that you are in so much pain over this difficult issue.

Obviously, being married is important to you but it is not to him. He is happy with the way things are, otherwise he would have asked by now. That is my guess anyway. You can never truly know what he is thinking.

When my marriage was in trouble I always used to try to get inside my wife's head. It made me anxious, depressed, and I felt hopeless. Something that helped me was really internalizing the fact that I couldn't get into my wife's head, and all I was in control of was my actions and feelings. So, as hard as it is, I would suggest not trying to figure out what he is thinking/feeling, instead try to calmly state how important it is to you to be married. Perhaps even write him a letter saying this. And after that, let it go. If he doesn't respond then no amount of pressure or reminding will make him respond. To quote Mort Fertel: "Your spouse/partner will change at one time, and one time only. When it is THEIR idea." But that doesn't mean you can't affect the situation. In fact, if you continue to be a fantastic, caring partner and a tower of moral authority, your partner will naturally come to realise how important it is to you and will hopefully pop the question.

So, I guess, to summarize I would say that no amount of pressure will make him come around. In fact the opposite may be true.

So, perhaps that may help you.

take care.
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Old 04-11-2011, 09:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why won't he propose?

I am very old fashioned I guess. I read posts from people here all the time who are together for years and years, have kids and then get married. I don't get it. Why? Why now? What's different. Seems genuinely more trouble than it's worth. I truly do not get it.
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:15 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by magnoliagal View Post
Let me get this straight. He's already living with you AND has a baby with you. You agreed to all this without the ring. Right? And now you want to know why he isn't proposing?

.....well it's cause he doesn't have to.
You may be on to something. Why buy the milk....
I mean, to him, what's the incentive, what's the rush? You already live together, so he gets all the sex he wants. He has alteast 1 child with you, so he doesn't have be pressured by any biological clock, especially at 23. To him why complilcate things further with an official committment? This way if things sour... he can still be out. Perhaps something in your past "hurdles" has made him question whether or not its the right move at this time. I mean, i'm assuming you guys didn't sit down and purposely want a child, in comparison to those married folk who are actually trying to have children.

Talk it out with him, try to determine was causing him to have cold feet. I got engaged to my wife in under 11 months of dating.
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:18 AM   #6 (permalink)
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You have been together 1.5 years and having 6 months old baby which means you got pregnant withing 3 months of knowing each other. It seems you have been rushing soo fast. Anyway that has happend so what next. He probably realized the rushing and he now wants to take it slow before you both got married.

Discuss with him probably he has another reason.
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:11 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why won't he propose?

He hasn't proposed because he's not ready yet or doesn't want to.

That is what it comes down to.

You should ask him "Where do you see our relationship going?" and go from there.

I agree w/ what RunsLikeDog said. You guys are basically married already, just not w/ the piece of paperl.
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:47 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I am very old fashioned I guess. I read posts from people here all the time who are together for years and years, have kids and then get married. I don't get it. Why? Why now? What's different. Seems genuinely more trouble than it's worth. I truly do not get it.
It's a female thing and I've seen it often. Women rush into things by moving in with a guy, maybe having a child thinking a ring is on the table or maybe they really didn't want one at the time. Either way I think at some point they think wait I don't have a comittment and <gasp> he can leave at any time. So then they push for marriage. The guy meanwhile thinks like you why now? whats different? It's just a piece of paper but to many women it's much much more than that.
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:54 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by magnoliagal View Post
Let me get this straight. He's already living with you AND has a baby with you. You agreed to all this without the ring. Right? And now you want to know why he isn't proposing?

.....well it's cause he doesn't have to.
Why buy the cow when the milk is free?
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Old 04-12-2011, 02:30 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I couldn't expect him to marry me just because I got pregnant, that would be for all the wrong reasons (and yes it was unplanned, however, even though we were dating for only 3 months, we've known each other since we were 19) We didn't rush into moving in together either, I got pregnant in December and we didn't move in together until August. And it's not like I'm giving him sex all the time either, so he wouldn't need to commit, I am taking care of an infant all day, I have better things to do than have sex whenever he wants it so Idk if that's it either. And on the same lines as well it's only a piece of paper, what's different...exactly, if nothing technically will be changes besides a title, and my last name, why is it so hard for him to marry me? Lastly, I don't want to marry him, just so he won't leave me, that's a terrible reason to make that kind of committment. I want to marry him because he's a good person, a good father, and I love him.
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Old 04-12-2011, 06:52 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why won't he propose?

I'm sorry to be the blunt one here but maybe he's realized that marriage can be a bad legal position for men and doesn't see the reason to do it.

Of course, you already have a child and so on but still, if you strip it down to the basics, marriage often puts men in particular in a difficult legal spot should anything ever go bad and no matter how great the situation why would they want that?

Frankly, the guy is already married in every other way except legally so what is the advantage for him?

Actually, why does it matter to you so much? You have him, a baby, a life together and so on so why worry about it?
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Old 04-12-2011, 06:59 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why won't he propose?

I think he thinks like I think.....why now? While there's certainly some legal advantages to being legally married often those are outweighed by the current convenience of being right where you are. In the back of my mind I'd be chewing over what I thought you though was missing from our relationship right now, that had to be remediated by a legal marriage.

Here's what I would do. I'd present as the best thing for the long run. Seal the deal and that sort of thing. As we mature and our lives get more complex we need to ensure that no one else can screw with that and the greatest and most wonderful way to do that is get married and have a big party.
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Old 04-12-2011, 07:13 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why won't he propose?

I think shes right to worry about it, and while things do seem to have happened fast and they are young and now have a child together, they need to work on making life as secure as possible for that child. That includes them both being secure and happy in the relationship.

Kids are a huge commitment in themselves, and I see it OP that you are the mother of his child, he should be valuing you and your feelings.

If marriage is very important to you and he loves you, I see it like anything else in a relationship, you do what you can to make the person you love feel secure in that love. If he really wants to be with you forever, then he should marry you.
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:09 PM   #14 (permalink)
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If he really wants to be with you forever, then he should marry you.
Well, that argument goes both ways of course.

To turn a phrase, If she wants to be with him but he doesn't want to get married then she should respect that. I'm not arguing your statement but just pointing out that the scenario is the same.

But seriously why is this an issue? She has everything that marriage brings already except a certain legal status (she already has another strong one).

My bet is that being young she has a strong desire to do what she thinks she "should" do or her upbringing has told her is the "right" way. Nothing wrong with that necessarily but still, it's hardly a rock solid argument either.

I say be happy with what you have, make it work perhaps even better than now and don't start causing problems for no reason. If there's reason to be concerned then deal with that but otherwise, the situation seems fine.
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:15 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I couldn't expect him to marry me just because I got pregnant, that would be for all the wrong reasons (and yes it was unplanned, however, even though we were dating for only 3 months, we've known each other since we were 19) We didn't rush into moving in together either, I got pregnant in December and we didn't move in together until August. And it's not like I'm giving him sex all the time either, so he wouldn't need to commit, I am taking care of an infant all day, I have better things to do than have sex whenever he wants it so Idk if that's it either. And on the same lines as well it's only a piece of paper, what's different...exactly, if nothing technically will be changes besides a title, and my last name, why is it so hard for him to marry me? Lastly, I don't want to marry him, just so he won't leave me, that's a terrible reason to make that kind of committment. I want to marry him because he's a good person, a good father, and I love him.
Hi again.

You are definitely wanting to marry him for the right reasons. That's good. Marriage is really just a piece of paper, so you could be happy without being married, but it seems marriage is very important to you. If that is the case, then your partner either a) doesn't understand how important it is to you, or b) doesn't really want to get married himself.

Something I didn't mention is that perhaps he isn't happy with the reality of what a relationship is. You seem to be just past the initial "excitement phase", which is usually 6-24months, and into the "reality phase". That is when relationships take work. "The labour of love" is a common phrase for this period. People go through periods of doubt and distress during this time. My advice would be to be a loving, caring partner and build your relationship with actions, and in time he will surely realize how important marriage is to you and propose to you.

And to re-iterate, a letter saying how important marriage is to you and asking him his honest opinion on marriage might be a good start. Try not to be pressuring, just display your honest feelings.
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