What Should I Do if My Boyfriend Is Hinting About Marriage?

Discussing preferences ahead of time can help you avoid -- or receive -- a proposal.
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Every time you pass a jewelry store, your boyfriend stops and asks your opinion on various rings. When marriage is discussed on a show, he turns to you and asks about your wedding preferences. While these hints may leave you surprised, they can also force you to evaluate what you want out of your relationship. Your preferences and goals dictate the best path when a boyfriend hints about tying the knot.

1 Why Does He Do It?

In some cases, your boyfriend may bring up weddings and rings because he sees marriage as a possibility long into the future. Those hints about marriage may be rooted in his thoughts about asking you to marry him, though, according to the article "Marriage Proposals: 7 Signs He's About to Propose" on The Knot website. He may also be trying to elicit a response from you on the matter. A reassuring response can give him the courage he needs to pop the question.

2 Wanting Marriage

Take the time to consider your future. Do you see yourself getting married -- to your current boyfriend? You may want to think about any goals or ambitions you have, such as traveling around the country, and whether these are compatible with a married life. If you have similar values, you support one another and you can handle disagreements in a healthy manner, you may be ready to get engaged, according to TwoofUs.org's article "First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage...Right? How Do We Know if We're Ready?" Soliciting advice from family members, friends or a counselor can also help you evaluate your feelings before you talk to your boyfriend.

3 Avoiding Marriage

After thinking about it, you may find that you are reluctant or opposed to ever getting married. If this is so, evaluate why you feel that way. Maybe you prefer the idea of living together without a legal commitment, suggests TwoofUs.org's article "Is Marriage a Bad Bet?" If this is so, do not lie to your boyfriend about your intentions or act excited about the prospect of marriage. If you would like to get married one day but do not see yourself marrying your current boyfriend, now is the time to break off the relationship.You should be honest when you end things in person, but do not go out of your way to hurt him or assign blame, advises the article "Breaking Up" on the website of the Emily Post Institute.

4 Talking It Out

Honestly discussing the issue as soon as possible is important, according to Marcia Reynolds, Psy.D., in her "Psychology Today" article "Speaking a Truth that Hurts." You may open by saying something along the lines of "you asked me about weddings the other day. Are you thinking about getting married?" This can help you figure out his intentions for the relationship. If you want the relationship to continue without marriage, you might say "I care about you and want to be with you, but I do not see myself ever marrying." Give your boyfriend time to absorb this knowledge and to decide if he can live that way. If your boyfriend wants to get married and you do as well, a simple "I feel the same way" will do.

Candice Coleman worked in the public school system as a middle school and high school substitute teacher. In addition to teaching, she is also a tutor for high school and college students.