So, everything is going swimmingly with your guy. You’re practically joined at the hip, you go on trips together, he’s introduced you to his parents, you dream up future baby names, and you tell yourself, it’s just a matter of time before you officially become part of the family. And then… nada. Year after year, you begin to dread every reunion, holiday gathering, and, ugh, wedding, as you are bombarded with the inevitable “so, when are you getting married?” (as if it were entirely up to you). You are so tempted to turn to Mr. Slowpoke and ask him, “When nga ba?” but that would just be so publicly pathetic. And awkward. So you manage to mumble some graceful reply, while bracing yourself for all the admonishments about your bio-clock ticking (rub it in, why don’t you, Tita?). But seriously, what is taking him so long? Guys help us decode their delaying tactics:
1. He wants to be financially secure.
It might sound romantic to just elope and begin your life together already, but he’s actually being responsible by making sure you will be starting off your marriage on the right foot. Like most guys, magazine editor Peejo, attests this is the reason he took years to pop the question (even though he and his girlfriend were so obviously made for each other): “I wanted everything to be perfect and set—enough savings to build a family.”
Andrew G., who also took his time down the aisle with his long distance girlfriend (who would have to give up a high-paying job abroad to settle down in the Philippines), shares, “[What was going through my head] was mostly financial—the ability to support myself and my wife to be.” How to know he’s telling the truth: if he does mention that marriage is on the horizon, if he actually has some sort of plan, and you can see that he’s working his butt off to save up.
2. He likes living with his parents.
Unlike some countries where guys declare their independence by moving out once they hit 18, Pinoy bachelors are typically pampered and never really compelled to leave home. They’re pretty comfy living rent-free under mom’s roof, enjoying her home cooked meals, and probably let off the hook for chores or utility bills. As hot as his girlfriend may be, a certified mama’s boy might want to enjoy the status quo for as long as he can—especially if his wife-to-be isn’t exactly a domestic goddess. (Solution? Show him that he will be just as pampered in your home—and he’ll get fringe benefits, too. Wink!)
3. He’s not ready yet.
Sometimes, it’s plain and simple—he’s not ready to settle down yet. Maybe he’s still (feeling) young, maybe he’s not ready for kids just yet, maybe he’s heard too many jokes from his married pals that it’s “the end of the good times.” It’s rare that two people feel ready for marriage at exactly the same point in their lives, so if you arrive there first, wait it out while he gets all the partying out of his system (you don’t need a bitter hubby blaming you for cutting his fun short!). Getting antsy? “I think you should just ask him [what his plans are] directly,” says Tom K. Because you’re always game to go out, he might be picking up the wrong signals from you and assume that you’re the one still in party mode! “Guys can’t figure out girls, either, so it’s best to talk about what’s on your mind and where the relationship is going, so you’re both on the same page.”
4. He wants to be “sure” about you
If you’ve been dating for eternity, and he tells someone that he needs more time to know if you’re “the one,” maybe you should be wondering if you’re sure about him, instead! (But first, confirm that those were his actual words.) Says Andrew, “By this time, he should already know that he found the right person—it’s just a matter of being ready to take it to the next level.”
If he has mentioned marriage before, but now seems to be getting cold feet, try to see things from his point of view, and be honest about all your points of incompatibility. (Do you disagree about money? Are your jealous tendencies over-the-top? You still don’t get along with his family?) Are these minor differences that you’re determined to overcome as a couple, or will they eventually drive you apart? If there are traits/habits/issues you think you both can’t live with, perhaps you should just decide to stop wasting each other’s time.
5. He’s allergic to commitment
Telltale sign? “When he keeps changing the subject when you talk about marriage,” says Tom. If he’s taking unnaturally long, should you give him an ultimatum? Peejo shares, “An ultimatum could work, but it may scare some guys. The girl has to gauge if the guy can handle such a deadline or ultimatum.” Perhaps family history or a bad experience has turned him into a commitment-phobe, but if he knows how important marriage is to you, he should eventually come around. Don’t let him get too complacent. A hot girl like you? He should have you on lockdown already!
6. The timing isn’t right
Perhaps you live in different continents and can’t come to terms about where to settle down. Perhaps he’s simply racking his brain trying to top his friend’s epic proposal. Or perhaps, knowing that you still have lots of big life plans, he doesn’t want to hold you back by popping the question. Help him along by discussing dream future scenarios—and always with him in it.