Dating but uncomfortable with marriage

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aviandivine
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10 Feb 2022, 11:02 am

My boyfriend is uncomfortable with conversations of marriage but I don't understand why. We've been dating for a year and I love him and he loves me. He says he sees a life with me and talks about a future with me but does not like to talk about marriage. But if we're dating then the next step is marriage. Not right now, since we're both in college and it would get complicated, but after college it would make sense. That way we have a piece of paper that says we belong to each other and paperwork in general gets a lot easier if you get married. Plus you get to have a party and celebrate. So if he's thinking about me in his future and loves me, why is marriage so different? Nothing would change for us but the status. Part of it might be that my parents got married at 22 and his parents got married in their forties. But still, he wants to be with me when he's older so why would it be different if we were married? I don't get the logic. If anyone relates to him or me and can provide new perspective that would be great.



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10 Feb 2022, 11:18 am

I have a few male friends who consider a non-marriage long-term relationship to be more meaningful (show more trust?). Something about how since they can leave at any time but choose to stay proves their love is "more real". I completely disagree with them, but that's the thinking I've run into. Just had one's gf leave him after ten years of that line of thinking.



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10 Feb 2022, 12:31 pm

Back in college I was very much single so I wasn't in the same frame of mind, but I was also young and stupid... I saw divorce rates and thought that as an ultimate romantic gesture I'll have a strong relationship without marriage to show that institutional marriage isn't what makes a relationship work. For real life it's a bit short-sighted. To make your life together easier the benefits are worth it, shared insurance, tax breaks, shared custody, etc.

The two of you might be a bit young for that level of planning, and perhaps crippling financial debt of college is a valid consideration. But really, he just might be too young for those mature thoughts. People of current generations have delayed maturity and stay kids longer, which is not necessarily a bad thing. YOLO and all that. (It's what kids say these days, right? :? :lol: )

My parents were married by 20... They were both college students. It was a very different time.



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11 Feb 2022, 6:27 am

Blue_Star wrote:
I have a few male friends who consider a non-marriage long-term relationship to be more meaningful (show more trust?). Something about how since they can leave at any time but choose to stay proves their love is "more real". I completely disagree with them, but that's the thinking I've run into. Just had one's gf leave him after ten years of that line of thinking.


You're 40, the OP is 19 and her guy is likely as young.


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MaxE
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11 Feb 2022, 8:06 am

@OP trust me, pressuring him to get married is about the most foolish thing you can do, short of something outright unethical like cheating.


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kraftiekortie
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11 Feb 2022, 8:40 am

He might change his mind after college.



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11 Feb 2022, 11:25 am

Have you asked him?

Maybe he prefers his parents example. To Know they want to stay together, to be settled in career paths and finances etc in order to afford a more elaborate wedding reception.

Or maybe he's seen them be unsure of IF they want to marry over the years and doesn't want to jump into anything until he's SURE.

Or maybe he's seen some rough examples of divorces in his life and doesn't want to have that happen to him.. so perhaps wants to grow and mature himself and Know that he's fully committed to marriage w/o fears of a relationship going wrong over time before he decides it's for him.

Or maybe it's just good old fashioned fear of all the possibilities and he just needs time to think, process, mature and decide on his own terms.

Or maybe he's not Certain you're the one for him for life and wants to be sure of that before even discussing marriage. You've only been dating for a year.. for some people that's not nearly enough time to decide the rest of their life.

Or maybe, for any number of reasons, he's not a fan of the idea of marriage at all. Some people think it's a colossal waste of money, others don't like the idea of signing a contract that says they'll never have sex with another human being and if they do this one they signed the document with can split with half of their wealth.

Only he knows why he's reluctant to discuss it and so you'll have to ask him.. but one thing is for sure: It seems pretty obvious that he's not ready for it At This Time and it's an uncomfortable topic for him, So, know this going into any conversations about it and tread lightly.. don't pressure him, don't get upset if he says something you don't like or doesn't want to talk about it at all - just shelve the conversation and tell him you understand he's not in a mood to discuss this right now and you'll wait until he is. IMO.


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aviandivine
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15 Feb 2022, 10:09 am

MaxE wrote:
@OP trust me, pressuring him to get married is about the most foolish thing you can do, short of something outright unethical like cheating.


I wasn't planning on pressuring him at all, just understanding his mindset. I'd never want to force someone to do what they don't want to.



aviandivine
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15 Feb 2022, 10:16 am

goldfish21 wrote:
Have you asked him?

Maybe he prefers his parents example. To Know they want to stay together, to be settled in career paths and finances etc in order to afford a more elaborate wedding reception.



I asked him and that's exactly what he said! That he wants to have a stable career. It was a good conversation to have



kraftiekortie
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15 Feb 2022, 10:23 am

To me, it's a very sensible mindset.



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15 Feb 2022, 11:29 am

aviandivine wrote:
goldfish21 wrote:
Have you asked him?

Maybe he prefers his parents example. To Know they want to stay together, to be settled in career paths and finances etc in order to afford a more elaborate wedding reception.



I asked him and that's exactly what he said! That he wants to have a stable career. It was a good conversation to have


There ya go!

Sounds like he's the type that wants to make sure he's super set and stable in his work and finances before marriage in order to feel that he can truly provide for the newly formed family - including possibly a more elaborate wedding where he can afford to treat your friends and family to a nice event in terms of food/drink/entertainment/venue etc vs. do the "let's just get married on paper, who cares about a big party," types. Everyone's different.

I worked for a friend once who delayed getting married a while and then schedule it for a couple years or so out from their engagement because big elaborate wedding receptions are a HUGE thing in his and his wife's culture and he wanted to make sure he could afford to put on a 3 day party that cost over $100k. So, there are definitely people who know they're going to marry their partner But delay it just to make sure they're in a really good financial position that'll cover the things they expect of themselves out of life.

And maybe he's not the $100k party type, but just feels the need to be more financially whole to be married vs. young and struggling.

Either way, I'm glad you were able to have that conversation with him and find out where his mind is at on this topic. It must feel good to know a whole lot better vs. wondering. 8)


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20 Feb 2022, 7:31 pm

aviandivine wrote:
goldfish21 wrote:
Have you asked him?

Maybe he prefers his parents example. To Know they want to stay together, to be settled in career paths and finances etc in order to afford a more elaborate wedding reception.



I asked him and that's exactly what he said! That he wants to have a stable career. It was a good conversation to have
I'm glad to read this :D

I woulda married my 1st girlfriend in a hot second after being in an online relationship with her only a month(we were online friends for a while before we got in a relationship) & she felt the same way but she was still in high-school & I was trying to get my life figured out since I was only 20 & had nothing going on in my life besides her. We each had our various issues we were dealing with & we argued & fought a lot & I became very unstable & we broke up after about half a year. It's very good that we did not get married or move in together cuz I woulda made things a lot worse for her :cry:

I also woulda married my 2nd girlfriend in a hot second after knowing her only a month as well but she was in college & dependent on her parents financially & they were traditionalist & woulda cut her off if we got married or moved in together. We were incompatible in some major ways which caused us to fight a lot & she broke up with me after about half a year. It's very good our relationship was mostly long distance & we didn't get married or even move in together cuz breaking up woulda been a lot more complicated & heartbreaking for me.


I also woulda married my current girlfriend in a hot second after we were in a long distance relationship for about a month & she felt the same way about me. We did move in together after about half a year & we've been living together for over 9 years now. We both majorly love each other & are loyal to a fault & know our mental health & living situations would be alot worse without the other but we're both disabled & getting married would screw up some of our benefits. I woulda been in a rush to get married with most anyone because being married would make it harder for us to break up & might make her more willing to try & work things out instead of rushing to throw in the towel as soon as any problem arises. I majorly HATED being single & sleeping alone(I mean sleep literally) & was single for 8 years straight after me & my 1st girlfriend broke up. Despite my best efforts I couldn't get so much as a single date during that time so I was very desperate to keep a relationship going unless I was sure she'd be better off without me.

However my girlfriend is actually wanting us to be married more than I am. In general I am more level-headed & logical about making decisions than she is & I do not want to make our various disability benefits less if nothing in our lives would improve by us being married. If our financial situation would of been the same either way, I woulda married her as soon as we moved in together. If I would suddenly come into a bit of money, I'm not talking Trump rich, I mean if I had just enough money where we could get by without worrying about being on any disability benefits for the rest of our lives, I would defiantly be wanting to marry Cass whenever she would make arrangements to. I just don't see any practical benefit to being married rite now that would be worth making our current financial situation worse. I also have concerns about her mental health getting worse & if that happens there's a chance I might need to get guardianship of her in the future. I do NOT want to be in that position cuz I have my own various issues but her family all have their own various issues as well & could not handle being in that position whereas I'm kinda doing it rite now in some ways so I'd be the only choice if that does become necessary but I majorly hope it never happens. I guess this worry is another reason I don't want to risk making our financial situation any worse.


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Anomaly_76
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29 Apr 2022, 5:28 pm

Three factors here that merit consideration.

OP's age / partner's age.

How long have OP and their partner been dating?

What other things are going on in OP's / partner's life?

The reason these are pertinent questions:

If the couple is in their late 20s / early 30s, then maybe marriage might be the next logical step. It's hardly a must when you're 20-25.

I don't think marriage should be discussed before at least six to twelve months of dating, twelve-to-thirty-six is better. Why? Because you really don't know someone until you've lived with them, and some don't do that before marriage, for starters. But apart from that, marriage before you really know someone fully is never a good idea. There's a reason that most marriages these days end in divorce.

Also, are either OP or their partner on track for a good career or education? You can only put so much on your plate before you start running yourself into the ground.

My advice, don't push your partner into marriage if they're not ready. It will never end well if they feel they're being pressured, and when you get right down to it, I'll be frank -- the American legal system has made marriage a license to steal for American women.

As a cabbie, I can't tell you how many conversations I overheard between females who either only intended to marry for money or what they could take once they'd popped out a few kids. I used to think something was wrong with me when women passed me up for someone else to date -- now I realize they were doing me a favor. I honestly don't think most modern women really want to marry -- they want the proceeds of the divorce.

Unfortunately, marriage in America has become a very dirty and one-sided legal game, and my personal feeling is that any man who marries without a prenuptial agreement is a fool, especially straight out of college. A friend of mine flies to Costa Rica twice a year to have his fun, with no drama or BS of false accusations (which I have personal experience with) or divvying of the assets to see how much there is to fleece.

Just my $0.02.


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