If you've been with your partner for a while and you're ready to take the next step, but they seem content to stay where things are, it can be frustrating. Sometimes you need to tackle this head-on and have a conversation about your future.
As challenging as this may be, it can help you to gain clarity and understand if you are moving forward on the same trajectory. Here are a few things you can do if your partner won't propose.
Talk to your partner about why you want to get married
If you want to move your relationship forward but your partner is resisting, it’s time to put the issue out in the open. Initiate a conversation with your partner about the idea of getting married and why this is important to you.
Do you want to get married for purely practical reasons, or do you simply want to feel like your relationship is moving forward? Be honest with yourself about why you want to get married and then communicate this to your partner.
An important part of communication is also listening, so be prepared to listen to the reasons why they are hesitant to advance the relationship.
Find out if your partner is ready for marriage
Talking about marriage isn't always the easiest conversation, but if you're thinking about taking your relationship to that level, it's important to discuss it honestly with your partner.
Have an honest conversation about what each of you wants and needs in a marriage. Ask if they are currently on board, or if not, clarify their feelings and figure out what factors may influence their readiness for marriage and when they think they'd like to reach that point.
Be sure to actively listen to their timeline and try to be understanding of any circumstances that arise. Open dialogue is key in this sort of decision-making process, so bring up any concerns you have as the conversation progresses.
Look for a compromise
If you find yourself in a situation where you and another person aren't getting along, try to compromise. Even if it's just temporary, compromising could be the answer.
It might not always work out perfectly, but that's usually when two people can sit down and come up with a different arrangement or agreement so both parties can feel heard and respected.
Compromising won't always solve every conflict right away, but if you're willing to give it a go it could save you from the pressure of not being able to stick to one plan.
For example, you might agree to continue with the relationship for another year, and then revisit the conversation. You might also agree to work on specific issues you might have before you have the conversation about marriage again.
Don't put pressure on your partner
It can be really tempting to want things on a timeline when you're in a relationship. Sometimes, it can feel like an eternity when your partner isn't where you think they should be. The thing is, everyone has a different pace that works for them and putting unnecessary pressure on your partner can end up having the opposite of the intended effect.
Everyone takes their own sweet time to open up or make decisions and if your partner needs more time than you do, that doesn't make them any less committed to the relationship. On the contrary, it shows consideration for each other and patience is ultimately rewarding – however long it takes.
However, if they tell you that they don’t see marriage in their future, or that they don’t see a long-term future with you, be prepared to walk away. If someone is telling you they cannot see a long-term future with you, you shouldn’t stick around to see if they change their mind.
Remember that marriage is a joint decision
As romantic as it would be if someone you care about decided to pop the question, it's important that they should make that decision on their own. Remember to give them the space they need to decide if asking you to marry them is something that they actually want to do.
Even if you are ready for marriage, respect their wishes until the time is right and they have come around to proposing on their terms. Go ahead and make your feelings known, but ultimately, let them take charge of when and how (or if!) they will get down on one knee.
Start planning the wedding, or walk away
Making the decision to get married is incredibly exciting, and a time full of dreams and hopes for the future. Now that you’re both on the same page, it’s time to start planning your wedding! It might seem daunting at first – there are so many details to sort through – but it’s also an amazing journey.
If you learn that your partner has no intention of marrying, it’s time to reconsider if you want to continue in the relationship. Sticking around and hoping that your partner will change their mind could prove to be frustrating and a waste of time in the long-term. It may be better to walk away and focus on building a relationship with someone with the same goals and aspirations as you.
So, if you’d like your partner to pop the question but they are resisting, have a conversation with them first. Find out if they’re on the same page as you and make sure to respect their timeline – they may need more time than you do.
Your partner may also be telling you in an indirect way that they don’t see a future together. They might not want the relationship to end, but they may also not see it going anywhere. If this is the case, you need to be prepared to walk away.
Ultimately, it’s up to them whether or not they want to propose marriage, so don’t put any pressure on them. Just enjoy being together and let things unfold naturally.