After years of being in a relationship, it’s natural to expect your partner to want to take it to the next level. However, so many women find themselves in dead-end long-term relationships with men who aren’t ready to commit to the next step… marriage!
Port Elizabeth-based love coach Jann Warner sheds some light on why men may be so afraid of the dreaded M-word:
1. He can get sex more easily today than in times past
The problem is summed up in an old saying “why buy the cow if you can get the milk for free?” Sex should be on the short-list of those things held in reserve, because for some guys, if there is nothing that he doesn’t know about you, experience with you or share with you, he has no motivation to commit to you. But do you really want to marry someone who just wants to commit so he can sleep with you?
2. It is more socially acceptable to cohabit than it used to be
Many couples think that they will first try out living together and if it works, they’ll get married. But statistics show that couples are less likely to have a successful marriage if they first lived together.
3. He may fear that he does not “have what it takes”
He may fear that marriage will require too many compromises, changes and challenges. He may also be concerned about his ability to make the marriage work and last, especially if his parents are divorced. The goal here is to create a relationship that is good for both of you, where both of you feel safe, both of you feel your needs are met and both of you feel that the things you’ve compromised on are worth it, because of what you stand to gain in return. He is then more likely to feel ready to make the commitment.
4. He may be commitment phobic or want to enjoy single life as long as he possibly can
Perhaps he is holding out just in case there is a Miss More Perfect out there! Guys are competitive and territorial by nature. They value things that they have to work hard for, especially if it’s something that someone else wants. So maintain a little mystery about yourself and don’t be overly available. By living an interesting life, that includes investing your time in meaningful activities and friendships, will give you a sense of value and power within yourself and make you more alluring to him. He also needs to know that if he snoozes, he loses! Another way to get him to commit is to declare your position in the relationship and then let him meet you if he wants. This builds his urgency and if it doesn’t, you will know that he is not the man for you. You must mean what you say and be prepared to move on if necessary.
5. Money, money, money
He may be holding off with the proposal until he can provide the perfect house in the perfect neighbourhood along with all the perfect decor trimmings and trappings of success. He may also want to avoid divorce and its financial risks.
6. The nest is still too finely feathered and caught up in apron strings
Many a well-intentioned mother will enable her adult son too stay in the nest way longer than is healthy. This is often because of her need to control and feel wanted. A man who has an overprotective mother will find it difficult to flap his wings and fly the coop, as she hasn’t given him the opportunity to take on responsibilities and in so doing, discover his strength and independence.