Why He Hasn't Proposed (Yet)
His Parents' Marriage Didn't Make It
Our parents' relationship offers us our first glimpse of the pros and cons of marriage, so if his mom and dad communicated best through lawyers, saying "I do" might be a huge don't. "I know a few guys who remember their parents' relationship as being full of poison, and the idea of marriage brings up the pain they felt when their parents divorced," says Steve, 31, of Boston. "So instead of proposing to the women they loved, they broke things off when it got to that point in their relationships."
He's Focused on His Career
Many men place the same emphasis on their career as some women do on their relationship status, which means that unless he's made a name for himself at the office, he likely won't be asking you to take his. Lisa Daily, author of How to Date Like a Grown-Up, says, "Most men want to have all their ducks in a row before proposing — they want to feel secure about their career prospects and financial situation before taking on a wife."
He's Afraid of Boredom
Just as you want to enjoy the excitement of something new and mysterious, so do men. "A lot of guys realize they are going to live to be 80, which means they will have to deal with the same person for 50 to 55 years," says Dave, 32, of Chicago. "And unless there's an effort to keep things exciting, that can get monotonous."
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He's Turned Off by Weddings
"A lot of men think the whole wedding industry makes a mockery of marriage, and they get really turned off by how obsessed women get with it," says Harold, 34, from Chicago. "It's really unattractive when a woman you love freaks out about napkins, and it makes a lot of men wonder why women are so into getting married. Is it the diamond and the party or him?"
He's Not Ready to Be a Dad
Mark, 33, from Sacramento, California, says his uncertainty about wanting kids at all is keeping him from popping the question. "I don't know if I want to have children, and I don't want to make a life-long commitment until I know where I stand," he says.
He's Not Done Sowing His Wild Oats
You might be The One, but some guys have a hard time letting go of the possibility of being with other women. "The most common thing I hear around marriage from men is, 'If I get married, this will be the last woman I ever sleep with,'" says Daily.
He's Afraid He'll Have to Give Up His Dreams
"The thing that stands out for me is the fear of settling down and forgoing my dreams," says Eric, 27, of Ann Arbor, Michigan. "I saw my guy friends get married, immediately buy a house, have kids and eventually let go of their dreams. I feel that I still want to pursue my career goals, have adventures and be able to make last-minute decisions without informing someone. I'll propose when I get that out of my system … or meet a girl willing to work with me on that."
He Can't Afford the Ring
"My girlfriend wants at least a one-carat ring. I'm starting to find out that my new career paths are not likely to make me a great deal of money, and that aggravates my worries that she will not want to stick around for life," says Frank*, 32, of Los Angeles.
*Name has been changed
He's Afraid Marriage Will Change You
"A lot of guys hear that a woman will change once she gets married and that the happiness and mystery you enjoyed in the marriage goes away when the honeymoon is over," says Steve, 33, of Charlotte, North Carolina. "When you think about that and combine it with the idea that you no longer have an easy out if it goes sour, it can be a deterrent."