For many, there are only two ways a relationship can ultimately turn out: marriage or breakup. If you’re in a successful long-term relationship the next step is usually a white dress and a stroll down the aisle to marital bliss.
However, not all couples come to this point at the same time. Often one craves married life and pressures the other before they’re ready. To be put in this position is a true dilemma. Refusal to marry can cause problems in an otherwise sound relationship. She could think you’re a commitment phobe, already planning your next relationship or just not all that serious about her — and in her eyes, wasting her precious time.
But (hopefully) she’s wrong. You’re with her and happy with her, but just not ready to walk down the aisle… yet. We’re not going to tell you how to dupe a girl into staying in a dead-end relationship, but here are a few strategies to postpone the inevitable proposal if the thought of popping the big question any time soon makes you feel a little queasy.
Enjoy the relationship first
Once you’re married, you can expect big changes. You aren’t a couple of adolescents fooling around — you’re now man and wife. Along with this comes responsibility, starting a family and settling down. Not that these are bad things, but they are big things — big, scary, serious things.
Buy yourself more time by suggesting that the two of you really enjoy the relationship you have before moving on to more serious situations. Before you marry, take time to travel, go out on the town and spend all your spare money and time having fun. Think of them as a few more years of fun to build a solid foundation for a marriage.
Of course, once you are married, you’ll have to accept all the changes you’ve delayed. But these should be part of the reason you decided to get married. This way your girl will know that once you take the plunge you are ready for the realities of a grown-up family life.
Wait for better circumstances
Given that marriage is the start of a new life with the woman you love, it should be the best possible one you can give her. Many couples jump into marriage without a penny to their name, and find that love isn’t really enough when you’re in a real relationship in the real world. Working constantly to afford a tiny apartment and a couple of kids — is that really what your wife deserves?
Suggest that you hold back from marriage until your circumstances are more favorable. If you’re in college, wait until you’ve graduated or if either of you has a promotion in sight, work toward that because it will make married life easier in the long run. You can also wait until after you have a better apartment or house if your living situation is less than ideal.
Explain to her that you don’t want to get married if nothing is really going to change. By suggesting these material improvements to her, you are promising that marriage will lead to a better life, not just the same old relationship with one day of partying and a new ring.
A few more reasons to postpone your engagement…