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Tuesday, 19 July 2011

What If He Doesn't Want To Marry You?

Well done! After years of kissing frogs, b*tching to your girls that all men are dogs, and swearing that you will remain celibate for the rest of your life after yet another let down you have finally found him – Your very own Mr nearly Right!

Attractive? – TICK!

Intelligent? - TICK!

Spiritual or Religious? TICK!

Ambitious? – TICK!

No ex drama? – TICK!

Holds down a job? – TICK!

No serious emotional baggage? – TICK!

Honest? – TICK!

Loves you? - One big fat TICK!

Wants to get married? Errrrrmmmmmm

A few weeks ago I was speaking to a close male friend who was giving me the lowdown on his relationship. For once he seemed extremely content with his girlfriend, and I admired her for being the one who was finally getting him to settle down. My friend is approaching 30 and desperately wants to have children, his girlfriend on the other hand also wants children put his vehemently refusing until he 'Put A Ring On It'. My friend was adamant that there is no way he is EVER getting married. I was shocked at how strongly he felt against marriage, and he said something to the effect of “It will be like I'm handcuffed to her forever”. Shocked at his attitude I said “Well having a baby also means you are attached to that person forever, without the option of divorce”. But no matter how hard I tried to convince him otherwise he wouldn't listen. Eventually I threw in the towel and admitted defeat, this man was definitely not hearing it!

My male friend was by no means the only man I had come across that felt this way. I have heard often from female friends that their partners would have a baby at the drop of a hat, but when it came to marriage there was a big drama. Some women relented and had a child, but years down the line they still remained 'Miss', others held steadfast and either got their wish in the end, or decided to walk away, because marriage was firmly on their Mr Right check list, and the men they were with,  definitely didn't want to tick the marriage box.

My own opinion of marriage has definitely changed over the years, growing up I actually didn't have much examples of successful marriages, or even marriages in general. Instead I was brought up by a army of single strong women doing it alone, so it was hard to know what was needed to make a marriage work, or even what a marriage really was. I actually just tended to think about what the day would be like, or what I would wear, rather than the man that I would vow to spend the rest of my life with. A few weeks ago I went to church and the Priest said that he asked for a donation from couples for the church maintenance when they were married. He must have asked one lady for the donation after she had listed the thousands of pounds she had spent on flowers, dresses, cars etc. and when he mentioned the donation (which wasn't a lot) she was baffled. That was pretty much my view of marriage, materialistic things and a few vows thrown in. I also think that as we all know it's hard enough finding the 'Right One' without throwing marriage into the mix so it wasn't actually something that I found to be a huge deal-breaker in my quest to find him.

I will now call that nativity on my part, marriage isn't just 'The Day' but so much more. Whether you are married in a church or registry office you are making a serious commitment not only to the person you are getting married to, but religiously, legally, and spiritually in front of family and friends. I totally understand the annoyance that women feel when their partners are dragging their feet, it may be perceived as though they do not want to make that commitment to them which throws in many questions as to their future together and also how the man actually perceives the relationship. That being said I know a number of marriages that have only lasted a matter of months, and relationships without marriage that have lasted many many many years, so I don't think marriage is for everyone, or is even a sign a relationship will last.

Would it make me walk away from a great thing if he didn't want to say 'I do'? I really find that hard to answer, I've never been in that situation but would feel like he was rejecting me, which would lead me onto loads of other thoughts about his attitude to the relationship. If we both weren't keen on marriage then that would be different, but when one party is for it and the other isn't that's an hard one to resolve.

The problem is there are many single beautiful, intelligent women out there so it begs the question that Si raised in her blog post Too 'Picky' (Is this why your single?) Can you really afford to walk away from a nearly Mr Right man, just because he doesn't want to get married? What if you never meet anyone else that is even a patch on him? 

So can any men shed light on what makes some men scared of marriage? Ladies is marriage important to you? Would a partner not wanting to get married make you walk away?



  1. Great post Bi and timely as marriage has been on my mind lately.
    You see there has been a recent whirlwind romance at work which has resulted in a marriage. The general consensus (in an office full of mainly women) is that it is a beautiful thing!

    I'm currently in a relationship of a number of years and I have only recently caught the desire to be married bug. Not sure why maybe it's to do with my age (nearly 30 like your friend) also because I feel I'm in a great relationship I feel like marriage is the inevitable next step (before more children being my personal preference).

    Would I leave an almost Mr Right if he did not want to marry me? Like you that is difficult to say. I think what it would come down to is Mr Rights reasoning for not wanting to get married. A man who thinks that Marriage is a negative thing like a ball and chain may have commitment issues.

    As you said marriage is a personal, spiritual and financial commitment made for God, friends, family that your committed to that person and what person if their happy in a relationship would not want that?

    I (definitely) DO!

  2. *before*
    I should also say women as well can have commitment issues!
    Adding to that; to each their own if two people are together and happy and neither of them consider marriage a necessity then that is great too.

  3. I think this is a very interesting subject, my parents courted/dated for 5 years and then got married and they were together till death did them part 30 years. Their union was a fantastic example I honestly never saw my parents argue, fights or even shout at one another that is not to say they didn’t.

    In this day and age where I think how you approach relationship has changed, I think you should ask all these things when getting together with someone, how they feel about children, your faith/his faith. It is important to know what you are getting into.
    How long is too long, that is for you to decide, personally my maximum is 5 years after then they aren’t asking me then I’m asking why are still in the same place, what is wrong with marriage, what are his reason for not wanting to get married, he may not be the one for me and I may not be the one for him. Marriage was made by God and should be honoured so.

    I am a Christian so for me personally I would be praying before I even get into a relationship, putting God first allows me to find the right person and have guidance through the dating stage and beyond.
    I too think about marriage being single almost 3o, will I ever get married but all things in Gods timing, if I never get married I know God has something good for me in its place. 1 Corinthians 7:1-16, Hebrews 13:4-7, Mark 10:6-9 talks about marriage to, feel like if you ask God he will give you your desire if you pray his will be done in your life. For me its turning to God before I get in a relationship, while I’m in it and whatever happens I lead from him.

  4. A marriage is like having a job that doesnt end. There are times when you tire off it and times when you have the spark to keep going at it and you reap the dividends. There are times when you see soemone doing a better job but this is another time when you strive to do your best at it. People run away from committment to this all important job because they simply cannot, will not are fraid to or are not interested in committing. They will save for those trainers, that club, that car, that holdiay with gumption, making a sacrafice after sacrafice, but they dont want to be 'tied down' by damn responsibility. Marriage is not a sentence its a journey of discovering each other in a union, its the creation of a more powerful family base, its showing that you dont want a baby mother but a wife, a woman an equal, a Partner for gods sake. You work at a marriage, you dont let a marraige work at you.Dont be defined by marriage; but define what you want your marrigae to be and you can achieveit. Guys, what do you want a marriage to be? Know your mind. Dont be phased by that piece of gold, its neither a chain around your neck, nor a badge of confinement or castration. It not saying that you are owned nor are the owner. Its just a peice of jewlerllry really.Its the intention for which it was given and recieved that says i am gonna do the best job that i can do. Guys come on get in there. When you are both in marriage run the marriage like its a business, the ultimate job... and not let the marriage literally run you XXX

  5. I agree anony... well put :0)
    Its important to remember that its not just the 2 of you but the families that come with you and or children, not that i'm saying its impossible all things are possible but like Anony says its work not a walk in the park 2 different up bringing to different views on life that come together and make a new way of looking at things and solving problems. As a Christian learning to submit to your husband and understanding that process what my roles is and how best to i do it.

  6. Anon (Aunty D) Welcome! You have summed it up perfectly, I think if more people looked at marriage from this sort of perspective it wouldn't seem so daunting.

  7. I agree Sian it depends on his reasons not to get married, some people have been involved in their parents divorce and have seen the fallout which leaves a negative feeling about marriage, others just simply don't believe in it.

    A commentor on Black Profiles said that her friend was involved with a man for years who eventually admitted that he wanted to get married, but just didn't want to marry her. He was actually just waiting for a potential wifey to come along and was just keeping her there! SMH

  8. I believe both men and particularly women's attitudes toward commiting to "the one" is more complex hence why people are getting married later and could be a factor in why so many marriages fail these days (1 in 2 according to reports). To answer the questions, as a young man myself I have no reservations towards commiting to one. If she meets your criteria and all the rest why the wait??

    But one has to be clear and honest with oneself and here is mens dilemma..... Is there something better out there? Can I honestly remain faithful? Will she be faithful? What about my career? Finances? Family? Faith? does it all fit in... it needs to all fit...if in doubt most of men will still avoid it! It takes a REAL man to have the courage to love and committ to the one he loves and continue to do so for a lifetime....It is perhaps the most special experience available to mankind and to miss out because you are "scared" is quite sad really

  9. Thanks for commenting anonymous - I had to jump on really quick and just say I wholeheartedly agree with that last bit to "miss out because you are "scared" is quite sad really" -- agree agree!

  10. “It will be like I'm handcuffed to her forever”.
    In my view those words are danger signs. He is obviously not committed to a long-term relationship. He wishes to maintain the option of moving on at some time in the future. This is not a secure foundation on which to build a marriage. I think that the girl should just move on.
    Many men wish to dodge the commitment of marriage because they want the option to end the relationship after a few years if a younger more beautiful looking woman turns up. In short they just wish to take advantage of women.
    Women especially in their 40s and 50s learn this to their cost.

  11. On the reverse of all the gettting married for love and all those other fanastic reasons, I read an article the other day of a couple who got married for health insurance purposes. People marry these days for a lot of unloving reasons, and quite honestly people have probably been doing this for centuries but now we are able to talk about it.

    If I wanted to get married but my partner did not, I think I may be tempted to leave the relationship, as It would not be fulfilling one of my relationship requirements.

    I think personally I've gone from growing up and wanting to get married dreaming of that fairy tale cinderella wedding (I'm talking much younger here lol). To being engaged, to ending that relationship, to dating people who were not so keen on marriage and then letting that standard rub off on me, but I think that I've come full circle in that, if and when I meet someone that I feel 100% that I love and want to spend the rest of my life with them, then I'd want to get marrried.

    Another factor for me and as silly as it sounds is I'd hate to be older for example 60 and still introducing my "boyfriend" to people. I hate using that terminology even now and I'm half that age.

    If your wanting to commit me into your life then you need to be prepared to put a ring on it! One thing me and beyonce agree with :)