Why Your Boyfriend Won't Marry You: 10 Reasons You're Still Single

Updated on March 27, 2018
letstalkabouteduc profile image

I've known countless women (including my own 75-year-old mother) who've waited years for a proposal that never comes.

Time is marching forward and you're stuck in limbo. Why are you ready to marry and he's dragging his feet?
Time is marching forward and you're stuck in limbo. Why are you ready to marry and he's dragging his feet? | Source

Why You're Stuck in Limbo, Waiting for a Proposal

With over a half century of life experience under my belt, I've known dozens of female family members and friends (including my own mother) who've waited patiently for a proposal to come, only to be left heartbroken and ring-less. While the intricacies of these relationships are unique as snowflakes, the big picture is essentially the same: a woman who desperately wants to seal the deal with a wedding and a man who sees absolutely no reason to do so. How do these women (all of them smart and desirable) get into these predicaments where they're left feeling powerless and unloved? What can other women learn from their mistakes so they don't become stuck in a similar situation? Here are 10 reasons your boyfriend doesn't want to marry you:

1. You didn't establish a meeting of the minds.

A meeting of the minds is a legal phrase, meaning two parties hold the same understanding about the terms of an agreement. It must be present in order for a contract to be valid. But how is it relevant to a love relationship?

For far too many couples, there is no meeting of the minds or shared vision for their future. When a duo moves in together, there is often no communication about what it means. Without ever verbalizing it, many woman see it as a step towards marriage. Many guys, however, simply view it as a way to share expenses and have ready companionship. Without a meeting of the minds and open communication, the woman has set herself up for heartbreak.

2. You made it too easy.

The comedian, Groucho Marx, once famously quipped: “I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.” Although his self-deprecating remark elicited a chuckle, it also revealed an innate component of the male psyche—coveting the unattainable.

In days of old, ladies would play hard to get because this made them more desirable. A guy courted a woman—met her parents, brought her flowers, wrote her poems, and placed her on a pedestal. Today, many women are too available to their men (sexually and otherwise) and, therefore, are valued less and not seen as marriage material.

3. You're too desperate.

A man can smell a woman's desperation for marriage like a shark smells blood. The more she wants it, the more he resists, creating an imbalance of power in the relationship. He's in the driver's seat, fully in control, while she's helpless in the backseat.

A smart lady is forward-thinking and understands her time-line. Because her fertility is limited and his isn't, she plans her life accordingly so she's never put in a desperate situation (e.g. 38 years old with a man who doesn't want to get married)!

Every man isn't qualified to love you, touch you, or date you. Reserve your heart for the gentleman who wants a lifetime commitment, not a rental moment.

4. You didn't believe him when he said he's not the marrying kind.

Some women like a challenge. The opportunity to change a die-hard bachelor into a faithful husband is something they can't pass up. But the esteemed author, Maya Angelou, would argue that it's a losing battle. She once sagely noted: “When people show you who they are, believe them.”

If a man says he's a jerk, a tightwad, a philanderer, or a confirmed bachelor, listen up ladies! He means it. No matter how perceptive you think you are, he knows himself better than you know him so trust his self-assessment.

5. You're not a whore in the bedroom.

Jerry Hall (the former girlfriend of rocker, Mick Jagger, and current wife of media mogul, Rupert Murdoch) once said to keep a man “you must be a maid in the living room, a cook in the kitchen, and a whore in the bedroom.” While this advice may seem outdated and unrealistic by today's standards, an astute woman knows how important it is to make sex a priority in her relationship. If it tapers off during the dating years, a man figures (rightly so) that it will decrease even more during marriage. That's no motivation for him to put a ring on it!

Men aren't motivated to get married if they only see a future of declining sex.
Men aren't motivated to get married if they only see a future of declining sex. | Source

6. You want to change him.

You should never enter a relationship with the idea of changing your partner. It's unrealistic and unfair. Nonetheless, some women do just that and, in the process, make their man feel unloved and disrespected. No guy wants to get married, looking ahead to a wife nagging him to become something he's not. That's a bleak future.

I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone. It's not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people that make you feel all alone.

— Robin Williams

7. You're too needy.

We all know women who can't exist without a man. When my grandfather died, my 72-year-old grandmother gave away his suits and ties in an attempt to snag a new man (and it worked)! Like many women of her generation, she needed a husband to feel complete because her identity was wrapped up in being a “Mrs.”

But men today get turned off when women are too needy, requiring excessive amounts of their time and attention. They don't like it when a woman gives up her independence. They want a lady who has her own opinions, hobbies, dreams, and friends. If you become too clingy during dating, a guy will fear a marriage to you will feel claustrophobic.

8. You're a drama queen.

Most of us women have girlfriends who are drama queens. They're always in conflict with family members, co-workers, and friends. Their lives would be far too mundane if they weren't constantly involved in dramatic events. We know this about them and accept it.

Most men, on the other hand, don't get this at all. If there's a problem in their lives, they want to fix it as soon as possible and return to a tranquil state. While a guy may initially be attracted to a drama queen, wanting to become the knight in shining armor who rescues her from turmoil, he'll soon become disenchanted when new problems keep arising. He'd never want a lifetime of this tumult.

A drama queen is high maintenance and most men don't want that.
A drama queen is high maintenance and most men don't want that. | Source

A real woman avoids drama. She knows her time is precious and she's not wasting it on unimportant things.

9. You've gained too much weight.

If you were fit and trim during the early days of the relationship but packed on the pounds later, your man feels duped. This kind of “bait and switch” makes him lose trust in you and feel apprehensive about the future. According to research at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia, women gained nearly 5 pounds during their first six months of marriage. Men see this trend and it doesn't motivate them to propose.

10. You're too negative.

Life is hard enough with long commutes, heavy traffic, crabby bosses, and constant bills. Guys want a partner to bring joy and energy into their lives, not deplete them with negativity. They come into contact with enough destructive people during their daily activities. The last thing they need is one at home. If you're not there to boost up your guy, he's not going to want you for the long haul.

This Book Helped Me Get Inside the Head of a Man and Understand Why They Fear Commitment

Why Men Won't Commit: Getting What You Both Want Without Playing Games
Why Men Won't Commit: Getting What You Both Want Without Playing Games

Growing up in a female household, I didn't understand men. This book gave me a chance to see what guys are really thinking and feeling about marriage and why they sometimes fear commitment. Dr. Weinberg has worked with male patients for over 25 years and knows all about a man's psyche. This book helped me to stop playing games and start connecting with my partner in a deeper way.


© 2017 McKenna Meyers


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    • letstalkabouteduc profile imageAUTHOR

      McKenna Meyers 

      7 days ago from Bend, OR

      Yes, it's probably too late for marriage and accepting that will bring you peace. It's never too late, though, to take control of your life. When we're older, we have the wisdom and experience to make better choices. Maya Angelou said, "When you know better, you do better." Don't let mistakes from your past haunt you. We all have them, but they can propel us forward to more meaningful lives. Take care!

    • profile image


      8 days ago

      I’m 57 it’s too late I suppose ...

    • LimeyFeline profile image


      10 months ago

      I never understand these types of articles. If someone (in this case, a woman), wants to get married to her boyfriend, why can't she propose to him then? Seems easy enough.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      13 months ago from The Caribbean

      Great suggestions for the single woman wanting marriage. Hope they takes these helpful hints seriously.

    • letstalkabouteduc profile imageAUTHOR

      McKenna Meyers 

      14 months ago from Bend, OR

      Wow, dashingscorpio, thanks for adding the male perspective! With so many things in life, timing is everything. You're so right about that. You may find the "right one" at 22, but you're not ready for the commitment of marriage. You have other goals to pursue. A recent study said the best time to get married (and stay married) is between 28 and 32 years of age. I got married at 32 so I'll go along with that!

    • dashingscorpio profile image


      14 months ago

      Nice list!

      Truthfully it really depends on who (the man) is and how much "in love" he is with the woman.

      The two basic reasons why men don't propose in my opinion:

      1. Timing

      Most men didn't grow up playing with baby dolls, decorating Ken & Barbie's Playhouse, or cooking cakes in an Easy-Bake Oven. In other words they haven't been practicing to be married and having a family since their childhood.

      Naturally this means men usually don't make marriage a top priority or goal until they're near age 30 or beyond.

      Any woman in her 20s looking to get married needs to realize that guys her age either just left a college dorm room or escaped from their parent's basement.

      These guys want to explore life, establish a career, party with friends, watch sports, play video games and get laid!

      The last thing on their mind is (becoming their parents); settling down, getting married, taking out a 30 year mortgage, and having children is like watching their lives flash before their eyes!

      For men over the age of 30 there's a chance they're happy with their lifestyle of freedom and view marriage as stressful drama. People tend to be on their best behavior knowing their mate can (easily) walk away if he or she becomes unhappy with them. Oftentimes after marriage people tend to "relax" and gradually take each other for granted. If a guy has been married and divorced. He probably doesn't view marriage as a fairytale!

      2. YOU are not "the one"!

      According to statistics by age 44 over 85% of men have been married at least once. Now that we have "marriage equality" laws we're likely to see that number rise as now gay men can legally get married. This would suggest about 95% of men are going to get married at some point. It just may not be to YOU.

      It's also not uncommon for a man to exit from a long-term relationship of several years and become engaged within a year to the next woman he begins dating. Why? She is "the one"!

      Another scenario is a man who swears he will never get married or marry again and tells this to every woman he dates. He's a "serial monogamist" ala George Clooney.

      After only 6 months of dating Amal Alamuddin he proposes!

      No woman can control the timing/priorities of a man nor can she force him to believe (she) is "the one". He'll either feel that or not. Most men don't even bother listing marriage as a "goal" because it's fairly easy to find women who want to get married!

      The days of playing hard to get or refusing to have sex are pretty much ineffective because a woman has lots of competition from other women who WILL give him sex.

      Also a lot of women see themselves as being equal to men when it comes to dating, relationships, and sexual behavior. They have their own careers are not as in a hurry to get married as previous generations of women were.

      This makes it harder for women with a "traditionalist mindset". Some of them choose to engage in (shaming) "progressive women" for not engaging in manipulation tactics that they believe are necessary to get a man to marry them.

      Essentially there are (women) who view the "double standard" as a good thing when it comes to sexual promiscuity. They will be the first to call another woman a whore or a slut based upon how she dresses or her willingness to have sex without strings simply because she is in the mood. There is no "sisterhood".

      Traditionalist women don't want these "progressive women" around their male prospects and they don't trust these women.

      They truly believe if these women stopped "giving it away" and acting "slutty" then all women would have a better chance of getting men to commit and marry sooner. They're the enemy!

      Where as men don't put down other men for being promiscuous. Oftentimes they admire them and want to know their "secret". A man with a "Playboy" for a friend nonetheless doesn't worry about his friend meeting his girlfriend or wife. It's usually the woman in his life that worries about him having such a friend!

      One man's opinion! :)


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