Have you ever thought, "My boyfriend and I make a great couple. He says he's happy. So, why hasn't he proposed?"
Well, rest assured, you're not alone.
The question may simply boil down to whether or not he's ready.
How can you tell?
On The Early Show Tuesday, Cosmopolitan magazine (www.cosmopolitan.com) Editor in Chief Kate White told substitute co-anchor Maggie Rodriguez guys "have to be in the marriage mindset. We asked a top expert, who said the equation is really 49 percent the right girl and 51 percent their being ready, and if they're not ready, they're not gonna do it. In fact, often a guy, once he's in the mindset, he's more apt to meet the right girl then. It's really a driving force with men."
White says there are five things women can look for to tell if a guy is ready to take the plunge:
He has to be capable of love:
"There's falling in love," White explained. "That's that giddy feeling, and then there's loving. Loving means he's gotta be ready to connect with you and connect with you through the infatuation phase. If he's not, he's not willing to put you first and make little sacrifices. That's a sign he's not there yet."
Rodriguez said that's "also an argument for not getting hitched right away when you're just falling in love."
He's able to accept imperfections:
"Sometimes, if they're not ready, their expectations are too high," White observed. "Not only will a guy not accept your flaws, but he may even look for flaws and blow them out of proportion in order to put distance there. So, if a guy's too critical, that's often a sign he isn't ready."
"In many cases," Rodriguez added, "that's more about him than you. You shouldn't take that personally."
"You can't," White agreed.
He has to believe in commitment:
"There are always going to be negative aspects in a relationship," White noted. "And, someone who's ready to commit is gonna understand that you've gotta work those through and do the work. And he's not gonna shut down when there's trouble. He's gonna be willing, even as much as guys hate to discuss relationships, he's gonna be winning to talk it through with you."
He's positive he can be the man. He wants to be the provider:
"Guys need to get their ducks in a row when it's time to commit, much more-so than women," White said. "He may feel, 'I've got to be at a certain point in my career.' Almost half of all men want to be able to buy a house before they get married. So, if those factors aren't lined up for him, he's not gonna be able to focus and he's gonna be resistant, where women often can get beyond that sort of stuff."
Does White think it's worth sticking it out if your guy is on that path?
"If you really sense he's into you," she replied, "then I think it's really worth it to ride out … where he is, and help him get to that point, whether it's a career point or it's a money point."
He's tired of playing around:
"They do end up," White commented, "with what you might call 'fling fatigue.' Often, that's when they start to see their guy friends fall by the wayside and get married. Most men, most mature people do end up at a point where they don't want to play the field anymore. They're just tired of it. It loses its enchantment."
"And maybe they might wind up proposing to whoever they happen to be with at that time," Rodriguez said, "which is so frustrating for the girlfriend before!"
"Sometimes," White concurred, "you're the one who's in the right place at the wrong time with him, and the other girl's wondering. 'What did I do wrong?' "
On occasion, White said, it's OK to give the guy an ultimatum.
"Sometimes," she explained, "it's superficial stuff. And so -- it might be because the timing's not exactly right for him. Or it could be that he's stuck on some minor problem with you. Or he's a chronic procrastinator. And in those cases, an ultimatum, not a threat, but something that makes it about you (is alright, such as), 'Look, I'm ready to go to the next level. The next stage. I want to go with you.' And perhaps you give him two months to say that you need to know by then."
And, if there's still no proposal at that pint?
Then, White said, you have to "put your money where your mouth is."