When it comes to dating and relationships, everyone has different expectations. Some people want to see where the relationship goes while others enter a relationship with the sole purpose of making a trip to the altar. Still others have no intention of ever walking down the aisle.
No matter where you fall on the spectrum, you need to be upfront and honest about your intentions, especially if your partner shows signs of wanting to get married and you have no desire to ever tie the knot.
During the dating phase of a relationship, you get to see all aspects of the other person’s personality. One of the things you’ll notice is how eager your partner is to get married. For people who are not ready to get married or make a long-term commitment, this eagerness may be a turnoff. For those who are looking for a lifelong mate, a high interest in marriage could be encouraging.
Regardless of your intentions though, marriage is not something you should ever rush into. Always proceed with caution when the person you’re dating is pressuring you to get married before you’re ready.
Six Signs Your Partner Is Eager to Get Married
Sometimes it is obvious when a partner is eager to get married. They talk about your future together as a couple openly and honestly. They set deadlines and are direct about their expectations. But other times, this eagerness is less evident. And if you are unable to connect the dots, missing the clues can lead to heartache for both partners. Here are some signs your partner probably has marriage on the mind.
Talks About Their Parent’s Long and Happy Marriage
When partners frequently bring up their parent’s happy marriage and mention how they were already married by this age, you might be dealing with someone who is overly eager to get married, or at the very least worried about the fact that they are not married yet.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to get married or wanting to emulate their parent’s marriage, but this doesn’t mean they need to pressure you into marriage before you’re ready. When someone wants to get married sooner rather than later, they will constantly talk about all of the happily married couples they know and how they want that too. When these hints are dropped, it is best to be straightforward about your marriage goals.
Drags You Into Home Furnishing Stores
If you and your partner are not living together, but you frequently browse furniture and home decor stores, one of two things could be taking place. First, your partner may just really enjoy decorating and truly has no ulterior motives. Or, the furniture store trips could be a subtle way of getting you to think about making a home together, especially if your partner asks you which comforter you prefer or what pattern you prefer on dinnerware.
When these trips happen a lot instead of doing other fun things together, this could be your partner’s way of hinting at marriage. Rather than just make assumptions though, ask why your partner enjoys this type of shopping.
Has Been Engaged Before
When someone has been engaged at least once but has never made it to the altar, several different things could be at play. First, your partner may like the idea of marriage and engagement and just be afraid of commitment. Or, your partner could have realized that the person she was engaged to was not a good fit.
If you partner has had a string of engagements, this is a warning sign. Either your partner has a habit of pressuring others to get married before they are ready or they are not ready for marriage either. Either way, it makes sense to ask about the previous engagements to determine what went wrong and why your partner never married.
Encourages Unprotected Sex
When people are eager to get married, they may have no problem skipping birth control, especially if the relationship is committed and monogamous. But until a couple is married, it is not safe or wise to have unprotected sex. So, if your partner is encouraging unprotected sex, this is a warning sign.
For instance, your partner may welcome an unexpected pregnancy and see it as a doorway to marriage. If you are not ready for a baby or marriage, be sure a condom is used every time. Pregnancy is something that requires discussion and is not a spur of the moment decision.
Talks About Future Dreams and Wedding Plans A Lot
If your partner already knows where the wedding venue should be and what kind of dress she wants, then she is definitely looking to get married at some point and has given it a lot of thought. While it is normal for women to daydream about their future wedding, talking about it as if it is happening tomorrow is not.
It’s also a red flag if you feel like you are just a commodity to help your partner reach their marriage goal. When this happens, eager partners are often more interested in the idea of marriage than they are interested in you.
Introduces You to Everyone in Their Family Early On
Being introduced to an entire family early in a relationship is often awkward and uncomfortable. This type of pressure is not needed when you just start dating. After all, you are still getting to know one another and have no idea where your relationship is headed. Getting family members involved makes it difficult for you to relax and take things slow.
Also, if you express your reluctance to meet the parents just yet and your partner gets upset, this may be a red flag that your partner wants things to move quickly. It’s best to have an honest conversation about your goals and your expectations.
How to Handle Your Partner’s Eagerness
If the person you are dating exhibits any of the above signs, it’s likely that he or she wants to get married quickly. However, marriage is not something you want to rush into no matter how much you might like the other person. Your partner should be just as discriminant as you are about making a lifelong commitment.
Taking your time when you first meet someone is important. The dating relationship is the perfect time to learn all you can about someone. If you suspect your partner is eager to get married, be upfront about your goals to avoid too many hurt feelings or accusations down the road. Here are some tips for handling the situation.
Ask About Your Partner’s Future Goals
The best way to determine your partner’s intentions is to ask. While the above signs can provide clues about your partner, it is not recommended to assume they are definitive explanations for your partner’s behaviors and motives. Healthy communication is one of the most important elements of a successful relationship. So, start things off right by asking your partner about expectations, thoughts, and goals.
Be Honest About What You Want
When your partner talks, it is important that you not only listen and try to understand, but that you also are open and honest. If you are only interested in casually dating your partner, you need to be upfront about that, especially if your partner wants to get married someday. It is unfair to tie someone to a relationship with you if you have no desire to ever get married. You will be much happier in a relationship with someone with similar goals.
Agree to a Timeline
If you know your partner wants to eventually get married, but you only want a casual relationship right now, you need to let your partner know. If your partner is willing to wait on you, you could agree to a timeline. For instance, you could agree to date for six months and then talk about where you see the relationship going. If at the end of the timeline you are still unsure of what you want while your partner is ready for the next step, you may decide that it is time for your both to move on.
Set Appropriate Boundaries
If your partner is relentless about the idea of marriage or is pressuring you into things you are not comfortable with, like unprotected sex or meeting the entire extended family, then you need to set some boundaries. For instance, ask that marriage discussions be delayed for at least three to six months. Or, tell your partner that unprotected sex is not an option for you.
If your partner will not respect these boundaries, even though you have asked that they be put in place, this is a red flag. Clearly, your partner is unable to respect your wishes. If your partner is disregarding or dismissing your wishes early in a relationship, it will only get worse as the relationship progresses.
A Word From Verywell
When two people are open and honest about their future marriage goals, there is less likely to be misunderstandings and accusations if the relationship ends. Be sure you and your partner are having these discussions early on. Your dating relationship will be much less stressful if you do.