Do not threaten your man into marriage. There are other ways

Cut your losses if he is rigidly against getting married.

Cut your losses if he is rigidly against getting married.

What you need to know:

  • Men hardly discuss marriage, even when they are seriously thinking about it.
  • Your man may have no intention of marrying you but he will not tell you unless you ask.
  • If your mate is not affectionate or is struggling to show it, or you don’t feel affectionate towards him, chances are high that the proposal may not be forthcoming.

According to psychologist Dr. Chris Hart, if a man is going to propose, it is the woman who will make it happen. Most men have to be led down the aisle. “There are three critical steps that will get a man to propose,” says Dr. Hart. Affection, openness, and sharing. “You have to be genuinely affectionate, which entails simple things like touching, sitting close together, and even secret smiles.”

The secret sign

If your mate is not affectionate or is struggling to show it, or you don’t feel affectionate towards him, chances are high that the proposal may not be forthcoming. “You should feel truly able to share your important secrets with him, knowing that he will keep what you say to him to himself,” says family therapist Rosina Mruttu. Can you tell your man that you don’t like a certain habit about his best friend, or his mother’s cooking with confidence that he will understand, keep your secret, and defend your position? If he keeps your secret, you are a step closer to making him propose. Couples who are unable to share secrets hardly get married regardless of the number of years they spend living together. “If two years have gone by without a proposal, you should begin to make him get to commit,” he says.

Speak up

Your man may have no intention of marrying you but he will not tell you unless you ask. “Men are reluctant to propose. Maybe because they are wimps and, or are scared of being rejected,” says Dr. Hart. A man will only propose when you let him know that it is what you want. If you are together for over a year, tell him about marriage. Less than one  in ten men realise that dating for a year and being in love means getting married.” Do not give him hints. If you want him to do it, tell him but do not threaten him. For instance, if you say “We have to get married or else I’ll walk out,” he will likely tell you to walk out. If you say that you will start looking for a man who is ready to settle down, he will readily tell you to go ahead!

The reaction

Men hardly discuss marriage, even when they are seriously thinking about it. “In about 70 percent of couples, it is the woman who speaks about marriage first,” says Dr. Hart. Bear in mind that men don’t react well when marriage is first discussed. He might be dismissive, walk out or say he is not ready to get married and wouldn’t be ready anytime soon. Don’t take this at face value. It does not necessarily mean that he has rejected you or doesn’t want to settle down in marriage with you. It’s a stress reaction. Give him time to digest it, and then raise it again. Cut your losses if he is rigidly against getting married.

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