Why Won’t He Marry Me?

One of the most frequent questions that women ask on LuvemOrLeavem is “why won’t he marry me?”  I actually created LuvemOrLeavem with these women in mind because I have known so many of them over the years.  The thing that puzzles me most is that these women who have been hinting to their boyfriends for years that they want to get married are women that wouldn’t put up with being given the runaround in any other situation.   These women make smart decisions in every other aspect of their lives, yet they stay in a situation where they seem to be the only ones that are unaware that these men will never marry them.

So why are these men so opposed to tying the knot?  Although there are always specific details that vary among the stories of these couples, there are really only 2 main reasons why these men will not marry these women:  1) The man just does not want to get married  2) The man doesn’t want to marry that particular woman.  I know this seems like an over simplification, but I think that delving into all the details of why a man is not marrying her, is what often causes women to get caught up in trying to turn these relationships into marriages.

Men Who Just Don’t Want To Get Married- There are some men who just have no intention of getting married.  It’s easy to get caught up in the reasons why he doesn’t want to get married and to view them as barriers that can be overcome.  If he has sworn off marriage because he went through an ugly divorce you may be tempted to prove that with you it can be different.  If he thinks he is not the type of person who can be faithful, you may feel tempted to see the challenge as making sure that you prove to him that you can be  exciting and desirable enough to make him never want to look at another woman again.

The problem is that not wanting to get married is about him, not about you.  I’ve known women who date men who have told them for years that they never want to get married, yet they seem to think that if they wait it out he’ll change his mind.  If a man tells you that he has no intention of getting married and backs that up by dating you for years without marrying, then take him at his word.  He won’t be marrying you now matter how hard you try to change this.

Men Who Don’t Want to Marry a Particular Woman- This is a difficult scenario for a woman to accept.  When a woman who has waited years for a proposal that never came watches that same man walk down the aisle with another woman, it’s hard not to have doubts about what was wrong with you and why he feels that this other women is so right for him.  There are many reasons why a man may not want to marry a particular woman, and it doesn’t mean that anything was “wrong” with the first woman or that he didn’t love her enough to marry her.

It just means that the men weren’t sure that they were compatible enough for marriage.  For example, I’ve known women who had careers that made their man think that work would keep them from being the kind of wife that they envisioned.  On the flip side, I also knew a woman whose boyfriend felt that he could never be the dependable husband that she dreamed of having because he was a freelancer and never had a job with a steady paycheck.  At the time, these women were heartbroken to see the men they had waited for walk down the aisle with someone else.  It wasn’t until they met men that were compatible enough to marry that they realized that it truly wasn’t a strike against them that these other men had not wanted to marry them.

So there you have it, the two main reasons behind all the little reasons of why he won’t marry you.  No matter which reason it is, the important thing is to move on from a relationship if you’ve reached the point where you want to marry him and he has shown that he doesn’t want to marry you.  It’s hard to walk away from a relationship when you love someone and thought that they were “the one,” but ultimately it is much better than getting married to the wrong person.

What do you think? Why would a man date a woman for years without marrying her even after she makes it clear how badly she wants to get married?  Please share your thoughts in the comment section.

P.S. For a humorous look at men who won’t tie the knot visit 25 Reasons Why He Won’t Marry You by Mike The Master Dater.


  1. annie says:

    hi ive been engaged for over a yr and a half and my partner acts and says all the right things that makes me feel like he loves me,but he kept saying bad things about marriage and saying people are stupid etc n then he says things like 1 day i will marry you! its off and on all the time never a date set! hes been with alot of women in the past and has been cheated on by all his exes so dont know if this is why? he says im the one but my gut instincts say its never gona happen! i love him with all my heart and we get on great and have fun together,but i feel im just the one for now! he doesnt see the point then why propose and buy me a ring?? his ex is getting married and it seems as soon as he knew he didnt want us to get hitched, he says he hates her and she begged to have him back a year before i got with him and he said no,they mite have 2 kids together 1 from a one night stand together and she has 3 other kids with 3 other men..i know sounds nice doesnt she? they was very young when they was together and he lost his virginity to her but she was very violent and cheated alot. should i worry?? should i move on or continue on in an otherwise great relationship? am i being taken 4 a fool?

    • Belle says:

      If your gut is telling you that it won’t happen, then I’m sure you’re right. There are just some things that a woman knows. Besides, a man who is engaged should have great things to say about marriage, not bad things.

      As far as whether he is put off about marriages because of his exes, don’t even go there. That puts the pressure on you to prove that you are better than his exes, and in the end, all we can do is treat our partner well. For them to reach the point where they believe that we will not hurt them as others have in the past is a leap of faith that has to come from him, not you.

      The real answer to what you should do is: can you only be happy long term if the two of you get married, or can you be happy long term just being engaged forever? If you can honestly say you could be happy if you two never marry, then stay. If marriage is what you need (and there is nothing wrong with feeling that you need to be married to feel satisfied with your relationship) then it is time to move on and find someone who feels the same way as you. In your heart I’m sure you know what you should do. Good luck.

  2. Mimi says:

    I have been seeing someone for 2 years, am madly in love with him, and have known it for 2 years, he acts as if he is with me, he has several homes, has given me keys to them, has included me in every part of his life, I am 47, he is 56. He has been married once only, me twice. He will not talk about marriage, but has said from the beginning he wants to be with me forever. He said he is afraid things will change if we marry. I don’t understand how you can love someone so much and not want to marry them!!…

    • SmarterThanThat says:

      Here is a letter that was recently in our town paper in an advice column. I hope that it will help you…..

      One of my best friends “Deanna” (who is now 53) had been dating “Marcus” (now 55) for the past ten years. From the get-go, Marcus told Deanna he did not want to get married. Deanna always had visions of marriage and thought at some point, Marcus would change his mind. When I met my husband, he was seeing a woman he’d been in a relationship with for 15 years and continuously told her he did not want to get married. However, after we met, he broke up with her, and he and I were engaged five months later (we recently celebrated our 20 year anniversary). He’s the first to admit that when a guy says he doesn’t want to get married, it means he doesn’t want to marry the person he is saying it to. Both he and I, as well as family and friends told Deanna she should be dating other men, and keeping her options open, as she wasn’t going to get married if she stayed with Marcus. Several friends also told her it wasn’t that Marcus didn’t want to get married, it was that he didn’t want to marry her. Of course, our opinions and suggestions fell on deaf ears. Deanna continued to cook Marcus his meals, do his laundry, do the bookkeeping for his business (along with her own full-time job), and follow him to his shore house every weekend, where the “chores” continued. She also worked out religiously, as Marcus liked her to maintain a slender body. In short, Deanna had no life except the one which entailed her being available to Marcus 24/7. While we all moved up the corporate ladder in our jobs, Deanna stayed at an executive assistant level, with recent college grads. Her only goal was to be available for Marcus.

      Lo and behold, three weeks ago, Marcus went to an electricians convention in Las Vegas (or so we all thought). Two days after he left, Deanna recieved a phone call from Marcus’ mother informing her that her son was indeed in Las Vegas, but for reasons other than a convention. He had gotten married to a woman he had meet eight months ago when she hired him to do an electrical project in her new condo! The following Monday, UPS delivered all Deannas possessions from Marcus’ home to her front porch. He had his personal, cell and business numbers changed, as well as his keypad combination for his garage and the locks on his doors. He had his lawyer send a letter stating she was no longer in his Will or the beneficiary on his life insurance policies. He cut off all communication with her permanently.

      Deanna is now inconsolable, not to mention humiliated. Marcus’ wife is a successful attorney here in town and she and Marcus will be having a large reception in the next few weeks. Deanna has missed three weeks of work, can hardly get out of bed, and cannot fathom the fact that she now has to “start over” again. Had she listened to all of us ten years ago, she would’ve been in a much different place at this point in her life. Ladies, please listen – if you are dating a man and he says he doesn’t want to get married, you have two choices; stay with him until he meets the woman he IS going to marry, or take the high road and end the relationship with self-respect and live a fabulous life while waiting for your Prince to come.

      We can definitely blame Marcus for not telling Deanna upfront that he had met someone else. However, we can’t blame him for being honest with her from the beginning

    • annie says:

      dear mimi,
      the end line you put is exactly how i feel..how can you love some1 and not want to marry them if they say your the 1 :S my man also says he wants to be with me 4ever and has proposed but wont marry!! y? you can read my story above…its so hard when you love someone and hold out for them but reality is harsh. ive tried fiishing with my man over this and he says no way is he losing me and he loves me and will marry me … so confused, then he makes excuses and its always 1 day i will, but when a dates mentioned its always … y cant we just have a relationship without marriage rubbish? y cant i wait? he reckons most people get engaged for years so y cant we? it would be nice to hear he does love you he will marry he just isnt sure or is nervous etc or money problems,but its all excuses if you ask me… enjoy the relationship if you want but dont be fooled dont get close its not gona work just enjoy it 4 now but keep your options open and be prepared for the end. i even threw away my ring and it didnt bother him at all….big eye opener!! you also dont want to say its marriage or over cos it will prob be over and if you do get him down the isle he will resent you for it… he will feel trapped and pushed into it! who wants to marry someone who doesnt want to marry you? my advice find someone who wants to with no force applied!! good luck…. you will find the man who loves you and doesnt just love being with you!! sorry to be harsh im in same situation so i guess i should take my own advice to…no matter how painful it is!


  1. [...] know I’m not the first woman (or, in some cases, man) to experience the Waiting Game. In fact, the website LuvemOrLeaveem.com practically builds its viewership on this one dilemma (see Mike the Master Dater‘s funny [...]

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  3. [...] My friend Tina wrote a post about this the same day! Actually, she might have given me the idea to write it. =) Go visit her post on Why he wont marry me. [...]

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