Has the ring suddenly become a trap? But some boyfriends have become too slow to propose or commit the relationship to the path of marriage. If that is your case, here is all you need to know about why he is too slow to propose and what you can do.
Alice (28F) and John (31M) met at the mall about a year ago. Alice was an attendant at the mall and John was a clerk who worked for a newspaper company
They were both single.
Her last relationship ended about 2 years ago. It was a brutal, unexpected experience for her because she thought that was going to be her last relationship before she got married.
For 11 months, the relationship blossomed until its eventual demise.
John, on the other hand, has never been in any serious relationship. He has been busy pursuing his career though he has had some intimate moments with a couple of ladies.
Around that time before he met Alice, he had made efforts to woo several ladies but got turned down each time for unknown reasons.
To Alice, meeting John at that point felt like a turning point for her, and, no doubt, John felt the same way.
But 11 months and 15 days have passed without John saying anything despite how much he loves her and how much they share.
At this point, we might need to ask, why is John so slow to propose to Alice? Is 11 months too short to expect a proposal?
Are you beginning to regret committing to your boyfriend? Do you feel resentful or doubt his interest in the relationship?
If by chance, any of these applies to you, that is, your boyfriend has not asked you to be his fiancee/wife after so long and doing things together, here are some of the top reasons why he is too slow to propose to you for marriage.
You will also see what you can do if you are in a situation like that.
The number #1 reason why your boyfriend is too slow to propose to you is the fear of commitment and the requirements that come with it. As ridiculous as this may seem, it is very real.
Let’s not explore all the reasons why your boyfriend is too slow to propose.
1. Fear of commitment or loss of freedom/change
The terminology for it is “gamophobia”, that is, fear of commitment. This occurs for several reasons relating to his perceived ideas about commitment in relationships.
Commitment, to some guys, feels like a cage that limits their freedom to explore other options. And this is quite logical to think of. Having to spend the rest of his life with someone is enough to make him want to reconsider his steps several times.
Everyone experiences this type of fear when they want to do something new and life-changing. It may not even look like fear, or he may not realize it but it is something that can subconsciously make him slow to get on one knee staring straight at your face.
If you suspect that fear of commitment is the reason he has not yet proposed, you need to be patient and give him time to process his thoughts and put himself together.
But if you perceive that he is not committed to the relationship, or he does not show commitment at all, you need to take the right actions to safeguard your heart. I will talk about these later.
2. He is not ready for marriage
This is still almost like the fear of commitment, only that this time he has shown commitment and willingness to spend the rest of his life with you. The problem is that marriage may not be as easy as you think, especially in some parts of the world.
In many parts of the world, including Africa, marriage is a big party that demands careful planning, rites, and heavy expenditures. Your boyfriend might be slow to propose if you are in such parts of the world and he is not ready for all of that yet.
If you figure out that is what is keeping him from proposing and taking the relationship to the next level, the simple solution is to make him see that he doesn’t have to do all that. People do simple marriage ceremonies that don’t cost so much.
3. He has a different understanding of marriage
We all assume everyone wants to settle down and get married but there are people that do not share in those ideas of marriage. They want intimacy but not any deeper form of commitment or marriage.
Your boyfriend may not agree with the idea of marriage. He might not believe in the concept of raising a legitimate family. As weird as this might sound, people are different.
He might not be totally averse to marriage but he could be one of those people who believe marriage should not be about ceremonies and serious commitment before two people come together to perform the roles of husband and wife.
It would help if you discussed with him to know his idea of marriage. And if you find out he does not see marriage the same way you do, you might need to excuse yourself from the relationship to find someone else who shares the same beliefs as you.
Another thing that might slow him down in proposing to you is if he is of the opinion that one’s career must be at its peak before getting married. This might make him want to pursue his career before considering making a proposal to you.
Either way, you need to understand his reasons for being too slow to propose to you. One of the best ways to do so is by asking him direct questions in a peaceful conversation. We will discuss this later on.
4. He thinks it’s not the right time for him
In the case of Alice and John, they see themselves as the perfect match for each other. But why the delay in making a proposal?
Sometimes, your boyfriend may feel that it is not the right time for him to take things forward. His reasons might be far-fetched and irrational but that might just be it.
People have different targets to achieve before marriage. Some want to attain a certain age, others want to obtain their Master’s degree before they marry.
On the question of what the ideal age for marriage is, Carrie Krawiec, a marriage and family therapist at Birmingham Maple Clinic, Michigan, says 28-32 years is the ideal timeline period to get married. She added that the likelihood of a divorce within the first five years is lowest during this period.
If for any of the above reasons your boyfriend thinks he is not ready to get married, this may be the reason he is acting too slow to propose to you. There is no point exerting too much pressure on him.
If you feel you cannot wait any longer, you might need to discuss things with him on the way forward. Even if that means having to leave him for someone else who is more ready for a commitment and marriage.
5. You are on different timelines
If you are on different timelines with your boyfriend, this could be the reason why he is too slow to propose to you. By different timelines, here is what I mean.
The biological clock controls the female’s reproductive capabilities of our body. At age 21, there is not much pressure to get married as a young girl but the pressure increases more than 5 fold if that same girl is unmarried by age 29.
This is often because as women approach menopause (somewhere around age 45-50), their reproductive systems gradually become inefficient compared to earlier. This is the same for men as well but considering the peculiarity of the female reproductive, this is often more emphasized for women.
You might be over-anxious to get married particularly if you are around the timeline of your life where the pressure to get married is super high. This might make you feel that he is being too slow to propose to you.
Generally, even if you are older than him, your marriage timeline could considered different from his if the age difference is greater than 5 years. You experience relatively more pressure to marry when the timelines are significantly different.
6. He is not financially ready
No matter how much your boyfriend loves you, he may get scared if he thinks about the responsibilities of fatherhood. If he thinks he is not financially ready to marry this year, this can be the reason why he is acting too slow to get married.
Your boyfriend is likely to propose early enough if he thinks he is financially ready for the responsibilities of marriage and fatherhood, and otherwise.
7. Your expectations are overwhelming
Having too many expectations may be another reason he is too scared to propose. For example, repeatedly emphasizing to him that your engagement ring must be a diamond or 24 Karat Gold can be frightening.
Does it mean if he cannot afford any of those, he shouldn’t propose? Definitely, this might make him slower to propose to you especially if that is beyond what his budget can take, even if he loves you so dearly.
Another example is how you want an elaborate wedding that must take place within 5 months after he has proposed to you. These can be way too much for a man who is struggling to establish his career.
8. He is not sure where the relationship is heading
Last but not least, your boyfriend can be too slow to propose to you if he is not sure of the direction of the relationship. This can happen for several reasons.
One, it might actually be too early for him to propose if he has not yet understood who you truly are. A 3-month relationship may be too early for a proposal. Contrariwise, even an 11-month relationship may not feel comfortable for a man to propose if he feels you have not fully understood each other well enough.
Another reason your boyfriend may be unsure of where the relationship is going is if someone else showed up in his life and he is having conflicts about who, between both of you, to settle with. Maybe an ex he loved so dearly showed up again.
He might be looking for someone more “perfect” than you, forgetting that no one is perfect. This should not bother you because marriage is not about finding someone who is perfect, but about finding someone who can love you in your imperfections.
What to do when your boyfriend is too slow to propose
If your boyfriend is being too slow to propose, you might feel resentful, frustrated, and disappointed, but you also need to stay calm and handle the issue maturely.
Here are some things you can do if you think your boyfriend is too slow to propose to you.
1. Relax! Take a breath!!
Anxiety and excessive pressure to marry might be the reason why you suddenly feel your boyfriend is too slow to propose to you. You don’t need to work under pressure, because the outcomes are often regrettable.
Relax, breathe, and think about other things. Sometimes when you think about the reasons why you want to get married urgently, they are flimsy and unnecessary reasons. You need to relax your mind and stay calm.
You can discuss it with him if that makes you feel more relaxed but if you have done that several times, you don’t have to mount pressure on him again. Instead, engage in other things that give you joy and happiness, including building your career and relationships with other people.
2. Be patient
How long have you been together? Your previous relationship may be giving you unseen fears about this current relationship. If you were in a long-term relationship but it didn’t work out, you might be scared this one may not work out too.
You need to exercise patience to figure out why your boyfriend is taking it slow in proposing to you. This can also give him enough time to fully decide on taking things ahead with the relationship if he still has doubts.
Remember, it is better for the relationship to break than to be in a toxic marriage that would eventually end in divorce. So, don’t be too desperate to allow yourself to make a big mistake.
3. Stay off social media for a while
The pressure gets worse when you constantly see pictures and videos of people who are happily married. However, as sweet as it may feel, you don’t need that kind of pressure to become happily married.
Instead of getting yourself worked up because of other people’s relationship/marriage, distract yourself from overthinking marriage and focus on your life and your career. This is what we could refer to as getting a digital detox.
4. Practice self-love
You need to practice self-love at all times including this time when your boyfriend is acting too slow to propose. This entails taking care of yourself, getting adequate rest, sleep, and exercise, and not being too hard on yourself.
It is not your fault he is not proposing fast enough, and you should not get yourself unnecessarily worked up.
Focus on yourself and other things that give you happiness outside your relationship. You will realize that caring for yourself is more important than worrying over someone who refuses to do what is expected of them.
5. Have a discussion with him
If you think his feelings are not stable towards the relationship, it is best to ask him directly what his plans are. A guy who loves you and wants to move things on with you will not be afraid or unsure to tell you his plans.
A guy can be undecided if he is not so sure he likes your personality or physical features enough. That doesn’t mean he does not “love you” or he would not show you love. It means he is not sure if he will marry you.
How to make your boyfriend propose to you faster
What exactly can you do to make your boyfriend propose faster? No amount of words, persuasions, or enticement would make a man who has not made up his mind, to propose faster. If that happens, he might leave you again when his senses return.
I have heard of occasions where a partner absconds a night before the wedding way. This could be because they were not fully convinced or personally decisive about the union, as a result of unwarranted pressure from parents, friends, family, or the other partner.
To make your boyfriend propose faster, you only need to live your best life, relax, get a digital detox, practice self-love, and wait for him to act.
To be extra cautious, give yourself a time frame, say about 5-8 months, after which you can opt out of the relationship if he does not make any efforts to take the relationship to the next level.
It can be difficult to walk out of a relationship you have invested so much into but if you genuinely think your boyfriend is not showing any signs of commitment, it is better to begin to consider someone else now that it is still early.
Good communication is important to know if your partner still has you in mind. If he is comfortable talking about future plans such as having kids, buying a house, and growing old together, that is a sure sign that he wants to spend the rest of his life with you, in which case, it will be worth the wait.
Frequently Asked Questions for Too Slow to Propose
When is the right time to propose?
There is no right or wrong time to propose. It depends on the individuals in the relationship and how ready they are to take the relationship to the next level. Due to some circumstances, some couples might date for up to 3-6 years before making it official, while others date for just a few months before the proposal.
How long is it too slow to propose?
A proposal from your boyfriend can be considered too slow if there is no reasonable reason why he should not propose. There are certain things that may justifiably stand in the way of the proposal, like education or long distance, but there are no such reasons and he is delaying to ask you out, that can be considered too slow.
Why do people wait so long to propose?
There are various reasons why your boyfriend waits so long to propose. Some of the reasons are discussed above.
It is not fair to string your partner along if you have no intention to propose to them unless you are both okay with not getting married. Again, good open communication will help speed up things between you a bit.
There are many reasons why your boyfriend might be too slow to propose. Seeing other people in their blissful marriage can put pressure on you to get married too. It is important to consider the reasons why your boyfriend is acting slow and see if you can keep waiting or not.
Many of those reasons were discussed in this post. You also see some things you can do when it feels like your boyfriend is too slow to propose to you.
Let me know in the comments if you have any specific situation you need to talk about.
I am a medical doctor, a seasoned writer and passionate blogger. Thanks to many years of trials, failure, and near successes. I am the founder of Knowseeker and our content are geared towards enlightening and making you a better and happier audience.