The stereotype of the commitment phobic man exists on so many television shows and in so many movies for a reason – many men in the real world share that fear of commitment. Now, the idea of committing to a girlfriend isn’t as crazy for most men (unless they’re huge playboys with an endless string of women), but marriage? That’s a whole different ball game. Many men have certain ideas and fears that immediately come to mind when they think of marriage, and as a result, they’d do just about anything to avoid making that terrifying leap. For men who have happened to find a special someone, this often means finding excuses to delay popping the question.
Let’s be honest for a second – a lot of men aren’t exactly subtle, and they aren’t great at lying to the woman they love. So for the most part, even if you think your excuse is brilliant, chances are she sees right through you – and it would be better to just be honest with her rather than trying to come up with endless excuses.
Nevertheless, many of these are common excuses for a reason – countless men use them, time and time again. Here are 15 excuses that men use to delay popping the question.
15. He doesn’t want to get a divorce
Most women have heard endless stats, both from people in real life and characters in movies, about the percent of marriages that end in divorce. And, the stat is usually crazy high – something like 50% of marriages that just don’t make it. And we get it – divorce isn’t an ideal situation, and most people don’t want to go through all that stress and chaos. So, many guys use that as an excuse to avoid marriage altogether – after all, everyone thinks that their marriage will last, so even if you feel like it will, who’s to say you won’t be one of that 50% who are signing the divorce papers a few years later? It’s a very glass half empty way to look at things, but guys who don’t want to get married use the excuse time and time again. It’s kind of insulting because it kind of implies that your relationship isn’t worth taking a risk on.
14. He’s dreading the baby pressure that often follows
There have been countless pieces written about how rude it is to pressure a couple about children, period. After all, you just don’t know what’s going on in someone’s life – perhaps they’ve made the conscious decision that they never want children, perhaps they’re not able to have children even though they really want to and your question will touch a raw nerve, etc. You just never know. Despite that, the minute a couple gets married, countless people start asking them about when they’ll be ‘starting their little family.’ For many men (and many people in general), marriage can be a big enough step. Once you add in the endless questioning about your reproductive plans, it all gets to be a bit too much to handle. Some guys might delay popping the question simply because they know that the minute you’re officially husband and wife, those questions will come hurtling at him, and he’s just not ready to deal with it.
13. If it’s going well, he doesn’t want things to change
You know the saying that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it? Well, a lot of guys feel that that applies to relationships. After all, even though an engagement can be a huge positive step forward for a couple, a gesture that you’re serious about committing to one another forever, it’s also without question a huge change. Even if you’ve been dating for years, becoming officially engaged is a big deal. And it’s not just a matter of the proposal – after a proposal comes the whole announcing your engagement to your friends and family, having a little engagement party if that’s what you want, beginning the wedding plans, etc. It can seem like a whirlwind of expectations and changes kicks off the moment you pop that ring out of the box. So, for many guys who are totally happy with their relationship the way things are, it can seem like a whole lot of stress that might just jeopardize the happy relationship he cherishes.
12. He doesn’t have the money
There’s no doubt about it – weddings can be very expensive, and most engagement rings certainly aren’t cheap. Sure, every couple is different, and some women are totally fine with an untraditional ring or a smaller, budget-friendly wedding, but some women really want the whole glitz and glam and the huge diamond ring. If a guy knows his girlfriend is the type who binge-watches wedding shows and has always dreamed of a huge rock and a big, lavish wedding, he might be delaying his proposal because he knows he’s not in a place financially to give her all of that yet. Even if he loves her and really wants to start moving in that direction, he might be saving up to afford the dream ring she’s been hinting about – and it may take a little while, depending on what his salary and expenses are like.
11. He feels pressured
There are a lot of jokes made on television shows and in movies about finally getting him down the aisle, and convincing a woman’s long-time partner to pop the question at last, but let’s be serious – pressuring someone to do something is just never a good idea. Some men might take a bit longer to make the decision to propose, and that’s okay. If he’s aware that you’re ready to get married and take that next step, then the ball is in his court – unless you decide to flip the table and propose to him, you need to respect his timeline and let him propose when he feels ready to do it. While you might assume that applying a bit of pressure will make him propose sooner, for many men, it’s just the opposite – the pressure will send him running in the opposite direction, especially if he was somewhat afraid of commitment to begin with.
10. He wants to focus on his career
Even if a man really doesn’t care too much about the whole wedding planning process and is more than happy to just go with what his wife-to-be prefers, the fact is that weddings still take up a fair bit of time. From rehearsal dinners to getting certain documents in place, there are a few requirements where the guys presence is definitely needed. And for some men who really want to focus on their career, whether it be because they’re changing fields or because there’s a big promotion on the horizon that will require a lot more responsibility, it just seems like a bit too much. So, even if he truly loves his partner and is happy to spend his life with her, he may put off the proposal for a little while because he wants to focus on his career – as we know, men aren’t the best at multi-tasking.
9. There are religious differences
This is a tough one. If you’re someone who is very religious, having a partner who is of a different faith can be a huge issue – it can even be a deal breaker. For men who are in that type of situation, they may delay proposing simply because they know it’s going to become an event bigger issue. Does someone need to convert – and is someone willing to do so? Is it really important to both of you to have a ceremony that is in line with your faith – and if so, will you be having two separate ceremonies to accommodate that? If you decide to have children once you’re married, do you want them to be raised a specific way? Religion isn’t really an issue if it isn’t a big deal in your life and you’re pretty flexible about things your partner may want, but if both of you have a strong sense of faith, and are of a different faith – that can lead to a lot of complicated discussions.
8. He worries he’ll lose his freedom
Most men spend a fair bit of time dating someone before they decide to pop the question, so they know the type of person their partner is. They know if they’re controlling or chill, and they’re aware of their partner’s opinions on date nights and whether they need to check in when they’re running late. However, for whatever reason, many men think that they’ll immediately lose any sense of freedom when they tie the knot. Honestly, it’s often the opposite – their wife knows that they’ve got many years ahead of them, so she’s probably fine with you taking a weekend trip with the boys, or grabbing dinner with a friend rather than eating at home with her every now and then. While this fear seems kind of ridiculous to women, many men delay their proposal for this alone – they fear the ‘ball and chain’ of marriage.
7. He’s worried his partner will transform into a nagging wife
We kind of blame the media for this one. Many of the wives portrayed on television are, well, the worst stereotype of wives – they nag, they constantly criticize their husband, and they prioritize everything before their marriage. No wonder many men who see that week after week are kind of scared of marriage. Some men seem to think that the minute their girlfriend turns into their wife, she’ll suddenly ban all boys’ nights, make crazy demands, and just totally transform into a different person. News flash – your wife is still the same person as your girlfriend. If you have a secure, healthy relationship, marriage isn’t going to change that. Your wife will still let you participate in poker night with the boys. Despite that logic, many men still fear that suddenly being a husband will mean that they’re required to get their wife’s approval for absolutely everything, and that’s just silly.
6. She’s not ‘the one’ for him
It seems straightforward – if you realize your partner isn’t the ‘the one’ for you, you would break up with them and try to find your soulmate, right? Well, in an ideal world, yes. The problem is, relationships are complicated, and people often find themselves staying in relationships for longer than they should, simply because they’re comfortable and they don’t really want to hit the dating scene again. If a guy knows his partner isn’t the one he wants to spend the rest of his life with, he’s obviously not going to pop the question – but he might not be ready to completely sever ties. It’s an awful situation and it’s not fair to the other person involved, but it happens more often than you might think. Seriously, guys – at a certain point you have to man up and just end the relationship if you know it’s not going anywhere.
5. He doesn’t want to be married until he’s a certain age
Many of us have certain timelines we set for ourselves – certain milestones we want to reach by a certain point in our lives, involving everything from your career to your relationships. A lot of the time, we approach it from a perspective of being behind – as in, we aren’t quite where we envisioned we would be when we hit a certain age. Sometimes, though, it’s a delaying tactic. Some men delay popping the question because they say that they don’t want to get married until they’re a certain age – even if they meet the perfect woman, even if their relationship is amazing and they know they want to spend the rest of their life with her. They just have it in their minds that they won’t walk down the aisle until they’re 30/35/40/etc. – after all, why would they give up some of their peak years just to settle down?
4. He’s waiting for the right moment
Okay, this is the sweetest of excuses. Most men don’t make the decision to propose, run out to get a ring, and propose all in the same day. It’s generally a fairly lengthy process – once they find the perfect ring for their perfect woman, it might take a while for the proposal to come because they’re waiting for the right moment. Perhaps he’s trying to figure out what type of proposal to set up, or perhaps he’s waiting for a picture perfect moment to arise organically – the point is, he’s just not ready to pop the question until he knows exactly how he wants to do it. This excuse is a little bit different than the others on this list because the guy in this situation isn’t trying to delay popping the question forever, or even for a very long time – he’s just trying to figure out how to create a movie-level epic proposal.
3. He doesn’t see the point when you already live together
Back in the day, people were a whole lot more traditional – that meant not living together before you officially tied the knot. Nowadays, things are a bit more flexible, and most people who walk down the aisle have lived together for at least a little bit, if not several years. That can be good, in a way, in that you’re already accustomed to living in the same space as your partner, and you know you can handle it. The downside, though, is that it can make you feel like you’re kind of already a married couple, so why would you bother proposing? At least, that’s what many guys seem to think. And yes, if you already live together and share bills and even share a mortgage, perhaps, then getting married won’t really change your day to day life all that much. It’s about something a little bit deeper than that – but some guys use living together as an excuse to delay popping the question.
2. He thinks marriage is just a piece of paper
This is the worst type of excuse. Men who hold this view usually aren’t respectful about it – they seem to turn things around on their partner by suggesting that marriage is a totally ludicrous thing to desire. After all, in this day and age, it’s really just a piece of paper, right? If marriage isn’t important or meaningful to you, that’s totally fine – but don’t make your partner feel stupid just because they still believe marriage is a special thing that they want in their life. Many guys who spout this excuse are just trying to delay popping the question, and it usually has a whole lot more to do with their fear of commitment than with the fact that they think marriage is just a piece of paper. Just ‘fess up already and stop making silly excuses because you’re not fooling anyone, dude.
1. He doesn’t know you want a proposal
Many women choose to communicate via subtle hints, and let’s just be honest for a second – guys are kind of clueless. If you’re not very, very clear about something, a lot of the time, they just won’t get it. Or, they’ll somehow tune in to one comment amongst a hundred hints and get the wrong message entirely. So, if your guy is delaying popping the question, it might be because he’s not sure it’s something you want. Perhaps you made a comment a long time ago, when you were first dating, that you didn’t want to get married until you were at least 30, so he figures he has a few more years before he should even consider it. The point is, if you’re absolutely dying for a proposal, you need to make that clear to him – without pressuring him. Just make the information known, and he can choose to do with it what he wishes.
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