Is It Okay To Ask Him Why Hasn’t He Proposed Yet?

Cute couple at dinner date.

You’ve been with your boyfriend for years now. You love each other, you have fun together, you’re close with each other’s families, and you may have even taken the leap into living together. As far as you’re concerned, you’re on your way to happily ever after. But there’s just one little problem: He hasn’t proposed. If this is in the back of your mind as one of the nagging questions to ask your boyfriend, you’re not alone. Many women (and men) list marriage as one of their major goals in life; it’s normal for a lack of a proposal to prompt you to have many questions to ask your boyfriend.

An Important Discussion

It can be frustrating and anxiety-inducing to be with someone who isn’t making the moves towards marriage. You don’t want to force him to propose or rush him into anything, but you can’t help but wonder why he hasn’t asked you to marry him. After months or years of waiting for him to propose, negative thoughts may spring into your head that make you doubt your partner or your relationship. Feelings of worry and doubt can put tension on the relationship, and that tension could further postpone a proposal

So, is it okay to ask him why hasn’t he proposed yet? The answer is yes—it could be one of the most important questions to ask your boyfriend! In the past, asking your boyfriend about proposal may have been looked down upon, as the man is expected to take the lead in this scenario. But there’s no reason to stick to old-fashioned rules if they’re not working for you. It’s normal to have questions to ask your boyfriend, and marriage questions are part of that.

While it may not be super romantic to ask your boyfriend the specifics of his proposal plans, speaking openly with your partner is a cornerstone of a healthy relationship. You can search for hints all you want, but sometimes, the only way to know if someone is going to propose is to ask about it. You don’t have to interrogate him or ask for his exact marriage plans, but you can share how you’re feeling and ask him to be open about his own thoughts and feelings on the situation.

Questions to Ask Your Boyfriend if He Hasn’t Proposed

Remember, even though the lack of a proposal may seem like a bad sign, it doesn’t mean your relationship is doomed or that your man doesn’t love you. There could be several reasons for the delay, and the only way to understand is to have a conversation about it. Read on for the seven major questions to ask your boyfriend.  

1. Is He Waiting for the “Right” Moment?

One of the first questions to ask your boyfriend is if he’s waiting for the right time to propose. Marriage is a big deal, and it’s definitely not something to rush into. Even if you feel ready for marriage, there’s a chance your boyfriend doesn’t feel the same way. It’s not because he doesn’t love you—you may just be on slightly different timelines. You may have always envisioned yourself as engaged by 25, but he may not have such a specific timeframe in mind. Try to remember that he can’t read your mind, and he may not know how important a marriage proposal is to you or why you want one soon.

There’s also a chance that your boyfriend is waiting for a special moment to propose. Every woman wants to their proposal to feel special and magical, and your boyfriend probably knows this. You can’t fault him for wanting to plan accordingly! He may be trying to figure out the perfect way to ask you to marry him, and a beautiful and romantic proposal is certainly worth the wait. He also may have already planned something for the future that you don’t know about. That’s why this can be a tricky question to ask your boyfriend—if you ask this question and he says that he is waiting for a special moment, don’t push the conversation any further or you may spoil his surprise! Try to trust that he’s planned something that will blow you away and make up for the proposal delay.

Man ring shopping with a concerned look on his face.

2. Is He Saving for the Ring?

Any question about finances can be one of the more awkward questions to ask your boyfriend, but sometimes this topic comes up. He doesn’t have to spell out his exact plans and budget to you in British English, but it’s a fair question to ask your boyfriend if finances are a contributing factor to why he hasn’t yet proposed. Saving for an engagement ring can take longer than you might expect, especially if he wants to wow you with something pricey. Some women don’t want anything too fancy for their ring, but there are also many women who expect a ring that is representative of how much their man loves them, and that can be a tall order.

There’s a general rule that men should plan to spend the equivalent of two months of their income on an engagement ring, so if your boyfriend makes $2,500 per month, he may be trying to save $5,000 for your ring. That’s a lot of money, and depending on how long you’ve been together, there’s a chance that your boyfriend simply hasn’t had enough time to save up. He may also be saving for a special proposal location or event, so that’s something to keep in mind as well.

3. Not Everyone Wants to Get Married. Does He?

One of the less fun but essential questions to ask your boyfriend is if he actually wants to get married. It may be hard to imagine if you’re someone who is really excited about the prospect of marriage, but there’s a chance your boyfriend is someone who doesn’t want to get married, so this is an important question to ask him.

There can be many reasons for not wanting to be married; if he grew up watching his parents fight in an unhappy marriage, he may fear that his marriage will turn out the same way. Similarly, if his parents are divorced, he may doubt marriage and consider it a waste of time. He may also want to avoid the financial risks that can come with divorce. 

There are also some people who don’t need the signifier of marriage to demonstrate their commitment to their partner. He may be head-over-heels in love with you, with plans to stay with you forever, but getting married isn’t necessarily what he wants to do to signify that commitment. Maybe his parents never got married, but have maintained a loving relationship, and he wants to model his own relationship after theirs. Or maybe he considers marriage to be antiquated and unnecessary; there’s a possibility that the institution of marriage just simply doesn’t appeal to him.

If this is the case, you have to ask yourself if you can be with someone who wants something so different from what you want. You don’t have to bury your dreams of marriage just because your partner doesn’t want to be married—when it comes between your dreams and your partner, you must choose what’s best for you. For this reason, asking if he wants to get married may be one of the most important questions to ask your boyfriend. But keep an open mind, too—even if he’s not into marriage, maybe you and your boyfriend can agree on some marriage alternatives that would work for both of you, like a commitment ceremony or domestic partnership.

Couple pointing fingers at each other and talking.

4. Does He Worry Marriage Will Change the Relationship?

Another one of the important questions to ask your boyfriend is if he’s afraid of changes in the relationship. In the early days of dating, everything is fun and exciting. You hardly know one another, and that’s what makes the beginnings of relationships so electrifying—the excitement of the unknown. So, when couples get married, many people assume that the excitement disappears.

In light of this, one of the major questions to ask your boyfriend is if he is afraid of getting married. He may reveal that he is because he doesn’t want your dynamic to change—he doesn’t want to lose the excitement. But the reality is that the excitement always wears off a bit, no matter how long you postpone engagement. What replaces some of that excitement, though, is comfort—and you and your boyfriend may find that the comfort you take in each other’s presences is even better than the racing hearts and butterflies that the excitement gave you in the beginning. On top of that, there are many ways to spice up your relationship and maintain that sense of curiosity about each other.

That said, worrying that marriage will change the relationship is a valid concern. Studies show that couples tend to become more introverted after marriage, and that couples can also become more disagreeable in the months following marriage. There’s a reason many people say the first year of marriage is the hardest! Despite these potential challenges, there are also many good things that come with marriage, like a deeper connection to each other and better, mutual support.

5. Does He Fear Commitment?

Another one of the important questions to ask your boyfriend is if he’s afraid of commitment. This one is a difficult question to ask your boyfriend because it may cause him to react defensively, so it may be wise to bring it up in a casual way. Your boyfriend may act nervous, fidgety, and try to change the subject if you ask questions about commitment, and if he does—well, that’s a pretty sure sign that he may have commitment issues. 

But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to marry you. If he’s someone who takes marriage seriously, he just knows that it’s a huge decision to make—marriage is supposed to last forever.

Even if he loves you, the idea of staying with one person forever may be daunting for him. It’s hard not to take that personally, but if your boyfriend fears commitment, it’s not your fault. Fear of commitment can be rooted in many other fears, like the fear of being controlled or even the fear of being rejected. Ironically, marriage may ramp up a man’s fear of rejection because the stakes are higher. If, deep down, he fears that you will leave him, he probably thinks that rejection would hurt worse if you left him after marriage.

Communicating and finding more questions to ask your boyfriend about his commitment phobia is the first step to improving your relationship—and, in turn, improving your odds of getting married. Keep in mind that, while you can certainly help him tackle his fears, he may need professional help in the form of therapy or counselling, depending on how bad his commitment phobia is. It’s ultimately your choice if you want to include this as one of the questions to ask your boyfriend. If he does have commitment issues, it’s up to you if you can wait for him to get better in this area.

Couple sitting at a table looking at paperwork.

6. Is He Worried About the Wedding and Wedding Planning?

Usually wedding planning is reserved for the bride, but it’s possible your boyfriend is dreading all of the time and money that goes into a wedding. A question you can ask your boyfriend is if he’s worried about the financial aspect of the wedding. If he’s not financially stable, he may feel like he’s not in a place to propose because he can’t give you the wedding you want. In the same vein, another question to ask your boyfriend is if his parents are in a good place financially. Though it could be an awkward question to ask your boyfriend, his parents’ finances could also be contributing to his hesitancy to propose. Although the bride’s family typically contributes more towards wedding fees, the groom’s family is also expected to pitch in. If finances are a concern for him, this could definitely be a reason why he hasn’t proposed.

If your boyfriend is busy with school or work, this may also discourage him from proposing. Even if he has money for the wedding, he may feel like he doesn’t have enough time to tackle all the ins and outs of wedding planning with you. Having an honest discussion about his schedule and finances can answer some of the questions to ask your boyfriend.

7. Are You Pressuring Him?

The last of the questions to ask your boyfriend is whether or not you’re pressuring him into proposing. This is one of those questions to ask your boyfriend and yourself. You may think your subtle hints about wedding dresses and engagement rings aren’t making an impact on your boyfriend, but in reality, those remarks may be giving him cold feet. So, remember: “Are you going to propose to me?!” is not a question to ask your boyfriend.

Marriage is an agreement between two people, and for that reason, you absolutely should not pressure your boyfriend into proposing. It’s hard not to get your hopes up on every birthday and holiday, thinking that maybe this is finally the moment he will kneel down and surprise you with the ring, but you can’t let your expectations affect his feelings about marrying you. This is especially important if you’ve only been with your boyfriend for a few months; most people aren’t ready for marriage until at least a year of dating. Not only should you not expect a proposal in the first few months of dating, but it probably shouldn’t even be one of the questions to ask your boyfriend in the first few months.

Take a moment to think about the times you might have been a little pushy about getting engaged. Your boyfriend might have been oblivious to your remarks, or he might have pulled away from you with every comment about marriage. In this scenario, it’s not that your boyfriend doesn’t love you; it’s just that, for anyone, feeling forced or pressured into something isn’t a good feeling.  For that reason, this is another one of the most important questions to ask your boyfriend if you want to maintain a healthy relationship. 

On top of that, it probably won’t feel too great to get engaged after months or years of begging. You shouldn’t have to beg someone to marry you, and if they do eventually propose, you might have a voice in the back of your head telling you that they only proposed because they wanted to you stop asking. You end up with doubts, and your boyfriend ends up married to someone he didn’t want to marry or wasn’t ready to marry. Either way, it’s a lose-lose situation.

Cute couple with an arm around each other and holding fireworks.

The Bottom Line

Hopefully reading these tips gave you a better idea of the sorts of questions to ask your boyfriend about marriage and proposal. There are many questions to ask your boyfriend about marriage and proposal, but at the end of the day, the focus should be on the quality of the relationship and if you both are happy in it. A proposal that comes later than you prefer doesn’t mean you’re in a bad relationship or that your partner doesn’t love you. Marriage is a huge commitment, and it’s important that he is as ready for that commitment as you are. The reason he hasn’t proposed could be about finances, fear of commitment, fear of changes in the relationship, or something as simple as timing, and the only way to know is by utilizing these questions to ask your boyfriend. It’s also possible he doesn’t ever want to get married, and in that case, it’s up to you to decide if that’s something you want to deal with. These questions to ask your boyfriend may be awkward or difficult, but they will ultimately help strengthen the relationship. 

Try not to get caught up in the expectations around engagement and marriage. There really is no right time to get engaged—it’s entirely up to the people in the relationship to decide when the time is right. What you want in the relationship matters just as much as what your partner wants, so you can’t force him to propose to you, even if you feel like he’s taking too long, but you can utilize these tips and figure out the best questions to ask your boyfriend. At the end of the day, when your boyfriend is ready, he’ll let you know—just because he hasn’t proposed yet, it doesn’t mean he never will. 

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