Is he ready to get married?

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Posted by Jenn Clark on November 29, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Contrary to popular belief, most men eventually want to get married. If that weren’t true, marriage would not happen as often as it does. The fact is most people end up getting married at some point in their lives. How many of those men are led down the aisle while kicking and screaming? Not too many. The vast majority of weddings contain a groom who looks adoringly at his wife-to-be.

All too often, women make the mistake of thinking she somehow has to coerce or manipulate a man into proposing marriage. She thinks if she doesn’t give him an ultimatum, he’ll never get there on his own. Usually, the problem isn’t the idea of marriage itself that causes him to refuse to get down on one knee. Instead, it is either he doesn’t want to marry the woman he’s with or that he simply isn’t ready to tie the knot.

So how do you know if the guy you’re with is ready to settle down? As with most things concerning men, you can tell a lot more from his actions than from his words. Check out the following list to see if he’s marriage material.

He ‘d rather hang with you than go to bars with his friends.  When a man is looking to settle down, traditionally single activities fail to have a strong appeal. Sure, he may do the boys’ night out thing once and a while, but he’d rather spend Saturday nights snuggling on the sofa with you. If you suspect he isn’t quit finished sowing his oats, there’s cause for concern. A marriage-minded man doesn’t want to keep playing the field. And he’s certainly not going to be looking over your shoulder to see if something better might be coming his way.

He’s got his career in order.  Many women underestimate the importance men place on having their career and finances set before saying “I do.” By taking his life seriously, he shows that he’s taking your relationship seriously as well. Sure, guys who dream of rock stardom may be hot. And younger guys who would rather party than earn a paycheck can be fun for a bit. However, when it comes to marriage, his checkbook matters.

He treats you well right now.  Let’s get something straight. If he acts like a jerk while you're dating, putting a ring on your finger won’t magically turn him into a model mate.  If he cheats, achieving the title of “Mrs.” won’t cause him to become faithful to you. Guys who are husband material act like husbands before they’re actually married. If you’re struggling to get him to treat you the way you want to be treated, things should not progress to the altar.

He’s made you a part of his family.  Guys who are ready for matrimony will involve you in all aspects of their lives. This is especially true with their family and friends.  You should be invited to his major family functions and have gotten to know his buddies. In addition, he should be doing the same with your family. If he doesn't want to get to spend any time with your close relatives, that’s a bad sign. He should want to be an important person in your life too.

He makes long-term plans with you.  When a man talks about the future in terms of “we” and not just “me,” that’s a strong indicator he plans to be with you for the long haul. Acting as if you will be a permanent part of his life usually means he wants you around permanently. (One caveat: If he starts talking about forever when you haven’t known him for very long, be suspicious! Those men are usually players who say all the “right things” to try to get a woman out of her pants.) If you’ve dated for a while, be wary if he refuses to include you in his future. If you can’t get him to commit to going on vacation together in a month or two, you can’t very well expect him to commit to a lifetime.

He has married friends.  Very few guys are excited to be the first of their bachelor crew to settle down.  While most women shudder at the thought of being the last single girl in their group of friends, most men aren’t as concerned with that kind of thing. However, he doesn’t want to be the only single 35 year-old at the bar either. If most of his friends are heading down the aisle, he’ll likely decide it’s time for him to make the trip, too.

He’s the one who moves the relationship along.  Too many women put too much effort into making a relationship work while the guy refuses to lift a finger. We move things forward and are the ones to push for exclusivity. We initiate most of the contact. We plan most of the dates. How does this make the woman feel?  Like she doesn’t matter that much.  Like he’s not invested. Guess what? She’s right. If he's husband caliber, he'll have no problem standing up and being the man in the relationship.

He’s honest and open.  Men who are truly ready to share their lives with a woman don't want or have a need to keep secrets from her. Further, he knows how to have mature communication and is - at least somewhat - in touch with his feelings. If he frequently shuts down on you or shuts you out, that’s not someone you want to partner with. Nothing will make you feel lonelier than being married to someone who you can’t communicate with.

He’s your biggest fan. Does he love you as you are? Or is he consistently trying to change you? Does he compliment you more than he criticizes? A man marries the woman he thinks is amazing -- the woman who he thinks is the greatest female on earth. If he doesn’t feel like the luckiest guy in the world to have you, he doesn’t deserve your hand in marriage.

He’s always there when you need him.  Your future husband should be your rock and your support.  He should help you with your problems, cheer you up when you’re down, and bring joy and comfort to your life.  If he’s dismissive, disrespectful, or uncaring, he’s not “The One.”  If you can’t count on him to be there for you in the bad times, he shouldn’t be allowed to be a part of the good times.

While marriage is a great goal, one of the biggest parts of getting there is to have a relationship with a great guy. If you’re looking to settle down, make sure the man you're with is moving in the same direction. Be sure he’s someone who you’ll be happy to spend the rest of your life with. Spinning your wheels or trying to convince a man into marriage isn’t the answer.


Jenn Clark is a relationship advice expert and author of the book “How to Be a Goddess (A Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming the Woman Men Dream About…).” You can find it on her Facebook page or on


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