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Reasons Why Men Want to Date for Years and Skip Marriage

by Emma Wells

It’s common knowledge that men tend to marry later than women, postponing the big step until their late 20s or early 30s. With an increase in couples living together before marriage, men are also staying in long-term relationships longer without proposing. He may have many reasons for his disinterest in marriage. A few of the most common ones are listed below.

He’s Comfortable

If you’ve figured that men skip marriage because it’s no longer considered a requirement, you guessed it. According to a study from Rutgers University, cited by Karen S. Peterson of “USA Today," men are choosing not to commit because they’re comfortable living with women unmarried. Now that men can have the benefits of living with companions without sharing finances or potentially losing money in divorce, they are postponing marriage longer than ever before.

You Can’t Agree on Children

Starting a family is the nexus of marriage, agree many, including one man interviewed by Meredith Bodgas of “Glamour" magazine who says he sees no rush in proposing to his girlfriend of four-plus years. The Rutgers study also found that more men are hesitating because they know they will have to share child care with their wives equally. Still other men may be stalled because of disagreements about kids: one person wants them, and the other doesn’t.

He Doesn’t Know What You Want

Your boyfriend might be slow to propose because he doesn’t know if you even want him to. If you’ve been together for four to seven years, and you haven’t hinted that you would like to commit further, he may be afraid that you’ll reject his proposal. One young man interviewed by “Glamour” said that his girlfriend seemed “petrified” to move in together, making him think that she wasn’t quite ready for an even bigger step. Another boyfriend related that his girlfriend seemed more interested in her career than in settling down. He may not be the one who is really dragging his feet.

It’s Over

He also might be hanging around in a dysfunctional relationship because it can take a while for people to admit that it’s not working. Another man interviewed in "Glamour" spoke of his long-term relationship as a quasi-marriage, saying that he felt they had been through a “full cycle” together, and that he didn’t know if there would be anything new to marriage. Not all long-term relationships have to continue into marriage, and sometimes it’s better to move on.

About the Author

Emma Wells has been writing professionally since 2004. She is also a writing instructor, editor and former elementary school teacher. She has a Master's degree in writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English and anthropology. Her creative work has been published in several small literary magazines.

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