How long should you wait for him to pop the question?

I’ve known many couples who've been together for over a year without even the slightest whisper of getting married. This is fine for those individuals who aren't at a stage in their lives where they're ready to settle down. However, if you've made it abundantly clear to your man from the beginning that you want to get married in the near future, a year and a half is more than enough time for him to decide if he wants to marry you or not. If after this time he still wants to take baby steps, like getting a dog together, it's time to move on.

During my previous eight year relationship we talked about marriage mainly because we thought it was just the next logical step. The relationship finally reached its breaking point in my mid-twenties, right around the time most women start thinking about their futures in terms of marriage. With this high school romance out of the way, I promised myself that I would never date anyone else for longer than a year and a half if marriage wasn't on the table. And that's exactly what I did.

If you’ve been together for a year and you haven’t spoken about the possibility of marriage, it's time to bring it up. If he bashes the idea, it's time to move on. Yes if you stick with him for another few years, you may force a marriage out of him, but you may also just find yourself single with a few more of your prime single years flushed down the toilet. There are plenty of men out there and you should be able to find one who is ready and more than willing to marry you. Unfortunately many men in their twenties suffer from the Peter Pan syndrome. They want to pretend that they're still living the single life where they can run off at the drop of a hat with a Swedish bikini team in need of an oil boy. They don't want to get married, not because they don't love you, but because they see marriage as the end of their youth.

If we let them, most guys would probably never get married. They would just sit in a relationship with all the trappings of a marriage, pretending that they are still, at their core, free to do whatever they want.

The problem is that many couples literally get trapped in a relationship. They move in together and start building a life together. While the woman thinks all of this nest building is leading to marriage, the man thinks that he just has a glorified roommate who he has sex with. Suddenly the couple has a virtual marriage and the guy feels no need to validate the relationship with an actual marriage. The woman is stuck waiting around, not wanting to leave a quality relationship just because the man, as he says, doesn't need to sign a piece of paper to validate their relationship.

Marriage is far more than just a piece of paper. At the very least, many women want to have their perfect wedding, to walk down the isle and be the center of attention. We want to have that ring on our finger. To women, these ceremonies and gestures are important, more important than a piece of paper. We want a man to love us so much that he's willing to give up the illusion of being single to commit to us.

To understand a man's reluctance to get married, we must think of marriage in terms of a contract. Being in a serious long term relationship is the equivalent to signing a lease together. Yes, you have made a commitment to each other, but it is relatively easy to break the lease and move on if times get tough. Signing a marriage license for a guy is like signing a 30-year-morgage. Like the lease, the terms of this mortgage can be altered or the contract can be terminated, but not without a significant amount of strife.

I too believe that you don't need a piece of paper to prove that you're happy or compatible with a person. While I think it's important to test drive your domestic compatibility with a partner you shouldn't make this leap until you have had a serious conversation about your future. Make sure he knows that if your relationship does well in the same house together, then you will be looking for it to move to the next stage. When you sign the lease to your first apartment together, you are effectively signing on for a one year trial marriage. If at the end of that one year commitment he hasn't asked you to marry him or you discover that you really aren't compatible, it's the perfect time to find a new place and a new partner. Don't give him an ultimatum, but make it abundantly clear what you want and don't back down.

Marriage may not be for every couple. Many men say that marriage just isn't for them. I've heard women parrot this sentiment, but I'm far more skeptical when it comes from a female. Too often women become so invested in a relationship—house, children, pets—that they allow their man's wants to replace their own.

Before you ever get in a serious relationship, decide what you want. If you never want to get married, then great. But, if you picture yourself married with children in the next five years, don't change this to fit your man's vision of a perfect life. Be honest early about what you want. Yes, you will scare many men away, but it's better to get rid of them early than to wait around for five years and then break up.



You’ve been in a relationship for a year and a half. He’s the right man, it’s the right time, and of course you’re the right girl. But there's one problem. He hasn’t asked you to marry him. Many women make the mistake of waiting so long for their man to pop the question that the time they've invested in a relationship becomes the main factor keeping them waiting for a ring. Many women can spare themselves this heartache by being upfront with themselves about what they want and by being honest with partners from the beginning about their expectations.

I was dating the Hoppster for less than six months when he asked me to marry him. I'm one of the lucky few who met a man who was even more eager to get married than me. However, before I met my fiance, I was also in a relationship for eight years, so I know what it means to be stuck waiting around for a man to decide that he is ready to commit to you.

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