Some people get commitment easier than others. The reasons are not what you think. It will help you if you learn what really gets men to commit.
Let’s imagine you are single and have been in a relationship with a man for a long time. Perhaps even years. He says that he loves you, you talk about the future together, you drop little hints and “accidentally” find yourselves looking at the engagement ring display in the jewelry store.
But still he makes no move toward marriage. Does he not want to marry you? Is he waiting for someone else? Is there something more you should do? What is going on?
Let’s start by understanding the good and bad reasons men marry
The bad reason many men marry:
Some men grow up in loving and conservative families. They often have few dating skills and little dating experience. If they do date a woman, they quickly fall in love with her and want to commit. Many women are the same way. People like this actually need to be slowed down from committing.
In their haste to commit, they often idealize the woman they are with and overlook significant differences and potential problems. Once the honeymoon is over, the problems will become very clear and he will spend a lot of energy trying to get his wife to conform to the idealized image he had of her. She will not be able to be his ideal. He will have locked himself into a relationship with a woman he is dissatisfied with.
If you are dating such a man, it will at first seem very nice to get his loving adoration. This is especially true if you also don’t have much dating experience. You may be idealizing him. It is really important when dating such a man not to commit too quickly. You will both be in for rude awakenings when you see each other as you actually are.
Never commit when you think a man is perfect for you. For sure you are not seeing the real him, as no man is perfect.
The best way to prevent prematurely committing to someone you idealize, but who is actually not the right one, is to date multiple people.
What happens if you marry this kind of man too quickly
I very frequently receive emails from sad and discouraged women who married too quickly. Often, the man proposed within a few months, promising his undying love. However, after getting married he quickly became dissatisfied and rejecting.
This is because he woke up from the dream of marriage to a princess to the reality of marriage to a real woman. Real women are not fairy tale women. Such men sometimes convince their wives to have a child even within the first year so they can have their fairy tale perfect family. However, he is often cheating on her before she has even had the baby.
These are realities you probably don’t want to hear. But these are realities you have to consider if you want to have a long and healthy marriage.
A pedestal is a dangerous place to be
If the man you are dating thinks you are the best, either you really are, or he has no basis for comparison. If he has little experience either with you or others, do not marry him–yet. This is especially true if he has no dating experience with other women.
A man who marries you without much dating experience will soon wonder what he missed out on. He won’t have had a chance to find out that you really are wonderful compared to other women. He won’t truly know he has the best.
Sooner or later he will want to see if the grass is greener elsewhere. At no time in history has it ever been easier to cheat. As I wrote in my book on preventing and ending men’s affairs, one of the best ways to prevent divorce is to help your partner to know he has the best he can get. He will not know that if he doesn’t have much experience with other women.
When he is sure he has the best, he will take care of you well
While I am not an advocate of sleeping around, I am an advocate of shopping around. This is because after marriage there is no more shopping around for the rest of your life. Both you and he need to feel that you have the best partner you could possibly get. You also need to see clearly your partner’s bad aspects.
If you don’t see any bad aspects or he doesn’t, it is not yet time to marry. We need to see the good and the bad about our partner. When we get married, we accept both–the better and the worse of the other person. We are committing to love that person just as they are.
I married him because I thought he would change is a regret many unhappy married women have.
We need to know the other person well enough to see their bad aspects, have enough dating experience to know that they are the best we can get, and marry knowing that the marriage is never going to be better than than the premarital relationship.
If you don’t like the way your boyfriend is, you will hate the way he is if you marry him.
Men are not all the same. A very good book on the subject is Avoiding Mr. Wrong, by Stephen Arterburn. I believe there is a match for everyone, but not everyone is a good match. You need to find your best match before committing to a man.
What is the ideal amount of time to be in a relationship before getting married?
I ask all my clients how long they were in a relationship with their spouse before they married. I have found that women who dated their spouse less than one year, or longer than three years, before getting married tend to be needy and to have worse relationships.
They either married too soon with an idealized image of their husband, or they hung on to the wrong man too long and married him anyhow.
Needy people have a hard time letting go of the wrong person for fear of being alone. They often are very unhappy with the man’s behavior, but can’t break up with him.
I think that two years of regular dating (not a long distance relationship), give enough time to get through the infatuation phase. It also is enough time to have enough problems to see the other person more realistically.
If you have been in a relationship for two years, have dated many other men, and still feel like you have the best man despite his faults, you are in a good position to get married.
More than three years creates a complacency toward marriage for men. They see little gain in doing so. Three years can easily become five or 10. If you want commitment and have been together more than two years, it is time for the next step. It is time to take away his complacency about your relationship and to stimulate his desire to commit.
You can get him to do that if you know the good reason men marry.
The good reason men marry:
Women who have the best luck getting men to marry are very secure, treat men wonderfully, but are not quick to commit to them, no matter how much the man wants them to. Such women tend to have good social skills for getting along with both men and women. They enjoy dating, and have experience with many men, but don’t make dating the central focus of their lives. They know what they want for their future and won’t commit to any man who is going to prevent them from having that.
Such women are definitely in the minority, but have a huge advantage over other women for happiness and relationships.
If men treat such women badly, they are quickly rejected. Men have to work and compete for such women. If a man is lucky enough to get her to commit to only him, he will feel like a grand prize winner. She never has to do any persuading to get him to commit. He has to persuade her.
Men value most what they have to work for.
No one is born this way. People are all born insecure and needy and have to be cared for one hundred percent by their parents. Dealing successfully with life experiences as we grow creates this security. Learning good skills from the start is the best way to be secure, but fortunately we can still become this way later on, even if we didn’t have such a secure start.
How a secure woman makes him want to marry her
Such a woman can easily get his commitment because he knows that if he does not commit to her, he will lose her to someone else. She is a prize many men are after. To make a man feel this way, you must
- make men feel loved, accepted, and important, and
- not be constantly available for him.
Jesus did this. It’s a Christian way to behave. The more people you can make people feel loved, accepted, and important, the better you will be doing as a Christian. Making men feel loved, accepted, and important will make them want to commit to you. Being controlling, cold, or invalidating will make them want to get away from you, no matter how beautiful you are.
Your physical appearance will help you to attract men; your personality will help you to keep them.
Why not be constantly available? The reason is simple–people don’t desire what they constantly have. You won’t be able to sell sand to someone who lives in the desert. Being constantly available prevents desire, which is an important aspect of love and commitment.
People who have to spend a lot of time together often lose their feelings of love for each other and start to need space from each other.
The best way to enhance a relationship is to be more enjoyable to be with, but together less. This is a common success strategy for reconciling a failing relationship. The opposite, being less enjoyable to be with and interacting more is how many people lose their relationships, whether they are single or married.
(If you have a problem behaving a way that men don’t like, I recommend you work from my book on overcoming neediness, which will help you to identify and stop such behaviors. I also have a coaching package for single people who would like to work with me to become a secure and attractive partner).
What kind of love do men want?
In my earlier years, I dated a rich and famous woman, but she tried to hide her identity from me and others. This is because she could never really know if people liked her simply for her money. While she had many men to choose from, she wanted a man who would choose her for her and not for her money or fame.
Since I was attracted to her and had no idea she was rich or famous, our relationship was very valuable to her. After finding out who she actually was, I never took advantage of her fame or wealth, though I did ask her if we could go dutch when we went out (I was a student only making $30 a week at that time).
Likewise, men may buy things to attract women, but they want to be loved for who they are. When you are with a man, make him feel important for qualities in him that most people do not see. This will make you more valuable to him than other women and help to set you on the path to marriage commitment.
No man wants to lose a person who makes him feel loved just for the way he is.
Women who are least likely to get a man of quality to marry them
An insecure man will idealize a woman and commit quickly, so no matter how you are you can always get a man like that.
Women who are fearful and needy will have the hardest time getting a secure man to marry them. Such women are quick to commit, lack good boundaries and lose respect, allow damaging behaviors that make them upset, and do poorly at consistently being relaxed, friendly, and otherwise enjoyable to be with.
Needy and insecure men will stay with such women because of their fear of being alone. Secure men will not stay with such women. The more secure the man, the sooner he will end such a relationship.
It might help to consider that a secure woman also will not stay with a man who is not enjoyable to be with.
What you can do right now to get your boyfriend to commit to you for marriage?
If you have understood the good reasons men commit, then you will know what you need to do and not do.
First, you have to make sure you are not trying to convince him to marry you. Trying to convince a man to marry makes him feel really secure you are not going anywhere. This is the problem needy women have. People don’t commit when they are not afraid of losing the other person.
Men commit to women of quality because they know if they don’t, someone else will.
Secondly, you will need to make sure that you are a secure woman of quality. If you are not, then you will be fearful of losing him because you won’t be able to get anyone better.
Do you need to work on:
- Being physically more attractive?
- Having good social skills?
- Sexuality and romance skills?
- Having good boundaries?
- Being more independent?
- Having a life that would still be good, even if he were not around?
I know what it’s like to be married to a secure and attractive woman. My wife is attractive, treats me very well, would never put up with any bad behavior from me, and is very good at both sex and romance. I am an important part of her life, but she other parts that are important as well. She does not want to lose me, but does not live in fear of it.
She had many proposals before meeting me. Fortunately, I was able to be the kind of man she didn’t want to lose. She is also a marriage coach, by the way. We are similar in very many other aspects as well.
Long term relationships only work between similar people.
Such a woman never would have married me when I was young and needy. I had to work on myself a lot. I share that to give you hope if you also have a lot of work to do on yourself.
The final step
You need to give him the opportunity to marry you before you move on to dating others who will. That’s exactly what a secure woman would do, if she were interested in getting married. She would not just wait and wait and wait.
It is far better to lose a man who is not fully committed than to lose a chance with someone who would be even better for you.
How to communicate this to him
Communicating this is not such a hard thing for a secure woman. It goes something like this,
Roger, we’ve been together for quite some time and our relationship doesn’t seem to be going to the next level–marriage. I am not pushing you to marry me, because I know you are not ready for that. But because I no longer want to wait, I have decided that I will also date other men. I don’t know what will happen or if there is someone who could possibly be better for me than you. But, if I find such a man, then I will stop seeing you.
This is not breaking up. Not in any way. You are not ending your relationship with him. You are just open to dating others as well. If he gets jealous or controlling, with no desire to commit, then you would see how little he cares about commitment. If Roger really is a good man for you, then he will think a little and you should get a proposal soon.
This is not manipulation. This is helping him to determine how much value you have to him by putting him in the position of possibly losing you.
Men don’t value what they believe they can never lose.
What are you giving up while you wait?
The longer you wait for a man to commit, the more opportunities you are giving up to be with an even better man who would want to marry you. If you are already feeling resentful, you have waited too long to take action.
If you would like to work with me as a single person to develop the qualities and skills you need to get the commitment of a secure and desirable man, I would be happy to work with you.