By Bonny Albo
Sure, this may not be the most romantic of notions, and it doesn't mean that every couple who lives together isn't going to eventually get married. But for many, living together before marriage gives more than just a glimpse of what's to come - it also heightens the "why fix it if its not broken?" scenario. If things are going well between the two of you, your partner may not want to take things to the next level for fear of losing the comfortable relationship you already have.
The Fix: Let him know that cohabitation was only a step along the relationship ladder that you'd like to climb together. If you've already said it however? He heard you.Let it simmer.
Commitment is an awfully scary word to a lot of men (and some women), but that's no reason to avoid it entirely. Yes, your guy probably adores you and is loyal to a fault, but marriage proposals can make the most commitment-friendly folks shy away from a relatively basic conversation.
The Fix: Ask him if he'd like to get married someday. If he recoils or thinks you're giving him an ultimatum - you have your answer. Reacting negatively isn't always a bad thing, but if he says he's not the marriage kind of guy, its doubtful that will change anytime soon.
Men know that a marriage proposal means faithfulness and loyalty, and most don't have a problem with it. But there are few who won't have this thought go through their head at some point in time. Will it be the only reason why he hasn't proposed marriage? Probably not. But its a factor not to be ignored, either.
The Fix: Whether the two of you are waiting until marriage to have sex or if you've already become intimate, the solution to this fear is the same: ensure that your love life is rich with varied, rewarding and romantic experiences for the both of you, using your actions to prove to your partner marriage doesn't have to be mundane.
Related: Sexy Games For Couples
Reality TV hasn't helped women looking for a marriage proposal. Images of women gone bad over trivial matters may be fun to watch, but it showcases how poorly some of us deal with the stress of marriage.
The Fix: There isn't much you can do to quash your partner's fears here before the fact, other than to learn some excellent stress busting techniques now. Then, use them freely whenever stress does pop into your life so that the both of you benefit, marriage proposal or otherwise.
Related: Taming The Bridezilla Blues
A marriage proposal may not be in the works if your guy feels you don't have a separate identity from him, or at least a life that is rich and full, with or without him. The reasons why are simple: he still wants to have time with his buddies, and he wants to know that you won't just curl up and depend on him for everything once married.
The Fix: Don't use your guy as a means to an end now, such as relying on him for things you can easily do yourself, or letting all of your friendships fall by the wayside while the two of you date. As well, encourage him to spend time with his friends so he knows its ok to have his own interests and hobbies, independently from you.