4 Immediate Steps To Take If You Want Marriage, But Your Soulmate Doesn't

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woman daydreaming about marriage

You've dated, spent time in relationships that didn't work out, waited, and then found "the one."

After years of "kissing frogs," you finally met your prince — your soulmate. Life together is great, but the happily ever after you imagined just isn't happening.

You've dropped hints and even bluntly stated your wish to get married, but your "one true love" just isn't biting. What gives?

First, get out of the fairy tale world and into the real one.

By that, I don't mean give up on your goal of getting married (if that is what you want then you shouldn't settle for less). If you do settle, your resentment will ultimately destroy whatever chance of success your relationship has.

Starting off a relationship with either of you giving up something that truly matters to you is a recipe for disaster. But what can you do to move toward mutual, long-lasting commitment?

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Here are four steps to take if you want to get married but your soulmate doesn't

1. Analyze your desire to get married 

Being absolutely clear on what your goal is and why you have it is critical if you ever hope to get someone else to adopt this goal as their own. You also can't objectively evaluate your current relationship for how it measures up to what you want if you aren't sure of what that really is.

Marriage is a wonderful relationship, but only when it happens with clear intention and an understanding of what it truly is.

The reason for the failure of many marriages is that this information, and the commitment necessary to implement it, is missing for so many couples. Because people "don't know what they don't know" about marriage, it often becomes a case of the blind leading the blind right over the cliff of divorce.

Marriage, as an institution, gets blamed, rather than the lack of preparation for it. The common fear of failing at it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

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2. Talk to your partner

Once you understand what marriage is all about, you must talk to your reluctant partner about their objections to moving in that direction.

Maybe you are already living together and they don't see any reason to make it a more structured, permanent relationship. Maybe a previous experience with marriage was unpleasant — either their own or someone close to them — and they can't envision a scenario where it would actually work.

Or, maybe there is some other reason that you won't know about until you have a calm, open discussion with them.

Finding out where they see your relationship going is a critical part of this. The goal is to understand their aversion to marriage, not try to talk them out of how they feel about it.

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3. Share your reasons for wanting to get married

After you get their take on marriage as a concept and their goal for your relationship long-term, you have the information you can take action on. Sharing your reasons for wanting to get married is a necessary next step and will be both respected and encouraged if your partner truly is your soulmate.

The inability to have both of these conversations is a warning sign that should never be ignored.

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4. Step back and evaluate everything you've learned

Think about everything you now know about yourself and your partner as it relates to marriage.

One sign of maturity is the ability to process information that is different from what you hoped it would be. And one sign of a healthy relationship is the capacity to make decisions that support both of you as individuals, and the relationship as well.

This means knowing what you can make room for in your life and in the relationship, and what you can't. If building a life with someone requires that marriage is at the foundation, then you may not accept simply living together, no matter how great the relationship is.

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What is a soulmate, anyway?

Getting caught up in the idea of a soulmate, instead of focusing on the real person in front of you, is neither mature nor healthy.

If your definition of a soulmate involves someone who makes you feel entirely whole, healed, and intact, then it's possible your partner can accept marriage as a means to having you in his or her life. If they can't, re-evaluate your placement of them in that vaunted position.

I get why the idea of a soulmate is so attractive.

The idea that there is one person who is ideally suited to you and who "gets you" from the moment you meet, is intoxicating and romantic. And, it might even be real.

But, if someone is so different from you on this essential life question, then either the concept of a soulmate (or the idea that this person is yours) might warrant a second look.

Either way, choosing to give up your goal of marriage, or walking away from a good relationship that won't end up there, is too important to base on something that seems like a fairy tale.

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Lesli Doares is a therapist, coach, and the founder of Foundations Coaching, a practical alternative for couples worldwide looking to improve their marriage without traditional therapy.