Why Won’t He Marry Me?

advice: relationship john gray

Are you with a wonderful man who’s everything you’ve ever dreamed of — except for the fact that he just won’t say “I do”?

Maybe you’re wondering if he will ever come around and finally make things “official.”

Well, you’re not alone!

As frustrating and challenging as this can be, there are a few key reasons that men resist those big “official” commitments — like marriage!

Understanding how and why he thinks this way will help you make the best decision for yourself and ultimately get the love and relationship you truly want.

In this post, I’m going to share exactly what to do if you’re wondering:

Why won’t he marry me?

Hi John,

My ex-fiancé and I split up 2 years ago because he got cold feet. We have a 4-year-old son together. When I found out he was dating, I also set up an online dating profile. My ex came across my profile and started messaging me right away. He now says he doesn’t trust another man to provide for me or make me happy and wants me and my son to move and start a life with him. I asked if this means that he wants me back as an “official” part of his life. He said the “official” part is too serious-sounding; he thinks that will sabotage the relationship. Am I crazy for being confused?

– Sarah

Deciding whether or not a relationship is ready for the next stage, like marriage, can be truly tough for a variety of reasons.

There may be a lot of love present, but deciding whether or not both partners can commit and grow in love is a whole other factor.

The good news is that there are some things you can do to make the best decision for you and your children and ultimately get the love and relationship you want.


First of All…Why Get Married?


When you’re faced with a man who’s afraid to commit — or says they don’t believe in marriage — it’s hard to fight a purely intellectual argument on “why get married?”

I know a lot of men who say about marriage: “No, I don’t wanna jinx it by getting married.

Even when I was 21, I used to think “This is just a document. What does a document have to say about the two of us?

Now, I don’t think everyone should get married. I believe that’s a personal choice.

But when it comes to a woman with a child to raise, there are practical factors to consider.

There are two main reasons that I encourage women to get married — especially if they have children.


The practical reality is that a marriage document means that you are:

  • Financially protected by the law. In my opinion, you can’t get enough support if you’re a woman raising children in our society.
  • Able to feel secure in your relationship and know that you can create stability for your child. If having that contract and declaration of seriousness from your partner is something YOU want, you have every right to have that.
  • Committed to growing in love, overcoming your ego, and putting others before yourself. Just being married and making that commitment in front of all of your friends and the community forces you to step outside of yourself and think of the bigger picture.


The truth is that marriage comes with plenty of challenges — but every challenge is an opportunity for growth. Becoming committed forces a man to think about the bigger picture and step outside of himself. It forces him to think: “What about my children?” “What about my wife?” And that’s one of the great gifts that being married and having children gives us.

The number one way for a man to get out of themselves is, first of all, loving a woman, and secondly having a child.

When a man and woman enter into a relationship where there is no interdependence, there is an illusion that they can each take care of themselves completely, so the man never has to think outside of himself. Relationships like that typically don’t last very long.

But when a relationship is interdependent and has a purpose and a direction — like marriage — THEN you really depend upon your partner.

And when she depends on him, it makes him have to come out of himself.

It helps him grow up and mature. It’s all about maturity.

Marriage really creates a situation where this growth becomes possible, and that’s the ultimate reason why I encourage it.


Why Won’t He Just Commit?


A lot of women wonder: “Why is it so hard for men to commit?

I want to start by saying that most men won’t commit before they’re ready. It’s a maturity thing and does not mean he doesn’t love you! It can sometimes mean that he’s getting everything he wants without having to commit or do something that makes him uncomfortable.

So, in essence, he’s going to go the easy route.

This is simply human nature.

Sarah shared that her ex-fiance was still sleeping in her bed at times! In essence, these two were acting like a married couple without being a married couple.

In a situation like this, it’s important that you are clearer with your boundaries and what you want. 

If you’re going to have someone sleeping in your bed and raising your child with you, can you make marriage the prerequisite to that?

Now, again, I’m not saying that everyone has to get married. However, if you clearly want a serious, committed marriage — and someone to raise your child with — you may have to begin setting some boundaries and being more clear.

This is not about manipulation or games. This is about you being honest about what you would like and what would make you happy and feel good.

If your ex is expecting to be the only man in your life, the only one sleeping in your bed, the only one raising your child with you, then you are going to have to say: “Well, this is what I require. This is what would make my heart sing. This is what’s important to me.

Basically, he can’t have his cake and eat it too!


Trying to Please Him Won’t Work


Something that can get a little confusing for everyone in the relationship is if one person is always focused on trying to please their partner.

I see a lot of women doing this, and it comes from a very good, loving place.

They simply want to please their partner, and that’s very good! What gets confusing is they assume that if they want to please him, that he’ll just naturally want to please them back just as much!

But what women often don’t realize with men is that if you’re busy pleasing a man, he assumes that he’s done enough to please you. He certainly wants to please you, but if you’re pleasing him, he assumes that he’s already done enough to please.

Couple that with not asking for what YOU need to be happy and feel good, and you’ve got a big recipe for confusion.

So you must ask for what you want and let him know why you want it.

If he asks the question: “Why label this relationship and make it serious with a commitment?

You can now give him the answer: Because it makes you feel secure. Because it’s a sign of commitment to the world that you two have a partnership, are committed to raising your child, staying together, and making your love and family more important than anything else.

My advice is if you ask for this and he’s not ready to do it, don’t do it.

If he wants to be sleeping in your bed, spending all your time with you, raising your child with you — this is what needs to happen.

You get to say: “I want more, and I’ll give you the big yes when I get more.

We live in a society where we make promises, we make commitments, and that’s what it takes to be a real man.

When you set your boundary and ask for what you want and need, he will have to rise to the responsibilities of being a grown-up.

And I think that will help the two of you to create a lifetime of love.

You just have to stand your ground.

I hope this helps give you some support in asking for what you want.

I’d recommend you read my book Mars Venus On a Date. There’s a whole section in there on how to motivate a man to make that commitment.


Grow in love,


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