Are you ready to get hitched but you’re wondering if the man in your life feels the same way?
Maybe you’ve been dating a while now and have been expecting him to pop the question — but he hasn’t yet — and you want to know why.
Or perhaps you’re worried he might not be ready to take the plunge into the lifelong commitment that is marriage.
So just how long does it take before a guy knows you are the one he wants to marry and spend the rest of his life with?
Read on to find out exactly:
- How long it normally takes a man before he is ready to propose
- How to tell if your guy is ready for marriage yet
- The most important things he’s considering before he’ll get down on one knee
How long does it usually take for a guy to know if he wants to marry you?
You’re ready for marriage, but you don’t know if he is.
It would help if you knew just how long on average it takes before guys usually propose to their other half.
Ok, so let’s get straight to it.
If we’re taking a very scientific approach about it, the answer is around 6 to 7 months.
That might seem quite soon, but statistically speaking it takes the average man 7 months to know whether his partner is “the one”.
That’s according to a survey of 2000 engaged American men, which also found that almost half of guys who decided to put a ring on it had received “little hints” from their partner encouraging the proposal beforehand.
The top 5 most popular marriage hints dropped by women were:
1) Watching TV or movies that involved weddings
Just how many times in a row is it acceptable to put on ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding’ before he gets the hint?
The most popular way for women to try and encourage a proposal was by watching plenty of TV shows and films about weddings together.
2) Discussing other people’s engagements and marriages
Especially when you reach a certain age, it can be difficult to avoid “wedding season”.
Chatting about other couples’ prenuptial can be the perfect way to bring up the marriage conversation in your own relationship.
When we see the people around us reach significant life stages, we’re more likely to think about it.
3) Leaving wedding magazines out to be discovered
What do you mean? I’ve always enjoyed a leisurely browse of ‘Bridal Guide’. They actually have some incredibly fascinating exposes.
Perhaps one of the less subtle nudges down the aisle was leaving discarded wedding magazines scattered around the house.
4) Forwarding emails from jewelry websites
When the little clues don’t seem to do the trick, it’s time to pull out the big guns.
Oh look, here is a page of diamond rings to choose from. FYI, I prefer the fourth one.
Yours sincerely, your soon-to-be fiancé.
5) Stopping in jewelry stores to look at rings
Finding the perfect ring doesn’t happen overnight so it’s best to browse ahead of time.
Lingering in shop windows and pointing out which would be your favourite “if somebody just happened to propose”, is how many women let their man know that they had marriage on their mind.
The differences in when a man is ready to get married — are some men just ready sooner than others?
Whilst 7 months may be the average amount of time for men to propose — let’s be honest — there’s really no such thing as an “average” guy.
Knowing whether the man in your life is ready for marriage isn’t quite as simple as taking out your calendar and circling the date exactly 7 months after you first met.
We all know — or have heard of — couples who have been together for years and break up before even the mention of marriage. Or on the other side, those who after a whirlwind courtship is hitched just months after meeting.
That’s why asking how long it takes for a man to know he wants to marry you is kind of like asking how long is a piece of string — the unfortunate answer is, it depends.
Whilst getting a conclusive answer isn’t easy, understanding what men are waiting for before they are ready to propose can give you a better idea of whether he is ready to commit to you.
When will he marry me? 18 important things he is waiting for before he is ready to propose
What does a man need in a relationship before he is ready to concretely say “this woman is the one”?
Here are 18 signs that show when he could be ready to marry you.
1) When your values align
Whilst it’s nice if you both enjoy doing the same things — whether that’s taking long hikes in the mountains, binge-watching your favourite Netflix shows together, or boozy nights out with all your friends — when it comes to marriage, shared values are more important.
He’ll want to know that you are both heading in the same direction in life and can share a vision for the future that aligns.
Do your hopes and goals match up?
Are you building a life together based on the same priorities and foundations?
When he knows that the deeper values in your relationship are compatible, he’ll be more likely to commit for the long term.
2) When you have strong chemistry between you
Basic sexual attraction is usually a significant factor at play on both sides when a couple first gets together.
It can be what sparks that initial interest and prompts you to take the time to get to know one another better in the first place.
Even though it’s common for a sexual relationship to change over time — especially after the “honeymoon phase” is over — the chemistry between you is key.
Chemistry is one of those weird things that can be hard to define. It goes beyond just a physical attraction to create a magnetic pull that draws you towards one another on a whole other level.
3) When he’s financially prepared
Even in the 21st century with a healthier focus on gender equality, men can still feel psychologically under pressure to be the main breadwinner within a relationship.
Before he considers settling down and starting a family, he will want to feel that he is financially ready.
Weddings are expensive — including everything from the bachelor party (stag/bucks party) to the big day itself — getting married costs on average $33,900.
That’s not pocket change. It’s no wonder that a lot of men start saving up well in advance of proposing.
Of course, getting married doesn’t need to be such an expensive affair, but deciding to make a long-term commitment to another person is a big deal and he may want to feel like he has his finances in order first.
4) When he feels compatible with you
Understanding whether you are compatible with someone includes several factors.
It’s a mixture of the surface interests that you share, your individual personality types, and your core values — all combined.
Your compatibility indicates whether he can live with you and exist together without constant conflict arising from your differences.
He’s going to be thinking about whether you ultimately fit together or if constant clashes will get in the way of a harmonious relationship.
5) When he takes responsibility for himself within the relationship
It takes two to tango and any partnership needs both sides to contribute to making a relationship work.
You’re not always going to see eye to eye but you’ll know when he is prepared to take responsibility for himself because he won’t be looking to you to constantly fix all the problems, or blame you for every little thing that goes wrong in the relationship.
Taking responsibility within a relationship looks like open communication — letting you know how he is feeling and being prepared to admit when he is wrong or has made mistakes.
It’s not just waiting to be caught out or called out on his behaviour but being able to hold himself accountable for his own actions.
6) When he’s seen your flaws
Marriage is a contract and you want to know all the terms and conditions first.
That means before agreeing to stick with somebody through the good times and the bad, he is going to want to know what some of your “bad” might entail.
None of us are perfect, our flaws are what make us unique and can even be endearing to our other half.
Nevertheless, he will want to see all your flaws before he can decide whether he could spend the rest of his life with you.
It takes time to really get to know a person and will involve seeing how you naturally respond to a range of different life circumstances.
7) When he doesn’t have any ‘if’s or but’s’
We’re all familiar with the — kind of unhelpful — advice of “when you know, you know”. But what does that even mean?
It points to the fact that there aren’t any big question marks hanging over his head when he thinks about marrying you.
As overly simple as it may sound — any obstacles melt away or become irrelevant and he doesn’t need to think too hard about it.
There’s no worrying about whether someone else could be a better match or whether you will really last the distance.
He has an underlying certainty about how he feels that makes him confident when it comes to moving forward together.
8) When you’ve gone through hard times and come out the other side
Marriage is never a bed of roses.
All couples will go through hard times. It is how you deal with the ups and downs of life together that indicate how you will likely fair in a marriage.
It’s easy to be in love when everything is going well, but it’s the tough times that really show you what you are made of and define a relationship. Having someone who sticks by you is a big part of any partnership.
If you have faced certain trials, worked through your problems and come away stronger, it will prove to him that your relationship has longevity.
9) When he feels like he really knows the real you
It’s a funny fact of life that we always try to make the best impression when we first meet someone.
Dating can feel like a job interview in some ways. We always want to show our best qualities and portray ourselves in the very best light.
As time goes on we start to feel more comfortable and it becomes safer to let our guard down and let those vulnerabilities show. But for all our fear of being truly seen, ironically, this is actually the exact time we really start to bond on a much deeper level.
At the root of all relationships lies authenticity and we can never really connect unless we allow ourselves to be who we really are.
10) When he feels loved and respected for who he really is
Nobody wants to be somebody’s project — whether it’s trying to change the way he dresses, pushing him to make a career move, or picking apart the life decisions he makes.
At the end of the day, we all want to be seen and valued for who we are, warts and all.
Even though there’s always room to grow — he’ll want to feel like you are happy with who he is right now, just the way he is, without trying to change or improve him.
Feeling accepted despite any shortcomings will help him to trust you, open up to you, and ultimately play a big part in deciding if he wants to marry you.
11) When he can see himself growing old with you
Even when a relationship seems to be going ok at the moment, there’s a huge difference between good enough for now and forever.
Getting old with someone indicates a whole other level of comfort within the relationship.
If he can envisage beyond the sexiness of the present moment towards this sweeter and tender type of connection, it shows his feelings go beyond a shallow physical attraction.
12) When you have plenty in common
Opposites may attract but it also helps to have common ground in a relationship.
When you enjoy doing the same types of things it is easier to spend quality time together. If you hate all of his hobbies and he finds all your passions totally uninteresting, you may have to work a little harder.
When we share similarities in background, how we grew up, our habits and tastes — realistically it can make for an easier life.
There’s less likelihood of conflict the more we’re on the same page as our partner.
13) When you’re out of the honeymoon phase
The honeymoon phase is that time in your relationship when they can do no wrong in your eyes.
You’re flooded by the feel-good hormones and you can’t get enough of them.
This lasts for at least 3 months, sometimes longer depending on how much time you spend together.
It’s after this initial rush of hormones starts to die down that you get more and more glimpses of what the other person is really like to be within a relationship.
Our more ‘pain in the butt’ qualities come to the surface and we can make an objective decision on whether we’re a good fit.
Once he’s left the honeymoon phase, he will have a far better idea if he can deal with all it entails to be with you — the good, the bad, and the ugly.
14) When he shows you he is ready for marriage
If you have open communication in your relationship, you may know whether he is ready for marriage simply based on past conversations.
He may have openly told you where he stands.
But if you’ve never discussed it, his behaviour will still give big clues about the likelihood of whether he is ready.
If you have been dating for several years and marriage hasn’t even come up — this could be a sign that he’s not at that stage in his life where he is ready to settle down.
Similarly, if he has never dated other people for longer than a few months, his past behaviour may indicate that he isn’t looking for a long-term partnership yet.
15) When past experiences have given him enough perspective to know when it’s right
They say that every woman needs to kiss a few frogs before she finds her prince and the same goes for guys too.
Past relationships that didn’t work out or exes that put them through hell can all help to clarify what they do and don’t want from a potential partner.
When we have little experience of love it can be harder to understand our feelings. The more experience we gain, we learn what does or doesn’t work for us.
Some men will find it easier to recognize what they truly have when they have the context of comparing it to past relationships.
16) When his body tells him it’s right
And no, we’re not only talking about one very specific part of his body.
We may believe that we do all our thinking with our heads, but our bodies give off powerful signals about the way we feel.
Whilst going on a date with one person might bring non-stop butterflies, you may get zero from another. These physical signs are usually good indications of how much we like someone.
From knots in the stomach to a tingling feeling in the fingertips — there are lots of cues that give away strong positive emotions.
17) When he’s not worried about being potentially rejected
Even those couples who years later confess that they knew they wanted to marry their other half after the very first date, it doesn’t mean they actually asked hours after meeting.
Realistically, there are social expectations about what is an acceptable timeframe for significant milestones to take place in any relationship.
Some men may be considering how long they should wait before asking you to marry them. Let’s also not forget that doing the asking can be a vulnerable situation to put yourself in.
He’s more likely to propose when he is in a place where he feels confident about popping the question and isn’t overly concerned with any potential rejection.
18) When any practical obstacles standing in the way have been removed
How old you both are, whether you’re still in education, what’s going on at work, financial obstacles — or a host of other practical factors — may have held him back from popping the question at some time or another.
We don’t live in a fairytale and real-life restraints can often make all the difference.
When all the sensible hurdles have been overcome, it removes the barriers that may have been standing in the way before — even if he has emotionally been in the right headspace to get hitched for some time.
Relationships don’t come in a cookie-cutter mold, which means there is no “perfect time” to get married or for when he may decide to propose.
If you are ready to take your relationship to the next level but have concerns he may not — the best thing to do is have an open and honest conversation about that.
If he is ready, you can move forward together knowing that you are on the same page.
If he isn’t, as painful as that may initially feel to hear that, at least you can make an informed decision about where you want your relationship to go from there.
If marriage is what you ultimately want, there is nothing wrong with that, but it’s also not the be-all and end-all.
Many people still have healthy and long-lasting commitments to one another without ever getting married.
It’s just about deciding what is best for you, your other half, and your relationship together.
The real reason why men pull away
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