Love and marriage may go together like a horse and carriage, but let’s face it, love alone does not always mean marriage is on the cards.
Marriage is a special type of commitment that signals you are ready to take your love to the next level.
When we meet a special guy, we can’t help but wonder if he’s the one. He may feel like Mr. Right, but will he marry me?
In this article we’ll cover the strong signs he will marry you someday, along with the clear signs he’ll never marry you.
How long does it take a man to know he wants to marry you?
Maybe you’ve been patiently waiting for him to pop the question for some time now. Or perhaps you’re not quite at that stage yet, but you’re still curious to know if and when it will ever happen.
Before we dive into the strong signs that a man will or won’t marry you, it might be useful to talk about how long it takes a man to know he wants to marry you in the first place.
Whilst there may not be one definitive answer, because every man and every relationship is different, statistically speaking a man may know in around 6 or 7 months if he wants to tie the know with you.
According to a survey of 2000 engaged American men, they said it took them on average around 7 months to realize their partner was the one for them.
How do you tell if he will marry you? 15 signs he WILL
1) He talks about your long term future
Commitment comes in different forms, and a man doesn’t always need to get down on one knee to prove his commitment to you.
If you have discussions about the future and your expectations, it’s a powerful signal to you that he’s in this for the long haul.
He isn’t leaving it vague or open to interpretation, he makes future plans that involve you.
These may be practical, like arranging a vacation together, or they may be more theoretical, such as talking about where you would want to live in the future.
A man who is considering making you his wife will never be afraid to talk about his hopes, dreams, and plans with you.
2) You’re practically part of his family
Meeting the family is often a big milestone in any relationship.
It shows you have reached a new stage of intimacy, as we don’t ordinarily bring just anyone into our inner circle.
As relationship expert Rori Sassoon told Insider, this phase is significant because it says alot about the connection you have.
“It’s not about the length of time that you know them … it’s about the emotional feeling that you have with each other, the bond you have made, your shared goals, and how well you know what works for you both.”
That’s why being introduced to his family is a great sign for future wedding bells. And if you are already a firm fixture at family events, then you’re practically halfway down the aisle already.
3) He doesn’t let you down
Grand gestures can be very romantic and sweep you off your feet, particularly in the beginning of a relationship. But it’s actually far more humble and solid foundations that the strongest of partnerships rely on.
Consistency is key in anything we commit to in life, and our relationships are no different.
Being dependable and reliable is not only a sign of emotional maturity, it’s also a sign of dedication.
The small devotions like always being on time, not cancelling plans with you, and actually following through with his promises are the actions that pave the way towards lasting love.
4) He sticks around when the going gets tough
Life is full of ups and downs and relationships will constantly be tested.
Fair weather boyfriends are likely to hightail it out of there as soon as you stumble upon more challenging times.
But if your guy is supportive through the bad times and shows up for your relationship when you have problems, then you have yourself a keeper.
It shows you that he understands that love in the real world is not a fairytale, and that he is ready for the reality that marriage takes hard work.
5) He opens up emotionally
There are many forms of intimacy within a relationship which help us to create a strong bond.
There’s intellectual intimacy, where we share our ideas and thoughts with one another.
There’s physical intimacy through sex and other forms of touch. There’s the intimacy of shared experiences together.
Some relationships may have all of these things but still only last a few months. That’s because for a healthy relationship to make it long term, there needs to be a strong sense of emotional intimacy.
As marriage counselor and licensed psychotherapist, Rachel Wright, points out:
“If emotional intimacy is lacking, [one or both of you] may feel a lack of safety, love, support, overall connection, and it also will most likely affect the physical intimacy in a romantic relationship. It’s not sustainable long-term to have a romantic relationship without emotional intimacy.”
6) He uses “we” more than “me”
If you’re looking for secret clues as to whether he’s going to marry you, pay close attention to the language he uses.
This could reveal the deeper psychology of how he sees you and your relationship.
A man who uses “we” more than “me” is a man who is a team player.
It tells you that inside his head, he already feels half of a partnership. He is considering you in his thoughts, plans, and actions.
Marriage means becoming a unit, so this type of language is a good indicator he is starting to think like a double act.
7) You’re included in his most important decisions
Healthy relationships will always maintain a good amount of independence and autonomy.
At the end of the day, marriage is the joining of two already whole people, rather than two halves that will somehow complete one another.
But marriage will always require compromise and deep consideration. Within a marriage, you can no longer think solely of yourself and what is better for you.
That means important life decisions are something you need to discuss, because they will impact you both.
If he is thinking of marriage and a long-term future with you, he’s going to make sure he not only discusses big choices with you, but factors you into them.
8) He sacrifices for you
If you are really heading down the marriage route, you will undoubtedly be one of his main priorities in life.
Rather than take you for granted, he will be prepared to make sacrifices for the sake of your relationship.
These may be small token gestures, like staying home with you when you’re sick rather than going out with the guys. But it will also be those more significant acts like moving because you get a job somewhere new.
No matter how he shows it, if he sees you as his future wife he will already be thinking like a husband by sacrificing his time, energy, money, and freedom for you.
9) He is ready for commitment
The average age when people are getting married is creeping up. Perhaps because many of us are waiting until we feel ready for the serious commitment that comes along with getting hitched.
Maybe with good reason too, as relationship readiness has been shown in studies to prove an important factor in whether you stay together.
The author of one such study, social psychologist Christopher Agnew says feeling ready makes practical differences to how you show up within the relationship.
“Those who report greater commitment-readiness tend to think and act differently: They behave in ways that maximally facilitate the development of a new relationship…More specifically, they pay more attention to their physical appearance, view the notion of closeness with another more positively, think more often about dating, and have greater confidence that they will be successful in forming a relationship.”
10) The rest of his life is in order
Being at the right stage of your life is important when you’re considering marriage.
Marriage isn’t just a declaration of love, it’s also a commitment of plenty of practical things like time, money, and emotional energy too.
Feeling like he is in a place in life where he can provide a stable home life can be important to a man before popping the question.
He may want to make sure he is financially sound, has finished his studies, and is in a good place career-wise before he contemplates settling down.
11) His friends are getting married
When a man starts to see his friends tying the knot, he’s probably more likely to consider it too.
As unromantic as it might sound, when a guy’s friends graduate to this next phase of life he no longer has as many pals to go out and party with.
The free and single life starts to fade and he isn’t getting FOMO at the thought of being curled up on the sofa with you on an evening instead of trawling the bars.
Seeing his closest friends commit to married life can encourage him to take this step himself.
12) You’ve discussed marriage
“My boyfriend says he wants to marry me someday”. Discussing the prospect of getting married at some point is obviously a great sign.
And it’s not just because he can see himself tying the knot with you, it’s also a good sign of communication within your relationship.
Dead end relationships that aren’t going anywhere often have one very significant thing in common (no matter how well they seem to be going) — one or both partner doesn’t communicate their needs or wants.
We can be so afraid of rocking the boat that we keep schtum about our desires for the future.
So if you are both vulnerable enough to discuss mature topics like marriage, it shows you can open up and communicate well.
13) You know he wants a family
Some men just seem more built for marriage. Rather than scare them, they look forward to creating a family unit.
There may be a false sexist stereotype of men seeing marriage as a “ball and chain” whilst women drag them reluctantly down the aisle.
But the truth is that plenty of men can’t wait to settle down.
If you know that your guy wants to get married at some point or perhaps wants to have children, then there’s more chance of this happening with you.
14) You’re already living together (relatively hiccup-free)
Plenty of relationships seem like plain sailing, until you start living together.
Being under the same roof changes the dynamic, and many partnerships cannot adjust.
Leaving the toilet seat up, dirty socks on the floor, hair in the plughole — it may sound trivial but these little irritations all add up.
According to research, nearly 1 in 10 couples won’t make it through the first 4 to 6 months of living together.
The good news is that the longer you cohabit, relatively harmoniously, those chances of splitting start to reduce.
For example, the percentage of couples who break up after five or more years of cohabiting drops to 6%.
15) He wants to protect you
A psychological theory called the hero instinct says that men are biologically programmed to want to defend the woman they love.
This isn’t some outdated sexist caveman notion, it’s genetic. Buried deep within his DNA, when a guy loves you, he will strive to protect you.
This may show up in simple everyday actions like sticking up for you, walking on the outside of you to shield you from traffic, and wanting to help you solve your problems.
The more you trigger a man’s hero instinct, the more the relationship is set up for long-lasting success.
How do you know if he will never marry you? 15 signs he WON’T
1) He’s flaky
Marriage involves consistency. Before you reach that stage you’ll need to see in his actions that he is stable, emotionally mature, and available to you.
Flaky guys who aren’t true to their word don’t exactly scream dependability.
If you still have to chase after this guy or keep him in line, then chances are he’s not ready for the steadiness of marriage.
Sadly love and passion alone aren’t enough. Marriage is built on a more enduring foundation that requires real maturity.
2) He says he doesn’t believe in marriage
If ever there was a red flag that you’re dating a man who doesn’t want to marry you it’s when he flat out tells you he doesn’t believe in marriage.
If he makes remarks like “Marriage is a social construct” or “It’s just a piece of paper” then he is telling you how he really feels and you should heed those words.
Even joking about marriage being “the death of man’s freedom” or “like a life sentence” lets you know what he really thinks.
If marriage is important to you, but it isn’t to him, don’t expect him to suddenly wake up one day and change his mind.
3) He’s already kept you hanging on for a long time
You’ve been together for ages and you’ve been ready to get hitched for a long time. You find yourself constantly saying to your girlfriends “why won’t he marry me after 7 years?!”
According to research, the longer couples wait to make their first serious commitment (either moving in or marriage) the better their chances for marital success.
But sadly what is also true in a relationship is that what has gone before you is a strong indicator of your future.
So don’t be surprised if you find yourself asking “why won’t he marry me after 10 years” or “why won’t he marry me after 20 years”.
Because in many cases the longer your relationship goes on without him popping the question, the less likely he ever will.
4) He’s unfaithful
If you’re wondering to yourself, ‘what are signs not to get married?’ then at the top of your list should always be that he doesn’t treat you how you deserve.
If there is a history of infidelity, don’t expect that to disappear just because you finally get him to commit.
Hoping that marriage will make him change his cheating ways is setting you up for heartbreak.
5) His life is a bit of a mess
The last man I dated, despite being in his thirties, pretty much lived like a student still.
For a while I ignored this obvious sign of incompatibility, choosing to focus on the qualities we did have in common instead.
But eventually, there was no avoiding the fact that we weren’t at the same stage of life, and so ultimately we weren’t looking for the same things.
I’m ready for a long-term commitment, and he was still living with half a dozen roommates and taking each day as it comes.
If your man can’t hold down a job, stays up all night and sleeps through the day, or is drifting through life aimlessly, then don’t hold your breath that he’s going to get his act together anytime soon.
6) He doesn’t stick to things
The more seriously a man takes other commitments in his life, the more likely he is to treat his relationship with dedication too.
Impulsive, inconsistent, and fickle guys are less likely to be prepared for what it takes to make a marriage work.
If he has shown a behaviour pattern of quitting or giving up easily, then it suggests he is still figuring himself out in life. He may not yet know what he really wants.
7) He’s all talk and no action
Beware the smooth talker who doesn’t back up his words with actions.
No matter what stage of your relationship you are at, guys who are all talk are bad news.
He may make grand promises to you, but does he take the steps to make them happen?
Perhaps he tells you that he will propose when X, Y, Z are in place, but doesn’t actually do anything about it.
Or he is vague with his commitment, and just says “one day” it will happen, when what you want from him is a time frame.
8) He hasn’t integrated you into his life
Marriage is the union of two individuals, two separate lives, and two separate families.
If he sees you as marriage material he will be making moves to integrate you into his life.
That means you will have met his friends, his family will know exactly who you are, and you will get invited to important events.
If this isn’t happening, and he seems to keep many elements of his life separate or even secret from you, chances are he doesn’t see you two as a team yet.
9) He says he’s not ready
Sometimes a man will explicitly tell a woman something, and because it’s not what she wants to hear she will ignore it.
Rather than face the disappointment of accepting what he is telling her, she chooses to hope for the best and believe that one day he may change his mind.
I know I’ve been guilty of this in the past and I suspect I’m not the only one. But the reality is that this is setting yourself up for disappointment.
If a man says he is not ready for marriage, then he is not ready.
Rather than trying to change his mind, it is better to decide whether this is ok for you or whether you want to find someone who is ready.
10) You break up all the time
Going back and forth in a relationship is ultimately a sign of instability.
Being stuck in cycles of breaking up and making up can signal compatibility issues, that one of you is emotionally unavailable, that your feelings aren’t strong enough or that you can’t deal with conflict in a healthy way.
For him to want to marry you he’s going to want to know that the foundations of your relationship are strong.
He isn’t going to propose if he thinks deep down there’s a strong chance you’re not going to go the distance and it will only end in divorce.
11) He doesn’t feel essential to you
I mentioned earlier the hero instinct — the psychological theory that a man is genetically programmed to need certain things from the woman he loves.
According to James Bauer, the relationship expert and psychologist who coined the phrase, one of the key factors in a man truly committing to a woman is whether he feels “essential” to her.
If he doesn’t feel respected and needed by you, he is more likely to go cold, start to get wandering eyes, and remain uncommitted.
12) He doesn’t make you a priority
We all have many priorities in life to juggle, and sometimes work, family, friends, etc will need to come first.
But if you do not consistently feature at the top of his priority list it spells trouble.
If he doesn’t want to put you first in his life, then it tells you he is not ready to make you his wife.
13) He goes hot and cold
A guy who plays hot and cold with you may not be emotionally available.
As soon as things get too intimate or real, he freaks out and starts to back off.
He may have strong feelings for you but isn’t ready for a relationship, or he may not see a long-term future with you.
Either way, coming on strong only to withdraw again is a clear indication that he’s not going to marry you.
14) You feel insecure about the relationship
Your feelings and emotions are powerful signals and you should listen to them.
If you feel insecure and unsure about where you stand in your relationship, you’re not being crazy, that comes from somewhere.
Psychologists think that intuition relies on powers of pattern-matching, as the mind searches experiences stored in the memory for similar situations and then presents in-the-moment judgments based on them.
So your gut feeling that he will never marry you is probably based on 1001 little things that silently tell you that something isn’t quite right.
15) He avoids commitment
If you want to know ‘will he ever marry me or am I wasting my time?’ then it’s a good idea to take a look at how capable he seems of commitment in general.
If he is forever telling you he wants to ‘live in the moment’, or if when you try and discuss the future he says things like “how can we know what’s going to happen, let’s just enjoy the now” be rest assured he isn’t thinking of marriage anytime soon.
Sure, staying in the present is important, but when we are working towards a shared common goal, we also need to prepare for the future.
To conclude: What makes a man want to marry you?
There’s no one thing that makes a man want to marry you, and the qualities every guy is looking for from his future wife will differ.
You two will probably have shared values, a similar outlook on life, strong chemistry, and be generally compatible.
He will most likely be at a stage in life where he feels ready to take that step, and has the other pieces of his life in place.
One thing is for sure though, for a guy to commit to marriage, he must really love you and be able to see a future with you.
If you’re tired of waiting and want to step things up a gear, then check out ‘How to get a man to marry you within 12 months’ for practical tips that will make him finally say “I do”.
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