September 1, 2018

I Like a Guy Who Doesn’t Believe In Marriage: What Should I Do?


Q. My name is Carrie and I have a situation with a man I have been dating for the last 5 months. In one of our conversations, I casually asked him about this thoughts on marriage in general. He said that he doesn’t believe in marriage but if he found the right woman and if getting married was important for her, he would be open to marrying her. I asked him why he didn’t believe in marriage and he mentioned his parents got divorced recently. The news of his parents’ divorce was a total shock to him because he always thought they were the perfect couple.

It seems his parents decided to stay together for financial reasons and wanted to wait until he and his brothers were independent adults. He feels cheated, duped and finds it hard to believe that all these years together, their marriage was merely an arrangement of convenience and a farce. To make matters worse, his elder brother’s marriage is also heading towards a divorce and this a fatal double blow.

I understand why he feels skeptical about marriage and I think these incidents may have caused more emotional and psychological damage to him than what appears on the surface. I am partly worried that he doesn’t believe in marriage, I am partly relieved that he is open to marriage with the right woman provided marriage is important to her. My bigger question is should I be worried about his outlook on marriage? Should I play a waiting game and hope his outlook changes over time as our relationship grows deeper and stronger? How do I discuss the fact that I am looking to settle down very soon and marriage is very important to me without being pushy and demanding?

A. First, let me say, you have asked a great question that I think many people will relate to.

I also would like to acknowledge how insightful it is of you to recognize that you and your boyfriend’s ideas of marriage could be potentially challenging to the relationship and for your courage to respectfully express how important marriage is to you.  I often hear my clients identify this struggle of wanting to tell a partner how he/she feels without being perceived as “pushy” or “demanding.”

To answer your question – no, I do not think you should wait and hope that your boyfriend’s outlook on marriage will change over time as your relationship grows deeper and stronger. There are two things I find problematic about taking this stance. One, you are basing your plan of action (i.e. waiting) on an assumption (i.e. in time he will come around and change his views on marriage). This certainly could happen, but it is not guaranteed. Two, I suspect it may be hard for your relationship to grow stronger and deeper if you both are unknowingly working towards two separate goals.

First and foremost, I think you both need to gain a better understanding of what each other thinks a marriage is.

  • What does getting married mean?
  • What does a functional marriage look like?
  • What are the expectations in a marriage?
  • Why is marriage important?
  • How would a marriage change your relationship?

I think when you discuss what marriage means to you rather than questioning why your partner does not want to get married, it allows a safe space for both of you to openly express your thoughts and feelings without being perceived as pushy or demanding

Seeking a couples therapist who has experience in premarital therapy may be advantageous to you in asking these questions and helping you explore how each of you feels about this topic.

Marriage is a commitment that should not be taken lightly and certainly should not be agreed to because one person in the relationship wants it.

Marriage requires both partners working towards a shared goal with a shared meaning and continuously putting in time and work. If you put in the time and work, it can be extremely rewarding and fulfilling.

About Tara Gogolinski


Tara Gogolinski, MS, LGMFT is a Licensed Graduate Marriage and Family Therapist and owner of Life & Love: Couple and Family Therapy, LLC. She provides therapy for individuals, couples, families and children in Crofton, Maryland. Tara is trained as a therapeutic grief mentor, is certified in providing Play Therapy techniques with children and families, and is also a certified facilitator of the Prepare/Enrich program for couples.

To know more about Tara visit her website,

Related Posts

Can I Connect With an Emotionally Unavailable Man? An Expert Shares Powerful Insights on Exactly What You Should Know

My Boyfriend Likes Public Display Of Affection But I am Shy: What Should I Do?

I Think My Best Friend Is Interested In My Boyfriend: What Should I Do?

I Have Concerns About My Boyfriend’s Family: What Should I Do?

I am Getting Cold Feet About My Marriage: What Should I Do?

My Boyfriend’s Family Doesn’t Like Me: What Should I Do?

I am Dating a Former Player and Have My Doubts On Whether Our Relationship Can Succeed Long Term: What Should I Do?

I Have Feelings For My Ex Boyfriend But He Isn’t So Sure: What Should I Do?

He Broke Up With Me Because He Lost His Job But I Still Want To Be With Him – What Should I Do?

I am Bored in My Relationship With My Boyfriend: What Should I Do?

My Boyfriend Gives Me the Silent Treatment: What Should I Do?

He Lives With an Attractive Female Roommate and this Bothers Me: What Should I Do?

I am Not Able To Forget My Ex Boyfriend and Move On: What Should I Do?

I am Dating a Man Who Cheated In His Previous Relationship: What Should I Do?

I am Ambitious and Financially Successful But He Is Not: What Should I Do?

How To Set Boundaries and Not Take Things Personally

He Spends More Time With His Friend and Prioritizes Him Over Me – What Should I Do?

My Boyfriend Buys Me Gifts All The Time And I Feel Awkward About It: What Should I Do?

I am a Single Mom Dating a Man Much Younger Than Me & He Wants To Have a Long Term Committed Relationship: What Should I Do?

I Feel Uncomfortable With My Boyfriend’s Relationship With His Female Friend: What Should I Do?

I am a Successful, Independent Woman and I Drive Men Away: What Should I Do?

I Fear Being Single and Lonely Forever: What Should I Do?

I am Dating a Man Separated From His Wife and She Is Trying To Woo Him Back: What Should I Do?

I am Dating a Man Who Is Out Of My League and I am Not Sure the Relationship Will Last: What Should I Do?

My Boyfriend is a Natural Flirt and Checks Out Other Women: What Should I Do?

I Tend To Fall In Love Too Quickly; Too Hard And Drive Men Away: What Should I Do?

I Want To Cuddle With My Boyfriend Sometimes, But He Prefers To Have Sex: What Should I Do?

I Want My Boyfriend To Propose But I am Not Sure He Will Do It Anytime Soon: What Should I Do?

I am Falling For My Boyfriend’s Friend: What Should I Do?

I Would Like To Have a Prenuptial Agreement But He Doesn’t: What Should I Do?

Exposed: The Magical Text That Makes Almost Any Man Psychologically Addicted to You…