Skip to Content

Why Wont He Propose?! 14 Reasons Why Your Boyfriend Hasn’t Proposed

Looking for reasons why wont he propose? 

Whether you are wondering why he won’t marry me after 5 years {or even just after 1 short year of dating each other} – we have the signs to help you work out WHY!

There are a myriad of reasons why your boyfriend won’t propose but we have narrowed down the 14 main reasons your boyfriend might be holding off making the plunge.

Why Wont He Propose?! 14 Reasons Why Your Boyfriend Hasn’t Proposed

He’s not ready for marriage

Wondering when will he promise. Consider this, maybe he’s just not ready for marriage. Women tend to be ready for commitment and marriage earlier than men.

Sometimes, much earlier than men. Depending on an endless number of factors, the two of you may never be on the same wavelength.

A few ways you can tell that he’s not ready, may be: he hasn’t introduced you to his family, he changes the subject when marriage comes up, he still looks at other women, he hasn’t made you his priority, conversation about the future doesn’t include you, he never brings the topic of marriage up, he as a fear of commitment and/or big decisions, and he never asks you about your future goals.

Just because he’s not ready now, doesn’t mean he’ll never be ready, so you should be patient, especially if you’re still in the first two years.

Conversely, you don’t want to bury your head in the sand, and wait ten years before determining that he’ll never be ready, or at least, ready to marry you. If you want kids, this can be an especially distinct reason for making this a topic you discuss earlier on in the relationship.

See more: Signs he wants to marry you soon

You’re not the one for him

You’re not the one for him. Okay, this is a tough one to read, but take a breath, and then a step back for a minute. You may not be the one for him, and it’s likely, that you feel the same way, deep down inside.

Be honest with yourself, and look at the relationship, what he gives you, what you expect, and what you give to him. Does it match what you’re really searching for?

If you find that you, or both of you, have to compromise a lot in the relationship, or you can’t rely on him to keep his word, you may already be frustrated anyway.

Add to that, there are things you’d really like him to change about himself; his beliefs or his habits. It’s rare to find one partner who is truly happy, when the other isn’t.

He may ask you to change too, and that should be a red flag. Maybe you keep talking about having, or not having kids, and you have different opinions. He my be biding his time with you, until someone better matched comes along, or it may be that you’ve fallen into a rut, and need to make a clean break.

See more: When you meet the right man

He’s been married before, and is leery to try it again.

Given the current state of marriage in modern times, it’s not surprising for a man who has been married previously, to be skeptical of tying the knot again. If his previous marriage(s) fell apart, who’s to say that the next one will work out?

He will likely be cautious of getting into a legally bound commitment again, unless or until, he is very confident that it will work out. It may also be that he feels the freedoms of being unmarried, have more a benefit than the joys of being married.

Of course, there may be other reasons too, such as he financial situation (which may have been brutalized in the last divorce), or that he likes the freedom, or that he isn’t over the previous breakup. If you and your partner openly discuss marriage, then he should be able to verbalize why he won’t commit to matrimony.

If his past experience made him believe that marriage ruins the beautiful connection between two people, he has reason to be hesitant. Only time will tell if those reasons fall away to his feelings for you.

See more: Best Places in the world to propose

why wont he propose

He thinks its too early in your relationship to propose

There are endless theories on how soon a couple should even contemplate getting married. Some people say, “when you know it’s right, you just know”, while others might state that you should know someone no less than two years, because after the honeymoon phase is over, you’ll finally get to see the “real” them.

Regardless of which school of thought is prevalent, if your man thinks it’s too early to propose marriage, but he’s still open to discussing it, then you may just have to wait a bit. It’s likely that, if you’re spending quality time with him, you both should know if it’s moving in down the marriage path after a year or so.

That’s enough time to see his warts, and decide that you still want him, but not so soon that you’re considered crazy, and not to distant a time frame to feel like you’re holding out for a miracle. 

Why Wont He Propose? He thinks that you want the wedding, more than him.

The reality is that men have feelings too. Sometimes, it can be easy to forget that, because our society conditions men to “be strong” and keep those feelings locked deep inside.

They may never show their vulnerability to anyone. But men may also believe that women are conditioned to “catch a man”, thus, if you have not shown him that it is truly him, and not the event, that you want, he may be reluctant to pop the question. And this may be the time to double, or even triple check that you do truly want him, and not just the wedding.

Women may feel pressured from society to get married by a certain age, and it can affect self-esteem if that doesn’t happen. But if you and your guy have had an open conversation about your relationship, marriage, and the future, this scenario shouldn’t ring true. (pun intended) You can’t force someone to marry you, and if you’re trying, then it’s time to evaluate why you are. When both of you are sure, the proposal will come.

He doesn’t trust you with his heart.

Ouch, that one hurts. If he doesn’t trust you, take a breath, then an emotional step back to see if it’s an issue with him, or with you. If he doesn’t trust you because you’ve shown a pattern of cheating, for instance, then he has reason not to trust you with his heart.

You might try individual counseling, and couples counseling to address the issue. If, on the other hand, you’ve been nothing but doting to him, and he claims that every other woman I his past (allegedly) cheated on him, then it may be him. You might know his family history, and his mother was notorious for cheating, and that’s a latent fear he has to overcome.

This may also be a good case for counseling, or some other course on working through trust issues. Lastly, he might not trust you, because he’s projecting. He is the one cheating, but pushing it onto you, as a defense mechanism. This one is your call. The bottom line is, if you both trust each other, then he will learn to give you his heart unconditionally.

You’re sending him signals that you’re not ready, or don’t think he’s the one you’ll marry.

Take a look at what signals you’re sending him- Are they signals of love and trust? Do you say, and act as if you wish to get married? If so, do you make it clear that you want to marry him specifically? You may not be ready for marriage, because you’re working on yourself, or your career.

There is no age limit to marriage. If you choose to wait, then you should let your partner know that. If you’re just hanging around this particular man until the one you feel is marriage material shows up, you’re doing both of you a disservice. If you do want to get married, and you do want to marry this man, then perhaps you need to look at why you might be projecting the opposite to him.

Is there something in your gut that you need to listen to? Are you head and heart saying different things? Some say that following your heart will lead to a more satisfying life, including, but not limited, to marriage. Ultimately, a good balance between head and heart will help you to marry the right person.


You want kids, and he doesn’t. Or vice-versa.

This subject is typically a deal breaker for couples. You can’t compromise on it, or find a way for both parties to be happy. You can’t replace a child with an animal and call it even. It’s likely that having a discussion about children early on in the relationship is warranted for this very reason.

Yes, there are people who didn’t want children earlier, whom may change their mind, as well as the opposite, but in general, most people know if they want kids or not. Or the scenario could be that one person in the couple can’t have kids biologically, and the other person is not open to alternatives, such as adoption, in vitro fertilization (IVR) or surrogacy.

Just like the two other big topics, money and religion, to have or not have children, is likely one of the most important things to agree on with your partner. If the man you’re with right now does not believe you agree, then it may be his deal breaker, and it may be why he has not popped the question. If this is a point of contention between you, understand that neither of you will be able to change each other’s mind, and nor, should you want to.

He isn’t aware that you want to get married, because you haven’t talked about it.

Some couples seem get into a rhythm so quickly and easily, that it’s almost like they’ve already been married forever. It may be that he thinks you’re already getting exactly what you need from the relationship, so why rock the proverbial boat.

And if you are getting exactly what you need, do you need him to propose? Is marriage going to improve your life with him? Or do you only want a proposal and to get married because it’s, “what you’re supposed to do”? Or were you taught that the bond of marriage is a more formal commitment, which is not to be taken lightly, therefore, harder to end?

If he hasn’t proposed, and you feel it’s been enough time, you’ve discussed it, you both feel the same way about each other and the big stuff, then maybe it’s time to address it directly. No beating around the bush, no hinting, just a straight up talk. That will put you two on the same page, and you won’t have to wonder why anymore.


Why your boyfriend won’t propose? He thinks you don’t need him.

It may go against logic, that men need to feel independent and self-reliant, while at the same time, feel needed by their woman, for financial, physical and emotional support, but that appears to be the way it is. This quandary has left many women confused and hurt.

In more recent generations, women have been taught to be hyper self-reliant. They don’t need any help, from anyone, and certainly not a man. But this creates the simple problem of genetics rearing their ugly head. Men need to be needed; it’s in their DNA.

It’s not being suggested that women play the hapless victim of life, wherein only a man can create a sense of order, but it is being suggested that you allow someone to be there for you. And that person should be, first and foremost, your man.

Being vulnerable enough to ask for, and receive help from him, will cement you in his heart. Let’s be honest, there are things in life that you’d rather not do anyway, so why not make him feel useful and relevant to your life, by allowing him to do it, even though it’s well known that you could do it yourself.

He has a fear of: commitment, change, loss of freedom, becoming a father, failure, rejection, etc.

There are a lot of fears, but some are more amplified than others. How many times have you heard some comment about things changing after you’re married?

You have to check with your spouse before spending money; you don’t get to hang out with your friends as much. It’s a wonder anyone gets married!

The list of things they fear is long and difficult, and our society is not as accepting of men’s fears, so they turn fear into something else, like anger, aloofness, or amusement. If you bring up marriage and he scoffs, this may be a red flag of a larger issue. It’s one thing to say he doesn’t want to discuss it now, or that it’s too soon, but all out dismissal of the idea, and discussion thereof, is, potentially, his fear coming out in a strange way.

The best relationships have worked out how to discuss topics which are truly uncomfortable. If you can’t discuss this with him, he may need to speak to a professional. If he refuses to do that, you may have to consider parting ways.

He’s saving money for a ring, and the wedding, first.

Men need to feel just as financially ready for marriage, as emotionally ready. Maybe even more so. You have likely told him about what type of wedding and ring you want, so if he’s going to propose, and understands how much those will cost, he may just be diving into saving up so that he can give you exactly what you want.

But how can you tell if that’s what’s going on? A few signs might be that he is more strict about his budget, he’s a bit more interested in how much vacation time you’ve accumulated at work, or he’s begun to ask you serious questions about life and your relationship.

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to hesitation regarding when a man might propose to a woman, but in general terms, if you two have a plan, he may just be fulfilling what he considers his end of the bargain. And for the record, if he’s suddenly mentioning your friends’ engagement rings, or making off handed remarks about rings in the window, those hints you can likely hold pretty close to your heart as “signs” that he’s moving towards that special question.


He thinks you’re too controlling.

So, what might that mean? It might mean that you insist on making all the plans and decisions, leaving him feeling more like a driver, than a boyfriend (or future husband).

It might mean that he feels more like your child than your partner. If you insist that he check in frequently during the day, get upset when he doesn’t respond right away, scold him for “doing it wrong” or buying the “wrong” product, you may be taking him for granted. If you control the purse strings, how often he sees his friends, or does activities without you, a fine line may have been crossed.

The good news is, if you’re considered controlling, it means that you know how to stand up for yourself in the partnership. And it also likely means that you know what you want, and won’t settle for less than you feel you deserve, plus you know how to verbalize those wants, via direct communication.

However, if you want to be with this man, you may need to abdicate your role as ‘controller’ and begin to work on a balance of power in your relationship.

Why wont he propose – You’re trying to be the right person for him, rather than just being yourself.

Why won’t he propose? Men can be intuitive, and if you’re pretending to be someone that you’re not, he’ll likely know. Worse yet, he may exploit the knowledge, and you’ll ultimately end up with less self-esteem than you began with. As you can imagine, that’s a bad plan for every woman.

There is only one “you” and he should be happy to be with that specific person, rather than someone pretending to be someone else. The tough part is that women are adept at meeting the needs of others, and being chameleon-like in most situations.

He needs a football buddy, that’s me! He needs an understanding woman who knows that he’s working really hard, and can’t do his own laundry, of course I’ll help out. Women are caretakers by nature, but we don’t need to lose ourselves for the privilege of being with a specific man.

If you have become a different person to meet the needs of a man, ultimately, you will not be able to keep it up. Eventually, the real you will appear, and she might be angry and resentful that she had to play the role so long, that she breaks up the relationship anyway. Do everyone a favor, and just be you. Either he’s the one who likes you, or he isn’t.


See more relationship advice: