What Does It Mean Whens Someone Says They’re Not Ready To Marry?

wedding ringsWhat does it mean when someone tells you they’re not ready to get married?

Some think when someone says this to you, they’ll never marry you.

Others think it means just what the words say; the person is not ready to get married because there are things they want to do ahead of being married.

If the latter is the case, you can follow the line of a thought like a flow chart. Will the person be ready to marry once they do x, y and z?. For example, they may want to pay off their bills.Β  But they may also never be ready to marry.

Still others think the statement means, “I am a little desperate so want to keep you on the line but I’m hoping someone better comes along…”

When someone tells you they are not ready to marry, what do you think it means? If you have told someone this before, what did you mean?

62 thoughts on “What Does It Mean Whens Someone Says They’re Not Ready To Marry?”

  1. I think that most often it means, β€œI am a little desperate so want to keep you on the line but am hoping something better comes a long” or “I really like you or I really want to make it work with you but I know that it’s not going to so I’ll keep you on the line until something better comes along someday (then I’ll be ready!)”. That’s what I’ve seen at least; I haven’t seen anyone hold out for practical (or just stated) reasons and actually end up going through with it. I definitely think it’s a put-off.

    Maybe someone else can shed some hope on the subject, though.

    1. Some men are afraid of committment or can’t say “I love you.” If a woman has been in a relationship with a man for two years, and is in her !ate twenties and is thinking about her biological clock. If she wants,commitment, marriage, children and he says “I am not ready.” She should move on. Either he doesn’t love her or never will.

      If you have had a job for three years
      Never got a raise, the mail room clerk makes 15 cents an hour, and you bring up the matter of compensation. They res
      Pond “We’ll get back to you.” Time to move on.

  2. Yes gingernicole, I think you are right. I have been strung along like this…and how about the “I don’t want to have a relationship with ANYONE!” Yeah right!..lol At least not until they meet the impossibly perfect person of their dreams!

  3. Avatar

    I just had a conversation with a woman this weekend who had said that to her, now, of many years husband, for about 3 years before she married him. She had been recently divorced and just wasn’t wanting to make that level of commitment yet. She wanted some “self” time or “make me better and figure out what went wrong” time as she put it. He was persistent and they’ve been married 20 some years now. I say smart self-aware woman.

    I don’t know that this holds true for everyone but for me I don’t think I ever said that to someone I was seeing but to my friends around me as I just couldn’t see myself as married. I am now married and pretty darn freaked at the Mrs., wife, husband language that everyone is bent upon using. I think the mental image of myself needs to adjust and I’m having difficulty adjusting it. I don’t think that it means I don’t want to be married to him as I just said yes and signed on the paperwork quite happily, just that I never imagined myself as married and need to adjust my internal view of myself?? Something like that. πŸ˜€ (wonderful miracles DO happen)

  4. I have a friend who’s boyfriend wouldn’t marry her until she paid off her credit card debt. She took a weekend job waiting tables, paid it off, and they got married.

    They have two kids now and are doing well. I think he wanted to be sure that he wasn’t creating a legal partnership with someone that would sink the two of them. And I think it was a smart move. Plus, she was able to enter the marriage without feeling like a burden or less than her partner. Which I’m sure helped create a better dynamic for both of them.

    If she hadn’t done this, I’m sure he would not have married her.

  5. I told my boyfriend that I wasn’t ready to get married. I wasn’t. We have been together 2 years and married for 24 years of those years. I meant what I said. I wasn’t ready emotionally or mentally for marriage. OTOH, my sweetie wanted to marry me from day one. But when we did married and had a baby on the way, he went through a crisis. He was overwhelmed by the loss of freedom.

  6. I can relate to MLS’s story – I said it meaning it very literally. I was recently divorced and just not ready to jump back into the pool so soon, but nonetheless felt committed to the new relationship. Needed more period of transition – time to regroup, time to detox from the previous relationship and be in my own space for a while to rediscover who I was separate from the previous marriage. The “new” relationship is now going on a decade and yes, we are now married and happily.

  7. I think that some people need more freedom/personal space than others….I wouldn’t say it’s a put off, but when a person says something like that I don’t think he/she is/will ever be ready for a traditional marriage. Such people – and I know, because I am one of them – can love and adore and be loyal and everything, but they just like to be on their own, too.

  8. Similar experience for me – I said I wasn’t ready for a year or more, and I wasn’t. I finally told him I was, but it was one of those situations where you’ve got yourself in, and there seems no way out… I’d been on the rebound from an earth-shattering affair with a famous actor – we’d been madly and publicly in love – and I never wanted to feel like that about anyone again. the whole thing utterly destroyed me and it took me years to get over it. My ex adored me, and helped put me back together again; he became my ‘best freind’ and support. I was totally committed to the marriage and having gone into it at 35 with my eyes open, I would never have walked out on him. It worked fine for a while, as a ‘partnership’, though never really in the sack… I guess he finally he understood and ran off with a young girl who thought he was wonderful.

    I married for the wrong reasons, perhaps; they seemed the right ones at the time. Sort of. But I know plenty of couples, including my oldest friends – we shared a flat in the 60s at university – who waited a long time, but have stuck together. In their case, he (Virgo/Leo cusp) always wanted to marry, she (Sag) kept putting it off. They finally married 12 or 13 years after meeting, when the first baby came along! It’s been a very strong and happy marriage. She terminated one pregnancy in the interim (she ‘wasn’t ready’ to be a mother) and that caused a big crisis which took a long time to resolve, but they got through it in the end. And I’m damn sure neither has ever looked at anyone else.

  9. PS Nadia you are so right. I’m like that and so is my feller. He’s never married, though he LOVES women. I think the fact I understand that – however hard it is to handle sometimes – is the reason we are back seeing one another after all these years. That love of – absolute NEED for – freedom is very strong in his chart too – and since I’ve been studying his chart in depth, I’m finding it much much easier than I’ve ever done in 22/23 years to give him all the space he needs.

  10. I’ve got the lovely Saturn in Libra… I can say with complete assurance that when I uttered those words to my ex-boyfriend after 6 months of dating it really meant, and what I eventually told him after 3 years of dating: “I love the sex (he was a scorp), I love the intimate conversations, I love his spirituality, and I love how he cherishes me…but I cannot imagine EVER being in a long-term relationship with him b/c he is a dreamer, terrible with money and practical matters, unreliable, and wants to live a secluded existence”.. ouch, I know. And yeah,I was a little obsessed with the relationship aspect b/c I learned so much about myself through him that I did not want to lose that either!! Eventually, the guilt and selfishness of it all tookover and I finally ended it for good. I did love this man and knew I had to let him go so that we could both be free to be open and available for an authentic and balanced relationship with someone else.

  11. I told my guy I wasn’t ready because I’m not.

    I feel that marriage is something I’d like to celebrate as a milestone, not as a beginning. I like the idea of being an old lady celebrating marriage with my old guy beside me. Plus I want my finances in order (aka paid down student loan debt).

  12. Personally, and I know this will probably put me on shit-lists, I don’t think marriage is necessary. If you love someone, be with that person, you don’t need ceremony, baubles, or documents to prove your love. (Or, at least, you SHOULDN’T need them).

    Just my two cents.

  13. I never assumed a mortgage or children were a given for everyone. I don’t exactly live like the average joe blow, though.

  14. I’ve never said it.
    My ex said it to me, but then agreed to marriage later and we were engaged for a long time but never married. When we split, he said, “I never wanted to get married, but agreed because it always seemed out there, at a far enough away place where I figured I would have my shit together first.”
    Um, yeah.

    And somehow it’s my fault he’s codependant. *smirk* (Nah, not bitter at all, you guys. πŸ˜‰ )

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    I’m an Aquarius, i have said it and I mean it. Whether you take your vows or not, The stars know and so do you. If it’s meant to be then you’ll feel it if not then you’ll know it!

  16. Thanks, Daisy. πŸ™‚

    It’s actually what goldenbutterfly alluded to, though, that’s the rub.
    I never wanted to be married. Never, ever, ever: fuck that noise, it’s too hard to pick up and go if you’re married. After we’d been together for about a year, though, I knew I wanted to be with this dude for the rest of my life, no matter what. And, hey, we were making plans for retirement together, so why not formalize it so I could at least be assured of notification if he dropped dead on the road. Yanno?

    He didn’t feel the same. Obviously. *deep breath*

    And: Oh, fucking well. His loss (and I mean that sincerely).

  17. I have said that to someone. At the time I was 19, he was my first serious boyfriend and me his first girlfriend, period. We’d been together about six months when I said it and my reasons were these:
    1. he was infatuated with the idea of marriage and kids, but it felt to me like anyone would have done for him in pursuit of that goal. He talked about it from the first days of our relationship, almost non-stop, before we’d really gotten to know each other.
    2. Neither one of us had a lot of experience with dating, and his idea of a future for us meant me barefoot and pregnant, with him working to support the family. His job was in a factory, and he didn’t seem ambitious to achieve anything more than that, so I had serious concerns about whether he could support a family, given that he didn’t want his wife to work.
    3. Related to #2 — I wanted to have a career and to have some adventures and he was not supportive of that. Our life goals were very different.
    4. I didn’t feel the “grand passion” with him and the chemistry was lacking, and that combined with his disloyalty to me (every time we had a disagreement, he’d run off in tears and tell his cousins, who were my friends and who’d introduced us, how mean I was instead of talking it out with me like an adult) put me off eventually. Communication is vital to me — moon in Gemini — and being with him taught me I can’t be with someone who won’t talk to me. This behaviour of his also resulted in his cousins viewing me as a monster, so when we broke up I lost my friends as well as my boyfriend.

    Oh yeah, and six months after our breakup he got his next girlfriend pregnant, married her just before the birth of their son, and by the time I saw him four years later she was pregnant with their fourth child.

  18. I would hope that the person would tell u strait up that they did not love you enogh to marry you rather than say their not ready. I would take it literally.The person don’t want to be married yet, love or not.Marriage does not automaticaly make you more responsible, it’s papers …bills, family , grief ,life …happens regardless…

  19. I wrote about this to elsa recently, as this is my situation. The truth is, I was on the wanting to get married end as we have a baby together and I just want to marry (I’m 38). But while when he said he wasn’t ready really hurt me and I took it personally, I do think it’s about him, not me, and am secretely relieved that he isn’t ready b/c I don’t think I am either. We’re still too up and down in our relationship and still too out of our minds as new parents to seal the deal on a huge life decision like that – he just had the presence of mind to say he wasn’t ready, where I’m a little more impetuous and risk-taking and should probably wait until we’re on more solid ground.

  20. It means they are not yet mature enough for marriage. It literally means they are not ready.
    Even if they’re saying this because you’re a string-along, if they were mature enough in social intelligence to be ready for marriage they wouldn’t be doing this to you. So, even then it’s honest. They’re literally not ready for marriage.

    As to when they will be…
    For many, the honest answer is, “not in this life.”
    For another many, the answer looks like 5-15 years later.
    If you can’t wait that long, be true to yourself and don’t wait. If you can, go for it, if you want to.
    If you are the not ready person and want them to wait… Let them decide this for themselves.
    If you are the ready person, don’t force it. It would probably end in divorce. Either wait, or find someone else.

  21. I did this once. I did want to get married, but I wanted other things too. I wanted to get married and go to school and see the world. My intended and my mom wanted be get pregnant right away. At that time society was redefining women’s roles. I was torn between two attitudes. I married anyway, after I was in it, he said he wouldn’t support me going to school. Hell he wouldn’t even let me have my own car, said I would get smart, get a good job, and leave him. Funny I left him anyway.

  22. transits are a bit complicated now. I turned down an invitation fo a friend’s son’s wed. didn’t send a gift, (last sat., 8/14) he’s an early taurus. (4 pete’s sake) Didn’t what my face to be associated with the terrible timing.

    Anyway b4 marrage look up divorce law for the various states. For example in My state, Maine, divorce will not happen if the spouse is mentally ill or disabled. Of course it can happen if 1 agrees to part with a chunk of cash. In Maine 1/2 of all earned income belongs to your dear divorced, but you can retain all property singly owned prior to marrage. (saturn in virgo knows the exits.)

  23. Avatar

    goss – could you help me and explain the terrible timing comment you made? I worked with an astrologer to choose a date and time and my marriage is right next to your friend’s son’s wedding. The 14th was one of our options (now given my chart is nasty nasty and there aren’t any “amazing good times” for me but…) I’m not sure I see where he went wrong. help?

    I wrote a comment up above about being pretty freaked about marriage (just did the deed) and so I decided to spend some time digging into me to figure out where that feeling was coming from.

    I come up with a big ole’ huh, wow, wouldja look at that… For some reason, and I don’t know where this comes from but internal to me being married means I have MORE to loose than ever before. Now I get to REALLY worry about his health and well being. I worried before we got married but wow, it’s blowing me over now.

    Funny how it looks on the other side. I wonder if that was part of why I waited so long? Or maybe I just waited for more Saturn contacts between my chart and a lover’s chart than I could escape πŸ˜‰

  24. Hi mudlike sassyastrology has a good piece of saturn/venus and waiting. Maybe the astrologer you consulted with shares the same opinion as the author of that article.

  25. mudlike; only a tiny weey cardinal & fixed cross topped off with a scorpio moon. not exactly come=hither. anyway you do what I do in circumstances such as yours, blame myself and analyze.

    I always try and make it work, I’m talking about business relationships, marriage and anything you sign but keep an eye on legal way out.

  26. I think very rarely it points to pragmatic reasons, and most of the time it is said, it means the person isn’t in love with the partner enough to marry him/her, the relationship doesn’t have the zing – the juice – it would need for the lofty undertaking of marriage.

    When I was told this in my last relationship, I took it to mean the obvious in our situation: he needed to get his income high enough to support a family. Looking back, though, I think he just wasn’t sure he could rely on me that way.

    Whenever I’ve said it, I meant that I wasn’t ready for the work it would entail, to prepare myself emotionally, psychologically, and financially. In hindsight, I realize my partner didn’t inspire the dream in me, in fact it was quite a nightmare scenario.

    I think if marriage chemistry is there, marriage will be an inevitable and a wonderful stepping-stone – not the looming fate that incompatible couples often hem and haw about.

  27. I agree with post #15, that when they say this to you, they mean they are not ready to marry YOU.

    the back story to this is they may be ready to get married but you may have some qualities that the other person can’t handle, which is why they don’t want to marry you. I don’t think it is meant as an insult even though it is often taken that way. People spend alot of time trying to convince the other person why they should marry them! This is just a waste of time, frankly!

    If someone says this to you, best to break free and find someone who can be with you and does want to marry you, if marriage is what you want.

  28. I think it means ‘I’m not ready to get married ro you.’ No, I’ve never heard it myself, but talk shows say it all the time.

  29. I’m going to second (or third or fourth) the “…to you” sentiment.

    I can’t tell you how many people have sworn off marriage totally until they found the one person they couldn’t walk away from.

  30. I also disagree that “marriage” changes anything. You can be in a committed relationship with children, commitment, and responsibility.

    The only thing marriage changes, to me, is the knowing that you’re working toward a “this is it for me, there is no one else and no open ended ‘until this stops working’ agreement. We are now bound to work through our troubles no matter what comes our way rather than giving up”, which not being married doesn’t have for me.

  31. I think some like to think it means they’re not ready to marry YOU or ME. In rare instances, sure, you might be dating someone who isn’t a commitment type (in which case, blame yourself).

    In a lot of cases (especially these days), though, marriage is a big deal(not a fairytale ending) to people. And maybe half of them aren’t ready to merge everything (because that’s what you do when you marry– you merge EVERYTHING).

    Can’t say I blame them. I sure as hell wouldn’t marry a person who hasn’t got their shit together for the sake of being someone’s spouse. No thank you.

  32. And let me tell you, marriage can absolutely change everything in that your problems become your spouse’s problems, or theirs become yours. Sometimes things like financial problems or addiction problems are impossible to fix and grow from, because the individuals some marry are irresponsible and lazy and aren’t ashamed about bathing you in their crap.

    Don’t be fooled. I’ve seen way too many people jump into the $30,000 fairytale marriage, only wishing now that they never did because of the issues I’ve mentioned. Very hard to get out of.

  33. I think if someone isn’t ready to get married, it either means “not to you” or “just not ready yet”. But I think in a relationship it usually means “not to you”.

    I think people think they can change each others minds and such, but I think it’s better to just let it be.

  34. I think that is a case-by-case basis thing. Some people mean “I don’t want to marry you,” some people aren’t ready to be “boring” and settle down with kids and a mortgage. Some folks might want to wait until one or both people are out of school or out of debt or otherwise more settled. Some people want to sleep around more.

    I agree with WaitWhat, especially since my ex-fiance was someone I was scared to “do the deed” with until he improved his life. I was afraid to marry him as is because he would have sunk me with his financial issues, lack of job or interest in having one, etc. I gave him 2 years to improve the situation, he did not.

  35. Nutsy you are so right! Who needs it!

    I’ve been with same guy for 23 years and neither of us wants to get married. Why sign a contract that can tie your finances in knot and cost you a bundle if you ever separate?

    Marriage is basically an economic contract that was established as a way of passing down property. (And women were considered chattel owned by their husbands who gained control over a woman’s property as soon she married.)

    If you trust your partner you don’t need papers to prove the relationship.

  36. When I said it, I meant that I wasn’t ready to get married and did not know if I ever would be. Four years later, I said yes, and he turned into Mr Hyde and then took off in the night. It was very odd indeed.

  37. My boyfriend of 4 ears just told me that today. I do not know how people think in terms of how far into a relationship it is fine to consider marriage but for me, i was ready at around the two year mark. He was married before and it was a disaster so many years later, he told me, he thought he would consider it because maybe he would be ready to give it a try.

    he agreed to get married once we thought about having children which would be in about 3 years (at the 7 year markof being in a relationship) but wants to speak months before to see if we are both on the same page before he asks me. i do not not like this because this is not romantic and i happen to be a person who likes surprises.

    i talked to and told him if since we have been together 4 years he would consider marrying and then years later, without the contract-like agreement, we would have kids. he says he is tired of talking about this topic and that he isn’t ready to get married and does not know when he will be. can someone please give me advice?

    he and i mesh well in many areas except this and this is really important to me. i do not need the ceremony or paperwork but would like him to ask me and to have a ring. is this too much to ask? he has said before that he would rather just be together and be happy but i do not know…i always knew i wanted to get married at some point in my life.

  38. i see many comments that comfort me and allow me to hope that maybe he is not ready mentally for that commitment. he tells me he IS committed to me and that we will not gain anything from marriage…that it is an obsolete institution and that he only would consider marriage when and if we decide to have kids just for the sake of the kids. i guess i wish he would be one of those guys to propose and be so happy to have found the one he wanted to marry.

  39. i was engaged to my sons mother. we were living together for about five and a half years. then we split, because i left her for another girl. later due to personal growth i realized that was the wrong decision. i realized she was the girl i wanted to be with all along. i told her how i felt and that i wanted to be a family. she said she wasnt ready and liked the way her life is now. i wasnt expecting her to take me back. but i wonder why she just didnt say no. and sometimes i question, how will she feel if i end up with someone else? because that is not a very specific answer, it could mean alot of things. i mean she wasnt exactly in a situation where she felt the need to spare my feelings. a year had gone by between me leaving her and trying to come back. most people tell me i need to leave her alone, and she will come to me. that just sounds to good to be true

  40. I think it’s something when a statement is thought to hold special meaning. It’s just a statement. High on the list of life and things. It’s probably flat. Occasionally cruel. Sad. The training wheels came of. Your not ready to ride a bike. Your not ready to go to sleep. Your not ready to cross a busy street. It’s just a flat statement of fact in a list long list of many.

  41. im going through this right now with my girlfriend. I’ve told her that im not ready to get married and it has absolutely nothing to do with stringing her along or looking for something better. Im not ready to get married because of the constant question “when are we getting married” from my GF. what this says more to me is when are we having a wedding. It makes me feel like shes more into the show of a wedding than the actual commitment of a marriage.

  42. Last fall I had to walk away from someone (a Leo) who wouldn’t say anything….after being friends for 8 years, and together for 4, he just couldn’t step up. He would make me feel wanted, and then would turn around and go just the opposite…talk about make you crazy. I finally sat him down, and had the conversation. All he could say is I DONT KNOW WHAT I WANT. This from a 52 year old, intelligent, educated man. I’m an Aquarius, and I had had enough.

    He is telling people he doesn’t know what happened. I’ve never heard from him again.

    I’m awesome, and he screwed up.

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