So you found out he proposed to his ex but not you.
There’s no doubt that’s going to sting, and probably more than a little bit.
In all likelihood, though, there’s more to the story. In this article, I want to show you 10 tips if you’ve just found out your significant other has proposed to his ex but not you.
10 tips to consider
Remember, your man loves you a lot, and there’s a lot of factors to consider when it comes to understanding why he proposed to his ex, and why he hasn’t proposed to you.
1) Think about his perspective
When it comes to figuring out why he proposed to his ex and hasn’t to you, you’ll have to step into his shoes as much as you can.
Try to think about things from his perspective. What’s been on his mind lately? How does he talk about relationships, or his plans for the future?
If your man talks about his future plans and they often include you, there’s a really good chance that, even if he hasn’t proposed to you, that you’re a vital part of his life. In all likelihood, he has no plans of letting you go, either.
However, if it seems like you’re not part of the picture, or if he shies away from talking about your relationship further down the road, it could be because he’s having reservations about the relationship.
Feel free to ask him questions about his past relationships. Obviously, you’re not trying to pry, but the more information you can gather, the better you’ll be able to understand his mindset.
As you step out of your own shoes and start to focus on what it is that drives him, you’ll be able to set aside your own feelings (temporarily). This can be a really good thing because it allows room for empathy inside of you.
You can understand him, feel the way he does, and love him all the more for it.
2) His old proposal might’ve been a poor decision
Love is a funny thing. At times, it can be all too fickle, confusing, and misguided. There’s a chance that his old proposal was just a poor decision.
Do you know whether or not his ex said yes, or if they said no? It might be good to find out if not.
For instance, if she said no, and rejected him, he could be afraid to propose to you. Fear of rejection can be really strong to begin with, let alone after being rejected in such a painful way.
He could be hesitating with you for this very reason.
Or maybe she did say yes. The fact is, though, that it didn’t work out. That’s the bottom line, and there’s a reason that it didn’t. And when a proposal doesn’t work out the first time, it’s far less likely for a second proposal to happen without a lot more thought.
So he could be afraid. He doesn’t want the good thing he has with you to be ruined by a poor decision, or by a premature proposal.
If it’s commitment you’re worried about, here are some great tips to help him commit to you more.
3) He’s matured a lot since
Young love can be the strongest, and also the most foolish. He could have been naive, thoughtless, or not thinking clearly when he proposed to his ex.
Since that proposal, it could be that he’s matured a lot.
In other words, he’s not going to propose to you willy-nilly. And that’s a really good thing. It means that he cares about you enough to not play with your feelings. He doesn’t want to hurt you, hurt the relationship, or do anything foolish.
Again, these are all good things. In all likelihood, it means that he cares about you, and deeply. He knows that a marriage proposal isn’t something to be taken lightly, and if he proposes to you, that relationship will be forever changed.
It could also mean that he’s thought about it, and marriage isn’t something that he wants. Is it something you want? If you’re unsure of the answer to these questions, it warrants both introspection and conversation.
If you find yourself often moody around your boyfriend, here’s a good article that will help you pinpoint why. It could be because there’s something you aren’t being honest about. In this instance, it might relate to your stance about marriage.
4) Not ready to try marriage again
Has your significant other been married before? If you don’t know, it might be worth finding out whether or not that’s the case.
If he has been, it’s clear that he not only has proposed to his ex, but followed through with marrying them. The marriage hasn’t worked out, and now he’s ready to be in a relationship again (hopefully).
Be mindful of the fact that just because he’s dating you, that doesn’t mean he’s ready to try marriage again. Marriage is a huge commitment, something that changes every facet of your life.
And when it doesn’t work out, it can be devastating, traumatizing, painful, messy, and highly emotional. Don’t blame him for being hesitant. This is a great instance where putting yourself in his shoes is so important. If you can understand his past, his feelings, and what he’s been through, it will help you love him all the more, even if he doesn’t propose to you.
5) Is marriage what you’re looking for?
It’s really important to understand yourself, too. It can’t all be about putting yourself in his shoes.
Why has it been bothering you to find out that your boyfriend has proposed to an ex of his? Is it because it makes you feel jealous and insecure? Maybe it’s because you’ve been thinking about marriage with him for a really long time. In this case, it can be confusing and frustrating trying to figure out why he won’t propose to you.
In any of these cases, you have to know what it is you’re looking for first. Once you understand your motives, emotions, and feelings, you can address any of the issues you have in the relationship.
And you can do it accurately, kindly, and beneficially.
Trust in a relationship is built on good communication. Here are several more great tips to help build trust in your relationship.
6) His ex might have hurt him in a big way
Sometimes we hold on to the hurt. Sometimes, our wounds take a long time to heal, and we carry them with us for months, years, even decades. Some pain lasts a lifetime.
When a proposal or marriage ends, it’s painful for both parties. So much energy, love, and emotion are tied up in it.
That hurt can be equitable, or severely biased. It’s possible that his ex really hurt him in a big way. He may have faced humiliation, rejection, and despair when he tried to propose.
Being vulnerable makes everyone uncomfortable. Vulnerability, though, leads to greater intimacy, happiness, and love.
When he was vulnerable with his ex, it ended up hurting him a lot. This kind of pain can lead anyone to close up, and have an even stronger aversion to being vulnerable.
It only makes sense that he hasn’t proposed to you. Maybe he really wants to, but he’s afraid to. Maybe he doesn’t want to, but that doesn’t change the depths of his feelings for you.
Just remember, understanding where he’s coming from will help you show the compassion and love a relationship and a broken heart needs.
Here’s a list of some important things you need to know if you’re dating someone who’s been hurt deeply.
7) Where do your insecurities stem from?
It’s only fair that you feel insecure when you hear that he’s proposed to his ex, but not to you. You’re not alone in feeling jealous, inferior, threatened, or doubtful. These feelings are normal, and it’s okay to feel them.
However, they aren’t ideal, and they aren’t healthy to let linger. Besides, no one likes feeling insecure, or anxious, do they?
So make sure to tune into yourself. Figure out why it makes you so insecure. Listen closely and try to understand where exactly it is your insecurities come from.
Is it from a past relationship? Has an ex hurt you before? Or do you feel insecure because of a legitimate concern with your current relationship?
There is the chance that the person you’re dating doesn’t want to propose to you—or hasn’t—because he just isn’t interested in keeping you around.
Your relationship might not be important enough for him to even consider taking things more seriously. In this case, it’s really vital to pay close attention to the relationship, his words and actions, and whether or not your concerns are valid, or based on fear.
No matter what you deduce, you’ll be able to make a more informed decision, have a clearer and more beneficial conversation, and create a healthy, constructive environment for these important subjects to come to light.
Remember, you are valuable, important, and lovely in every way. It’s crucial that your relationships make you feel this way.
8) His parents have divorced since
A parent’s relationship has a big effect on the relationships their child has. Our love and affection are influenced, often directly, by the nature of our parent’s love and affection.
So in this case, it could be that his parents have recently divorced. Something like this can have a huge effect on his attitude towards marriage and relationships.
Maybe when he was with his ex, his parents were still together. Now that he’s with you, he has reservations and doubts because of his parent’s split. If they can’t stay together, what hope is there for him?
As someone whose parents have divorced, that’s the thought process I’ve had before. It takes a lot of self-reflection, and a little bit of bravery, to seriously consider and follow through with a proposal.
Here’s an interesting article about why a man might be interested in having a baby, but not getting married.
9) He could be planning a proposal
Have you considered the possibility that he does want to propose to you, but hasn’t yet? It’s possible, even though it may be disconcerting to find out that he’s proposed to his ex, and not to you.
Especially if he proposed to his ex far sooner into their relationship than you are currently.
However, it’s possible that he does want to propose to you, sooner than later. He could be planning it right now.
Of course, there’s no reason to get your hopes up too high, but you never know. Especially if he wants it to be a surprise.
10) Create a dialogue
The single most constructive thing you can do if you find yourself unable to process the fact that he proposed to his ex but not to you is to talk to him about it.
Create some kind of dialogue between the two of you regarding the future of your relationship.
Knowing where to start can be hard, though, or figuring out how to bring it up.
Here are a few good tips:
Make sure to find a good time. When you do decide to approach him, it’s important to consider his mood, how difficult of a day he’s had, the environment you’re in, and so on.
Understand why it’s bothering you. It’s important to know what specifically it is about his last proposal that upsets you. Maybe you’re feeling insecure in the relationship, or you don’t want marriage, or you do. When you can understand yourself and why you want to bring it up, you’ll be better at starting a constructive dialogue.
Remember to avoid being overly confrontational.
Even if you’re upset, starting off with an attack will only put him on the defensive. Make sure to bring things up gently. Frame your concerns around how it makes you feel, instead of calling him out. This will lead to constructive conversation and understanding between you two.
Every situation, circumstance, and relationship is different. How you go about understanding why he proposed to his ex but not to you is, at the end of the day, up to you. Make sure to keep these tips and pointers in mind.
In all likelihood, you’ll realize that it’s not worse or better than you think, but maybe just different.
Can a relationship coach help you too?
If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.
I know this from personal experience…
A few months ago, I reached out to Relationship Hero when I was going through a tough patch in my relationship. After being lost in my thoughts for so long, they gave me a unique insight into the dynamics of my relationship and how to get it back on track.
If you haven’t heard of Relationship Hero before, it’s a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated and difficult love situations.
In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.
I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my coach was.