You might think that if a guy says he doesn't want to get married in the future, he's hinting that he just doesn't see you as being a potential wife for him. But that's not always the case! Some people really don't want to get married, as in ever. So, how can you tell the difference between a guy who's not the marrying kind and a guy who just doesn't want to get married to you? There are a few important differences to note.
For example, a guy who doesn't want to get married to anyone will show signs of a lack of commitment in other areas of his life. Maybe he won't adopt a cat or take out a mortgage on his house because he doesn't want to be tied down to anything. On the other hand, a guy who wants to get married (but not to you) will be open to commitment and maybe he was even married to someone else in the past.
Here are 10 signs that he's not the type to get married and 10 signs that his lack of marriage desire is really about not seeing a future with you.
When he talks about his previous relationships, you can tell that he's big on casual dating. He doesn't really commit to women he dates, and he might even be calling your relationship casual or chill, so be careful. If you pin your hopes on this guy making things more serious, it could lead to serious heartache for you. He might just not want to be in a committed, serious relationship, and it's not about his feelings for you.
In fact, even if he genuinely likes you, it doesn't mean that those feelings he has will help him change his mind if he's avoiding long-term relationships.
The worst thing you can to is try to change him — it ain't gonna happen!
You might look for signs of commitment in how he treats you. As Elite Daily points out, examples of such signs include if he gives you the keys to his home or he speaks in terms of "we" instead of "I." Yes, those are important, but you should also pay attention to how he treats commitment in the rest of his life. Is he avoiding commitment by doing things like not getting too close to friends or family members, not getting a mortgage, or never being able to hold down a long-term job because he wants to be free of obligations. If he turns his back on commitment in other areas of his life, he'll probably do the same thing in his relationship with you.
It's not just his actions that tell you where he's at when it comes to commitment, but also what he says about marriage. If he straight up tells you that he doesn't believe in marriage or he just doesn't think it's worth having, this is a red flag that you shouldn't expect long-term commitment from him. He might even be more subtle about how he expresses his dislike of marriage. For example, by saying that he doesn't think a piece of paper is required to validate a relationship. But you know that marriage is about so much more than just a marriage certificate!
Tied to his dislike of marriage is his reaction to people in his life who tie the knot. If his friends get married and he makes negative comments about their life choices, that's a sign he's not the type who'll want to walk down the aisle in future. So, if he does things like roll his eyes at his best mate being madly in love, avoid weddings like the plague, or tease his engaged friend incessantly about how bad marriage is, those are all worth noting because they reveal a lot about his negativity toward commitment.
Lots of people get married without having kids, but sometimes marriage and parenthood are tied together. If he says he doesn't want children, ask him about marriage. You might find that he doesn't want this for his life, either. You see, if he doesn't see himself becoming a parent, he might not see a need for getting married. These ideas can clash with your future relationship goals, which is why it's so important to talk about these topics early on in your relationship, before you fall in love.
When a guy wants a future with you, he'll make it clear. He's likely to speak about the goals he wants to achieve with you or ways in which he hopes your relationship will progress. For example, he'll talk about that European holiday he wants to take with you in a few months, or how he wants to move in together. If he never talks about the future, he clearly doesn't see one with you. As Steve Harvey, author of the book Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man, states, "Every man has a plan!" If he's got no plan, you've got no relationship.
You want your boyfriend to be responsible. He should take responsibility for his life and wellbeing and be someone on whom you can depend on.
But if you notice that he turns away from responsibility in the rest of his life, this is a big red flag that he's not the type who could make a good long-term boyfriend or husband.
Examples of how he might deflect responsibility include if he's always the victim when things go wrong, he never apologizes for bad behavior, and he depends on others to help him out, whether financially or otherwise.
It's great if you and your partner can laugh a lot together and enjoy yourselves. But this shouldn't take the place of serious conversations. If all he wants to do is have a good time, that's a sign he's not taking the relationship seriously. Other signs include if he never talks about where your relationship's going, or he tells you that he just wants to enjoy himself. He's clearly all about living in the moment, instead of being someone who wants to create a healthy relationship in the future. Marriage is serious business after all.
According to Psychology Today, a man-child is a guy who never grows up, someone you'll end up having to carry through life if you date him. Yikes.
If you're doing most of the work in the relationship to keep things smooth and keep your partner happy, that's not a good sign that your boyfriend's going to step up and commit.
It's like he's just coasting through the relationship and his life and he makes a really lazy boyfriend. That's not the type of guy who's the marrying kind.
If he doesn't focus on your relationship future, that's one bad sign he's not the type to want to get married. Another big one to look for is if he doesn't really plan for the future in general.
He doesn't really talk about his dreams or goals, and if you ask him what his plans are for the next few years, he doesn't have an answer.
A guy who's only living for the present isn't the type of guy with vision and that will affect your relationship future because he obviously hasn't prioritized having a future with a long-term partner in it.
A man who wants to be with you will open his mind and heart to you. This openness is important because how can trust and communication occur without it? If there's what feels like police tape around his feelings and thoughts, you'll start to feel that he's keeping important parts of himself out of reach. This is frustrating because it means that you won't know where he's at and what he wants, and that's no foundation for a marriage in the future.
He might not see his flirting as a big deal, but it can be damaging to your self-esteem and feelings of relationship security. Bear in mind, it's one thing to be friendly, but quite another to hit on people. It also shows you that he's not being serious about your relationship.
He isn't respecting your relationship boundaries, and by flirting with other people, it's like he's keeping his dating options open even though you've been agreed to be exclusive.
That's a clear sign that he's not the type to commit to you.
You have a right to know where you stand with your boyfriend. That's why it's so important to talk to him about things like defining the relationship and where your relationship's headed.
It's important to be on the same page as him, otherwise you'll end up wasting your time.
If you try to talk about these things with your boyfriend but he keeps shutting you down or distracting you, it shows you that he's not interested in having a future with you. He's just hoping to keep you around for now.
If it sometimes feels like your boyfriend's living a completely separate life from you, it's a red flag. For example, he might have completely different friends and hobbies.
Although it's healthy to have your own life outside of your relationship, too much distance creates a rift down the line.
This is especially the case if you've got different values and morals. If you're not meeting each other halfway and sharing important things in common, there's no foundation for something as serious as marriage.
How a guy introduces you to his friends says a lot about where he sees your relationship going. If he avoids calling you his girlfriend, that's a problem.
He might say he doesn't like labels, but that's often an excuse he'll use to get out of being serious with you.
If he can't be official with you, such as by being open about your relationship with his friends and calling you his girlfriend, he's limiting your future prospects as a couple. No one who's 100 percent committed to their partner will avoid being official. It just doesn't make sense.
When his friends talk about what an awesome couple you are, your boyfriend tries to make a joke about it or he rolls his eyes. When your relationship anniversary comes around, he does the same thing. What's up? This sort of behavior can really make you feel insecure in the relationship and doubtful of his true feelings.
If he's always trying to make light of the relationship, it's clearly a strategy to keep things from getting serious.
A guy who sees a real future with you isn't going to resort to such childish tactics.
When you talk to him about making your relationship more serious, he says that he's not ready. What does this really mean? As pointed out by Thought Catalog, it could be that he's not prepared to give you the love you deserve. But as you can see, that's very different from not feeling ready.
It's more about him not wanting to put in the effort required to make a serious relationship work.
That's not exactly the kind of guy who wants to commit to you and you shouldn't want to commit to such a guy!
Maybe he's told you he wants to marry you. He's given you a promise ring. He's sharing his life with you. It's been years of being with him, but in spite of all these things, he just won't take the steps toward marriage. He always has a reason for why it's not the right time, such as his work's really busy or he doesn't have the money to give you the wedding of your dreams, or he's got other commitments that are stressing him out.
After a while, those reasons start to feel more like excuses for why he's dragging his feet.
But nothing should stand in the way of you getting married, unless there's a deeper reason for it that he doesn't want to share.
One of the popular excuses a guy will give you for not wanting to get married is that he wants to keep the relationship the way it is. He might even tell you that the relationship is just perfect the way it is and you're having a great time together. Hmmm.
The thing to remember is that you can't keep the status quo forever. Sooner or later, you'll have to progress in your relationship if that's what's important to you.
His behavior could signal a difference in relationship goals and expectations, and they're worth exploring because unless you're on the same page, marriage isn't going to happen.
When a guy's exclusive with you, he should act like a boyfriend. Your relationship should be a priority in his life and he should stop acting like a single guy who doesn't have any obligations or responsibilities concerning you.
If he's always out with his mates, staying up late at the pub, ignoring your calls, and doing whatever he feels like doing without any consideration for what you want, he's giving you a clear message: he's not willing to throw in his single-guy towel.
This is the last type of guy who'd want to take your relationship to a more serious, committed level. You've been warned.
References: Elite Daily, Psychology Today, Thought Catalog