Many women dream about the day they walk down the aisle and marry the man of their dreams. For men, this life event may not occupy their thoughts until the right woman comes along, and even then, it may not be something that seems necessary or pressing at the moment. If your girlfriend is expressing interest in getting married, you should evaluate the situation and your own feelings to determine how you should proceed.
Evaluate Your Relationship
Ask yourself some important questions to determine whether or not you're ready for the next step. Are you happy with your relationship as a whole? Can you see yourself spending the rest of your life with this woman? How long have you been together? If it has been a while and you haven't proposed, why haven't you? Answering these questions will help you get an idea of where you stand with your relationship. If you haven't been together long enough to do a thorough evaluation, you may need to express that to your girlfriend. You may require time to understand your own needs and desires for the relationship.
Ask Friends and Family
Sometimes love can blind us, and we make the wrong decisions for ourselves. Asking for objective opinions from friends or family members who have your best interest in mind is always a good idea. Be sure to choose who you ask wisely -- no one with whom you've had a sexual relationship, for example. A sibling or close friend of the same sex who is already married may be a good choice. Ask trusted individuals if they think your girlfriend is good for you, and ask them to elaborate, no matter what the answer. While this is a personal decision, knowing how those around you perceive your relationship can be beneficial.
Communicate With Your Girlfriend
No matter how you handle this situation, you should always communicate with your girlfriend. If you feel that you need time to mull over such an important decision, you should tell her that. Talk with your girlfriend openly and honestly about the topic. She may continue to press the issue if you leave her in the dark about your feelings. If you do plan to move forward and propose, you don't have to give the secret away, but do tell her that you want to spend your life with her so that she knows where you stand.
Don't String Her Along
If you are sure that you can't see yourself marrying your girlfriend, do her a favor and break it off. You are obviously at different points in your lives -- she's ready to get married and you either don't want to or don't want to marry her, specifically. There is no need to continue the relationship, as this will only serve to hurt her more as time goes by. If it is an issue of not yet knowing if she's the one, be honest and tell her that you need more time to grow into the relationship.
Jennifer Oster holds a Bachelor of Arts in social sciences from Louisiana State University and is also a certified lactation counselor. An expert in the field of infant and maternal nutrition, she began writing professionally in 2005 and has been featured in many nationally acclaimed magazines.