Perhaps you’ve been dating a women for a long time and you’re starting to think it’s time to take the next step in your relationship. Perhaps you’ve started dating her recently, but you need to know that you could potentially get married to her down the road. Regardless, you know that you eventually want to be married. For some, the actions of the woman they are with bring them a horrible thought: “My girlfriend doesn’t want to get married.” This could mean one of two things – it could mean simply that she doesn’t want to get married at all, or it could mean she doesn’t want to get married to you, specifically.
This second meaning is a lot more disheartening. If you are the problem, there is not much that you can do besides hope that she changes her mind (and try to give her as many reasons as you can to do so.) If this is the case, then you should probably consider whether marriage is really a necessity for you, and if it is, consider telling her that you cannot be with her if she would never marry you. The good news concerning this is that she will rarely ever tell you that she doesn’t want to marry you. The bad news is, sometimes it is difficult to tell if the other reasons she gives are covering up for that one or not.
What are some of the reasons why she might not want to tie the knot? One of the reasons is to avoid getting hurt. Many marriages end in divorce and unhappiness, and perhaps for some girls whose parents divorced, or who know about a lot of failed marriages, the prospect of being married themselves is too frightening. Another argument you might get is that you they “don’t believe in marriage.” This could, of course, be related to the first reason, but could also be tied to a rejection of labels and the pressure and expectations they put on people, or a host of other things.
A far more common objection is that her family or friends would disapprove. This is less of a problem in the U.S. than it is many other places, but it can still be a significant issue. Marriage is, in a certain sense, an act of committing a great part of your identity, who you are, to another person. If that other person (you) will change her identity to one that would not be accepted by her friends or family, that could be a reason for her reluctance to marry.
What should be done if your girlfriend doesn’t want to get married? The first thing to do is to talk to her. Explain why it means so much to you. If she asks you why you need to get married, why it would make a difference, or if it’s just to share money, tell her that you want the world to know that you are married to her, and that you see it as a validation of your commitment to each other. If you want children, tell her you want them to grow up without having to wonder why everyone else’s parents are married except theirs. If she will not budge, you have a simple decision to make: is staying together with her worth you losing out on your prospect of marriage? If it isn’t, then give her a choice between staying with you or sticking to her position on getting married, and hope that she decides to put aside her reluctance and say yes.