10 Signs Your Great Relationship Won’t Lead To Marriage

A few decades ago, most long-term relationships ended with “I do.” These days, people are realizing that not all successful couples get married—and based on the divorce rates, maybe it’s better to keep things that way. But if you want a wedding and he’s hesitating to commit (or vice versa), the relationship won’t end up surviving such a big compromise. Here are the signs that a proposal won’t be happening.

  1. It’s been years and you haven’t even discussed it. If you have been the one to bring it up, he gets nervous and antsy and wants to change the topic of conversation. Unless you’re planning on using a wedding chapel out in Vegas, standard weddings usually involve a lot of planning and time. Engagement can end up lasting up to a couple of years. Having no conversation about the possibility of marriage by now is just a sign that it’s not what he wants.
  2. When you bring up weddings, he brings up divorce rates. If he comes from a family with a lot of divorce, he probably assumes that even the best relationship may take a tragic turn. He’s being pessimistic about an optimistic topic, which means that he simply can’t see the joy or positives in calling you his wife.
  3. Your careers are both really crazy right now. When you have two career-oriented people in a relationship, certain milestones often have to wait, if they even happen at all. Especially if those careers include a lot of travel. Actually getting the time to sit down with him and discuss anything is rare. Most of your communication happens over text, but it’s the easiest method for both of you.
  4. He still hasn’t told you he loves you. He’s with you and seems to enjoy spending time with you, but he has yet to say he loves you even after a considerable amount of time together. So many of us have multiple loves in our life. If he’s still not sure whether or not he has strong feelings for you, when you’ve known how you’ve felt about him for a while, he’s probably just stringing you along.
  5. Thinking about weddings makes you feel nervous. In this relationship, you could be the one who’s unsure about what you want. If the idea of planning an event and shopping for a dress makes you break out into hives, marriage may not be a top priority for you. Keep in mind that weddings and marriages are different concepts, and a wedding is just one day. Still, that anxiety surrounding the topic of marriage should be telling. It’s not necessarily true that every woman dreams about her wedding day, but if you feel disgusted about the process, you’re almost telling yourself that the commitment isn’t for you.
  6. Kids were never in the plan. You don’t need to be married to have kids or have kids because you’re married, but the two often go hand-in-hand. If you want kids and love your partner, marriage often just makes sense in the situation. Being childfree often means that you want your own freedom, as well — and would rather not be tied down with marriage.
  7. When you show him rings, he tells you not to give your hopes up. For many women, part of the fun of getting married is the big ring moment. It’s also a good way to hint that marriage is on your mind. But if you show him designs and ideas and he literally couldn’t be less interested, then that’s a big sign that proposing to you has never crossed his mind.
  8. His parents don’t like you. If he’s close to his relatives, their dislike of you may be bad news for you and your future. Yes, you should be dating an adult who makes his own decisions. But if his parents don’t support any sort of union and he’s too afraid to stand up to his parents, then you’re probably not going to get married. (And based on the situation, that may very well be for the better.)
  9. You can’t imagine your partner as a husband or father. He could be the greatest and sweetest guy in the world but he’s a little lost when it comes to things like paying bills on time and finding good places to rent. Hopefully, he’ll get out of these stages and grow up eventually. But for now, you just really can’t see that happening… at least within the next five years.
  10. He’s bad at putting you first. He’s not great with gifts or remembering anniversaries. You constantly have to remind him about your favorite salad bar toppings, or your top go-to order at McDonald’s. Simply put, he’s selfish. Sometimes women can make this type of relationship work, and if you’re one of them, you’re a rarity. But even if you work well together, a selfish boyfriend will only consider the idea of marriage if it’s beneficial to him.
Karen Belz is a New Jersey native who is currently living in Maryland. She has written for sites like LittleThings, Bustle, and Scary Mommy. 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