What to do if your partner is not ready for marriage

You have met the perfect partner. He has spent time getting to know them. You feel comfortable with them, and your gut tells you this is the one. You can talk to them and they listen to you. Although he can argue, he is never very serious and always resolves himself. You have a good life with your partner, and you think that you could be happy together, for the rest of your lives. For you, the ultimate consummation of your love and your relationship is marriage. But what if your partner is not ready for marriage?

Are you ready for marriage? When you get married you give up a lot, you can no longer live your life according to what is best for you, you have to take into account the wishes and needs of your spouse. If you want your marriage to be a success you have to keep working on it, can you commit to that? If you work together to create the best marriage possible, then you will gain far more than you will lose. But that is of no use if your partner is not ready for marriage.

What are your expectations for your marriage? Are you looking for a scenario, and everyone lived happily ever after, as seen in the movies? This may surprise people, but what you see in the cinema is not real life, it is a story, a story tends to represent an ideal world and not reality. Are you able to accept your partner for who they are and work to create the best marriage possible?

There’s also the problem that if you mention the M-word too soon, you can make your potential partner compete for the hills. Marriage is a serious commitment, not one you should enter into on the spur of the moment. You should take the time to really get to know each other so that you can be sure that you are right for each other.

Is your partner afraid of commitment? When you are married, it is much more difficult and expensive to break up than when you are in a relationship.

If your partner is not ready for marriage, have you tried talking to them about it? Have you tried to identify the issues that are holding them back? Have they seen too many divorces, are they afraid of losing their relationship with you to something unknown, or do they have certain goals they want to achieve before settling down, getting married, and perhaps having the added responsibility of having children?

Just because your partner isn’t ready for marriage right now doesn’t mean they won’t change their minds. They may feel insecure or lack trust in their emotions, so they need time to figure out how they feel about you.

Marriage is not just about love and commitment, there are also the practical things of the day to day, do you know how you will handle all of that? Do you know where you will live, buy or rent, what happens if one of you has to move because of work, what happens with jobs, how you will divide the bills, who does what in the house, what about the children, how many and when? There are many boring, mundane things, but all necessary to work.

If your partner is not ready for marriage, have you talked to them about it? Have you been able to identify their concerns? Once she can identify your concerns, she can figure out how to deal with them. This is also a good time to talk about what marriage means to both of you and how you see your relationship developing. It helps to have similar visions for your future, because if you’re working two different schedules, then you’re in for a miserable time. Talk about what you mean to each other, this will help you better understand where your relationship is right now.

If your partner is not ready for marriage, there are 3 things you can do:

1. Carry on as you are, but work to build the best possible relationship you can, be the partner you simply can’t live without, and as your relationship deepens, your partner may be tackling the M-word.

2. You could give them an ultimatum and give them a time limit to decide to get married, or you will walk away. This is a high risk strategy and not one that I would recommend. There is always the chance that they will not be blackmailed and you will have to make a painful decision. If you force someone to marry you, you’ll never know if it’s because she wants to or because of your ultimatum.

3. Have a long engagement. Just because you’re engaged doesn’t mean you have to get married next week. Getting engaged is essentially step one down the aisle, it tells the world that at some point you are going to get married. If your partner is happy that they will marry you at some point, why not have a long engagement? You get the commitment you need, and your partner gets the time they need to accept that they want to marry you.

When you get married, it has to be because you both want to get married. You cannot start life with a reluctant spouse. If your partner is the one, talk about her feelings, if you feel that much for her, she may feel the same way about you, but you won’t know until you talk about it. If there are issues your partner needs to work out, help them through them. If your partner isn’t ready for marriage, remind them that accepting a proposal doesn’t mean you both walk down the aisle the next day.

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