You may be ready to take the big plunge, but is your boyfriend?

How to Know If I'm Pressuring My Boyfriend Into Marriage

by Nina Edwards

You’re with a great guy and have the goofy smile on your face to prove it. You’ve been dropping hints about getting married, but you’re unsure if he’s picked up on them. Worse, you fear that maybe he has picked up on the cues but is feeling pressured instead of flattered. Step back and figure out if you should ease up on the marriage talk.

1. Make a Plan

For some, marriage is simply a social contract. They do not want their relationship to be bound by societal norms and rules, so they stay in a relationship and never get married. It is important that you and your partner have a plan and are on the same page regarding the future of your relationship. Do not push your boyfriend into something he is not ready for yet. Twenty-five percent of men get married even if they are not in love, according to results of the 2012 "Singles in America" study by Match.com. This may set the stage for a broken relationship in the future.

2. Communication Is Key

How do you know if you and your boyfriend are on the same page? Communicate. Ask him about future plans and talk to him about what you are expecting out of this relationship. In an article on DrPhil.com titled “In a Rush to Get Married?” it warns against scaring away your partner with verbal and nonverbal desperate measures you may take, such as incessant talk about marriage or buying a wedding dress. Also, if you bring up the topic of marriage with your boyfriend and he does not seem interested, this can be a red flag. If he consistently ignores you and gets frustrated by your inquiries, you may want to rethink your plans. Two people can be deeply in love without having the same plans.

3. Be Observant

If you've brought up the topic of marriage with your boyfriend and you're worried whether you’re pushing him too hard, you want to be aware of his reactions. Is he ignoring you? Does he want to spend more or less time with you? If your boyfriend feels pressured, he won’t want to spend that much time with you. However, if your boyfriend is encouraging you to try on wedding dresses and is booking appointments with wedding planners, be ready to hear the wedding bells!

4. Is He Talking?

When faced with an important decision, men have a tendency to talk to their most trusted and loyal friends or family members. Has your boyfriend talked to his best friend? Has he called his mother and told her about what you are planning? Has your boyfriend initiated a meeting with your parents regarding marriage? If your boyfriend is taking the steps to inform others, you know he wants this marriage as much as you do. If he is holding back and does not want to tell anyone, you can be sure that he is not ready just yet.

About the Author

Nina Edwards holds a doctorate in clinical psychology and has been writing about families and relationships since 2000. She has numerous publications in scholarly journals and often writes for relationship websites as well. Edwards is a university lecturer and practicing psychologist in New York City.

Photo Credits

  • Kraig Scarbinsky/Photodisc/Getty Images