Will Another 6 Months Make My Boyfriend Want Marriage and Kids?

Hi Evan,

I am currently in a 2.5 year relationship, (I’m 30 and he’s 38). We have lived together over 1.5 years, and have an amazing dog together whom we both cherish. We get along pretty well and I can honestly say we have a complementary and solid relationship. However, at times when we do argue, it’s over the issue of marriage and kids. I’ve read most of your blogs surrounding this issue, but none seem to address what to do when your boyfriend “doesn’t know if he ever wants marriage or kids.”

We have been attending couple’s therapy for the last six months and he still ‘doesn’t know.’ He has said comments such as: “I want a companion but I don’t want the responsibilities of companionship,” or “I want to be me and I don’t want to put in extra effort or work. I work 100 hours a week” or “Relationships should just flow and be easy. There shouldn’t be compromises or sacrifices.”

This scared me and I realized hey, this guy probably wants a “forever girlfriend.” My dilemma is I love this man very much and want to spend my life with him, however due to feeling insecure about the direction of our relationship, I am contemplating whether to stay and “give him more time to decide” or walk away (in hopes that he’ll miss me if I’m not here). I know you’ve mentioned in another blog “At the 3-year mark, there’s literally no new info that your boyfriend is trying to gather…” and I agree. Should I give this man another 6 months to decide, or just walk away and find someone who knows what he wants?

Thanks for your help

Ready for Lasting Love?
Ready for Lasting Love?

Sorry to hear your story, Nancy. But this doesn’t look good.

Two questions:

1. Did your boyfriend EVER talk about wanting to be married with children?

2. At what point in the relationship did you learn that your boyfriend didn’t want to get married and have children?

Unless he blatantly lied to you and walked back his words, I’m guessing the answers are:

1. No.

2. From the very beginning

Which means, unfortunately, that you put yourself in this position. You ignored the bright red flags that he waved in your face and insisted on dating him — and thereby put yourself in the position of the “forever girlfriend.”

I know many stories just like yours, including some close friends and family members who stayed with women for 5-9 years without ever getting engaged. I’ve privately told those men to break up with their girlfriends. Their responses? “Why should I? I LIKE being in this relationship. If SHE doesn’t want to be in this relationship, she should dump ME!”


Instead of trying to force this guy to do something he clearly doesn’t want to do — six months of therapy against his will? Blech! — how about you take back your power and tell him the truth?

I think it lacks integrity, to tell the truth, but I’ve always said that you’re not responsible for someone else’s behavior, only your own.

So instead of trying to force this guy to do something he clearly doesn’t want to do — six months of therapy against his will? Blech! — how about you take back your power and tell him the truth?

You love him. You wish he wanted the same thing out of life that you did. But you’re not going to force a man to marry you at gunpoint. You want a man who WANTS to be a husband and father. And since it’s pretty clear at this point, that this is not his desire, you’re going to move along. No hard feelings. Best of luck.

If he reconsiders, congratulations, you may have a husband. If he lets you go without a fight, it’s for the best.

Finally, for readers who may feel uneasy with my 3 year time frame before engagement, Nancy’s situation is different for one very important reason: she has a guy who has stated he DOESN’T want to get married. If she were with a guy who DID want to get married but wanted to be sure about HER, I’d tell her to give him six more months to come to a conclusion before leaving.

Your thoughts, below, are appreciated.