A lot of women spend a lot of time turning this question over and over in their minds. They lose hours and hours of sleep wondering why their boyfriends won’t pop the question.

breakup coupleAnalyzing why your boyfriend does or does not do anything is a rabbit hole you can go down and never come back up from. You can exhaust yourself trying to read the tea leaves and figure out why – if you two get along so well, have such great sex, make each other laugh – he hasn’t yet put a ring on your finger.

Don’t waste too much time on this, ladies. The main reason your boyfriend hasn’t proposed yet is simple – he’s not ready for marriage. Surveys of men show that the number one deciding factor in a man’s mind about proposing to his girlfriend is feeling that it’s time to settle down. Different men come to this conclusion at different times.

The difficult part for you is accepting this. You can’t control your boyfriend’s mind and decisions. If he’s not feeling ready to be married, nothing you do will change his mind for him. All you can do is focus on yourself – live a happy life, go out with your friends and have fun, work hard, and wait for him to get comfortable with the idea of marriage. Keep enjoying life with your boyfriend, too. Having fun together will help him continue to evolve (yes, men still have many Neanderthal aspects and evolve is the correct word!) towards being ready to commit.

The flip side of this is important for you to understand. You aren’t the problem. You aren’t the reason he hasn’t proposed. It isn’t that you aren’t cute enough or fun enough or good enough in bed or happy enough. It’s not about you.

If you’re reading this, then you probably are ready to be married, and I can understand you feeling impatient or anxious about getting your boyfriend on board. How do you go about telling him you are ready? [RELATED: How to Get Your Boyfriend to Move In With You ]

A wise older friend of mine, who’s been successfully and happily married for decades, once shared with me one secret of his success. “I can say anything I want to my partner once, if I’m willing to let go of it after that.”

And that’s good advice in this situation. If you want to get married, if you’re ready, then it is fine to tell your boyfriend. Once. Tell him sincerely and honestly, and then let it go. It’s the letting it go part where most people fall down on the job. They are too tempted to remind him of it a few weeks later, or ask questions with “hooks” like “So, what did you think of what I said a couple weeks ago, you know, about getting married?” This behavior comes across more like nagging, and it can irritate him, in which case you aren’t likely to be able to have an honest conversation.

proposalDon’t try to trick or coerce your boyfriend into getting married. Your chances of success are low, and the possible damage you might do to your relationship is great. Besides, if you do somehow bully him into marrying you, that ain’t a great foundation for a long-lasting, happy marriage. So no ultimatums. Don’t threaten, “If you won’t marry me, I’m leaving!” or anything like that.

Still, it’s important to be clear with yourself about what you want. It’s just fine to set a limit in your own mind about what you expect. “If he hasn’t proposed to me in six months, I’m going to start looking around.” That’s fine. But you never tell him that, because then it becomes a threat instead of a healthy boundary you’ve set for yourself.

The best thing you can do to get your boyfriend to propose is to keep on being a fun, happy, lively person with an interesting life. Don’t make your life all about him – spend time with your friends, travel, take classes, join a club, have fun! That will make you more attractive and interesting.

Let your boyfriend know in a non-threatening way if you are ready to get married. But then drop the subject and let him follow his own path.

Good luck… and don’t worry, that ring will be coming eventually! 🙂
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