Does He Really Love You If He Doesn’t Want To Marry You?

Many people view marriage as the ultimate sign of love. When someone gets down on one knee and presents a ring that’ll symbolize your love forever, it seems like a dream come true. But what happens if that proposal never happens? What if he keeps dodging the question? Does he really love you? The answer varies by person, but here are some things you’ll want to focus on because if marriage is in your timeline but not his, things might get messy.

  1. Think about how the two of you interact. Do you tell each other everything? Are most activities done together? Then, there’s a good chance that you’re a very important part of his life. The idea of marriage may be a little scary to him for some reason. Maybe he witnessed his own parents having a bad divorce, or perhaps he’s suffered from a broken engagement before. Past issues that have nothing to do with you or your relationship may make him hesitant to pop the question. He may think your solid relationship may go downhill if a wedding is involved.
  2. Let him know if you don’t want a big ceremony. Some people assume that marriage equates to a big expensive party. In reality, that’s not the truth. The best part about marriage is the partnership that happens afterward. If he’s holding off on a proposal simply because he thinks you can’t afford the celebration or he doesn’t like being the center of attention, let him know if you’d be okay with an elopement. Having that conversation is important so that you can figure out where you stand.
  3. Evaluate how he treats you when it comes to holidays and big events. Is this the kind of guy who gives you a gift certificate to Outback Steakhouse for your birthday when you’ve never shown any interest in eating there? Then yes, the love may be gone. Sometimes people just aren’t good gift-givers, but if he seems to put you on the backburner for special occasions, it’s proof that this likely isn’t your ideal match anyway. Gifts don’t have to be expensive, but they should be personal. If you’ve constantly been treated as an afterthought, maybe it’s a good thing that he’s never brought up marriage before.
  4. Look to see if your mutual friends are married. Marriage is seen differently these days than it was just a few decades ago. Back in the day, women were questioned if they weren’t married off by a particular age. It’s an archaic mindset, definitely. But if none of his friends are tying the knot (yet still seem happy) then it’s possible he cares about you but just doesn’t see marriage as a big deal. Again, the two of you need to be aligned on this in order to work out. There’s no real compromise when it comes to whether or not to get married.
  5. It’s possible he’s scared of your compatibility if you live together. If you haven’t lived together yet, that’s your first step. Sometimes the best boyfriends make terrible roommates. It will be an adjustment for every couple, but it’s possible that your guy is really worried about sharing his space. That can be problematic for the future since, in a way, he’s not giving your relationship a chance to grow.
  6. Also, think about his relationship with his parents. Aside from whether or not they’re together, think about the influence his mom may have on him. Is she really picky about relationships? Do the two of you get along? She might be putting the brakes on things behind the scenes. It’s an awkward question to ask, but it’s important to think about for yourself.
  7. If he insults you when you ask about marriage, that’s a dealbreaker. It’s not love if your boyfriend yells at you for wanting different things from him. It’s also not love if he keeps leading you on and failing to keep a promise. Saying something like “we’ll be married by December” seems great, but it’s a bit abusive if January, February, and March pass and he’s still made no mention of a proposal. Cut your losses if he strings you along. Marriage is a big deal, so if he says it’ll happen and it doesn’t, it never will.
  8. Having a conversation is very important. The only way you’ll know for sure is if you sit down and honestly talk to your boyfriend about the future. If marriage is important to you, tell him. Instead of hearing his words, look at his facial expressions. If he seems turned off by the idea, then you have your answer. If he tells you to “stop bothering him” about it, that means he’s not on the same page as you. Try to approach the conversation calmly. Try not to give an ultimatum. Instead, try to dig for information and insight as to what he’s feeling, and decide what to do from there.
Karen Belz is a New Jersey native who is currently living in Maryland. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communication with a focus in Broadcasting and Print Media Studies from Millersville University of Pennsylvania. Since graduating, she has written for sites like LittleThings, HelloGiggles, and Scary Mommy and is currently an e-commerce editor at Bustle.

When she's not writing, she enjoys making her phone run out of memory after taking too many photos of her dog. You can find her on Twitter @karenebelz or on Instagram @karenbelz.