The topic of marriage came up with more than one of my previous boyfriends and, after telling one of them that I had no intention of getting married anytime soon, if at all, he got mad and said he assumed we would because we already discussed moving in together. It was the first time marriage came up between him and I, but it wasn't the last. He continued to bring up the topic, and the more he did, the more I felt pressured. At one point, he said he didn't know if he could continue to date someone who couldn't even commit to engagement. We continued to date and things didn't work out for other reasons, but he had every right to want to end things if we had different views of where things would go. So, would you be able to date someone who doesn't want to get married even if you do? There are certain things to ask yourself that can help you decide if you should stay or go.
Why do you want to get married?
It may seem like a strange question, but the answer can actually make or break your current situation. If your answer is because you really believe in the institution of marriage, because you only want to have children while married, or any other similar answers, you may have a problem continuing in your relationship if he doesn't want to get married. If your answer is along the lines of saying you want to get married because of social pressures or because you believe it will help you to hold onto him, you may want to reevaluate whether those reasons are really worth walking away from your boyfriend.
Do you know why he doesn't want to get married?
There's a variety of reasons your guy might not want to get married -- parents and other close couples got divorced or are in bad marriages, he sees marriage as just a piece of paper or he wants to have an easy out should something happen as opposed to going through the divorce process. Don't pressure him, but you can't accept an answer of "I just don't want to get married." You have a right as his girlfriend to know why he doesn't want to take that step. It's nearly impossible to make a decision about what to do until the two of you really talk so you know where he stands. Regardless of his response, never tell him it's "stupid" or "wrong." Whether or not you agree, he feels that way for a reason, and he's going to interpret your insult of his response as you disregarding his feelings.
Are you willing to wait around?
You could wait awhile and see if he changes his mind, but his reasoning for not wanting to get married will likely play a big part in your decision. Depending on his response, you could try to talk things out with him and ease his concerns, but there are some concerns you can't simply talk out, or you may not want to, such as him not wanting to get married because he wants to have an easy way out of the relationship should he decide he wants to leave. You can't change his mind for him, all you can do is hope he changes it on his own. If you're willing to give him time to see if he changes his mind, know that there's no guarantee he will, even if he says he might.
Are you willing to never get married?
He may tell you he doesn't want to get married and refuses to even reconsider the issue. If that's the case, you could either stay in the relationship and count on never getting married or you could leave. If you stay with him knowing he's adamant about never wanting to get married, you can't have any expectations that things will change, which means you can't later blame him or get mad at him because you stayed in hopes he would reconsider and he never did. Whether you stay or go, your actions are your choice, and yours alone.
In this situation, your feelings are what truly matters. If that sounds selfish, it's because it is. You're the one that has to decide whether or not you want to live your life unmarried and your boyfriend has to make his own decisions based on what he believes is best for him. Neither of you should wake up unhappy every day -- getting married needs to be something both of you actually want to do instead of something both of you do, or don't do, because you gave in to what the other person wants. As much as you may want to get married, you can't convince someone to do something if they don't want to. Your life is the only one you have control over.
Ultimately, you need to decide what's best for you and what you really want. Ideally, you want to marry your boyfriend, but considering that's not currently an option, you have to decide what's more important to you -- getting married or staying with your boyfriend. The situation is far from easy, so take the time to evaluate what your boyfriend says and what you want, then follow what your heart, and mind, are telling you to do.
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