Ladies – this one’s for you. Men – wake up and smell the coffee – we’re onto you!
Whether we like to think so or not, dating and relationships in themselves have changed dramatically over the course of the years (especially within my lifetime). Great for some, definitely not so for others. Regardless, we as people have changed especially in how we approach, maintain, tolerate and overall treat our relationships – hell, the opposite sex in general.
So we know the millennial generation of marriage is already on the decline, which is no surprise given the fact there is more to life than finding your soulmate. But I still think that’s a load of crock – everyone wants to find Love in their life and meaning through connection. One way or another.
While there are still people getting married – there’s also a factor that keeps many relationships from reaching that point in which we continue to ignore, and being a likely reason why he won’t get married.
**Disclaimer: this post is not targeted for those who personally do not believe in marriage, have zero intentions for marriage and make that very clear in their relationships.
Now that that’s out of the way – its down to business.
It would be fair to say that everyone has made some array of mistakes in their current or past relationships. This includes actions, behavior and attitude, too. If not, there’s a problem right there and that’s called denial.
So hear me when I say there was a very crucial point in my mid-twenties when I realized I needed to get my sh*t together and stop acting like a relationship know-it-all-know-how in my relationship. Granted, these mistakes shouldn’t hurt your chances of finding “the one” – someone who wants to commit through THE deepest expression of Love, and spend the rest of their life with you.
That’s why it is so crucial to recognize our mistakes and behaviors within each relationship, and to learn and grow from them.
If there’s anything I learned from dating is: never treat a relationship like a “marriage”. Easier said than done, but there’s a valid reason especially among those whose life aspiration is to be married. I may be talking gibberish, or I may sound completely insane, but if you’re wondering why he won’t marry you or avoids the topic altogether then this post may in fact enlighten you.
THE LIKELY REASON WHY
HE REFUSES TO GET MARRIED
First, let me generalize the definition of a marriage. It is a union, a monogamous partnership, a religious ceremony between two people, and a holy covenant before God. However you want to see it – marriage is the legal binding of two people in becoming one. It is the deepest form of commitment for those exact reasons.
Second, for those who formally choose not to believe in marriage – this post is irrelevant. Therefore if he has no incentive of ever being married, 1. hopefully he has made that very clear early on in your relationship,and 2. then this post is irrelevant, and you simply have two choices to make.
Hopefully you already know what those choices are.
We simply can’t avoid it – there are those in this world who just can’t or refuse to commit on that level (of marriage). Is that their prerogative? Absolutely. But I’m talking about the men who claim to believe in marriage, to one day hold themselves to be married, or have toyed with the subject in their relationships.
Basically, those all talk and no action.
Now let me summarize some of the most common characteristics of a marriage, whether you believe all of these to be true of your marital style or not. It is the conjoining of your financial paths, or bank accounts, becoming a “house wife”, or now sharing household responsibilities and tasks as one, and each abiding by trust and loyalty with struggle, deceit and infidelity – for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer.
Sure, “…but I don’t have to be married in order to attain any of those characteristics in my relationship.”
And you know what you’re absolutely right. That’s the issue I’m addressing.
Far too many “relationships” contain marital roles without followed expectations.
What I’m trying to say is…
MORE MEN REFUSE TO MARRY BECAUSE THEY KNOW THEY CAN GET ALL THE ASPECTS OF MARRIAGE FOR FREE…
Meaning, without the commitment.
Time and time again I continue to hear this phrase pop up between the cracks. I even sat down with my husband and had a long heart to heart when I asked him, “Why does it seem that more men nowadays won’t marry the woman they’re with?”
His initial, blunt response:
Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?
At first, not going to lie, I was a bit taken back. Pissed, in fact, because it was like he was saying that women should never be the face of marriage material. When the thing is: we’re technically damned if we do and damned if we don’t.
But we’ve heard this before – many times, in many aspects of our lives. Yet it seems that we continue to ignore the message behind it within our relationships.
Does allowing the “wifely” qualities and characteristics to take over in our relationships have a negative impact on “making an honest woman of you”?
Are men simply taking advantage of these desirable qualities?
I think we always fail to realize the stiff division between men and women that remains unchanged:
“While women continue to live in Love through more emotion, men continue to live in Love through more logic.”
And the logic for men still stands with, “Why let a piece of paper dictate my relationship when I am already receiving the benefits of a marriage without it?”
Ladies – we desperately need to understand, realize and come to terms with what fails us in getting more out of our relationships. It might call for a change in dating habits, decisions made in your relationships, slowing the rate of your relationship milestones, and heed the warnings of investment that go beyond your expectations.
Our investment, decisions and milestones in the relationship are not ones to be taken lightly – especially if our expectations hope to lead up to marriage. For example,
Settling in together
- Moving in together
- Buying a house together (under both your names)
- Staying over each other’s place repetitively for long periods
- Treating his place like it’s your place (leaving personal items, having open access freely, or making aesthetic changes before having moved in together), and vice versa
- All of the above way too soon in the relationship
Not only acting like a house-wife, but his mom, too
- Doing his laundry
- Cooking the meals
- Doing the dishes
- Restocking the food and toiletries
- Picking up after him
- Taking care of his personal and survival needs
- All of the above way too soon in the relationship
What’s yours is mine, and what’s mine is mine
- Paychecks – period
- Paying the bills
- Getting a loan together (house, car, etc.)
- Joining bank accounts
- Making big, adult decisions (financially, career wise, etc.)
- Financial dependence (one sole provider in the relationship)
- Assisting in debt
- All of the above way too soon in the relationship
Am I saying that we should refrain from pursuing growth in our relationships? It may seem that way, but no, absolutely not. We should not have to sit back and think, “Am I cooking too much for my SO?”
The fact of the matter is: all of those wonderful wife-material qualities you want to bring into the relationship can be taken advantage of.
And in very many relationships where feelings, honesty, effort and willingness to commit isn’t mutual, they are. Plain as day.
Living together involves gaining all the selfish perks of companionship and, well, an invitation for more sex. Acting as a house-wife, or his mom, gives him the perception that you are more than willing to take care of him without limitations. In turn, these duties may become expected of you, and not reciprocated. Being financially open together, or you being more financially open for him, exposes your support without any expectations or further commitment.
Notice I didn’t even mention sex as a factor? Why? Well, because let’s be real here – we live in the 21st century. If people want sex, they can have sex – anytime, anywhere, with someone any way they can get it.
So with already bearing marital qualities in a relationship – what reason is a man given to want to marry?
I will always believe that balance is the spice of life – everything is all in moderation. As I talk with my husband on this subject, he reassures without hesitance:
You can’t dive in full throttle. Give him a little taste of what you have to offer in the relationship, but with the expectation of a deeper commitment needing to be fulfilled.
Now that I understand him much more, I know now that he is saying it’s all about self respect. Respecting your needs and what you want out of a serious commitment.
I will be the first to admit that I made the choice in bearing many of these “wifely” qualities while dating my husband. The only difference is that I had the mindset that those qualities had to be earned – through the giving, loving, fulfilling and growing commitment that I needed. Yes, marriage, but also that it showed entirely in his attitude and actions. I was also super lucky to have had a partner who understood and allowed for me to express my expectations of a commitment.
Which is part of the problem most women face in the first place – expressing expectations of commitment.
My husband knew my expectations fairly early on in our relationship. Granted I didn’t bring up these expectations on our 2nd date, but when talk came of our future and innuendos given on living together, yes.
A | That I would not be making the jump to move in together with the intent to ‘play house‘, but with the incentive of building our relationship towards finalizing that deeper commitment.
B | And that in doing so, I was not subjected to being his “wifey”, and would not be treated or expected as one. Meaning, I was not relied on as a cook, maid or caretaker by any means. Our relationship was very 50/50 in terms of household and financial roles.
and C | That he had absolutely zero say in the use of my money, just as I had zero say in his. But that as our relationship progression continued, we would mutually respect and value one another’s financial goals and paths as a whole for our future.TURNING THAT REFUSAL INTO A PROPOSAL
Having and sharing marital roles should be more than acceptable in a relationship. It should be applauded. It’s a great way of ensuring you and your SO are a good fit together long-term; however, as I have said before, all in moderation. Your SO needs to know that these acts and qualities should not go on in perpetuity without further commitment. The relationship must be parallel to each other’s growing roles – ultimately ending in the desired aspiration of marriage.
For those who find themselves already fulfilling their marital roles within the relationship, it’s important to express to your SO your desired aspirations and expectations within the relationship. More often than not, it may be that your SO does not simply realize that your expectations are not being met.
Many may treat marriage as something that remains unspoken until the “right time” – you know, that if it’s meant to be it will just happen. I’m beginning to notice this is how exclusivity in dating is treated today. It’s called mind reading, which we go on and on about having a negative impact on relationships.
So, please, rid yourself of that form of non-verbal communication and don’t condone it in your love life (no matter what phase you’re in).
Early in the dating game, my [now husband] had made the assumption we were exclusive. I made it clear that he never expressed his desire for exclusivity nor asked to be. Let’s just say it didn’t take him long to get the hint to ask me to be his girlfriend.
I’m old school. #sorry not sorry
On the flip side your SO may not be on the same page, or have fear of expanding their commitment. This fear may have a lot to do with giving up their independence, masculinity, sexual explorations and ultimately that you and the relationship will change after marriage (for the worst). It’s important to reassure your SO of his fears, while standing firm with your aspirations for marriage.
And at some point, we have to remind ourselves: If your SO feels there is no reason to commit to the relationship through marriage, it’s likely that he simply doesn’t respect your aspirations… because he is already getting everything he wants out of the relationship.
With that, I want to end this post with a true story:
My husband has an old childhood friend – who had a long-term girlfriend from college. They were together for years, moved across the country for their jobs, and settled in a new place in a new state together. She began carrying on the role of a wife in their growing relationship, in hopes of igniting the next further step of commitment. But he saw no need to rush into that commitment (seeing as they had been together for many happy years already).
And in time, she moved out – taking a step back from her current situation – since her needs were not being fulfilled, as she was blatantly fulfilling all of his.
Today: they are now married, with kids.