When Your Boyfriend Won’t Commit To Marriage
By: Ronke Alao
As a 22-year (almost 23-year) old lady, I had my first boyfriend. He eventually became my husband. The very night he went on what seemed like a long speech and said he loved me and wanted me to be his wife someday, it seemed like a dream. We had grown very close but I didn’t know he had such intentions even though I was very much in love.
We embarked on what would turn out to be an extended long distance relationship that came with so many challenges. There were moments when I had doubts about his intention to marry me and that’s normal for any lady when your man drags his feet and you don’t know why.
Whenever I get an email from a lady who reports shes been dating a man who has expressed intentions to marry her but seems to drag his feet or wouldn’t even discuss anything relating to marriage – a possible wedding date for instance – I am reminded of my own situation just a few years ago.
The average lady thinks, “He loves me, he wants to marry me but why won’t he commit?”. Truth is, most men have a fear of commitment when it comes to marriage. Society further compounds this problem by propagating the lie that marriage slows down your rate of achievement in life or that marriage is some type of voluntary prison of a lifetime. Neither of this is true. A man isn’t going to tell you what his real fears are. Oh no, he doesn’t want to sound fearful or silly so he gives you excuses that sound intelligent like, “I want to buy a house and two cars before we get married” or “ I want to get my doctorate degree first” In a man’s mind, these are good reasons but in a woman’s mind, it’s nothing but a bunch of poor excuses.
Truth is, most men have a fear of commitment when it comes to marriage
Some ladies get desperate and try to coerce the man into marriage by getting pregnant but this is not only counterproductive but it lays a poor foundation for marriage. Here are tried and proven steps you can take to help him reach a decision in a reasonable length of time.
- Do Not Be Desperate
This is the very first step. You have to come to a place where you are willing to take NO for an answer. If you still think your life would be over if you don’t marry this guy then you have bigger issues than his fear of commitment. In fact, he’s probably dragging his feet because he’s sensed your desperation and it scares him. A desperate woman is very, very unattractive.
- Validate His Fears
Have a heart to heart talk with him in a non-threatening environment. Tell him you understand how he feels. For example, if he said he wants to buy a house before getting married, tell him you appreciate his foresight and desire to provide a comfortable living space for you. If he said he wants to get his advance degree first, tell him how his desire to improve himself inspires you and that you are happy he’s ambitious. This will lower his defences. Then offer assurance by saying something like,” I’m glad you want to get your advanced degree and I want you to know that I’ll support you in whatever way I can. I don’t want to stand in your way. I want to support”
- Ask For A Specific Timeline
Don’t say, “So when are we likely to get married?” That might make me feel boxed into a corner or you might just get more vague answers like, “After I buy the house…”. Say something like, “I know you love me and I love you too but we need to plan our lives the way we want it so it doesn’t happen by accident. When do you think you’ll have gotten your degree” (or whatever excuse he gave). Give him time to answer, then ask, “How soon after that do you think we might get married?”
Make sure you allow him process his thoughts and speak. No interruptions. That’s the only way you can truly judge his intentions – by listening. Now, the next step might be helpful or totally unnecessary. It all depends on the answers he gives you by step 3. If he remains vague or gives a totally ridiculous timeline (like you’ve been dating as adults for three or four years and he’s asking you to wait another five years), that is when you move on to step 4.
- “Dude, I am serious!”
Ok, you don’t exactly put it that way but when it seems obvious that he is just taking you on a ride to nowhere, you take the bull by the horn. Tell him how much you love him and you know he loves you too (I hope he does). Reiterate once more how much you appreciate the reasons he’s given for delaying marriage but that you don’t want to put your life on hold while he accomplishes all he wants to. You think it’s a good idea if you both grow together but if he insists he wants to conquer the world on his own, you might not be waiting for him when he’s done. I know that’s a pretty bold thing to say but if you’ve done your homework well, it shouldn’t be that hard to confront him with those words.
Remember, talk is cheap. Any man who isn’t ready to put his money where his mouth is isn’t worth your time and you clinging to him won’t make the situation any better. Now, peradventure you’re thinking, “Ronke, it’s easy for you to sit there and say that, you have a husband” Trust me honey, there was a time I was there. After three years of courtship, It looked like I wasn’t going to get married and it had all been a waste. I had those same thoughts you’ve probably had like “Where do I start from?” or “ What would people say?” but at the end of the day, I had to quit my pity party, hold my head high and handle the situation with an ounce of confidence. I wasn’t afraid to lose him as long as I still had God on my side. That was the source of my confidence. God is not going to jilt you no matter what. He said “I will never leave you nor forsake you”. That was all the assurance I needed and frankly that is all you need too.
Go girl, you can do this! God’s got your back.
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Ronke Alao is a writer who gives time-tested and simple principles to help women enjoy their relationships and marriages. Her methods teach women how to get past the confusion of dating and getting to the place where they really have fulfilling relationships and marriage.
She is known for her ‘up-close and personal’ style of getting her message across and drawing lessons from her personal experience. She is married to her best friend, Wale, who is her biggest cheerleader. Her online newsletter,EveryWoman’s Heart, is read in over 90 countries. Download her free E-book– Embracing The Real You