05/10/2012 05:09 EDT | Updated 07/10/2012 05:12 EDT

What To Do If He Doesn't Propose

Isn't it totally frustrating? You're with the man of your dreams. He tells you how much he loves you. He tells you that he wants to be with you forever. And yet he refuses to pop the question. So what gives?

Isn't it totally frustrating? You're with the man of your dreams. He tells you how much he loves you. He tells you that he wants to be with you forever. And yet he refuses to pop the question.

So what gives?

Most Women Are Dying to Get Married

Walt Disney, romantic comedies, television shows and magazines have all told you that your purpose in life is to meet the man of your dreams, get married, and live happily ever after.

From the time you were little this image has been in the back of your mind driving every decision you make about who to date, and for how long. Anyone who isn't marriage material might be fun for a while, but in the end you always decide to move on to someone who is.

Eventually you meet the man of your dreams. You fall in love and you decide to take the next step. You move in together. This is a true sign of commitment from your guy. Everything is good in your world.

But this only lasts for so long. Especially when you start to see all of your girlfriends getting married. Now you begin to wonder how committed your guy truly is if he won't take the next step and ask you to marry him.

But He Won't Pop the Question!

If you are like most women, you've now begun comparing yourself to your newly married girlfriends. You notice that they haven't been together as long as you and your boyfriend have. You notice that they don't get along as well as you and your boyfriend do. You notice they complain about their boyfriends way more than you do about yours. You are certain that they aren't in love with their boyfriends as much as you are with yours.

So why is everyone else getting married but you?

The truth is, there is no simple answer to this question. It really depends on your boyfriend and where he is coming from. There could be any number of reasons he's reluctant to get married. Some examples include:

• He is not religious and doesn't believe in the act of marriage

• He is a child of divorce and doesn't want to end up like his parents

• He doesn't see the value in marriage because it's so easy to divorce anyway

• He believes how he treats you should be enough to let you know he's not going anywhere

From the Female Perspective

You hear all of his reasons for not wanting to marry, and yet you can't let it go. You've got all sorts of excellent arguments for why you should marry. Some of these may include:

• If he really loves you, he will declare it publicly in front of your family and friends

• You're getting older now and you're tired of referring to your partner as your boyfriend

• You don't want to raise a family out of wedlock

• You know you have a better relationship than any of your married friends, so if anything you should be the ones who are married -- not them!

What Can You Do When He Won't Say "I Do"?

If you've had some heated discussions with your boyfriend on the topic of marriage, it's likely to have become a very sensitive subject. If you feel like you are at a dead end with your boyfriend on the issue of marriage there are a couple of things you can do:

  • You may want to ask if he'd be willing to discuss it further with a relationship therapist or coach:
  • Advise him that the intent of working with a professional is not to have someone gang up on him. and convince him he has to get married -- any good therapist or coach would never do this!
  • The purpose of working with a professional is to negotiate each of your needs in a safe place. It allows each of you to express what is really going on inside.
  • It is likely that both of you aren't totally conscious of your drivers for wanting, or not wanting to be married. Understanding what is truly going on will help you make a more informed decision.
  • But what if your partner refuses to talk anymore on the subject of marriage, and refuses to work with a professional?

  • You really must ask yourself if you can live with the fact that you may never get married to this man.
  • Ultimately you cannot force anyone to do something he or she does not want to do. And even if you did manipulate him to marry you, it would be so bittersweet. The fact that he didn't ask you of his own freewill would nag at you constantly (trust me, this is what happened with me)
  • You may want to work with a professional on your own to release the intense emotion you have around your need to be married. This is advised especially if you are thinking of leaving the relationship.

I cannot tell you how many times I have worked with recently single women who have just left their boyfriends. Even though they were deeply in love, these women couldn't accept that their boyfriends didn't want to get married. Nine times out of ten these women have regretted their decision.

Words of Encouragement

True love is such a wonderful thing. If you think you have found your soul mate but he refuses to pop the question, I encourage you to revisit your need to be married.

Understand your true motivation to be married by asking yourself the following questions:

  • If he refuses to marry you are you willing to break-up and start over again?
  • How much is your ego involved in your need to be married? Hint: your ego is involved if you are worried about what others will think of you if you are not married.
  • Who is it that says you have to be married in order to be committed? Is this a message from your parents, society, your peers?
  • Understand what you really think about marriage.
  • How important is it to you in the grand scheme of things?
  • If you are madly in love and you know you are going to grow old together, is the piece of paper really all that important?