How long does it take a man to know he wants to marry you?
One question women have when they are worrying, “Why won’t he marry me?” is how long it takes a guy to decide that he wants to marry his girlfriend. While the answer is a little different for everyone, there has been some research done in this area.
According to a recent study, people who have never been married report that they think it would take around 210 days, or about seven months, before deciding they were ready to marry someone.
Whereas people who are already married said that it took them about 173 days, or closer to six months, to realize they wanted to marry their significant others.
According to Psychologist Mert Şeker, citing a study, women describe marriages before the age of 23 as “early,” while men think that marriages made before the age of 26 are “premature.”
On the other hand, it also shows that there is a relationship between self-esteem and the timing of the first marriage.
While it is seen that the degree of self-esteem is higher in men who made their first marriage at a later age, there is no such relationship between age and self-esteem in women.
Your situation may be different from the norm, but based on the research, it seems that it doesn’t take years and years for a person to decide they want to marry their partner.
Right around the six-month mark, people tend to know that they want to spend the rest of their lives with their partner. This doesn’t mean that he will propose this soon, but it does suggest that, pretty early in a relationship, a guy should know if he wants to marry his girlfriend.
There is no need to panic if you have been dating for over six months and haven’t had a proposal yet, but if it has been years and years without a ring, you might be justified in wondering, “Will he ever marry me?”
If you’re starting to question the relationship and worry that he won’t marry you, look out for the following signs:
1. He doesn’t move the relationship forward
When guys are interested in marriage, they will take advantage of the opportunity to move the relationship to the next stage. For example, after you have been together for a year or so, it is normal to move in together.
If his lease ends and he moves in with a roommate, or he gets a new place of his own instead of taking the opportunity to get a place with you, this can be one of the signs he doesn’t want to marry you.
Or, maybe you have been together for several years, and you have never been on vacation together. If he isn’t taking these steps with you, it’s a pretty clear sign that he won’t marry you anytime soon.
2. He’s told you he doesn’t ever plan to get married
This probably goes without being said, but if a guy tells you he has no intention of ever getting married, he’s probably being honest.
Some people simply don’t desire to get married. Maybe they saw their own parents’ marriage turn sour, or for whatever reason, they don’t think marriage is necessary.
If this is the case, he doesn’t want to get married and probably never will.
3. He downplays the seriousness of your relationship
If you two have been together for months, but he tells people you aren’t that serious, or he refuses to acknowledge that you are dating in public, this is one of the clear signs he doesn’t want to marry you.
It suggests that he’s not proud of the relationship, and if he feels this way, he isn’t going to publicly profess his love by marrying you.
If he’s made a point of introducing you to his family and seems to care what they think, this is an indicator of how to know if he wants to marry you.
It is rare for a man to get married without first introducing his potential wife to the family, so if you have been together for a while and haven’t met the family, marriage is probably off the table.
Psychologist Mert Şeker explains it this way: “Let’s say you met your boyfriend’s family. So how do they treat you? Curious, interested, like a bride-to-be? If he is planning a marriage with you, he has probably already told them that he is planning to marry you.”
This is one of the most important signs that he wants to marry you, but on the contrary, it can be said that this situation will not indicate marriage, even if he introduced you to his family.
5. He becomes defensive when you ask about the future
It’s normal to talk about future plans in a long-term relationship. If he becomes angry or defensive when you bring up your future together, this suggests he is feeling pretty conflicted about it.
It probably means that he can sense that you want to talk about marriage, which makes him feel pressured because he doesn’t want to get married.
6. He makes continuous excuses not to get married
If you’re wondering, “Will he ever ask me to marry him?” but he keeps making excuses not to get married, the answer is probably no. It is normal to want to be financially stable before marriage.
Still, if he has landed a big promotion and is doing well but then makes another excuse not to get married, this is a pretty clear indicator that marriage isn’t in his plans.
Maybe his first excuse was that he needed to be making more money, but once he gets a raise, his next excuse is that he wants to own a house.
After that, he may say that he needs to wait until he can afford a destination wedding. When there is one excuse after another, he is avoiding asking you to marry him.
7. He refuses to talk about marriage or changes the topic
If a man knows he doesn’t want to get married but wants to avoid an argument, he will refuse to discuss the issue altogether. He knows that it will only upset you, so he would rather avoid the conversation than rock the boat.
Changing the topic or refusing to discuss marriage is one of the key signs he doesn’t want to marry you.
8. You’ve been together for a long time and no signs of proposing
If you’ve been together so long that you start to wonder, “Will he ever propose?” and he doesn’t seem to respond to any of your hints that you’d like to get married, this is a good sign that he may not be interested in marriage.
Maybe you’ve been together for years and have even lived together for part of that time, and you’ve watched several mutual friends get married, but he continues to not pop the question.
9. He seems unconcerned about the future
When you discuss your future plans, such as your intention to go back to school or move for a job, he seems entirely uninterested, or he makes plans for his future without including you in them at all.
This shows that he doesn’t see you as being part of his life long-term, and it is likely that he won’t marry you.
10. He detaches from you emotionally
When a man is truly connected to a woman and wants her to be a permanent part of his life, he will allow her to be close to him.
A man who is willing to be vulnerable with you sees a future with you, so if he is building up walls and distancing from you emotionally, he doesn’t see you as wife material.
Psychologist Mert Şeker says that, as per certain research, some men can be very mysterious when it comes to their jobs or careers. The average number of 7 thousand words they use daily may decrease to 3 thousand.
However, if a man trusts his partner in everything, including work, or is thinking of a future with them, he can share his business plans and business life with his partner quite easily, moreover, often.
A man who loves you and sees you as his future wife will want to satisfy you in bed. If he seems to use you for sex and doesn’t care whether you get any pleasure out of it, this is not a man who plans to marry you.
19. It’s clear you’re not a priority in his life
If you seem to be just an option in his life, meaning he only wants to hang out when other friends aren’t available, or he doesn’t have better plans, this is one of the top signs he doesn’t want to marry you.
When a man is invested in a future with a woman, he will make her a priority because he won’t want to lose her.
If you get the feeling you just aren’t a priority, this man does not plan for a future with you and is probably just riding out his time with you until he finds someone he feels is his long-term partner.
Psychologist Mert Şeker says that if your boyfriend doesn’t come to you without making excuses during difficult times or if he claims that he has more important things to do when you reach out to him for help, it means he doesn’t care much about your situation.
He may be acting like an ordinary person and not his future wife because he doesn’t plan to build a future with you.
20. He has countless stories about “crazy” ex-girlfriends
If he has had numerous failed relationships and blames all of his ex-girlfriends for being crazy, it could be that he is actually the one with the problem.
Perhaps he failed to commit to them, and instead of accepting that his hesitation to get married was the problem, he has to turn the blame on the women.
Before you decide how to proceed if your boyfriend doesn’t want to marry you, keep in mind that what makes a guy want to marry you has to do with more than what you offer. If he won’t marry you, it doesn’t mean you are not worthy of love or marriage.
Many of the reasons men choose not to get married have to do with their own preferences and values. They may fear commitment, or because of witnessing failed marriages growing up, they may have a negative view of marriage.
Some men simply don’t believe in marriage or would rather keep their options open and enjoy a single life for as long as possible. None of this has anything to do with you.
Once you have recognized that his hesitation to get married has to do with his own issues and not with you, it is time to decide what you will do next.
If marriage is important to you, you shouldn’t have to give up on the marriage and life you want simply to stick with someone who is never going to marry you.
If there are minor issues to be worked out, such as a conflict between the two of you or fears that he has surrounding marriage, you may be able to work through them with counseling or relationship coaching to help him become ready for marriage.
Ultimately, if you have waited for several years with no proposal and you want to get married, you may have to have a frank discussion with your partner.
Sit down and explain that marriage is important to you, and if this is not something he sees for the two of you in the near future, you may have some differences that cannot be resolved.
It may be helpful to consult with friends or family for advice before having this conversation.
If you and your partner are both okay with having a long-term relationship that never ends in marriage, perhaps you will be perfectly happy if he won’t marry you.
On the other hand, if you want to get married, you do not deserve to be stuck in a relationship that isn’t headed where you want it to go.
If marriage is on your list of life goals and your boyfriend won’t commit even after having a conversation, or he tells you that he is never going to get married despite your strong desire for marriage, you may have to cut your losses.
Perhaps you need to make yourself available for another relationship that gets you what you want out of life.
Watch this video to learn why one should bother with marriage at all:
Commonly asked questions
These questions delve into the complexities of love, commitment, and marriage from a male perspective. Relationships can be intricate, and readiness for marriage varies among individuals. Let’s explore these questions in answers that might guide you:
Can a man love you but not want to marry you?
Yes, it’s possible. Love and marriage are distinct concepts. A man can deeply love his partner but may not feel ready for the lifelong commitment that marriage entails. Personal fears, past experiences, or differing priorities can influence this decision.
What makes a man not ready for marriage?
Several factors can contribute to a man not feeling ready for marriage. These include career aspirations, financial stability concerns, personal growth goals, and unresolved emotional issues. Timing plays a crucial role in readiness.
Why do men delay marriage?
Men may delay marriage for various reasons. Some prioritize personal or career goals, while others fear the responsibilities that come with marriage. Cultural or societal pressures can also influence their decision to delay tying the knot.
What age do men feel ready for marriage?
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the question, “When do guys know they want to marry you?”
The age at which men feel ready for marriage varies widely. It depends on individual circumstances, life experiences, and personal development. Some may be ready in their twenties, while others may not feel prepared until their thirties or beyond.
It can be upsetting when you notice some of the signs he doesn’t want to marry you.
If you recognize these signs and have been in a relationship for several years, it may be safe to conclude that your boyfriend isn’t interested in marriage.
You will have to decide whether you are okay staying in this relationship or whether marriage is important enough to you that you are willing to go through the temporary pain of a breakup so that you can eventually find the person you were meant to spend your life with.
Jenni Jacobsen is a licensed social worker with a master's degree in social work from The Ohio State University, and she is in the process of completing her dissertation for a Doctorate of Philosophy in Psychology. She has worked Read more in the social work field for 8 years and is currently a professor at Mount Vernon Nazarene University. She writes website content about mental health, addiction, and fitness.
Licensed as both a social worker through Ohio Board of Counselors, Social Workers, and Marriage/Family Therapists and school social worker through Ohio Department of Education as well as a personal trainer through American Council on Exercise.
(Jenni Jacobsen is also listed in Best Marriage Therapists in Ashland)
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