8 reasons why your boyfriend hasn't proposed yet

image: Drew Coffman/Unsplash

You’ve been with your boyfriend for several years, but he doesn’t seem to be making any plans to pop the question anytime soon. Though you may be antsy about this situation, pressuring your boyfriend with a barrage of questions is the last thing you want to do.

Instead of worrying silently while fending off invasive (but well-intentioned) questions about marriage from your relatives and friends, find out why he’s holding back from proposing. Here are some of the most common reasons behind some men’s hesitance to popping the question.


#1 He’s saving up for the wedding

A wedding is no small matter, and your boyfriend may simply be waiting until he has enough money saved up to propose to you. Since this is a one-in-a-lifetime event, he may want to save up enough for an ostentatious wedding of your dreams. However, if your dream wedding involves much less grandeur and frills, or if you don’t mind tightening the purse strings on your wedding fund, let him know that you’re perfectly alright with a smaller budget-friendly ceremony. Alternatively, you may offer to lighten his financial load by contributing to the wedding budget.



#2 He’s comfortable the way you are

Your boyfriend’s lack of initiative may leave you feeling like your love life’s plateaued, but in his eyes, that’s not that case – he may just be extremely comfortable with your current arrangement. Right now, he’s enjoying all the perks of a long-term and committed relationship with you, sans all the added responsibilities and boundaries that comes with married life.

He could be reluctant to let go of the freedom and personal time he currently has, and worries that by proposing, he’ll be weighed down by responsibilities that inevitably come with marriage and starting a family. Reassure your boyfriend by letting him know that although he may have to take on more responsibilities as a married man, you’re more than willing to split this burden as his wife. Let him know that he’ll still have his freedom and privacy once married, and that both of you will still have time and space to yourselves whenever you need it, and the freedom to hang out with your peers.


 8 reasons why your boyfriend hasn't proposed yet

Image: Andrik Langfield/Unsplash


#3 He has career goals to accomplish first

If your man has just started out at a new company, or has just gotten a new position at work, he may be trying to find his footing, and get used to his new responsibilities or workplace first before proposing. This doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s prioritising his job over you, but it certainly means that there are certain levels of instability in his life that he needs time getting used to.

On the other hand, some men may have certain positions and goals in mind, and may want to attain them before taking a big step forward and proposing. During that time, show your support by being patient with him, and make sure that you both communicate clearly and frequently – understand his career goals and work out how long the both of you should wait before finally deciding to get hitched.   



#4: The both of you have conflicting ideals and ideologies:

This may be a tough pill to swallow, but perhaps the both of you have wildly different career aspirations or ideals for future family life that he’s deliberating over. Maybe he’s eyeing a job position that will take him to a country halfway across the world while you prefer to stay close to your peers and parents, or maybe he would like to have children in future, while you shudder at the thought of having kids.

The both of you have extremely differing plans for the future, and sometimes your ideals may directly conflict with that of your boyfriend’s. In such cases, it’d be selfish to ask either party to give in entirely – this is only the rest of your lives you’re talking about. Have a serious sit-down session with him and establish your priorities in life and work out your opposing aspirations in life. See if ultimately, your paths align, and try to reach a compromise if it does.


#5 His family’s opinion of you:

Another difficult situation for you to conquer—when the disapproval is coming from your boyfriend’s family. Though the both of you may go together like coffee and cake, your boyfriend’s mother staunchly disagrees with you, affecting his willingness to propose. Whether it’s your career choices, religion, or even physical appearance (which happens sometimes, as petty as that may seem) that she personally disagrees with.

You may feel a strong need to please your dissatisfied future in-laws, but just remember that ultimately, you’ll be marrying your boyfriend, not his family. If they needle you over small things, like the way you dress for example, try compromising and dressing in a way that you know they’d approve of during family functions. However, if they nit-pick on greater issues that you can’t compromise on, let your man know that your stance is firm.


#6: He’s having (minor) monetary Issues:

Maybe he’s slowly (but surely) paying back his student loans, or maybe he’s struggling to make ends meet on certain months. This lack of financial stability has got him on edge and he’s unwilling to make the next step in your relationship because of that. In this case, your boyfriend will most probably prefer to reach a certain level of financial stability first before adding a wife (and later on, children) onto his list of responsibilities. This may be his way of showing that he cares about you, since he’s unwilling to dump his financial burden on you, and is trying to resolve this issue first before opening a new chapter in both of your lives together. 

If this is the issue at hand, try getting him to open up about his financial struggles, and work together in resolving the matter, which will allow you to gauge whether holding a wedding would be possible, or if you’ll have to wait a few more months before you reach that level of financial stability. Speaking of which, here are 5 awkward financial conversations every couple needs to have


#7 He’s afraid of rejection

Rejection is never easy to handle, and if he’s a shy one, the fear of you rejecting his proposal may be a hurdle that he needs to cross in order to pop the question. Subtly ease his worries by giving him the affirmation he needs: let him know that you appreciate and love him for who he is and that he doesn’t need to perform any grand gestures of love to prove himself as a worthy fiancé, like some kind of suitor from a cheesy romance novel.

Or, if you’re feeling extra bold and the timing is just right, turn the tables on societal norms and propose to him instead!


 8 reasons why your boyfriend hasn't proposed yet

Image: Oziel Gómez/Unsplash


#8: He’s simply waiting for the right moment:

You know that both of you check all of each other’s boxes, and that you could basically be his Ms Right. Then why hasn’t he proposed yet? Well, he could simply be waiting for the right moment to pop the question! He could be eyeing an auspicious date or a day that has significance to the both of you (your birthday, or the day the both of you first met, for example) to pop the question. If he’s been acting shifty and seems to be planning something behind your back, these may just be the long-awaited signs of a proposal in the making.