At the core of this issue is how differently men and women view marriage. For starters, most women are preparing to get married from day one, when they first fell in love with their daddy. Didn’t you and your friends pretend wedding? By contrast, how many little boys were playing wedding? For women, getting married is a dream-come-true; the culmination of the fantasy that began the first time they heard a fairy tale with a prince in it. Isn’t that what princes are for, to whisk the beautiful maiden off to his castle to live happily-ever-after? Sure, some of you are into your careers and postponing marriage, but if you follow any conversation between women, eventually they’ll get around to talking about men and their relationships with men.
In my research for my book, I discovered the two reasons that a man doesn’t get married:
- He’s not ready.
- You’re not the right one.
That’s it, there only two. You could be the right one, but if he’s not ready, he’s very likely to let you go. He may come back, but by then, you’ve continued with your quest and found a man who is ready. You see, men don’t fantasize about getting married. They know it will happen one day, as part of the process of growing up. But they usually don’t want to rush it unless they’re the type that lives in the moment and doesn’t pay much attention to the consequences of their actions. Most men are outward; they set and achieve goals, solve problems, accomplish things in the world. They don’t sit around and day-dream about what life will be like when they’re married. They’re too focused on being successful and creating security for the future. It’s the hunter instinct. Plan ahead and make sure everyone is safe and well-fed. If either of those things aren’t handled, he’s considered a failure. Not okay for a hunter. That’s why most men need to have a secure, stable job before they “take the plunge.”
So when a man gets old enough to think maybe he should start considering settling down, getting married and having a family, it’s a nuts-and-bolts decision, not a fantasy-come-true. Yes, he likes being married, likes the home a wife creates, his stature that grows among his peers and in his community and the stability it brings. But he also sees marriage as the time he gives up his freedom. Freedom to come and go as he pleases, to have sex with lots of beautiful women (his fantasy, by the way), and to focus on his career and himself. The biggest challenge, however, is the decision to take on the economic and emotional responsibility of another adult (you) and however many children the two of you have. For him, it’s all about needing to be a good enough provider to take care of your needs, a house, two cars, and the expenses that grow as children grow. This is huge for most men. That’s why, even though he may not want to even consider not having you in his life, he can’t seem to get the proposal out of his mouth, or if he does, he breaks the engagement, too overwhelmed with what it means to take on all of those responsibilities.
What does all this mean for you? Mostly, you get to feel what’s going on for him and how different his view of marriage is from yours. But even more, he now knows you understand what he’s going through, and that you won’t pressure him, at least for a while, so he can prepare himself for what he says he wants…to be married to you, the women he loves. This will make you indispensable to him because, more than anything he needs to feel understood. If he’s the right one, give him time, let him know you support him in what he has to go through, give him the understanding that he craves and he’ll think you’re the most amazing woman on the planet.