Relationship expert reveals the six reasons your partner is holding back (and your needy behaviour could be to blame)
- Fresh Start Guy Manj Weerasekera says your ‘desperation’ puts him off
- Suggests your partner may also be holding back for fear of rejection
- But says some men will ‘never’ be persuaded to walk down the aisle
With Valentine’s Day less than a week away, romantic hopefuls hoping to tie the knot may be wondering if their other halves will go down on one knee.
Surveys suggest that almost a third (29 per cent) of women think February 14 is the perfect time of year to get engaged, but not everyone will get the outcome they long for.
If you feel you’ve been waiting a lifetime for your partner to get down on one knee, relationship expert Manj Weerasekera, who specialises in helping divorced men find love again, explains the main reasons why your partner shows no sign of popping that all important question.
‘What is marriage going to give you that an otherwise committed, long-term relationship won’t?’ Maj says it’s important to remember that marriage doesn’t always equate to the ‘fairy tale’ happy ending you’re hoping for
According to Manj, wedding bells don’t always lead to a ‘fairy tale’ ending, and it’s only once we manage our expectations of marriage that we will truly be able to assess the situation.
‘Instead of diving straight into a list of possible reasons why he won’t play ball, it’s worth taking a moment to figure out why you want him to,’ Maj says. ‘What is marriage going to give you that an otherwise committed, long-term relationship won’t?
‘It’s very easy to equate marriage with a fairy tale happy-ever-after, but if you look at the married people you know you’ll see that their relationships don’t really differ that much from your own.
‘Only once you have a realistic idea about what marriage can and can’t offer is it time to start considering why your man hasn’t yet put a ring on it.’
Here, Manj reveals the six reasons your man may be holding back…
Manj says it’s important to remember why your partner fell in love with you in the first place
1. Desperation just doesn’t turn him on
Do you know what probably does do it for him, though? Spending time with a fun, independent, intelligent woman who wants rather than needs him.
A woman who is more than capable of looking after herself and having a ball whilst doing so. A woman who probably resembles the one he originally fell in love with. Remember her? Which brings us onto…
2. It’s not him, it’s you
There was a reason he fell for you in the first place. Are you still that vivacious, interesting, sexy creature? Yes, you probably are, but does he get to see that? And (because we’re woefully shallow beings) does he get to see other people seeing that in you, too?
Do you still have a lively social life? Are you still making an effort with your appearance? Are you doing the things that really make you sparkle, whether it’s that Tuesday night crochet class or long-distance running? Are you the kind of person others want to be around?
Most importantly, are you the kind of person this man wants to wake up to every morning?
Your partner may be holding back for fear of rejection – or he may be against the idea of marriage altogether
3. It’s not you, it’s him
There are many different reasons why he may not want to marry you…yet. Timing is a major one; if he’s just not ready to settle down, then nothing is going to get him down that aisle.
If he’s an old-fashioned guy and currently doesn’t feel able to provide for you and a family, he’s not setting foot inside a church. Ditto if there’s uncertainty in his personal circumstances such as family sickness or the possibility of relocation, or perhaps he simply doesn’t feel he knows you well enough to make such a massive commitment.
The good thing about this reason is that it will change. All you have to do is wait, patiently, without mentioning the M-word, until his circumstances alter. Much easier said than done, but worth it in the end.
4. It’s not you or him…
…it’s marriage itself. He’s either experienced the damage a bad marriage can cause – he may be divorced himself or come from a broken family – or simply doesn’t see the point in getting hitched.
Once you’ve made it clear that you do, and would very much like him to be the one to whom you do the hitching, there’s not an awful lot you can do to change his mind.
Your partner may be hesitant about tying the knot if he is divorced himself or comes from a broken family
It’s important, though, to remember that you also have power here; if marriage itself is more important than the man you’re with, you are free to go and find a man who does want to marry you. Believe me, he’s out there.
5. He’s more sensitive than you realise
When a woman becomes preoccupied with what her man is not giving her, she dishonours what he is providing.
He might already have a mortgage with you, be 100 per cent committed to the relationship or even be the father of your children, but the message you’re giving when you focus on his lack of proposal is that these things don’t count. And you know what? That hurts.
There is also the possibility that he’s keen to propose but terrified of rejection, especially if he’s been hurt in the past. It’s up to you to make him feel safe enough in your relationship to finally take the plunge.
Manj says that if your partner is not yet ready to settle down, then ‘all you have to do is wait’
6. He’s tried this before…
If he’s divorced then he might come with baggage; he might be concerned his kids will not approve, and if you have kids, he might be concerned about how well both sets of kids would get on.
If he’s supporting his ex and their children he might be worried about the financial, emotional and logistical issues of taking on an existing family or beginning a new one.
If his wife cheated on him, he may well believe (albeit subconsciously) that the same thing will happen again. Honesty and communication are the only way to get through these issues.
Also bear in mind that previously married men often make excellent husbands – they’ve learned the hard way what does and doesn’t work.