If you think your partner is considering the idea of marriage, look for these signs to clue you in.
Here are some telltale signs your partner wants to marry you, as discussed by experts:
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist | Professional Content Contributor for InvigorMedical
He talks about the future
He drops regular comments about your life together. You two have had serious conversations about homes, finances, and core values. Perhaps, you’ve already combined checking accounts, or you’re taking care of a pet together. It’s clear that you two are going to be together for the long-run.
You don’t feel any doubts about his commitment and loyalty to you.
He wants to introduce you to his family
If he’s ready for you to meet his parents, that’s one thing. But if he’s taking you to weddings and barbecue parties and bar mitzvahs and introducing you to everyone in the family, it’s a sign he’s getting ready to commit.
He’s asked you “something” about a ring
Whether it’s an off-handed question about your ring size or a haphazard comment about a particular design, he’s brought up engagement rings in the past. Anything having to do with a ring could indicate a proposal.
He enjoys going to weddings with you
Some men don’t have any interest in getting married. You can tell if they make snarky remarks during other weddings or engagement parties about the pointlessness of marriage. It’s a positive sign if he shows interest in wanting to go to weddings.
He’s acting strange
If your boyfriend is starting to act “off,” it could cause alarm. You might feel worried that he’s cheating or struggling with something else. However, it could be a sign that he’s getting ready to pop the question, and he’s just feeling incredibly anxious! This strangeness can persist for several weeks or months.
Licensed Psychotherapist | Author, “Dr. Romance’s Guide to Finding Love Today“
He shows up when he says he will. If he blows you off, changes plans, or doesn’t call, he’s not ready for a serious, grownup relationship. If he is dependable, he’s showing that he values you.
He can and will communicate
He doesn’t just grunt, clam up, blow up, or hideout. Even if he does one of those things, he comes back and has the talk. Nonverbally, he’s saying he wants to work things out and keep things going smoothly.
He’s contributing to your life together
Maybe he fixes your car, troubleshoots your computer, hangs out with your kids, or is nice to your mom. He’s demonstrating that he sees you as a family and wants to participate in that family.
He refers to “we” “us” and “our”
“We had fun” “Our friends are doing this” “I think this would be good for us.” Using this language indicates that he’s becoming bonded — he views the two of you as a partnership.
He wants to have sex, but he wants other things, too
He spends time with you that won’t necessarily lead to sex. He makes plans in advance and suggests the two of you do things and go places just for fun. He asks you to accompany him on family outings, work-related social events, and for drinks with the guys after his basketball game.
He probably doesn’t realize it, but he’s building a shared social life and leisure life together.
Psychiatry Resident, Dalhousie University
He asks about what you want in your future
If he wants to know whether you believe in marriage, whether you want children, where you see yourself living in five years, then he wants to know if you two fit into each other’s life plans.
He puts effort into the relationship
When the going gets tough, as it always does eventually in relationships, does he pull away, become distant, respond less?
Or does he rise to the challenge, tells you he wants to make things work, and actively pursues constructive change in your communication with each other?
He wants to live together
This is a sign he’s getting comfortable with the idea of settling down and doesn’t need the bachelor life anymore. Moving in together is especially significant if he wants your shared home to be owned, not rented, and if he has made any mention of adopting a pet together.
Be wary, though; sometimes, a man is perfectly content to always have a live-in girlfriend and not a wife.
He is comfortable discussing marriage
When he sees a wedding on TV, in movies, or among your friends, a man who wants to marry you may ask your opinion on certain aspects of it or may subtly hint at what he would like when he marries you. If he gets awkward, uncomfortable, and evasive, then he may not want marriage at all – or at least not with you.
Professional Dating Coach, Millennialships
You’ve already made it clear you want to marry him
Dropping thousands of dollars on a ring, planning a big proposal, and actually popping the question are really big steps for a man, and he likely won’t go through all of this if there’s any chance you’ll say no. It’s a lot of pride and money on the line.
If you haven’t talked about it in a casual way or made it really clear that you’re ready to make this move, he likely won’t be proposing anytime soon.
He lets you do what you want
If you want to go to a chick flick and he’d normally say no, but today he’s ok with it – this is a huge sign! A man who is ready to settle down with a woman understands that he will not always get his way. He is ready to let go of some control and autonomy in order to make you happy.
He does this because he knows that being in a partnership for life will mean a little bit of compromise on his part.
He talks about kids
The idea of having kids is not something men think about as often as women. This is because men see all the “responsibility’ aspects of having kids before they see any joy. They see bills that need to be paid, time that needs to be taken away from friends or work, etc.
Once he is able to accept all this responsibility, he can open himself up to the idea of having a child. If he has reached this point with you, that’s a huge sign he is ready to pop the question.
He lets you be yourself
A man who is ready to commit to you forever is going to be more forgiving of your flaws. If he has reached the point of wanting to buy a ring and make a whole shebang out of your relationship, he has fully accepted who you are.
If you find that he doesn’t nag you, tell you to change or make fun of you (in a mean way), he has fully accepted his life partner.
He’s OK with doing big favors for your loved ones
Men who are in love with you will easily do favors for you, that’s not saying much. But men who are ready to marry you will go out of their way to help those who you love, like friends or family.
This is a huge sign that he sees himself as part of your inner circle and even part of your family.
This could mean taking your grandma to her doctor’s appointment or helping your best friend move etc. A man who doesn’t see himself as part of your family would not be as willing to help the people close to you.
Terresa D. White
Co-Founder, Happily Ever After Ministries Inc. | Co-Pastor, Heritage Christian Center International
Men speak a very different language than women. There are generally a few very clear signs that he wants to marry you that include favorites, family, and future.
If he willingly gives you access to his favorite things, he may be thinking you are the one! The average man does not quickly open his heart, nor does he speedily share the personal and private things that make him happy.
If he welcomes you by sharing his favs, that’s a very good sign that he may be interested in a more serious and long-term relationship.
Once you have access to the favorites, if you start having discussions about the future, he’s letting you into a very sensitive area. Future-casting is a highly guarded space. His dreams are very intimate, and access to them is an exclusive privilege that is by invitation only.
If you get the invite and you see a future with him, he wants you to believe in him, so feed his dreams!
One of the clearest indicators that may be a sure sign he wants to marry you is if he takes you to meet his family. This is a huge deal because the family is our most vulnerable area. They know the good, bad, and ugly, and depending on the relationship, they will gladly share it.
There is a different level of trust that exists if you are introduced to the family.
Favorites, future, and family are major areas to every man
If you have access to these areas, don’t take it for granted. Things are not always what they seem, so balance, sound judgment, and discernment are important.
In short, don’t assume; take your time and be very calculated in every decision. Make sure you read the signs properly and wait for the question, even if you’re given exclusive entry. Access to these affectionate areas should never be taken lightly.
Moreover, when you’re dating, don’t ignore the data because you’ve allowed your heart to make a decision that it’s not qualified to make.
Don’t stay in a relationship and become an enabler of a man with no initiative.
If you are given the key to these areas don’t ignore signs of abuse because of love; it is not your responsibility to fix or mother a guy if he’s a user, but you love him… but this is a different subject for a different time and a different article.
Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor
He doesn’t shy away from exclusivity or making future plans.
As things get more serious, he is comfortable using the “m” word (many men are not) and will not use words like “someday” or spend a significant amount of time making future plans that never seem to come into fruition.
The signs he is ready are shown by action.
These actions can include asking parents for permission, going ring shopping, purchasing a ring, planning, and actually going through with a proposal.
Once engaged, showing signs can include actually wanting to plan a wedding- some men DO want to get married, but aren’t interested in “party planning,” but there should be a willingness to proceed with wedding plans and also the hallmarks of being married (moving in together, managing finances, etc.).
Not everyone is great at talking about these difficult topics, but there should be openness or willingness to do so- those are big signs.
Katie Ziskind, LMFT
Holistic Marriage and Family Therapist | Owner, Wisdom Within Counseling
They show you in every part of who they are that they are committed to you
There are some signs that your partner wants to marry you. However, if he is being impulsive or making rash decisions, this is a sign that you should not get married if he asks you.
If your partner has high mood swings and low mood swings, be weary about getting married and seek premarital counseling first. If your partner wants to marry you, you’ll feel secure, trust, and deep emotional connection in the relationship.
If your partner wants to marry you, they’ll often be talking about having a future with you and have this be part of their daily language. If your partner wants to marry you, they are committed and trustworthy in all of their behaviors and what they do. They show you in every part of who they are that they are committed to you, and their actions and their words are congruent.
They don’t say one thing and do something else.
Also, you may have gone to Ring stores or engagement shops together. Often, Couples can do these things together in preparation for getting married.
Licensed Marriage Counselor
Reliability, positive affirmation, and social integration
When a man shows reliability, that’s a sign of respect and value. He wants to know that you can count on him in the long-term, that he will answer your calls in a timely manner, show up on time, follow through with tasks, and align his behaviors with his words.
When a man positively affirms you, that shows his desire to be chosen. He says, “I feel lucky to be with you.” “ You are my treasure.” He can be competitive, say that he’s proud to be with you, or show you off at social gatherings.
Integration is another sign of commitment. When a man invites you out with his friends, it means he’s proud of you and wants his friends to accept you.
Reliability, positive affirmation, and social integration are the qualities a man demonstrates to the person he wants to marry.
He will invite you to spend time with his family and close friends, allowing you to become a more significant part of his otherwise private life.
As he opens up to you, he will also start to talk about a future with you, whether that means adopting a pet together or moving in together.
Finally, you may start to notice him paying more attention to the jewelry you wear. He will want to know your preferred style and metal, so he may purchase small pieces for you to test the waters and get a better understanding of your unique taste.