Home > Marriage, relationships > 6 Signs Not to Propose to your Girlfriend on Valentine’s Day

6 Signs Not to Propose to your Girlfriend on Valentine’s Day


bridezillaDo you and your girlfriend fight like cats and dogs? Are you always the one who initiates sex? Does it seem like you’re in a state of constant conflict? Does she put a lot of undue pressure on you? Does she expect you to make her happy? Are you considering proposing to her on Valentine’s Day?

This time of year can put a lot of pressure on men to “pop the question.” If the above questions ring true for you, then you probably shouldn’t buy that ring she’s been hinting, nagging and/or threatening you about.

Here are some signs you shouldn’t marry the woman you’re dating, no matter how much pressure she’s applying. In fact, if the following scenarios apply to your relationship, the two of you probably shouldn’t even be dating.

1) You have incompatible sex drives. SEX IS IMPORTANT. It’s just as important to a relationship as mutual respect, kindness, and emotional support. Too many people minimize the importance of having compatible sexual attitudes and sex drives.

If your girlfriend just isn’t that into sex or you have to beg for it or you have buy her presents or behave in specific ways to be “rewarded” with sex or she’s not open to talking about and exploring what’s mutually enjoyable, you’re probably not going to be happy with this woman no matter how wonderful her other qualities may be. A grown man who’s in a healthy, loving relationship shouldn’t have to beg for a blow-job.

2) You’re a case of opposites attract. This old cliche is a myth. Opposites may initially attract, but once the novelty wears off, research (Buston and Emlen, 2003) indicates they don’t stand the test of time. Familiarity in the way we communicate and express love and affection is comforting and a strong foundation for a lasting and loving relationship.

3) You have to constantly work at the relationship. Yes, you need to put some effort into relationship maintenance, but it shouldn’t be a constant, uphill struggle. If you’re stressed out and exhausted from the daily grind of your relationship, you’re probably not in the right relationship for you. You just can’t fix some problems. It’s ok to admit this and end it.

4) You just don’t have anything in common. You don’t have to like all the same things, people, places, foods, and music, but you should have some shared basic interests. Additionally, shared values are more important than common interests. It’s great that you both enjoy skiing and watching football, but do you want the same things in life? Do you have complementary temperaments and styles of relating? Do you have compatible views on child rearing?

5) You have constant conflict. Conflict is a natural part of relationships. However, there’s healthy conflict that results from minor disagreements and misunderstandings and there’s toxic, never ending, irresolvable conflict that results from unbridgeable individual differences and/or individual pathology. Signs that you’re dealing with the latter include:

  • Having the same argument over and over again.
  • Getting stuck in a cycle of mutual blame and resentment.
  • Bringing up hurts or arguments from the past in the present.
  • Name calling.
  • Not being able to move past the conflict once the fighting subsides.

6) You feel responsible for her happiness. If her happiness depends on things you say or do, it’s not a good sign. It’s a set-up for mutually assured unhappiness. If you’re responsible for making her happy, you’ll also be the person that gets blamed for her unhappiness, frustration, and the rest of life’s petite traumata. True happiness, satisfaction, and contentment come from within. It’s not dependent upon what you do or don’t do for her.

It can be difficult not getting worn down when some women begin the big push toward the altar. It’s natural to have some doubts and feel resistance to marriage. However, there’s a difference between simply having a case of cold feet and having legitimate concerns because of the issues cited above.

by Dr Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD

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Photo credits:

Bridezilla on Poor Richard’s Printshop.

  1. Brian
    September 10, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    Great article, Dr. T!

    I wish I had read this before I proposed 19+ years ago…… This should be emailed to every male who is dating. January 2 of every year would not be too early!

  2. shrink4men
    February 7, 2009 at 1:07 am

    Hey, what do you know–I’m a fellow INTJ! We comprise less than 3% of the population (one statistic I do know).

    5,000 sex, dating, and relationship books? You must have a HUGE home library.

    The Kamasutra’s great. However, this particular blog is about potential (notice the qualifier) signs you shouldn’t propose if (qualifier) you’re experiencing the following signs, that is, if (qualifier) they make you uncomfortable.

    The great thing about the blogosphere is that it’s part fact, part opinion, part crazy, part obscure and everything but the kitchen sink–to each blogger their own. My blogs are part fact, part clinical experience, part personal experience, part humor, and part common sense. I respect that you stick to pure empirical evidence.

    Here’s a question: How many sexual positions are listed in 274 copies of the Kamasutra? It’s kind of like a “how many people were on the road to St. Ive’s” kind of question.

    Best,
    Dr T

  3. Hackett
    February 7, 2009 at 12:53 am

    Actually… I read every piece of advice I see. I’m an INTJ… and we believe in “constant” learning. You’ll never hear an INTJ say they know all that there is to know because we believe that we can always learn something new.

    I personally own over 5,000 advice books about sex, dating and relationships and I will continue to buy more books.

    I don’t limit my scope or allow my personal feelings/opinions to show in my writing though unless I define it as a personal rant.

    Short advice articles just don’t serve a useful purpose, which is why after several thousand years… the Kamasutra is still the best sex guide ever written. No other books or articles go into the depth that the Kamasutra does. This is also why I own 274 different versions of the Kamasutra too.

  4. Hackett
    February 6, 2009 at 11:46 pm

    Hmm.. more advice written that doesn’t take into account the basic human elements.

    It is always “smarter” to write advice from a neutral point of view… once you take a specific side.. you butcher the article.

    Some men are controlling and would actually prefer half of the things you’ve mentioned like “initiating sex all the time” or “buying her gifts or doing something else” before she is willing or wanting to have sex.

    You can’t write universal advice… you’ve gotta learn to target a specific crowd and mention it at the start of your article.

    I’d have to say this advice might be useful to 30% of single people.

    • shrink4men
      February 7, 2009 at 12:14 am

      Hi Hackett,

      Thanks for reading and commenting. For clarity’s sake and possibly nebulous context clues, let me state concretely that if you’re an English speaking man who is currently dating, being pressured to propose and the questions I ask in the introductory paragraph give you pause for concern, then this blog may be applicable to you.

      However, if you’re an English-speaking man who is dating, being pressured to propose and responded, “Hell yeah and I’m lovin’ every minute of it!” to the questions I ask in the introductory paragraph, then you probably consider the signs described in the above post good reasons to get married and, therefore, this blog does not apply to you. Additionally, if you think constant conflict, one-way sex, etc. are cool, then you’re probably not experiencing any hesitancy about getting married, which means you probably wouldn’t click on a link titled 6 Signs Not to Propose in the first place.

      Thank you for pointing out the ambiguity. I can see how some people might find it confusing.

      Just having a little fun with you, Hackett. Happy Friday!

      Dr T

  1. October 5, 2011 at 11:21 pm
  2. December 17, 2010 at 6:44 pm

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