It is not surprising if a woman hears wedding bells when the man she’s dating appears to be deaf to any of those sounds. However, it can be confusing if the same man wants a child but is not ready to settle down.
But why would a man want a baby but not marriage?
The answer depends on the dynamics of the relationship. However, I’ll cover the common reasons for this line of reasoning in some men.
In addition, I’ll share a few suggestions on what you can do, so keep reading if your man wants to have a child with you but is foot-dragging about tying the knot.
He’s Not Emotionally Ready for Marriage
Marriage poses some unique challenges, no matter how blissful married couples try to paint it.
Without sounding too pessimistic, it takes a lot of emotional effort to manage the complexities of marriage, and men who aren’t emotionally ready can’t deal with this.
Unfortunately, some men are emotionally unavailable due to difficult childhood. If a man has had some traumatic experience he can’t shake even as an adult, it can be challenging for him to connect with others on an emotional level.
It is also possible that a man’s previous marriage or relationship ended badly, making him emotionally unavailable.
Emotional immaturity is another angle to consider.
An emotionally immature man (a man-child) may like the idea of having a child but cringe at the thought of managing the ups and downs of managing a family of his own.
He may not want marriage if he struggles with internal fears and doubts regarding his ability to be a reliable husband. He may have lots of unanswered questions, such as:
- How is he supposed to help a woman with low self-esteem when he has issues of his own?
- What if he can’t control his emotions and overreact during arguments?
- How will he motivate or inspire his woman to follow her dream, pursue her goals, and become a better person?
- How would he accept responsibility for his behavior?
- What if he can’t cope with difficult situations that will definitely arise in marriage?
What to Do
As a woman, your biological clock is ticking, but don’t let that (or anyone) pressure you into making rash decisions about childbearing or marriage.
It is important to think twice about having a child with someone who’s not emotionally available or emotionally immature.
It is best not to talk a man into marriage if you notice signs of emotional immaturity. Here are a few signs to know if you’re dating a man-child:
- He is full of excuses
- He is always in financial difficulties
- He is unreliable (can’t keep his commitments )
- He is overly sensitive and doesn’t handle stress well
- His home is a mess, and he is incapable of basic household chores
He Loves Kids but Isn’t Sold on the Conventions of Marriage
There is no single definition for a “normal way” of doing things in today’s world. In the past, society expected grownups to get married, have children, and live a “normal married life.”
But all that has changed.
These days, everyone is free to choose their own “normal,” and not getting married is one of those choices.
Some couples live together and have kids without getting married. And if your man chooses this unmarried couple lifestyle, it is “normal” for him to want a baby but not marriage.
Like legally recognized marriages, cohabitation has its challenges, including unfaithfulness. However, a man isn’t necessarily afraid of commitment just because he doesn’t agree with the conventions of a marriage relationship.
What to Do
Entering a marriage contract is purely a personal decision that some adults aren’t keen on making. And if your man is one of those people who want fatherhood and family life but not marriage, you will have to weigh your options carefully and decide what’s important to you.
Is marriage non-negotiable for you, or is it something you have to do because society expects you to? Do you want a wedding and the marital status or a good man in your life?
There is no right or wrong choice here, just what works for you and your partner. You may have to come to a compromise and figure out a middle path or go your separate ways.
He Is Not Financially Stable
Marriage is often expensive, although it doesn’t have to be. This is especially true when one or both parties want an elaborate wedding.
A man may like the idea of marriage and starting a family with the woman of his dreams but will prefer to wait until he has enough money to have a big wedding before walking her down the aisle.
Remember that the cost of getting married goes beyond parties and ceremonies. Marriage comes with ongoing bills, and many men just can’t see how they can meet their financial obligations in their current financial state.
To make things worse, many societies pressure men into assuming the role of sole provider for the family. This makes it difficult for some men in a committed relationship to accept financial assistance from their women.
Still, why would a man want a baby but not marriage, considering raising a child is also not cheap?
Here’s the thing.
Depending on the size, the cost of a wedding can run into thousands of dollars. A responsible man understands the crucial role of financial stability in parenting. For this reason, he may prefer to skip the ceremony and have a child if he is not financially buoyant.
This is why some men would rather spend their money on providing healthcare and education for a child than spend it on:
- Buying an engagement ring
- Throwing a bachelor/bachelorette party
- An elaborate wedding ceremony
- A lavish reception party
- Honeymoon and all the associated expenses
What to Do
If money problem is the only reason holding back the man you love from marriage, work with him to create a realistic plan for a wedding and ongoing marriage expenses.
You don’t have to spend all your life’s savings on a wedding ceremony. While a fairytale wedding is desirable, sticking to your budget and having a small wedding, successful marriage, and happy kids is a lot better.
He Has a Fear of Commitment
Not everyone guy wants a long-term commitment like marriage, and taking the plunge conjures all kinds of scary scenarios in the minds of such men.
A man with commitment issues spends a lot of time doubting the relationship, even if there is no reason to. He has a hard time planning or investing in your future together.
The reason for this is simple: he can’t bring himself to think about the future of the relationship.
And while he might enjoy spending time with you, he doesn’t want to get emotionally attached ― he is perfectly fine without you.
If all of this is true, why should he bother wanting a baby? Isn’t having a child a long-term commitment, too?
Indeed, it is.
But some men see child-raising as primarily the duty of women. In other words, even if he wants a child without “putting a ring on it,” he hopes to leave most of the heavy lifting to the woman when it comes to parenting.
What to Do
If you’re dating a man with a fear of commitment, you will only be choking the life out of him and making him feel trapped each time you talk about a future together.
You can dig into his past and help him overcome this fear. Perhaps he is stuck in unresolved trauma like childhood abandonment, a nasty divorce, or a painful breakup.
Talk things out and see if he is willing to change. You can suggest therapy to help him overcome his commitment issues.
In all of this, understand that you can’t change him unless he is willing to. In other words, have realistic expectations, and take the relationship as it is.
However, don’t make excuses for his behavior. If he isn’t willing to change, consider moving on instead of forcing him into marriage or having a baby with him.
He Wants to Be Sure Before He Commits
Why would a man want a baby but not marriage? If he’s generally a good person and potentially a great father, he probably wants to be sure before saying, “I do.”
Some guys don’t have commitment issues. They are not afraid of spending the rest of their lives with the woman they love. However, they want to be 100% sure before they commit.
Sure of what exactly?
- Whether the woman they want to settle down with can actually have kids.
- Her behavior when she starts having kids.
As unfair as this mentality may sound, some men have a stronger desire to have offspring than to have a happy marriage.
What to Do
If having children is a top priority for your man, you have to consider the possibility that he may not have a “forever after” plan with you. He can call the union quits if things don’t work out.
Tread carefully when handling the situation. Be tactful when you broach the subject, and decide whether your man is worth all the trouble.
Remember, you deserve the very best, and any man who values you will treat you with respect.
He Wants to Keep You Around While Dating Other People
Ever heard the classic advice not to put all your eggs in one basket? It is great advice, no doubt, but some guys apply it to romance and relationships, even when they are supposed to be in exclusive relationships.
And it is one of the reasons a man would want to have a child with you but not be willing to tie himself down.
Sadly, some men aren’t ready to legally bind themselves to one woman. They want the freedom to see, date and even sleep with other women while still in a relationship with you.
This doesn’t mean they don’t love or enjoy being with you. They simply don’t see themselves settling down with one woman, at least not until they are done having all the fun they want.
While most players don’t want to settle down since that would mean losing their freedom, some actually won’t want to lose a good woman. And what better way to keep her around than having a child together?
What to Do
Open communication is crucial here. Have an honest talk with your man if you suspect he is avoiding marriage because he’s not ready to give up his “freedom” to date other women.
Whatever decision you reach, make sure to factor in your child’s future. Ask yourself if it is wise to have a child with a man who just wants to keep you around in case he ever needs a place to call home.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with having a child with a man you love. However, in many cases where one or both partners aren’t really committed to the union, the child is at the receiving end, and that’s definitely what you want for your child.
If you’ve always asked, “Why would a man want a baby but not marriage?” now you know the answer.
Your man may have genuine reasons for not wanting marriage. However, having a child with someone is a mutual decision, so take the time to talk it out with him before making any decisions.
Whatever you do, don’t ignore or belittle your core values and relationship goals just because you are currently head-over-heels for your man.
Find a good man to get married to if marriage is a must for you. Stick to your guns if having a child outside wedlock is a no-no for you.
On the other hand, ignore what society says if having a child while still unmarried works for you.
The most important thing is to prepare a loving, supportive environment before having kids, whether or not you are married.