What should I do when my boyfriend is scared of marriage?

I just had another fight with my boyfriend and he finally admitted he is scared to commit to marriage with me. He says he's just not ready and that he loves me so much but is scared of the next step. We've been through hell and back of 5 years! what should I do?

well the thing is.. it's not that I'm pressuring him, I have to admit in the beginning I did, we broke up.. got back together, and now I guess I would bring it up.. but I learned not to anymore.. because it'd cause fights.. the problem is everything boils down to it.. he brings it up himself.. its wierd... I tell him I love him and it doesn't matter, but why does he seem like it's always an issue.. always on the verge of breaking up but we end up not..


Most Helpful Guy

  • OKAY

    Here is the thing. It's not that your guy doesn't love you, it's just that you have given him every reason NOT to get married. A guy's mentality is "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." A girl's mentality is to live out romantic dreams no matter what.."I've dreamed of a gorgeous wedding since I was 5."

    Reassess your relationship. Have you guys ended up in a relationship that already feels like a marriage? Are you doing the dishes, living together, sharing expenses?

    Perhaps, there are certain things about you or your life that the guy is afraid committing to legally. Is your dad a nazi? Are your religions different? His thinking is, if he doesn't tie the knot, he has more wiggle room to escape these things without legal docs binding him to them. So even though he loves you, if things go sour in the relationship, he can always escape them!

    What you need to do is something different. Stop bugging him about marriage and insinuate the idea in his head, make him think it's his idea. Right now, he is afraid to marry BECAUSE HE STILL FEELS SOMETHING IS OUT THERE THAT MIGHT BE BETTER. Which means he is uncertain of the future.

    My advice

    -Don't rush anything

    -Insinuate the idea of marriage in his head

    -Do things without him, like join a fitness club, get out there...find hobbies. WHEN YOU ARE BUSY and making friends, he will start missing you, realizing how awesome you are when you are out and about in the world instead of always being around him.

    -Let him know that you already love him for everything that's going on and don't baby him or try to change his behavior or anything. Don't play any covert mind games, like telling him about all the men interested in you...TURN OFF.

    -Get rid of "marriage-like" settings in the relationship and add back some spontaneity to the relationship you had before, add some spice...take some tantra yoga classes, sign him up for some dancing lessons, watch a dirty movie, these are just examples.

    -Take a look at your relationship and find out all the consequences that marriage can have on you guys now.

    Good luck

    • nice answer..i agree..and in some way this has helped me..

    • out of all the answers, this one empowers me.. thank you so much for taking the time out to let me know how it is.. it feels good to know that its not just me.. as woman I always try to be ambitious wanting more.. and seeing how far I can push myself... I know I shouldn't do that with him.. we should wait and be ready TOGETHER

    • 3mo

      Ahhh, yes, I remember this response, back in the day when I actually took this site seriously

What Guys Said 20

  • Wait for him to be ready. Why do you feel the need to push him into a marriage? Most guys aren't ready for that type of commitment until into their 30's. Be happy with what you have now.


  • After 5 years, he definitely has something holding him up. If he is the same age as you, you two are definitely more of the age I would recommend looking into marriage. When I first saw your question, I thought you might be 18. However, at your age, he should be willing to think about marriage. By your late 20's, most people have "lived" and ready to commit. If he isn't there yet, he is lagging behind.

    You are a very attractive young lady. He is being dumb in not claiming you as his future bride.

    I am going to breach a subject here that I am not sure anybody has brought up. If you two are sexually intimate, he may be getting from you what he thinks he needs and does not want to commit any further. If you two are sexually involved, abstain from sex. Tell him that you are wanting to know if he is willing to commit. I don't like it when women use sex as a tool to get something from a man, but it does become necessary to see if that is mainly what he is after.

    If you two are NOT sexually involved, I agree with others that he is afraid that something "better" may come along. He needs to take a long look at you and who you are. If he thinks he is going to find something "better", he needs to move on (or you need to move him along and look elsewhere).

  • I think the next step would be to find out why he's scared of the commitment. I don't think he seems to be scared of marriage, just the idea of making that commitment. Although I don't know how you would go about figuring that out.

  • What's the "hell and back" you went through over the last 5 years? Depending on what it is, that could be part of the reason. What did you fight about recently that was such a big deal?

    Why do you want to get married so much now, and why does he not want to? The answers to those questions will determine what you should do.

  • Does he not want to get married? or does he not want to get married to you? There's a difference.

    Personally I could understand why any man would hesitate, given the way the laws are in CA.

  • "What should I do when my boyfriend is scared of marriage?"

    Marry someone else.

    YOU: "Well, I'm, getting married with the next few years. Whether that is with you or not is up to you."

  • Marriage doesn't change anything. It's just a piece of paper. No rush. Wait.


  • if he wanted to marry you he would have by now, do what you got to do your not getting younger you're almost 30 getting to the nonmarriable age

    • LMFAO, you living in the dark ages?

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    • read your comments... I didn't judge that's what you said and that's how your coming off..read everything you say..

    • i know what I said but your assuming this are all my thoughts on a relationship its simply a biological hurdle that cannot be reasoned with

  • Why can't you just live with him happily without a marriage?

    If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

    • we don't live together

  • if your wanting marriage but he isnt, you have to ask yourself is he worth waiting around for? if not, its time to end it. relationships can't survive with two people wanting different things when it comes to the two of u.

  • wait.

  • You don't live together? I think you should try living together way before you get married. It's completely different when you have to live with each other, if you're at each others' throats now... What are both of your views on marriage?

    • thats actually the fastest way to lose time people that cohabitate first their marriages don't last

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    • i agree dudeman, we are here for different oppinions on the question/topic.. NOT to judge someone's answer and say he/she is an idiot.. you can disagree but come on.. BE MATURE

    • 'people that cohabitate first their marriages don't last' - I said that you were an idiot because that comment seemed counter-intuitive and I'd like to see some evidence on it.

  • You should ask him if he would have baby with you

  • It's been awhile.. if he truly wanted to be with you, he wouldn't need to be 'persuaded' into marriage @_@ -he- would strive for it himself to have you all for himself.

  • If this was me , I would be getting a bit stressed because you are pushing me. He has said he loves you and he is just not ready. And 5 years? that's not long. Like its been mentioned before , as you mature and grow , so will the will to get married. And I've was with my ex for 7 years before engagement was announced. And I did want to spend time with her throughout. So don't listen to anyone that says leave him. You have the rest of your lives together , why rush for a ring and a legal contract which sounds like if you rush , will end your relationship.

  • He may very will love you but if he has any sense he would not want to marry in this day and age where divorce screws over a guy for life.

    This guy of yours most likely knows this and does not want to get married because he knows that if the two of you divorce which is highly likely, he will be the one who gets screwed over.

    The this is only an issue because you made it an issue by passively pressuring him to marry you. If it wasn't an issue you wouldn't be here asking and blaming your boyfriend for it.

    Why are you not happy just being and living with him for the rest of your life? Why does your happiness depend on him signing a piece of paper which will ruin his life? Why can't the two of you settle for a wedding ceremony but without actually getting married?

    • If he's worried about the money, sign a pre-nup, problem solved. You don't have kids so he won't have to pay child support and if you don't have any other financial ties, it shouldn't be a big deal.

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    • He will have to pay alimony IF she is dependent on him or makes less money. But if its the other way around, she would have to cash in.

    • Firstly how many women do you know that earn more then their partner? So your point is moot he will pay alimony.

      You also forgot regardless of marriage and alimony, he must already pay her for 5 years cohabitation should she demand it when they seperate, assuming that they lived together for that 5 years so he's already partly screwed.

  • I hate to say this and I know this has went through your mind before, but maybe you two just aren't compatible for each other. If all he wants to do is argue, then why be with him? I know 5 years is a long time, but sometimes people stay together just because they've been together for so long. If your relationship is on the rocks all the time, why be in it? Break ups suck and they hurt, but in the end, you'll find out that was the best thing that could've happened to you. Every couple argues at some point and time, but the good times should ALWAYS outweigh the bad. You just gotta ask yourself, can I truly be happy and content with a man that does nothing but argue with me? You sound like an awesome girl and if that is you in your profile pic, a VERY BEAUTIFUL one as well, You would have no trouble finding a good man that will love you like you should be loved and will treat you like the princess you are. Don't be affraid of being single and if it's meant to be with him, it will happen, but don't push yourself into thinking he's the only person that can love you, cause that is far from the truth. I just got broken up with by my Girlfriend of 2 years and I thought my life was over, but the truth is, I deserved a LOT better than what I got from her. So don't sell yourself short and don't settle for mediocre love. You deserve better.

  • Well, if he says that he's not ready for marriage, then you have to respect his decision. I don't know how often you two argue, but if it's pretty regularly, marriage may not be the best idea for you two. He kind of sounds like he's unsure if you're the right girl for him. Not that he don't love you, but he don't know if your relationship is strong enough for marriage right now and he may just need more time to make sure. Don't pressure him into marriage, cause you don't need a husband that married you just to shut you up. You need to find a man that is over the games and is ready for a commited relationship. Someone who has the same goals/dreams you do. Hate to say it, but you may want to split with him for a short time, just to make sure that you're the one that he can't live without. If he truly loves you and truly see a future between you two, he will come running back with a ring.


What Girls Said 18

  • Marriage is the elephant in the room for both of you. You can try all sorts of avoidance techniques but there is no way to sugar coat the fact that this is a potential deal breaker.

    In relationships, we all have a perception of the role we play or the value we have to our partner. I think your boyfriend is very well aware that he is not meeting your expectations. I doubt there is anything you can say or do to change his mind because if you are honest with yourself, I don't think you can really say you don't want marriage. You might be able to say you are willing to wait, but then that just puts a ticking clock in his mind as to when you won't be willing to wait.

    What kinds of things do the two of you enjoy about each other? What do you enjoy about your relationship? Is any of that dependent upon being married? If you say you want marriage in order to start a family, well that may be the real problem here. Also, fyi, If your boyfriend is struggling with career or financial issues, that is a big hurdle for a man to deal with before they get married as most men, somewhere in the back of their mind, cannot consider marriage if they don't feel they can fulfill the provider role.

    Marriage represents a lot of things to people, most of it unspoken even to ourselves. It can remind us of our parent's unsuccessful or undesirable marriages, it can remind us of our own difficulties in sustaining a relationship, it can represent the ultimate sign of love and romance, it can be loaded with fears on having kids, financial responsibilities and losing our youthful freedom, it can be loaded with joy and anticipation of a wedding and a future as a couple. You two should really talk all of this to death instead of trying to avoid the conversation.

    Good luck.

  • It may be a little harsh but in my opinion, if there's no agreement of marriage after 3-4 years, he doesn't want to get married to you. If a guy isn't sure if he wants to spend the rest of his life with you, it seems as if he's waiting for something else.

  • first of all I think you should thank him for being honest and admiting to his fear, its not easy to admit that we're scared of something, but the thng he may be afraid of is not marriage but fear of change. some people become so comfortable in relationships that the are afraid to step out of that zone. to be honest no realtionship is perfect and I can gurantee that there will be misunderstandings but its up to both of you to understand each other.

    marriage is filled with responsibility and decisions but the joy and happines that can be gotten from it will, can make it seem all worth while.

    my advice, take some time and talk to him, let him know how much you care, let him know that you want to spend the rest of you life waking up next to him, you know when you're at home and some1 ask you to do something and you really don't feel like it and you may not want to do it, but when your boyfriend ask you to do something when you are really tired you do it any ways. its like that love changes us.

    today youth make marriage seem like is not sacared anymore and with the divorce rate soaring he may fear change or he may fear losing you, give it some time, let him think, the last thing you want to do is make him feel like he has no choice. but 1 word of advice, stop arguing if you both have problem, talk about it rationally, eg. if he said something you didn't like tell him, honey, you said something that I really didn't appresiated... you may think that doesn't really work but in 23 years my parents argued once. they do this, talk out stuff and it works. even I did this in my relationship and my ex and I has never had a argument in 3.5 yrs. even when we decided to part ways we didn't argue

    • what you can do is find out what about marriage scares him and maybe then you can figure out what to do or if not tell us and we'll try to help

  • You both have to figure out what is and is not negotiable in your relationship. For him not being married might be non-negotiable and for you getting married is also non-negotiable. So if they are both non-negotiables why stay together, it doesn't make sense. Married or not, if a couple stay together and if only one of them is compromising their non-negotiable well there will be some resentment and friction throughout the whole relationship.

    You have to find a guy that has the same non-negotiables as you, is your boyfriend that guy? You don't want to wait around for him and that day just never comes (because that means you think you'll be able to change him) and then you'll miss out on the life you could and wanted to have. You don't him to also marry you for the wrong reasons. And why are you supposed to be the only one to compromise (It seems like a lot of people in this thread seems like you should, but why?) Its obviously something really important for you.

    I kinda have the feeling that he is bringing the subject (even if you are not anymore) because he secretly want to break up but doesn't want to do it. Don't do guys to that? Act like jerks, so the girl will do the breaking up? Anyways, I'm making major assumptions here.

    I wish you the best of luck, I know its a decision that can't be taken lightly.

  • I wouldn't push it..he says he loves you...that's already a huge step for most men. When women try to push marriage or anything else on men..it ends up pushing the guy away. In time he will want to marry you...maybe he wants to not be fighting all the time...or be well established with his life first?

  • Marry someone else. he's not a puppy he knows how to do what is best for him. if marriage is hideous to him, it is not far for him or you. he does not want to get married. it is not something to be scared of unless you do not want to. well anyways its not very encouraging, flattering or rational to be with someone who is 'scared' of being with you- that is all marriage is-being with a person while you continue living your life.

    pressuring him does not mean you insisting that you & he get married.he feels pressured because he does not want to get married- 'feeling pressured' is just an excuse people use to be 'nice'. People think it sounds better than saying no. I think it just sounds pathetic. If he is not 'pressured' anymore why does the subject cause fights? I don't want to get married per se. but if someone I loved wanted to marry me I would do t unless I wanted to be with someone else- or alone. marriage is just a word. he's avoiding what it represents. break it down and think about what he's saying. he's afraid of marriage-i.e. having to be committed to u. why would you want to be with him? I do not know why you think there is something you are supposed to do- he's an adult. nothing you can do.

  • when men are in love, and it's right...their sole fear is life without you.

    he may love you but it may not be marrige type love. There are many types of love.

    The general rule is that if you have been together for 11 months and you don't want to get married, you should part ways. By that time you know a person well enough to "know". People draw relationships out for too long and in result learn nothing from them. People come in and out of yoru life and are ment to teach you something about yourself.

    What really is the pitfall for most is being "comfortable" and expecting things to work with the wrong people. This leads to an even more painfull prospect of a marrige where people tollerate one another by being polite, snap and divorce. It's not worth it.

    You have been together for 5 years. He's gotten comfortable. He also may have missed out on other possibilities that could have occured during those 5 years (and you did too, imagine your prince charming is still waiting?!). 5 years is long enough for him to know if he wants to spend the rest of his life with you, and he doesn't want to. But you've achieved a state of dependancy and avalible sex.

    You need to break up with him and go date other people. If you still love each other, and recognize the best in each other, you will end up back together and he will marry you for sure then. But if you find something better, that is ment to be or works far better..don't hesitate.

  • he wants his cake and eat it too. he wants to be with you but not completely tied down to you. he likes having the girl with out the total and whole comitment

  • You'll love him wether you're married or not, right? So don't push him.

    When he sees that your love doesn't depend on marriage, it might take a little pressure off his chest.

    Besides, you don't have to get married to live "the married life".

  • If it's causing fights, you have to make a decision.

    1. leave the issue alone, invest your time in letting things be with him and waiting as long as it takes


    2. decide that the fact that he can't commit to you is saying enough and that the fights it's causing means that in the end there are too many issues for him to really feel comfortable in a marriage.

    He doesn't sound like a great guy, or just that you're on different paths.

  • Well, this doesn't sound like the best relationship. I know it's been 5 years, but if you invested so much time into this and so did he, but you are on the verge of "breaking up" instead of "committing more", that's a bad sign. I have a feeling though that if you guys do break up, you will find someone else quickly after, and you will get married.

  • you should read the book "he's just not that into you" they have a whole chapter on guys scared of committing. If he truley loved you, he would have figured out by now that he DOES want to be with you for the rest of his life. You should leave him asap I think

  • Don't pressure or force him in any way to get married, if he doesn't want to! Also, I'm very traditional, so I would never bring up the topic of marriage to a man unless he brings it up first, but that's just me! I wish you good luck and hope everything works out all well. My suggestion would be to just not bring it up anymore. Wait until he chooses to bring it up, if he wants to. If he doesn't want to get married and you really do, then maybe you two should find someone else who shares the same goals in life. I don't know. But yeah.. good luck!

  • 5 years is too long for a person to realize if he /she can spend his/her life with their loved ones..i have been an unlucky person not to understand my ex boyfriend who cheated on me.he always used to care and say that he loved me.but all he wanted was just physical satisfaction he only desired.it went for 3- 4 months.n I realized it before it was too late.we broke up when I got to know he wasn't serious at all..

    well,not all guys are the same.but if your guy can make a stand to say you are the girl for me to live with forever,then he would be your only mate.convincing won't enhance your love.dont do that.check his mind what he wants or else you would be emotionally distressed.so better not get involved into physical stuffs and more and so try to know if he can commit for marriage or just leave him.n let the time decide your future.dont run after people not caring for you.and it is a big thing.so all the best :)

  • Well, if you're always fighting then that might be the reason for why he doesn't want to get married with you. Relationships don't magically get fixed after marriage, it's actually harder at times. Maybe his views of what a marriage is has a lot to do with his attitude. The fact that he brings it up indicates that he has a deep issue with it. On one hand he knows that this is what you want but he knows that he is not willing to fulfill this desire of yours for whatever reason. Like others have said he might be afraid that someone better might come along (where he can be in a relationship with not as much arguements) but of course he cannot reveal this to you because he also feels that he loves you. This insecurity is brought out during your arguments, so on the other hand he might be holding this against you for a reason.

  • Don't be a doormat. Live your life, lover yourself and do things for yourself.

    Make yourself opened for other opportunities also. When he finds there is a chance he may lose you, he will become more active.

    On the otherhand, do you think you want to build a home with a guy who is afraid of "responsibility"? Think about next steps for yourself also. Will you be OK if you have to carry all the family's burden if he is afraid of making big decisions in life like this.

    Think in 360 degree and adjust the way you look at the situation.

  • Leave him lol. If he can't commit to you in his late 20s after being together for 5 years, then he's not a keeper. Find someone who wants to spend the rest of his life with you. I know it's harsh, but I've seen many guys like this, and they can come up with all sorts of excuses why they can't commit, but either way, it's not going to work. Give him an ultimatum and make him realize how important it is to you. If he doesn't understand or give you what you need, move on. I've read (whether it's true or not) that if they don't know that they want to marry you after the first year, it's not going to work. I don't know if I believe that, but 5 years?! Come on, he probably just wants to make sure he's not missing anything before he settles down. Good luck though!

    • Re: your update... If he's the one bringing it up, and also it's causing such distress that you guys break up, get out as fast as you can. He is probably bringing it up and making it stressful for your relationship because he doesn't see himself with you. If you guys really break up that much also, marriage shouldn't be on your priority list. I went through something similar and I'm just giving you advice from what I've experienced about the man who can't commit. It's all a lie.