Can you persuade your partner to marry you?

My boyfriend and I have a fantastic relationship and we are very glad we've found each other. The problem is he said he doesn't ever want to get married and I do, in fact I've had my wedding dress picked since I was a child. How can I convince him he's wrong?


Kevin says:
I imagine you've already tried to convince him, and it hasn't worked, so scrap that. A man will only be persuaded to marry for the same reason he's persuaded to do anything - all his mates start doing it. It's like when they all got plasma screen TVs in 2005. So a better option would be to convince his mates to get married instead. Just gradually try to whittle down his social life to nothing, and then he might consider it.

Alternatively, respect his choice. He's not "wrong", as you put it, just because his view is different to yours. Constant nagging will only make him less inclined to devote his life to you.

It's sweet that you picked your wedding dress when you were ickle... at least it probably was at the time, now it's just a bit off-putting. Plus there surely must be better, more fashionable dresses made since then. You'd probably look rubbish in that one you picked. Plus it will be too small for you now. Let it go.

Or your final option, aside from giving up and moving on, it to just be patient, because the other thing that might persuade a man to marry is the passage of time. As he gets balder and fatter, he'll see his pool of potential brides shrink and suddenly marrying you won't seem such a bad idea after all. Aww, sweet.

[See also: Signs he doesn't want something serious]

Christine says:
You're brave, putting trust in a childhood plan. If I carried my plans from childhood through into adult life, I'd probably be living in a tree-house with a poster of Shakin' Stevens. Wanting to do something when you're nine doesn't necessarily mean its right for you now. It might make you happy but what about him?

I like to think you can't 'convince' a man to marry you, he either wants to or he doesn't. However if you were to look into it, I'm sure throughout time there have been men coerced into wedlock with some gentle persuasion, such as: moods, bribery, crying and ultimatums. Women have many ways to convince men that they might be wrong about things, but is that really how you want married life to start, with bouncers at the church fire exits so he can't get out?

It sounds like you might be wedded to the idea of getting married rather than wanting you both to be happy.
So ask him why he doesn't want to. Let's face it, there's always a small chance, he just might not want to get married to you; or maybe he's traumatised from accidentally watching Bride Wars.

Whatever the reason, if he doesn't want to spend 30 grand on a legally binding buffet and disco, then you have to respect that. Then ask yourself, is marriage more important to you than what you've already got? If it is, you might just have to pack up your '80s puffball meringue dress and find a new groom to sit on top of your 5 tier princess glitter castle wedding cake.

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