When a man tells you he doesn’t want to get married believe him…

When a man tells you he doesn’t want to get married believe him… April 17, 2012

… Men are straight forward beings. They’re not really into verbal manipulation and double meanings. So ladies, if you are dating a man and he very plainly tells you that he doesn’t want to get married, he doesn’t want to get married and he’s not waiting for you to try and change his mind.

It’s easy to cling to the hope that maybe he just doesn’t want to get married right now while you continue to get emotionally invested. Maybe after two or three years together he will suddenly change his mind, you think. Once he sees how wonderful you are, you rationalize.

Ask any married men about their wives and the first time they met them. Usually the memory is recalled with a smile and a mention of “just knowing” she was the one. I’ve yet to have a man tell me he firmly told his wife he didn’t want to get married but she hung around anyway and wore down his resistance.

Another instance that causes much confusion in the smitten hearts of women is the man who solemnly swears to never marry… then marries the next girl he goes out with. The problem here is the incomplete sentence. When a man gives you the “I don’t want to get married” line quietly finish his sentence in your head, “I don’t want to get married … to you“. Then repeat it to yourself as many times as needed to make it firmly sink in.

Ouch. I know. I’ve been on the receiving end of this on more than one occasion. It happens to the best of us. But it’s better to take his statement at the face value in which it was intended than dwell in the land “maybe he’ll change his mind” and waste your valuable time and energies.

Next time you hear this statement don’t get offended at his honesty but also don’t go into denial that he just hasn’t experienced your mind changing awesomeness either. Graciously and sincerely state you have different long term plans and wish him well.

Should you continue to date him? If you plan on getting married, NO! However, if you can legitmately accept that you will not get married to this person, and are not just saying that because you don’t want to lose him, and you can be happy settling for being forever a girlfriend never a bride, then you knock yourself out.

Now ask me if you try and remain friends. Again, NO!

Hanging around in the friend zone risks your dignity. Are you settling for friendship in hopes that once he knows you better he’ll see what a fool he’s been? Yeah, maybe if life were a Hollywood movie where things are resolved in 120 minutes.

Ask yourself, are you willing to watch him date other women and eventually go on to get married despite all his past protest? Because that is the fate that typically awaits women willing to settle for friendship with a man they once dated.

I know this probably sounds all terribly unromantic and cynical but believe me, this is a positive message. Don’t waste time on a man who at best can offer you a “maybe” to having a future with him. If he can be honest with you, then it’s worth it to be honest with yourself.

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  • Love that last sentence.  Good stuff!

  • yup

  • I actually agree with most of what you say here – however, I do know a woman, a very good friend of mine, actually, who has told me many times about how her now husband of several years did not want to have much to do with her when they first met (as she is several years younger than him and he was recently divorced) and she had to “stalk” him and “wear him down” to finally get him to agree to date/marry her.

  • ArchaicSteam

    Just for reference to those who confuse it… the friendzone is different than being friends and then later having a relationship. 

    The friendzone is where the friendzoned individual is missing all the signs (or deluding themselves that time will change things) that the other individual has no romantic interest in you, period. No ifs, ands, or buts. You might as well be another species for all that person cares.   

    I’ve known many people of both genders that have allowed themselves to be placed friendzone simply because they don’t want to deal with the fact that their crush has no interest in them and in the mean time they are missing out on other people that might be interested.

    And yes it does seem harsh but better harshness now followed by moving on and finding someone who does like you than years of stagnant hopes and bitterness.

  • off topic- do you want Mormon ads on your site? This ‘new’ Patheos is not all that great

  • L.

    The opposite is not true.
    When my husband met me, I told him I never wanted to marry or have screaming babies. He….persisted.
    I never did warm to the concept of babies, but he did manage to drag me down the aisle and we’ve been married 21 years and we have three kids.

  • Tanya

    …and this is all true….

  • daisy

    My uncle told his girlfriends that he would never marry. They didn’t believe him. One was left a bitter, broken drunk and one is still waiting after 20 years of dating.

  • Barb

    I had a friend whose boyfriend said something like that, along with comments that he thought they should have an “open” relationship.  She told him to hit the road and after 2 miserable weeks, he came crawling back.  They have been married almost 32 years.

  • You nailed it this time Kat!  I don’t want to get married to YOU!  I highly recommend you see this 5 minute lecture from Prager University.


  • 63rdstreet

    A contrary viewpoint.   When I first met my (future) wife, and for some time after, I wasn’t interested in marriage and I told her so.    People change.  Circumstances change. People mature.  When I told her that I wasn’t interested in marriage, that was the truth. There was no unspoken “to you” in my statement.  We were on &off   boyfriend/girlfriend for seven years before we married.    In those seven years however,  when we weren’t boyfriend/girlfriend  we weren’t “just friends” or in each other’s “friend zone”.  When you’re rejected, you’re rejected, leave.  Eventually we reconciled, some 30+ years ago.

  • Farris 1977

    It’s really about self value. If a guy doesn’t want to marry you, why hang out with him?

  • Latynntg41

    Thanks for the brutily honest trutch

  • Anon

    You’re a fucking idiot

    • Brandi D, please see my comment policy. You are now unceremoniously banned henceforth for poor manners and ill breeding.

  • Sara

    Im dating a guy for about a month now and he told me that he doesn’t know if he ever wants to get married again. (he’s divorced) it’s kinda scary to think about cuz I wanna get married…..but I don’t wanna waste my time knowing that he probably won’t. Do u think I’m thinking way to into it (its definitely early in this relationship) or should I just let this whole situation go??

    • Sara, if you were my daughter I would tell you to walk away. You have two very different goals. There is nothing wrong with being honest and saying “Look, I respect your decision to not get married again after having been through a divorce; however, I plan to get married one day. We both have different long term plans and I wish you well. ” 

    • Tanya

      saying he doesn’t know isn’t the same thing as saying, “no” or “never”. A month is not a long time.  I would def. make sure he understands that you do want to get married (not necessarily to him) one day, that way your intentions are clear. I can understand his hesitation, but obviously the closer you get to him, the harder it’s going to be to walk away if he really isn’t interested in marriage. It’s hard to put a time frame to it b/c every relationship is as different as the people in them, but I wouldn’t go longer than 6 months. By that point, you’ll know…

  • Shannon E22

    Give me your advice please! I’ve been dating my bf for almost 2.5 years, and we’ve lived together for 2 years. Our relationship has always been serious and from the beginning we’ve both said the other is “the one”. Over the last month his assistant at work has constantly been texting him. I told him it bothered me and that I thought she liked him, he said I was just being jealous and they were just friends. This past Friday was her last day working for him and on Saturday she called him and said she has feelings for him. He has been honest with me about it and said he really didn’t see it but now he can see how he may have led her on always talking with her, but to him it was just as friends. He is now telling me that he doesn’t know if he wants to get married (he’s been married before and was cheated on) but is asking me to give him time, and he hopes/wants to think it will change. He says if he ever gets married again he wants it to be right because he doesn’t want to get divorced again, and something isn’t “right” since some other girl has liked him and he led her on. I do really care about him so part of me wants to stay and give him a chance because I don’t want to wonder what if? but the other part of me appreciates him being honest with me and I know that I want to get married and it’s not something I am willing to compromise on so I should just walk away… do I stay or do I get out? He’s been so honest with me (he’s always had a hard time opening up because of his past) and he’s also been very persistant in telling me that he loves me, and wants this to work etc. I don’t want to be irrational, but I also don’t want to be stupid. Help please 

    • Tanya

      Okay, but you asked….

      1. Move out. Yesterday. You moved in with him 2 yrs and no ring too early.

      2. He’s bsing you and maybe even himself. He knew he was flirting with the girl and vice versa. If he were 15, I could maybe see you giving him a pass by saying he “didn’t see it”, but by your description, he’s plenty experienced enough. I don’t want to go all “Harry Met Sally” on you, and my apologies to the male readership, but he’s a man. If he wasn’t interested sounds like he’s had plenty of opportunity to stop it. He’s enjoying the attention. Which is fine. Nothing wrong with that… if he weren’t living with and “committed” to you.

      3. Not only are his actions telling you he doesn’t want to get married, he’s actually telling you he doesn’t want to get married. Whether it’s this girl or his past, whatever. He doesn’t want to get married…. to you… or he would’ve done it already. Two yrs = enough time.

      4. I don’t doubt he cares for you on some level and that you care for him, but truthfully, this problem started two yrs ago when you moved in with him. (been there, done that) You’re “committed” but not really. I’m gonna go out on a limb and assume you’re sleeping with him, so, you’re willing to give him the most precious gift you have to give, but yet you seem confused as to how you expect him to act after receiving it. If he were your husband, would you be so quick to give him a pass on having another woman call him and text him all the time? Especially when you know he knows it bothers you? Right. Exactly.

      5. Confession. Confession. Go let a real man tell you what you’re worth and give you the absolution you need.

      6. Find a solidly single Catholic man who will love you, appreciate you, and respect you for the beautiful daugther of Christ that you are. They do exist.

      7. See #1