If you’ve been with your boyfriend for a while, and things are going well, you might be starting to wonder why he hasn’t proposed yet. It’s only natural to be thinking about the next step in your relationship, especially if you know he’s the one. You dream of the day he’ll get down on one knee and pop that special question.
When it seems like there’s something holding him back from popping that question, it can drive you crazy thinking about it. You might start to wonder:
Maybe there’s someone else.
Maybe he doesn’t love me as much as he says he does.
Maybe I’m not the one for him, and he’s just wasting my time.
Maybe he doesn’t want to get married and prefers to just live together.
If any of these questions have crossed your mind, keep reading for our handy guide to the 7 reasons why your boyfriend hasn’t proposed yet – and what your approach should be.
1. He’s too comfortable with the way things are.
One of the likely reasons why your boyfriend hasn’t proposed yet is because he simply doesn’t feel like he needs to. It’s quite a common situation for many couples who move in together after a few months or years of dating.
You share everything – and maybe even have a shared bank account, or a shared mortgage. He’s way too comfortable with the current situation, so why change anything? He’s reaping all the benefits of being unmarried, and in a sense, he’s having his cake and eating it too.
Every man knows how extortionately expensive weddings can be, and what a big fuss surrounds them. When you add on the cost of the expected diamond engagement ring, it can all become too much for him. Why go through it all, when things are perfectly fine as they are?
Marriage doesn’t seem to even cross his mind, and he isn’t that keen on talking about it. Some guys see zero benefit to getting married if they’re living with their partner already and everything is going smoothly. So, if you want more, you simply must let him know.
No matter your reason for wanting to get married, make sure he’s aware of your feelings. If it turns out he never wants to get married, you may need to compromise or find another man.
2. He’s saving the money.
Of course, your boyfriend might be fully aware that you crave a wedding, and are ready to be a wife – but he’s simply not ready to pop the question, because he’s saving money for the engagement ring and everything that comes along with it.
A lot of men take a little longer to get to a place where they feel financially comfortable enough to propose. He might not feel comfortable talking about it, and might even be a little embarrassed that he can’t yet afford a ring.
What’s important is that he feels your support, rather than being faced with constant reminders that you’re expecting him to propose.
One thing you can do to reassure him a bit is to reassure him that marriage is about the two of you, not about what everyone else expects you should do. You can even elope together and save yourselves a huge amount of stress and money.
3. He wants to achieve a career goal first.
Most men would say that the reason they didn’t propose when their girlfriends or families expected them to, is simply because of where they were career-wise – and not because they didn’t want to get married.
A man wants to feel accomplished before proposing to the love of his life. It isn’t just about knowing that he’s met the one – it’s about being in the right position in life to be a husband.
It may sound a bit old-school, but 10 out of 10 men won’t propose if they aren’t confident about their current job, they’re unemployed, are waiting for a promotion, or have just started their business.
It’s just way too risky for them, and might feel like a mistake to propose when a big part of their life like their career isn’t at the right stage.
As his girlfriend (and future wife), you need to understand this – and be by his side. Try to truly recognize how he feels about his career and where he needs to be in order to feel confident enough to tie the knot.
4. You’re too desperate.
Sometimes a guy won’t propose, simply because he’s sick of being told by everyone (especially you!) that he needs to. It’s a bit of a stubborn act, but understand that it happens very often.
Hinting about it all the time might make your boyfriend feel pressured, instead of excited at the prospect of marrying, and feels like he doesn’t have a say in the matter.
This happens so often – a woman is desperate to get married, so she talks to anyone who’d listen about it. She makes plans, browses engagement ring and wedding dresses. She’s made it up in her mind that it has to happen, and it better be soon!
She waits and waits for her man to take the hint and do it, but he never does. Or, he proposes just to please her – feeling forced into a marriage he isn’t ready for, and ending up resenting it (and her!) later on.
You don’t want to do that to your boyfriend. Marriage won’t fix your relationship, and it won’t magically erase all the underlying issues that might be going on.
It’s okay to have the conversation to make sure you’re both on the same page, but if he’s not ready yet – don’t pressure him.
5. He’s not mentally ready yet.
Just because you’re ready to get engaged and get married, doesn’t mean he’s on the same wavelength. You might think your relationship is ready for marriage, but it’s a huge step that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
If your boyfriend hasn’t popped the question yet, he probably isn’t ready for it. He might not be mentally ready for commitment. Moreover, if he’s experienced a failed or emotionally abusive relationship in the past, or comes from a divorced family, he might be a lot more cautious about making this step.
He could have real concerns about proposing, so you need to have an open and honest conversation with him about it. His beliefs and thoughts about marriage could be very different from yours, and could be quite negative too.
If he’s trying to protect himself from disappointment and heartbreak, it may take him a little longer to recover and give love a second chance. At the end of the day, unless there’s a real reason, then what’s the rush?
6. He’s not sure about you.
A guy might date you for years and even move in with you – but if he isn’t sure about having a future with you, then nothing you say will make him propose. Sometimes, you just have to admit defeat and move away from a man who keeps you around without wanting a real relationship.
It leads to the painful realization that you aren’t the one love of his life, and that he’s keeping his options open. He won’t end it, because there’s no reason to, but deep down he knows this isn’t the end game for him.
Perhaps the two of you are quite different and you want different things in life. Maybe your lifestyle clashes with his values and beliefs. Or maybe, you are the perfect couple on the outside, but behind closed doors there’s always conflict, which he takes quite personally. Maybe your family doesn’t approve of him, or vice versa?
Whatever it is, you either need to seek some compromise to make it work as a couple or break up. There are many Clear Signs to Call It Quits in a Relationship. You do need to be on the same page if you are to marry each other, or you will end up as one of the many couples who divorce after a few years.
What’s important to remember is that you don’t have to settle for anything less than what you deserve, Life’s too short to make that mistake. If he isn’t the one to propose and commit to you, then there will be another man who will gladly do it – you just have to be willing to find him.
7. He’s waiting for the right moment.
He might be more than ready to propose to you, and you don’t even know it! If he wants to surprise you, he’ll likely be planning it already. Some men carry an engagement ring around in their jacket for months before they gather the courage to propose or find the right spot and the perfect moment.
Can you blame him? It’s one of the biggest decisions of your life, and if he knows you want to get married, he’ll certainly try and put his best foot forward. He wants to plan a surprise and do it when you least expect it.
So, if he’s suddenly quite excited to plan a trip away or is acting nervous or awkward around you, it might be a sign that he’s about to propose. You better have your answer ready, when he does!
The Bottom Line
There are so many things going on for a guy when thinking about making this big step in life that it could literally make your head spin. It isn’t as straightforward as women think it is, or as easy as it might feel for a woman to say yes to a proposal.
In fact, the worst thing you can do is rush or pressure him into proposing when he isn’t even ready yet. A guy could feel quite anxious about it, especially if you’re constantly reminding him that it’s time.
If you’re both on the same page about the prospect of marriage, then give him some time.