So you’ve been in a relationship for a while and you are ready to commit and he isn’t.
You’re wondering why, because everything seems comfortable and you love each other.
You’re asking yourself: What will it take to make him (or her) ready to settle down with you?
Maybe you’re fearing the fact that you know that this is a bad sign. You probably just want to settle down and be happy with the person you love and spend your life with them. You tell yourself to just be content with the way things are…
But sometimes when songs come on the radio like “Somebody That I Used to Know” and “I Feel that I’m Just too Close to Love You,” you get a sick feeling in your stomach. I’ve been there.
The truth of the matter is that there are a lot of reasons that your significant other isn’t ready to settle down. But sadly, they might not ever be ready to take that next step.
It isn’t because you aren’t “the one” or “aren’t good enough.” While you may fear that or feel that way sometimes, that is definitely not the case. It isn’t because you are doing anything wrong or that they are doing anything wrong. Sometimes, sadly, it’s just bad timing or luck of the draw. Let’s take a look at a few reasons.
1. Are you at the same point in life?
You might think this has to do with age, but it doesn’t. Some people are ready to commit their lives fully to another person by the time they are 20. Some people aren’t ready for that until they are much older. Some people spend their lives never ready to commit. It isn’t that they haven’t found someone good enough, it’s just they aren’t ready for that step in life.
The question you have to ask yourself here is this: Are you willing to take the gamble that they will grow into that commitment stage? They might, but they may not. You can’t pressure another person to be ready if they aren’t.
It has to be stressed here that you should never be in a relationship just to get married. If you are more focused on getting married than who you are getting married to, then you aren’t in the right place either. You can’t pressure another person to be ready if they aren’t.
However, if marriage matters to you as the culmination of your relationship – especially if you consider it in a religious context – then you may need to face the facts that this may not be the right relationship at the right time for you to be in. In a spiritual sense, it’s something you need to pray about for guidance and reflect on.
2. Does he/she talk about long term dreams they have that include you?
If he does, then he probably intends to stay with you, at least for a long time, but that doesn’t mean he will ever marry you or intends to spend his life with you. In this case, I would say your chances are good for a lasting relationship, but it will probably not be exactly what you are looking for in the long run.
For example, if your partner talks about having kids together, that doesn’t necessarily mean that marriage will ever be a part of it. It could just mean they want children. They could very well make children with you and move on.
If he doesn’t talk about a future with you and instead uses terms like “I” and never “we,” then he is completely not invested in the relationship and doesn’t see you in his future, so it’s pretty unlikely that you’ll be in it.
Now, let’s take a step back and examine a few other things. In the list below, look at the questions and answer them honestly.
Things you need to answer seriously:
Please note I say “he,” but it could easily be “she.”
Does he browse singles sites?
Even if he doesn’t have a profile, looking at other women who are looking for men is a bad sign. It indicates that he still has his eye on the market. Now, the disclaimer here is if you look with him. In that case, all the cards are on the table. But, if he is sneaking around behind your back or worse, rubbing it in your face, it may be time to let go.
Does he blatantly look at other women or do a poor job of hiding that he is looking at them?
Some men just do this. It’s tacky and it’s disrespectful, but apparently they weren’t raised better. On it’s own, I would shrug it off, but coupled with some of the other signs you should be concerned. It doesn’t mean he would cheat, but it is an indication that he certainly isn’t ready to finish shopping the market. Disclaimer: if this accompanied by comments like “I would so sleep with that” right in front of you, then you need to set his head straight because that just isn’t acceptable.
Does he insult little things about you?
Some people are just jerks like that. They pick at everyone or make hurtful jokes. However, I’m talking about things that just nitpick at you or are used as an excuse to reject you physically or otherwise (religious reasons excluded).
Let’s face it, we’re all going to say something dumb at some point in the relationship that the other person is going to find hurtful. But if the other person hates your hair, your weight, your breath, your clothes, and your laugh – what’s left?
Has he cheated or played the “break up, back together” game?
That’s a pretty big one. One break up and reconcile is one thing. It happens and it could still work. Twice? You are on shaky ground. Over twice and we have a cyclic situation. Playing the break up/get together game continually is a means to use you as an anchor while he tries to find a better deal and that isn’t acceptable. This is especially true when it’s coupled with a refusal to commit.
Are you paying for everything and he does nothing in return for you?
Is he only around when you are paying for everything? Only wants to do something if you are paying for it?
Sweetie, don’t be his bank book. Right now you might be saying “I don’t care, I love him and I’ll keep him however I have to.” There is going to come a time when he finds someone else to support him if he is only it for the money, regardless of how much you give him. Gold diggers can be men too.
Does he not introduce you to friends and family?
This is a big deal. If you aren’t allowed to meet his friends or his family, it’s probably because he doesn’t want you that involved in his permanent life. They meet you, they like you, then you are involved and also have someone to reach out to in a break up. He might be trying to avoid giving you that handhold on him. If you aren’t allowed to meet the other people in his life and you’re in a long term relationship, it’s weird.
Alternately, he is living as two different people. The one he is showing you and the one he is showing them are two different things. Since he isn’t letting you in on that fact, the real him is probably not the one with you. If this is happening, push the issue and see what results. He could even have another girlfriend or a wife.
Are you not allowed to visit him at work/school/etc?
While there might be a legitimate reason for this one due to company policies or security issues, in most cases there shouldn’t be a reason as to why you can’t meet him or her for lunch. If you know that the other girl/boyfriends of employees visit work, then you have to ask yourself why he is blocking that part of his life from you.
On the same hand, you shouldn’t be smothering him. Everyone needs a little space. However, you have to ask yourself what a fair measure of “normal” separation is and if what he is doing is comparable to other employees, students, etc that are his peers.
Does he say things that imply that he isn’t the man for you? Things like “you need a man who…..”?
If this is happening, you need to seriously look at the situation and ask what the motivation behind that statement is.
If you are trying to change him, then it could be his way of testing to see if you truly are willing to accept him as he is and trying to get you to quit nagging him to change.
However, even if that is the excuse, it’s a risky move on his part. He is taking a big gamble that you will do as instructed. It is apparently worth that gamble to him.
The other motivation for making such statements is less benign. When a person says statements that imply that you should be looking at other people, they take the risk that you are going to leave them for that other person. Whether carelessly or deliberately, they are pushing you away and trying to make sure that you are not too emotionally attached. You can only make that statement to a person so many times before the instruction is put into action and they start looking for someone else, regardless of the love they have for you. Whether deliberate or careless, this statement essentially is “I’m not the man for you and you aren’t the woman for me, so don’t get attached.”
Does he verbally compare you unfavorably to past relationships? Their hair, their body, their voice, or anything at all?
Really? He should know better. No one wants to hear what a great butt the ex-girlfriend has.
Now, ff you ask something like “were her breasts bigger than mine?” and he says yes, then he was just honestly answering a question that you brought up. Painful perhaps, but better he was honest about it because you would probably find out the truth on that one anyway.
However, if out of the blue he starts talking about this hippie chick that he met in a café in Fresno who looked like a model and had blonde hair down to her wasit and legs that went on for days with a little drool on his chin? Then he mentions your stubby legs and mousy brown hair? Rude. I mean seriously, that’s just someone that needs to grow up. Talking about exes is something that everyone does. They were part of your life. However, lusting after them and talking about them being better than the current relationship is a sign that they are not over the previous relationship or at the least aren’t content in this one.
It isn’t you, honey, it’s him. Don’t let him make you feel inferior because he has dillusions about an ex or a crush that he never got over.
Does he cringe when you say “you are my world” or tell you that makes him uncomfortable?
If this is happening, he doesn’t want to feel the responsibility. It might be just too soon for that. It isn’t necessarily a bad sign if you have only been in a relationship for a few weeks. If you have, then back off a bit and don’t smother him. However, if he says that after you have been together for five years, that’s a little concerning.
Does he ever say “I love you” first?
Yeah, ok, silly game. But, try it. When we feel affection for another person that we have already made this statement to, it should pop out sooner or later if not prompted. He may notice that you haven’t initiated it or he may say it for habit’s sake. But if you stop initiating the phrase and he never says it, then he probably never thinks about it.
Note: If the only times he or she says it first is when you bought something for them, that was sort of cheating the test.
Are you living together and he is still resisting anything permanent?
According to the National Health Center for Health Statistics, only 50% of couples who are in a relationship and cohabitate before getting engaged will ever marry. Of the 50%, most will do so within three years. This information was taken from the National Survey of Family Health data and stated that even of those who did marry, over 79% did not last over 10 years.
If your answer to any of these questions is “yes,”
… then you need to emotionally step back and ask yourself what you would tell a friend if they were in this same situation. If you answered “yes” to half or more, then there is a good chance he is in this relationship with you for a reason other than the long haul. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you, but it does mean he isn’t looking at you like you want him to.
As a side note, how old are you?
If you are in a relationship and still in high school, then you should neither be pressuring someone else to get married nor should you be trying to accomplish it. Yes, I know I sound like your mother right now but the truth is backed up by statistics. Less than 40% of marriages that result from relationships when the bride was under 18 will last beyond 7 years. After the age of 18, this increases to 60%. So, while you really do want to settle down with your soul mate, sadly it just is a thing you can’t rush.
So, now you are asking, “Can I change this?”
Let’s move on to the next part: