You poor dear. You’ve been patiently dating (and waiting) for the appropriate amount of time, secretly hoping your significant other will jump out of a bush and surprise you with an engagement ring while random, overjoyed onlookers applaud. The problem is, you haven’t actually picked out a bauble—in fact, you haven’t actually talked with your SO about where your relationship is headed. Still, you are not one of those girls who pokes and prods and harasses your bae down the aisle; he or she is just waiting for the perfect moment, a special commemorative occasion, because they love you that much. Right?! While we hope this is true, sometimes it just isn’t. Here, seven signs they like it—but not enough to put a ring on it.
Excuses Frequently Shift
There are plenty of valid reasons why anyone—man, woman or otherwise—might avoid or postpone marriage. It's an unsteady time in the world, the financial realities of partnering (and perhaps multiplying) can be daunting and age often plays a factor too. That said, a significant other who has a different reason for avoiding marriage every time it comes up is waving a giant red flag in your face. This person will likely marry the next human he or she meets after six months of dating, à la Mr. Big and Natasha—leaving you baffled and bitter. Real talk? You are not the person.
You Are Asked Why You "Need" Marriage
Not everyone thinks marriage is important, and there's nothing wrong with dating someone who feels this way and is still a loving and committed partner—unless you're someone who does value marriage, in which case your needs may not be met. Your significant other's desire to keep things as they are isn't necessarily a sign he or she isn't serious about you, but if there's genuinely no interest in marriage, you have to take that viewpoint at face value and stop telling yourself you can change it.
There Are Constant Jokes About Married Friends
Friendly digs are one thing, but if your significant other is constantly mocking your married friends or commenting on how much happier or freer they were before they took the plunge, you should hear that as what it probably is: a critique on marriage in general. Who wants a partner who thinks his or her friends are imprisoned by their spouse?
You're Not Close With Your Partner's Friends And Family
When you see a future with someone, you want to make sure everyone else in your life does, too. So if your partner hasn't made a point of socializing you with their inner circle, chances are they don't think you'll be around for the long haul. Mom is generally the most important in this regard, since many people are less likely to marry anyone their mother doesn't approve of.
Talk Of The Future Always Starts Fights
This one's not a 100% deal breaker, as fights about the future can mean your SO is just unsure about it in general (and not necessarily about you two as a couple), but it's a sign that things might not progress on your time line—if at all. Referring to all the women in our lives as case studies, we'd say (more often than not) the significant other who fights with you every time you bring up the future just isn't ready for marriage yet.
Your Partner Has Low Self-Esteem
To elaborate on the previous point, if your significant other isn't in a good place individually, it likely will have a significant impact on both of you. This could have to do with career or financial status and, unfortunately, it's not something you can easily finesse or assuage (e.g., "I don't care how much money you make!")—people have to feel good about themselves on their own terms.
Your SO's Words Say "Yes" But Their Actions Say "No"
Perhaps you were temporarily encouraged by a discussion with your significant other in which you felt assured that you were on the same page about the whole marriage thing. Then months—maybe even years—went by and your partner did nothing to move the ball forward. We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but unless this person is waiting for a significant date to pop the question, he or she probably isn't all that interested in actually making it happen.