When you’re dating with marriage in mind, you need to know if he even wants to get married.
Some men don’t. They’re more Mr. Never than Mr. Right.
In my opinion, your first date — or even before your first date — should start with a reality check: Ask him how he feels about marriage. (You can and probably should save the topic of children for later.)
Make it clear: You’re not asking if he wants to marry you. It’s a general question, like whether he plans to go to (or go back to) grad school.
Maybe he’s eagerly looking for the right woman. Or, that could be in his plans for two or three years from now.
That’s a good starting point.
However, in some cases, the guy has no interest in marriage, now or ever. He doesn’t want a wife. He doesn’t want children. He’s looking for a fun, reliable relationship with no strings attached. Often, a man like that will use a phrase like “friends, with benefits.”
Or, he”ll laugh and — especially if other, single men are around — joke, “Marriage is an institution, and I’m not ready for an institution yet.”
At the other extreme, his eyes will narrow. (He thinks it looks sexy.) Then, he’ll coo, “Sure, baby. I want to get married real soon.” An R-rated caress usually follows.
If you’re looking for a husband, this is the wrong guy to date. You want a man with integrity, whose goals that match yours, and someone who’s on a similar timetable, as well.
Commitment issues can be a problem. Here’s one explanation of why some men are afraid of relationships, and what you can do about it.
I have never met a potential date who was offended when I asked him, flat out, whether or not he was looking for a wife.
If he wasn’t, there were no arguments or hurt feelings. We cheerfully agreed not to date but remain friends.
So, despite all the warnings that the “M” word will scare the guy, I think it’s smart to discuss the subject before you schedule your first date… or certainly before the second or third date.
You’re simply establishing the ground rules. You’re not even in a relationship yet, so there’s no pressure. It’s all intellectual, not personal.
Of course, the man could change his mind. Or, once you’ve dated, either of you could decide it’s not a match.
However, at the start, you know you share mutual goals and timetables. That’s important.
Here’s one relationship counselor’s viewpoint:
If you’re already in a relationship, it can be difficult to ask about marriage. Maybe you don’t want marriage yet, either, but you want to be sure you’re not investing time and emotions in a relationship that’s going nowhere.
It can be awkward to ask, but sometimes it’s better to clear the air.
Here’s a pep talk to help you ask the important questions:
Here’s a man’s viewpoint on this issue, too:
When you do have that discussion, here are some tips about what to watch (and watch out) for:
(Her timetable is echoed in the video at this article: When Will He Propose?)
Finally, here’s Dr. Phil showing the truth of one man’s marriage phobias.
And here’s what happened after the show.
Best wedding proposals? These are probably among the best for wedding proposal ideas and sense of style.
Vacation and proposal in San Diego
The pace of this video is a little slow, but the wedding proposal ideas are great. He planned everything carefully, and while I’m not certain she was completely surprised, he did a great job of putting this together.
If you’re looking for ideas, take notes. It’s a classic, fantasy proposal. He left nothing to chance.
How not to propose
This marriage proposal isn’t really on my “best” list, but it’s definitely unique.
Another original proposal
This is another video where I’m not 100% certain she was surprised, but the way he staged it was original and memorable.
A very surprised fiancee
If you want to see a woman who absolutely, positively had no idea a proposal was imminent, see this video. First, there’s the proposal. Then, she realizes that the crowd wasn’t just random. Then, she discovers something else he planned perfectly.
He’d been her boyfriend since her junior year of high school, and everything about this proposal was designed with her — and their future memories — in mind.
Mobbed wedding proposal
It’d be nearly impossible to plan a better wedding proposal than this. In fact, it’s easily on the list of top 10 best wedding proposals ever. (Have tissues handy before you watch this. It’s spectacularly happy.)
Does he want to marry me? That’s a reasonable question if your long-time boyfriend hasn’t proposed yet.
A lot of people would say this: If you’ve been with your man for a long time (more than a year) and you still don’t know if he’s easing his way to the altar, you have a problem.
Maybe you should ask him, flat-out, if he might ever consider marrying you.
After all, the only one who knows the answer to that question is your boyfriend.
Whether you ask him that question, point blank, or choose a gentler approach, you need an answer.
Some men are confirmed bachelors, and each of them intend to stay that way. If he’s one of them, you’d better find out… and soon: Does he want to marry you (or anyone), or not?
You can find advice online. Most of it is truly terrible, summed up in these two tips: First, fix yourself up so you’re more attractive. Then, play hard-to-get so he worries that he might lose you.
I’m not kidding. Here’s article with that kind of advice:
It’s been more than 5 years, but, has your boyfriend still not asked you for your hand in marriage? Do you see any signs that he will propose in near future? Do you know how to get your long term boyfriend to propose to you? …
That seems like a bad idea for anyone in a serious relationship. If you have to play those kinds of games, maybe you need to re-evaluate how you really feel about each other.
I’m writing this article in my bathrobe. My husband gave it to me for Christmas. He just stopped by my desk to kiss me. In fact, after more than eight years together, we’re still a very starry-eyed, mushy couple.
Once we were dating for awhile (months, not years), there was never any question about marriage. We knew we wanted to be together for the rest of our lives. Marriage made sense to us.
Of course, if you’ve stopped taking care of yourself — basic grooming, for example — maybe that’s a big, shrieking warning sign about your self-esteem. Address that issue, especially if the lack of a proposal is part of the problem.
You need to feel valued in your relationship.
So does he.
If both parts of that equation aren’t there… forget about marriage. If you’re sure you both feel the same way, and marriage is logical, there’s nothing wrong with asking.
No drama. No ultimatums. Nothing coy or cute. Just ask, and keep it light. (After all, if he’s on the same wavelength as you, he may be getting ready to surprise you with a proposal. Don’t spoil his fun!)
However, playing games, especially if you’re trying to force his hand, is childish.
Though it can help to send a cue that the relationship isn’t permanent until you have a ring on your finger, be careful not to send a fake message. It could backfire, and — if he thinks he’s about to lose you — he could start looking around for someone else, too.
Here’s some good advice from Cosmo: Will He Ever Marry You? In that article, the author explains that compatibility is less than half the reason why most men decide to pop the question. In fact, that article echoes some of the important points in the book, How to Make Someone Fall in Love With You in 90 Minutes or Less.
When will he propose?
If it doesn’t happen in the first year and a half, the answer may be: Never.
Here’s advice from a panel of men — single, taken, and married — about marriage proposals. I think it’s a good range of attitudes, to help you understand your man and whether or not it’s a serious relationship.
In this discussion, they also talk about what not to do — like an ultimatum — if you’re wondering when (and if) he’ll ever propose to you.
If you — or your boyfriend — need some ideas for romantic ways to propose, here are some great videos.
If possible, find a way to record your proposal so you have this memory — as a video — to share with others, forever.
The Tree Marriage Proposal
The video is about six minutes long, and it’s something they’ll show to their children and grandchildren, many years from now.
So You Think You Can Dance (Canada) Proposal
This proposal is short, sweet, and the guy says what’s important.
The Fashion Show Proposal
You probably won’t be in a fashion show like this, but the guy gets the words exactly right.
The Motorola Commercial Proposal
It’s a short, clever proposal with ideas you could use for your own video proposal. (An in-person proposal should be part of this, of course.)
Do you want a marriage proposal? Even if you haven’t met Mr. Right yet, start by visualizing your engagement and wedding.
- If you aren’t already in a relationship, imagine yourself meeting the man of your dreams. You feel that magic inside, or that inner voice that tells you, This is the one. Hold onto that image. That marriage proposal could arrive sooner than you expect it to.
- Look at engagement rings. Decide which rings you like best. Imagine Mr. Right getting down on one knee to propose to you, and how you’ll feel when that happens.
- Review videos of great marriage proposals. Visualize how it will be when you’re proposed to.
- Start collecting pictures of wedding gowns you love. Keep them in a folder or even a scrapbook, so you can look at them often, imagining yourself wearing a wedding gown as you exchange your wedding vows.
- Keep a file of wedding reception ideas. Will you be in a hotel ballroom, a reception center, or barefoot on a beach? Select music you’d like. Think about the food: Do you want an elegant and impressive five-course dinner, or a burgers-and-tacos meal that everyone will enjoy?
Focus on how you’ll feel when it’s really happening. It’s that “Law of Attraction” stuff, and it works.
One of the first things to do is this: Order a wedding cake topper. I’m not kidding.
When it arrives in the mail, imagine yourself as the bride. Do this every couple of weeks, to reinforce your intention to attract a man who will love, appreciate, treasure and marry you.
If you can only afford an inexpensive wedding cake topper, it’s okay. However, the best one will be the cake topper you actually plan to use.
It’s a small investment, but an important one.
Find other ways to support your visualizations, and your confidence that you will get the ring, and you will be in a “happily ever after” marriage.
That may include “chick flicks” that show couples overcoming odds to be together. Classic romantic movies include The Rainmaker (the Katherine Hepburn and Burt Lancaster one), Sleepless in Seattle, and Serendipity.
If you love historical romances, few surpass the Colin Firth Pride and Prejudice mini-series, and the related movie, Lost in Austen.
Never give in to pessimism, or accept the cynical attitudes of people around you. There really is a “Mr. Right” for you. If you haven’t met him yet, he’s looking for you as eagerly as you’re watching for him.
Visualizations can help. Keep renewing them and building on them. You may be surprised how quickly you’re in a photo with the caption, “Girl gets ring.”