“I’m Not Ready For Marriage”…What He Really Means

I love you but I'm not ready to marry you

Have you ever heard that before?

I love you, but I’m just not ready to get married yet.

What the heck does that mean anyway?

In your mind, if he loves you marriage is the natural next step, right? It’s like the old kid song… “First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage!”

It’s simply the natural progression that you as a woman have learned to expect. So when a man says he loves you but he’s just not ready yet, it can really throw a monkey wrench into your emotional well-being.

This can make you begin to question whether or not he really does love you like he says he does and create a whole mess of undesirable reactions that can spell troubled waters for your (up till now) rosy future together.

The first thing you need to realize is that just because he loves you, it doesn’t mean he’s ready for marriage. At least not yet!

If your man is telling you he’s not ready for marriage, there are a couple of reasons why this may be the case.

Why He’s Not Ready to Get Married? Downright Fear…

We are so conditioned by the media today to believe so many misconceptions about love and relationships it’s almost tragic.

TV often portrays marriage as some abstract “ball and chain” that requires a man to give up his freedom and commit to a life of hell on earth. A monogamous life of hell on earth, no less!

For a man, contemplating a life like that is frightening and simply does not motivate him to want any part of marriage or commitment. Men live in a constant state of fear over losing their freedom and being unable to be what they perceive as real men.

A man doesn’t want to be viewed as being “whipped” or having “his you know what on a shelf” (please excuse the vulgarity).

It’s a thought that terrifies most men and sends them running in the opposite direction. And unfortunately because there are very few true depictions of healthy marriages (it simply doesn’t make good television) the misconceptions become men’s perception of reality.

Obviously inaccurate, but helping a man see that is the challenge.

Men are hardwired to believe that marriage and all the things that come with it is almost something to mourn rather than something to celebrate. They view being single, dating lots of women and living it up as the Holy Grail of a life well lived and if you want marriage from him, you want to change him.

If you can help him see that committing to a relationship with you doesn’t spell changing himself for you or letting go of the things he loves to do, he will come around and wind up being ecstatic over creating a life with you.

But he has to feel that you are both in the adventure together and that you fully support him and his “true life mission” (this is related to his masculine hero avatar profile #2 that I discuss in Girl Gets Ring) in order for him to be ecstatic about embarking on the adventure in the first place.

Another Reason a Man is Not Ready For Marriage? Warning Bells Are Ringing…

He may be pulling the “I love you but I’m not ready to marry you” card because you’ve inadvertently ran roughshod over his masculine hero avatar #3 that I discuss in Girl Gets Ring, regarding his craving for your loyalty.

Whether a man will admit it or not, he desperately wants your fierce loyalty. Whether it’s defending him to the future in-laws, staying faithful in the path of temptation, or never revealing his vulnerable side to others in public… he counts on you to have his back.

If you’ve unknowingly taken a misstep here, it can spell disaster for a future together because he needs to feel like he can trust you 100% in all areas of your life together. Just as you as a woman need to feel loved and supported, he as a man needs to feel loved and that you will never betray him.

Once you’ve broken this trust, you’ve changed his heart light from Green to Yellow or Red and inside (whether he can articulate it or not) he’s struggling to figure out the next step and if the trust can be repaired.

And a bigger question… is it worth repairing?

Why He’s Not Ready For Marriage – Summing Up:

Only you know the personal details of your relationship and whether or not you have tripped over this wire, but if you have in any way… it could be the reason he’s hesitant about moving forward into marriage.

It’s up to you to figure it out and attempt to fix it, because on a conscious level, he probably doesn’t even realize it’s a problem!

Now tell me… is your guy giving you resistance about getting married, even though he says he loves you? Please share your experience in the comments below, I’d love to hear ‘em!

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Leave A Reply (18 comments so far)


  1. Sonia
    5 years ago

    Yes, we hav been together about 2 years. In the beginning he asked me to be patient with him , because he had a very abusive relationship where he had to give up time and career and so on. We never had a big fight, were very happy – nothing was wrong. I told him first I love him, he always said I”I think I love you ” end were asking me to be more patient because he is scared to love and afraid to let emotions out… I could feel he loves me with his heart, but when his brain was on duty – love was a scary thing to admit. Recently I asked him to say loud that he wants to be together, he couldn’t. He said – we are already together, why do I have to say it. I said because I want it to be your choice, he still didn’t say anything and changed a subject. I left. We had a conversation again – he said he is confused, that he feels we are not on the same level yet, he needs to think about things, but doesn’t want to let me go, that Im amazing and he adores me, he has a lot of love for me – very confusing and mixed… Im a little tire, I gave support, love, understanding, inspiration, space, fun, great sex, friendship, easy going attitude, freedom, fun – everything a man can wish for. But now I don’t know what to do. I stopped texting him first at all, take time to respond to his texts, which he is sending me now a lot : “Hi” , “How are you ” , “how was your day” , Im responding briefly and pretty cold. He wants to talk , but Im afraid its going to be the same thing again. What should I do ? Tell him we need to take a break or support him again? I already told him at some point he needs to figure out what he wants to do. But I don’t want to get back together again like it was before – not knowing what to expect, I want him to take a responcibility for the relationship and take it to the next level. I want him to understand that I cant be o a “test drive ” any more.But I dont want to push him either.


  2. Dee
    5 years ago

    We have been together for a year. From the beginning, I had told him I was Christian and he is not but he said he would explore that and become a Christian. Now, I understand I should have waited but we had instant attraction and I tried like crazy to just be his friend but in the end he won my heart. This is also a long distance relationship. Everything was a green light. Then he lost his job. His dad, who is abusive, hurt him again when he went home and let’s just say that from reviewing other products you have and listening to the Girl Get Ring ad, I can see some things I messed up on. How can he feel he makes me happy and that I don’t want to change him when he doesn’t have a job (though I don’t care..I love him for him) and I can’t marry unless we are on the same wave length spiritually. This is a God thing..unless you are Christian it might not make sense. But I’ll try to explain. I feel due to past experience loving people with no belief etc that they ended up chafing due to different life paths and ways of approaching things. That’s why I was sure to tell this person I can’t marry unless they are Christian. Now I would normally say you believe what you want and me too but the Spirit also says wait. But meantime, I know this person is someone I don’t want to live without,. I know he loves me. It was a green light. He’s introduced me to his family. He told 3 ex gfs who tried to get him back there was no chance. I blew it in that a casual friend of mine made some comment on his own FB wall that upset my BF. He felt I should have defended his celebration. Since he is not religious, I was surprised at his reaction. But to be honest..I think it really stems from when he said choose God or me….I had to choose God…I told him of all Gods I choose Jesus…of all men..only you. Now I can go on just fine. I was fine before he came. Another guy is already there waiting >< But I want this person. I love this person. We have been through so much and we are a playful and passionate. But yeah, I can't change him. I know this. I can't marry him unless he and God find peace. And until he gets situated with what he wants to do in life. I think he feels he can't make me happy and didn't know what else to do so broke up on Nov 30. But he didn't want me out of his life. Using your technques I would say he is still red light…he says he doesn't want love and no marriage with anyone…yet he says love you, HUGZ and :* (kiss) He doesn't want me to be on webcam with anyone. He says good morning and good night. I've used the techniques of making him feel comfortable around me, asking his advice and listening so he can feel successful. He's talking to me more. I know that this is going to be a God thing but God also invented YOU. So if there is anything I can do on my end…I'd like to know. I truly like the person he is. I understand why he doesn't like God at the moment. I was there to at one point and I don't want to force him. But God seems to be saying to my heart that should I marry him, it will impeded him for ever seeking and finding peace with God. And then I would feel I cost him his soul :/ Maybe that sounds weird. I wish that the experts like you would make advice for those who can't use sex before marriage as a technique. And by the way, we are compatible that way because we are that attracted that I lapsed on certain things I wouldn't normally. We want the same things, we care about each other, we like each other but we are different by culture and religion. But something says even so this is the guy and I want to try absolutely everything to make this work. I also want him to be happy..so if I can't use human psychological attraction techniques to get through this…if he really really won't change his mind…then I wish him a happy life and will move on. I don't want to. I will grieve a lot. But I will do like you say. Work on having a life and being the best I can be. But if you can help…please do. I will get this product too.I bought your Magic of Making Up and Michael Fiore's Text your romance…and that stuff Michael and you taught is what caused so much passion that I ended up losing control!!!!! LOL YIKES! By the way, I got your stuff T Dub even before we broke up because I wanted to know all I can about relationships and how to deal with possible problems…since we do have long distance, etc. Some stuff you have taught that helped was what makes a man stay even if a girl is bad..etc THAT is probably the one thing that made us stick (and God..who I think sent YOU). I can wait to marry. In fact, I think it was good we did break up. But I don't want to lose him. I want to use every thing in my power to get passed all this to the life we both should have together. Help…you are the only one I think who can.


  3. michelle
    5 years ago

    Me and my bf have been together for a year now.. and im pregnant with a wonderful baby boy. My parents, as a very religious one, wants us to be marroed. I love him and I want to get married to him. Be committed with him forever. But the sad thing here is that he mentioned “I love you but I’m not ready yet”. Its really true that its a big insult for me as a woman because im pregnant outside marriage. I understood him and now we are still together. My confusion isbthat he mentioned he is not ready for marriage but he wantsbus to cohabitate beacuse he does’ nt like our child to grow up with separated parents. But whats the difference of the life of being married and being in cohabitation? We are still together and he really cares for my pregnancy like he comes with me every prenatal appointment I have with my OB. PLEASE help me with some advises.


  4. ws
    5 years ago

    Michelle,
    As a single parent I want to give you my reality, if your bf does not want parents to be separated then he needs to grow up and marry the mother of his child! If he can’t do that and just wants to live with you it is just a lame way to keep from paying child support or have to pay court costs for visitations. You need to ask yourself, do you and your baby deserve better than that?

    I know the idea of having Dad there is everyones perfect dream, but I have raised my children alone and we are very close despite that they are adults now. It’s not easy, I will be honest, but it is easier than having your child torn between having to take sides between parents.

    Take care of you, and take care of your baby and plan your future alone, if Daddy wants to be involved, and truly loves you and your child, he will know the right thing to do. God Bless!


  5. Martha
    4 years ago

    We were married 1yr.and4 months…seperated because he kept leaving and kept losing his temper and assaulting me. We were seperated 2yrs; then finally divorced. Almost 2 months later he asked me on a date and we have been dating now for 3 months. We get along great now. Here’s the question: I want to remarry, but he is still on a dating website and says he’s not ready….what should I do? How do I get him to remarry me?.


  6. Jennifer
    4 years ago

    We’ve been together for 8 years and are currently broken-up. He set up a wedding fund, at one point even had our marriage license, go ring shopping but never got a ring. Our breakup happened because he ROYALLY SCREWED UP, no cheating but f—– up bad. Didn’t apologize and didn’t want to talk about it. No clue if fixable or how to fix it. We just had our first nice text exchange on New Years Day after 4 months of him name calling and saying horrible things. But NYD he said “happy new year. I love you.” It’s been SLOW AND AWKWARD communication since.


  7. Beth
    4 years ago

    Yes, he is. We have been together 3 years this past August. We had talked about getting married and HE had actually said we would get married in July while we were on vacation with our families and surprise them. Although he did say I could tell my friends just wanted to surprise the family. So, I did. I told a couple of people. He changed his mind about marrying me and didn’t tell me until July. He said that it had nothing to do with the love he felt for me just that he had been married twice and was afraid to marry again for a 3rd time. Said he was having commitment issues. This came after an extremely rough winter relationship wise where he had actually gone to Florida and lived for the winter while I went back and forth from Florida to home. This causes major issues with our relationship. We just somewhere got lost with the lack of any quality time and not that much communication; although we did speak daily. It’s difficult to maintain a long distance relationship when you have a needy person (me). My needs are I need to be with the person that I am in a relationship with more than one weekend a month. He lived with my daughter and her children in Florida and became much closer to them than he was with me. So, when I visited I was the outsider and it created conflict between us. A lot of arguments. I still felt that the relationship was repairable and felt that things would change. Unfortunately they have not and I am still left feeling like an outsider except now we both live together in Florida. I am not for sure at this point that our relationship is repairable because of my feelings that even though we had some rough times I never gave up on him. I still wanted him and wanted to marry him but he changed his mind about me. Makes it very difficult. I just want a relationship where I feel wanted and he wants to spend time with me and do things with me and be with me. I don’t always want to have to be with my daughter and her children. We need our private time or at least I do. It’s all complicated.


  8. Chris
    4 years ago

    We have been together for 3 years. I am 33 with a 3 year old child that he did not father. He is 35. We are both Christians but I wasn’t one when I met him. When we got together he said that he never wanted to be a daddy so where does it leave me? Despite his saying that, he’s gotten to know my son and watched him grow up and even tells him that he loves him. When I’ve brought up marriage in the past he’s given me a gamut of excuses that include but are not limited to a) he has to take care of his parents and can’t commit to me until they’re both dead (which could be 15 to 20 years and has made me resent them) b) a previous relationship where he proposed to a girl and she abandoned him at the request of her family c) social anxiety that makes him afraid to even tell people I’m his gf d) he feels like God doesn’t want him to get married now (or anytime soon). I love him but I could throw away 2 decades if he won’t come around. I’m willing to wait if he will eventually commit but how do I know?


  9. Mary
    4 years ago

    I have a story for you and would love to hear what your take on this is.
    I am an older woman and look good for my age (actually younger). I met a guy who was a friend of a friend and he saw me on Facebook and started looking at my pics. They are nice and some would say they are hot or sexy not slutty. So I friended him after seeing him look at my pics day after day. We started talking and became very friendly. We compared what we like and found we had a lot of things in common, like dancing, foods, entertainment, etc. Finally we met and he had been saying for a while that he was so very attracted to me and he was attractive to me too. We met and hit it off. He was very sexy and romantic and sweet and I found him charming and he felt the same way and could not wait to see me again. We had planned a date but then we both got the flu so we postponed it. I wanted to do something nice for him as he has a struggle at home cause he moved in with his mother to take care of her.( She has Alzheimers) His time is limited which I told him I understood as I had just gone through 5 years of caring for my mother who passed away last year and I got what he was going through. So I invited him to come over for a nice quiet dinner. He was so excited, he brought me lovely flowers and could barely contain his excitement at being there with me. Then the bomb. He got a call from his brother who told him his mom fell in the tub, so he had to leave, no dinner but got a lot of understanding from me and told him I understood and there would be other dinners. He kissed and hugged me like he wanted to consume me which was promising and he even said he was falling for me and he was so happy I wanted to be his girlfriend. I said goodby with a smile and was excited at the possibility of our next date. He promised to let me know the at home situation so I wouldn’t worry but to my shock a half hour later I got a text that said we have to stop this before he hurt me. He could not give me what I wanted which I didn’t know what that was nor did I ever say I wanted anything but to have fun and enjoy getting to know him better. I was dumbfounded and still do not understand what happened. Part of his message said I met the right woman at the wrong time. Love Always So now you are the expert you tell me what the heck happened and by the way we both had real feelings for each other. Thanks Mary


  10. Julie
    4 years ago

    I have been dating my man for the past 7 months. He came on like “gangbusters” with me…told me he loved me very early on. I had known him and his family for several years before we started dating, but I had no idea that he had been interested in me for quite sometime. He told me he had liked me from afar for many years but I was always with someone else, so when I broke up with my last boyfriend, he expressed his interest to me. And then expressed his love also very quickly. Because I had been hurt in past relationships I did not return his “I love you” right off. He told me he understood that I needed time to realize what I was feeling. Many times in the beginning he would misinterpret messages or statements I would make and become defensive quickly. I accredit this partly to the miscommunication that text messaging can lead to…and probably partly to me not knowing him well enough to know some of the things I said would be taken much more personally than they were meant (I sounded like his mom…as mentioned in the article). After learning more about him and realizing that text messaging really should not be used as a main means of communication, we began to text less and talk on the phone a little more. He says all the right things, says he loves me, wants to marry me, talks about a future and how happy we will be, however, his actions do not match his pretty words. I seldom see him. It has been this way almost from the beginning. He would make plans that I truly believed sounded good to him at the time, but when as the event got closer, I could feel him wavering, maybe even experiencing some anxiety about following thru. It is to the point that when he makes plans now, I expect that they probably won’t happen. I love him, I love the person that he is, and enjoy the time we spend together, but it becomes frustrating to be told I am the love of his life, his everything, and spend night after night, week after week, wondering when I may spend some quality time with him again. I have asked him if there is something going on that I need to know about, if something has changed, or if he needs time and space, he insists that he withdraws when things get stressful (and he does have a lot of stress both with his job and his family)…but that he loves me and nothing has changed. I’ve been researching commitment phobes and a lot of his actions match those described, other than the fact that he doesn’t really disappear, I can account for his time, and I talk to him at least once but more often it is several times each day. I have distanced myself some, just for my own mental well being, but I really need to know if he’s just scared or if he is just telling me what I want to hear. It would make sense to me, if I was getting “booty calls” from him, but that isn’t in the mix at all. We have been physical with one another but that really was never the main focus for us. We both enjoy cooking and staying in, so when we do spend time together, it’s the simple things we enjoy. I was warned by his mother about the way he is, so apparently this isn’t just a pattern with me but also a pattern with his family as well. I can’t tell if he is just completely self absorbed, or if he is just fearful of commitment.


  11. Licia
    3 years ago

    My man is a wonderful man, but he’s doubtful about himself. He was recently divorced from a 29 yr marriage, even though he was unhappy for most of the past 10 yrs, he was committed to see it through [He’s that kind of guy]. He contacted me and we started dating, in a short time we fell in love and as he continued to pursue me, even found and purchased an engagement ring [which sits in the jewelers’ vault awaiting his ‘perfect time’ to propose] I accepted to move in with him and have been for the past 4 months. During these past months he has confessed many doubts and now fears that he may never be ready for marriage. I am unsure what to do, as I have been supportive, loving, loyal and deeply caring during these down days. Its like all the wind has gone out of his sails and we are wading in the water with no idea for how long or if that ship will ever come. I don’t want to give up, but I am uncomfortable with ‘living together’ indefinitely. I discussed this to him before committing to move in. but I can not pressure him either. I love him and I do not want to add emotional burdens.


  12. Jade
    3 years ago

    I am a mom of two and after my relationship with my children’s father ended i had actually given up hope on ever finding someone else. After staying single for two years,8 months ago i finally found someone that makes me happy. The relationship has been wonderful. I have had “marriage” phobia for a very log time due to my past experiences and i had highlighted that i didnt want to get married in the beginning ( i guess its a method i have used for years to protect my heart and avoid disappointment ) but as i got to know him my view has changed on marriage. He keeps bringing up the topic of us getting married and i think hes afraid to formally ask me as he doesnt handle rejection very well. Recently during one of him marriage hints told him that i want to be with him and i know that he wants to get married and i dont mind it if it means me spending my life with him. i am honestly not sure how to encourage him towards it because he isnt asking me because he is trying to make me happy even though he isnt, and he is slowly starting to shut down. i need to stop it but dont know how before its too late. 🙁


  13. Kristine Cabot
    3 years ago

    I have been in a relationship for over 10 months now, and I am very confused by his contradictory statements. We have spend the majority of our free time together since we met. In fact, until recently we never went a day without seeing each other. Even if we were short on time we would meet at the convenience store half way between our houses for a hug and quick face to face meeting. Everything seemed great. But one day he will be talking about marriage and living together and then the next day saying he is not ready for marriage. He was in a 16 year marriage that ended when his wife had an affair, so this could be part of the fear. When I have talked to him about his fears they are about being a stepfather (I have 2 kids that are teenagers). He said that he does not want any pressure or expectations on the relationship which is funny because I have let him take the lead. He is the one that first said I love you and talking about a future together. At first he talked about how much he loved me and all of the things he wanted to do with me. He had made confusing, contradictory statements a few times. He said I will marry and take care of you in 6 years when your kids move out!. I told him I needed a month off after he told me that if he wanted to marry me he would have put a ring on my finger and until then he doesn’t know. I took it pretty hard. To me this was not a good sign and I didn’t like his tone. I felt demeaned, like some pathetic woman with children longing to get married again. He had made a statement “if we ever move in together would you sell your house or rent it.” I said “what do you mean if?” I thought you had said you wanted to marry me.” That’s when he seemed to feel trapped and angry telling me he “wasn’t ready”. Now I don’t know what to do. He texted me after 9 days saying “I was waiting for things to work themselves out.” I just thought “what?” I am so confused.

    If he doesn’t know by now I don’t have high hopes for the future. I am not sure if I should keep seeing him because I am afraid it will lead to more pain.


  14. diana
    2 years ago

    he informed me he did not realize he could love again and was not in the position to take care of wife.


  15. Kat
    2 years ago

    My bf and I have been together off and on for SIX years…six long years of waiting. I’m the only person he’s ever dated, and his parents brainwashed him with a bunch of religious mumbo jumbo to where he doesn’t know what he wants. I’ve broken up with him twice because he wasn’t ready to get married and I was tired of waiting around. I hate that the guy gets to make all the decisions about “when it’s time.” I’m already in my 30s and considering having a child alone. You can’t count on guys to follow through with what they say will happen “someday.”


  16. MankuR
    2 years ago

    I came to spend xmas with his family…last nite i asked if he is ready for a marriage and he said this is not the right time..we have a child


  17. May
    2 years ago

    I and my x boyfriend started good. First, we’ve met 11 years ago. He was interested to me before but he knew that I had boyfriend that time. He didn’t show after that meet. Then we had our own life in that 11 years, he had a child from his x girlfriend before. He was left by that girl who had another man. He became single parent to his child. Then 6 months ago, he finally found me single. We started our relationship and we are in our wedding plans and other future plans together and I told him that I really want to take good care of his child also. We had good relationship. But weeks ago, he broke up with me because he is not yet ready to get married , he told me he want to focus first the future of his child than his own happiness. I was so down and sad. What will I do now? I really love him and his child.


  18. Lisa
    1 year ago

    He is a ” Man of God” . So you have to be ready and prepared to take care of a wife.The things of God are foremost of course(, handling the affairs of the church finances) his finances are not great ( he stated he has a certain lifestyle way he takes care of a wife), his house 150k ( needs repairs). I have been stress due to being without steady income, he helps when he can which has not been much this year He told me in Jan 2016 the reason he has not married me was the finances and right now not to dwell on the m word but to see how God takes it because he would mess up things up. With God all things are possible. Though I get upset with his assistant (her). She has been with the church at the beginning but she is my age. works very close with her. He told me that she thought she had a chance with him. He told me that he fell in love with me and that I am not acting like that woman and that he did not promise to marry me.He has always been a very private man. So people tend to try to catch him doing something wrong and spreading rumors( an former member stalking him). Now he tells me that someone had placed a hidden camera at his house so I asked him was she living with him.He said no.He told me he did not want to keep the woman he loves out of the way. By the way the other church members though I have did them no harm just dont like me and concern people would leave the church. that happen when his wife (now ex) falsely accused him that her boyfriend had did to her not him. I do need patience and wait for God’s will.