Why Hasn’t He Proposed Yet?

{Full Disclosure: Jonathan gave me permission to share this with you}

I went into my relationship with Jonathan believing that he was the one – the one I was going to marry. Our story is quite different than the average dating story.

We didn’t just meet each other, exchange numbers, text a lot, hang out, and then decide we should probably make it official. He didn’t go the more traditional route of asking me on a date to see how we interacted, either. In fact, Jonathan didn’t tell me that he liked me until I had moved back to China – halfway around the world. Not exactly an easy distance to travel to see one another…

Why hasn't he proposed yet?

We began to fall for each other while attending a Bible study at his church, which has now also become my church. Jonathan and I knew of each other back in high school but we weren’t friends. In fact, at one point I even had a friend who crushed on him and I remember saying something like, “He’s fine, I guess…” in response to her telling me about the crush. I never imagined that just a few short years later I’d find myself with feelings I couldn’t shake.

As soon as I actually got to know Jonathan’s personality and his heart for God, I was enamored.  When we said our final goodbyes before my return to China for another stint of teaching, I was both sad and at peace. I knew I would miss him and hoped that he felt the same way as I did, but I also knew that I wanted to trust God with my life. I truly believed that God knew what He was doing, even when I didn’t get why he would lead me back to China when I had such strong feelings for Jonathan.

I clung to this verse as I ventured back to the land of dumplings and fireworks:

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

-Romans 8:28

Romans 8:28 has been a “cling to” verse for me over the past several years for various reasons, but at the end of the day, it’s applicable to any Christian’s life. When we put our hope in Him, we can be certain that God is truly working for our good. When we love Him and seek His purposes, He’s going to turn things around for our ultimate good (which may or may not also look like our immediate good – so if things look rough, remember that God is still working for your good!).

God’s ways are best. Even the biggest, wildest dreams that we can think up on our own can never compare to what God can do.

I knew that in going back to China I had to trust God with my life plans and with this interest I had in Jonathan. There was no way for me to “prove myself” to or “impress” Jonathan from so far away. He could have met someone else or had the out of sight, out of mind thing happen. But, somehow, in our interactions online as I was away, we both kept hanging on. There was something there.

Why Hasn't He (1)

In fact, I was so sure of Jonathan being the one that on the day before he confessed his feelings for me, I actually wrote in my journal that I wanted to marry him. All this is to say that I went into our relationship believing that God had led us together and that we were going to get married.

At the time, I was set on it. Since I had made up my mind, I assumed that he had as well. After all, it took him long enough to share his feelings that I figured he had to know that I was the one.

I was pretty wrong about that.

It’s not that Jonathan didn’t think there was a good possibility that I could be his future wife. He just wanted to experience dating life and see how we worked together before making any sort of drastic decision. It was fair reasoning, but I can be super determined and set in my plans when I know what I want. So, there have been many, many times throughout our dating relationship that I have been frustrated because I felt like things weren’t progressing as I wanted.

Now, more that two and a half years after we shared our feelings for each other, we are still dating and not yet engaged.

And, I REALLY, REALLY want him to propose. RIGHT. NOW.

I realize that our lives haven’t gone exactly the way we thought they’d go since we started dating due to busy schedules, Lyme Disease, mistakes made, misunderstandings, etc. But even though we’ve gone through a lot, we’ve grown in our appreciation for each other as well.

I think we should get married. I think we should be ready.

But, here’s the deal: even if I am ready (or I think I am), it doesn’t mean that my boyfriend is ready to make that commitment. Marriage is a big deal. It isn’t something to take lightly. There could be a lot of reasons why your boyfriend hasn’t yet proposed and most-likely it isn’t as much about you as it is about him. He has to feel secure and good about the situation before he will be ready to take that leap. Marriage is for life. It’s the real deal.

So, girls, if you are in a place where you are sure you want to get married and are waiting eagerly for your boyfriend to propose, I encourage you to ask yourself these questions. Know that you’re not alone in this and we can find contentment in the wait.

4 Questions To Ask Yourself When Waiting for Your Boyfriend to Propose:

1. Does he have good character?

This question is crucial. If you are dating your boyfriend and hope to get married, you have to think about this. Does he love God? Is his love for God active? How does he treat other people? How does he treat you? Is he honest?

If you can genuinely see that he has good character and your friends and family also agree, then chances are his lack of proposing isn’t because he’s not truly interested in a future with you. He may know that he wants to marry you, but he’s waiting on God’s timing. Remember, God’s timing is perfect and if your boyfriend is earnestly seeking God, then you should respect that even if you don’t quite understand why it’s taking so long for it to happen.

On the other side of this, if he doesn’t have good character, then you should deeply consider why you want to marry him in the first place.

2. Do you trust him?

Right along with his character, is he trustworthy? If he is trustworthy, then do you trust him? I can sorrowfully say that for the majority of our relationship, I didn’t trust Jonathan. I wanted to trust him and knew that he was trustworthy, but when things didn’t go the way I had dreamed, I would try to fix the situation. The more I tried instead of trusted, the worse things got.

If he does love the Lord and is seeking His timing for next steps in your relationship, then you can trust him. Remember this. It’s so important. Remember that your boyfriend most likely does not want to hurt you. He cares about you and likely sees a future with you if you’re still dating, so be patient and trust him.

3. Could you imagine your life without him?

There were times in our relationship when I would get so worked up about the fact that things weren’t going the way I wanted that I irrationally wanted to end the relationship altogether. I wanted to be free from him (you can read more about this in my free eBook). But, at the same time, I didn’t want anyone else. Jonathan is the only man that I love and want a future with. I can’t imagine how life would look without him. I enjoy being around him. He’s worth it for me to stay and wait even when it’s hard.

4. Does he make you better?

This question matters to me because having a good marriage is about more than finding someone with good character who is enjoyable to be around. Being able to spur one another on in life is really important. Does your boyfriend bring out good in you? What have you learned from each other? Does he encourage you to go after your dreams? Does seeing his faith lead you to seek the Lord more?

In our relationship, I’m the gas and Jonathan is the brakes. We balance each other out. If I want to go after something, I may try to dive right in, but he helps me think through it first. He carefully considers things, which in the long-term is good for me (even if I sometimes wish he didn’t take so long to carefully consider proposing!).

I encourage you to think about whether your boyfriend makes you better and whether you do the same for him.

Every situation is different, but if you can see that your boyfriend is worth the wait, then try to stick it out. It may seem impossible because all you want to do is get married – I know, I get it – but remember why you are with him in the first place. You value being with him as himself. If he needs a little more time to be completely sure before he proposes, then give him that time, and don’t do it begrudgingly. If you trust that God is working for your good and you and your boyfriend are both seeking God about your future together, then try to relax.

Just as I clung to Romans 8:28 before Jonathan and I began to date, I still do the same today. When it comes down to it, we need God. This process of waiting for the one I love to become my spouse can be a refining time if I just let God work out the details. Every day, I’m learning a little more about what it means to trust God fully with the things that are most precious to me.

God’s totally faithful and will give us what we need at just the right time.

I’m sure of it.

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