You’ve been with your man for a while and you’re ready to take it to the next level. You’re wondering why he hasn’t brought up the “M” word yet. Well, have you? Author’s of “Why He Hasn’t Proposed: Go From The First Date To Setting the Date,” Matt Titus and Tamsen Fadal say you shouldn’t be afraid to talk openly about your wishes to tie the knot. They also say you need to have your own life and keep your own place instead of moving in with him. Read their list of “do’s” that will help you get to “I Do.”
Avoid “wedding porn”
Your man might get a little intimidated if you’re the type that looks forward to catching marathons of “Platinum Weddings” and bridal magazines. That’s because weddings today have taken on more of the materialism and less of the sentiment. The average American wedding costs a whopping $28,704 (the equivalent of college tuition) and the average guest list is about 161 people, say Titus and Fadal. “Because of the insane expectations that women and society now have of weddings, many unmarried guys, including guys in serious relationships, don’t want anything to do with them.”
Avoid shacking up
“If your ultimate goal is to marry a man, moving in with him might destroy your chances of making that happen,” say the authors. That’s because couples who cohabitate are less likely to get married and more prone to divorce. Added to that is the idea that if a man wants to live with you then that must mean he’s looking to wife you. Wrong, say Titus and Fadal. Most men have different rules for their live-in girlfriends and the women they see themselves marrying. “If he says the two of you should move in together to save money, don’t assume he means ‘to save money for our future together as husband and wife.’ Hear what is being said: he wants you to live with so he can save money."
Look out for yourself
Get back to the business of living your own life, advises. Spend time with your friends, go to the gym, and dress like the bombshell he remembers you were when you first met. A Man is turned off when his woman stops paying attention to her looks, so get back to who you really are. “If you’re not working on yourself, and your happiness is now dependent on your boyfriend, the odds are high that if you marry him, the marriage will indeed fail miserably,” say Matt and Tamsen.
Avoid boring married folk
If all your man knows are the boring married couples you hang out with, then you’ll have to forgive him for being afraid of tying the knot. Opt to hang out with fun and happy couples who show that marriage can be just as sexy as dating. Also get back to your adventurous self and encourage him to do the same. “Researchers have found that when couples share new and exciting experiences–anything from a trip to Europe to a hike at a local forest preserve–their brains pump out dopamine, the same chemical that had you love-crazed at the beginning of your relationship,” says Titus and Fadal.
Keep your relationship sex-cessful
The myth that married couples have less sex is completely untrue, say the authors. If anything married couples have “hotter and more frequent sex." Keep things steamy and fresh in the bedroom and promise him there’s always more where that came from once you tie the knot. Bring in toys and lots of spice to the equation and his attention will always be on you.
Be his girl, not his guardian
If you’re the type that’s always got your man in check, prison-warden style, then chances are he won’t be walking you down the aisle. Give him ample space and let him live his life, just like you do yours. The downside of keeping tabs on your man is he’ll begin resenting you and might actually go out and commit some of the transgressions you fear most, just so he can rebel. But that’s not to say he should be coming home late from the club every weekend. Respect is always the name of the game, so have a conversation about what you will or will not tolerate. Tell him that you’ll always let him keep his individuality by commenting about married couples who still maintain their independence. “Remember that you’re not there to hold one another back; you’re there to give each other the support that each needs to grab life by the horns and live it,” say Titus and Fadal.
Get to know his family
Do your best to get along with his family by always availing yourself at family functions and making an effort to fit in, say Titus and Fadal. Treat his family members as new friends; ask about their careers, their hobbies and look for any common ground. Occasionally get on the phone and chat with your man’s sister or mother but remember not to over-share by dropping complaints about his habits. Keep it light and cordial and always let them see they’re A-listers in your life.
That’s what friends are for
Men take their friends opinions seriously. Through research from their clients, Titus and Fadal found that the successful relationships were those where the woman got along with their mate’s friends. Those least likely to succeed were those where she didn’t like his friends. “While it’s common knowledge that guys don’t spend much time talking to each other about their relationships, read my lips: if his friends don’t like you they’ll make sure he knows it,” says Tamsen.
Talk openly about marriage
The idea that you must be coy about wanting marriage for fear of scaring your man away has no place in your life if you’re serious about tying the knot. “It’s right to initiate the marriage conversation to gauge his position and to make yours clear,” says Fadal. Find the right place and time in your relationship to bring it. If you feel like you’re finally at a good place and are ready to take things to the next level, then by all means bring it up. “Don’t hit him with the marriage convo right after he’s found his rent is going up 50% or that he’s been passed over for a promotion,” she jokes.
Tame your inner bridezilla
Reassure him that you’ll never turn into the monster bride who wants a wedding that’s way more than he can afford. After you’ve had a conversation about marriage don’t start talking about wanting an expensive ring or hiring the most expensive reception hall in town. Also tell him that you’ll include him in the wedding plans.