Marriage is a beautiful thing, but it can also be very scary. For some, it’s a fear that never goes away because of the reason it exists. Whether it’s because of insecurities, the way one was raised, or just things that happened during one’s life, marriage can be deathly scary to some, so much so that they can’t or won’t say “I do.”
But why? Why is it that some people are so afraid to get married while others aren’t? We’ve got 45 reasons why people are scared to walk down the aisle, and all you need to do to find out what yours is or what your partner’s own is, is to keep reading.
1. You Don’t Want to Lose Your Freedom
Lots of people associate being married with losing their freedom – it may have something to do with all the jokes made about married life over the past few decades, including it being referred to as “the old ball and chain.” Today, this fear has taken on a life of its own, leaving some to believe that marriage is like a life-long prison sentencing.
2. You’re Afraid of Failure
Fear of failing isn’t something that’s specific to one’s professional life- it goes for relationships too. People with these fears often think the worst. To them, it’ll seem like absolutely nothing can or will go right in the marriage, so why bother?
3. You Don’t Trust Your Partner
One of the most common reasons why people are afraid to say “I do” is because they still have reservations about their partner. Whether it’s because of things they’ve done in the past, or the way they’re currently acting, something about their behavior is giving you cold feet.
4. There’s Someone Else
Another popular reason why you’re afraid to say “I do” to your partner is because there may be someone else in the picture. Being with two people can become confusing. Not only is it dishonest, but it doesn’t necessarily allow you to think clearly about your feelings for one person and not compare them to the way you feel about the other.
5. You Haven’t Matured Yet
Marriage is a very serious thing and people mature at their own pace, not based on their age. Maybe you’re not ready because you’re just not at the point where you want to settle down and handle all the responsibilities that come with being married to another person just yet.
6. You’re Being Pressured to Say “I Do”
Pressure is something that most people aren’t fans of in their everyday lives. And when it comes to relationships, almost no one likes being told what to do and how and when to do it. In fact, pressuring someone into marriage is more likely to have the opposite effect and chase the person away.
7. You’ve Had Horrible Past Experiences
There’s nothing that can scare a person out of a commitment better or faster than a previous bad experience. And this bad experience doesn’t even have to be another marriage. If you’ve had your heart broken or been disappointed one time too many, getting married could be a legitimate fear of yours.
8. You Have Other Priorities
As easy as it is to say, “let’s get married,” it’s not as easy to cast aside one’s priorities for the sake of marriage. Sometimes, people have financial obligations like loans and/or children that can come in the way of one’s plans to marry. We aren’t saying that these barriers are permanent, but they can be difficult to get through.
9. You’re Scared
Fear may just be the number one reason why people refuse to commit. There are just so many things that can go wrong in a marriage that it can scare the sense out of anyone. Even if you are both committed, have great jobs and a good foundation, marriage can still be scary.
10. You Want Better
It may seem pretty horrible to say this, but maybe you’re not committing to marrying the person you’re with because you think there’s better out there. It’s almost like you’re living by the motto “the grass is greener on the other side.” If you are, make sure you’re not stringing anyone along in the process.
11. Your Parents Split Horribly
Not many people can understand the effect their parents’ relationship could have on them. A horrible relationship or split is something that can stay with a child even as they grow into an adult and completely turn them off about marriage.
12. You’re Still Married
Believe it or not, there are people who are married or separated who are also in new relationships where marriage is definitely on the table. But their current marital status is a big barrier in them moving on. We’ve even seen instances where people deliberately delay their divorces not to have to go through the process again.
13. You’ve Been Married Before
Even if a previous marriage ends amicably, it can still make someone fearful of doing it all again. Going through the process of getting your life back after a divorce is more than enough to scare anyone into not wanting to do it again. And if one marriage failed, who’s to say that the second or third one won’t?
14. You’re Afraid of Being Abandoned
Most people tend to dismiss this reason as an excuse, but it’s not. Fear of abandonment is a real thing, even if it is a kind of insecurity, and it can severely impact your idea of marriage and whether you’ll even want to take those steps.
15. You Don’t Want to Waste Your Time
Marriage and new relationships are things you can’t exactly predict. So for some, it can seem like not knowing how things will turn out can be a waste of their time. Why commit or get married when it could all be over in a matter of months (or less)? Why put all that time and energy into something that may not even work?
16. There’s Lots of Baggage
Baggage can weigh anyone down, and it’ll do the same to any relationship. Carrying a weight with emotional or other kinds of trauma will steer you clear of marriage. The solution is to get rid of it and not let it be an excuse for you to not commit.
17. You’re Afraid of Not Being Accepted
When one partner has fears that their partner’s family, friends and even kids won’t approve of them, it’s hard to even think about marriage. This tends to happen a lot more frequently with couples of different races, cultures and sexual orientations.
18. Your In-Laws Despise You
There’s nothing that can destroy ideas of marriage faster than some family drama. It can make anyone, man or woman, afraid to commit. Who really wants to have an argument every time they see their in-laws?
19. You Have No Support
If you grew up with little to no support, the chances of you all of a sudden trusting someone enough to want to marry them are slim to none. You’re used to doing everything yourself, so there’s no reason to rely on anyone, even if it is for love.
20. You Don’t Want to Be Responsible For Your Partner
One of the most frightening things about a marriage is the part where you agree to love each other in “sickness and health” and “for richer or poorer.” And sure it’s easy to say in the moment, but lots of people are terrified by the idea of having to support someone when things go bad.
21. Your Friends Are Still Single
This may seem like a silly reason to fear marriage, but it happens more frequently than you’d think. There’s a fear of missing out (FOMO) that’s often associated with being married when your friends aren’t. If you’re easily affected by peer pressure, then this could be a fear of yours.
22. You’re Just Not That Into Them
Being with someone doesn’t mean you HAVE TO marry them. And some of us have settled to a point where there isn’t even really a spark anymore. And because we choose to not look too closely, we can fail to realize that we’re dodging marriage because we’re just not into our partners, enough to marry them.
23. You’re Afraid to Lose Yourself
If you hang out with anyone long enough, it’s more than possible that you’ll pick up some of their quirks or even change some of yourself to be a better fit. And that can be extremely terrifying, especially for those who just figured out who they are or for those who have been doing it for so long that they can’t imagine being any other way.
24. You Don’t Have To
This one is the opposite of being pressured and while it’s not actually a fear, it is a legitimate reason why some people choose to not get married. Long gone are the days when people had to walk down the aisle and work together to make a relationship work. Now, it really doesn’t matter if you get married or not, and that is partly thanks to the millennial culture.
25. You Just Don’t Want To Say “I Do”
This may be the simplest thing on our list, but it’s also the one that’s the hardest to accept. Most people grow up thinking that they’ll eventually get married, but the hard truth is that it’s not for everyone, and the things you once saw in your future can change as you grow.
26. You Find Fault With Everything
If you’re someone who finds fault with everything, especially your partner, then it could mean that you’re trying to talk yourself out of getting married or being in a serious relationship, although there may be some deeper issues involved. You’re really just finding ways to disqualify that person or the idea of marriage from your life.
27. You’re Not Sure How You Feel About Marriage
Where most know how they feel about marriage, some people just aren’t sure how they feel about it. Sure there are pros to spending the rest of your life with someone you love, but with the good comes the bad. And finding a balance can be difficult, leaving them completely uncertain about whether they want to walk down the aisle or not.
28. You’ve Had A Rough Upbringing
The way one is raised can have long-lasting effects. And it can affect how they interact with people and the kinds of relationships they’re able to form with them. If your past is traumatic enough, it can definitely affect your outlook on wanting to bind yourself to somebody for the rest of your life.
29. You’re Known to Self-Sabotage
Marriage can be the scariest thing in the world to someone who knowingly (or even unknowingly) self-sabotages. This kind of behavior makes a person create unnecessary problems in their life that affects their relationships. And why would you go into something knowing you may ruin for yourself and someone else?
30. Marriage Will Change Your Relationship
It’s inevitable that once the honeymoon phase wears off that things will get much more serious in a marriage. What used to be an almost-carefree relationship can lose its fun and it’s something that frightens many people.
31. You Haven’t Told Your Partner Everything
Secrets are dangerous and they’re one of the most common reasons why people fear getting married. Some just don’t have the courage to open up about what they’re hiding and it’s hindering them from taking the next step into marriage.
32. Something Is Missing In Your Relationship
If you find yourself saying “he or she is perfect but…,” then something is missing in your relationship. And it can be scary getting into something permanent with someone who does not have all the qualities you need. Being honest with yourself and your partner can go a long way.
33. There’s No Easy Exit
One of the reasons why people refuse to get married is because there’s no easy exit. And the more time you spend married, the harder it can be to get your life back. You’ll have to divide your money and assets (if there’s no prenup) and it’s a process that often brings out the worst in others.
34. You’re Too Busy for Marriage
No one should be too busy for love. But there are certain things in one’s life that can put a strain on a new marriage. They include job promotions or demanding jobs, becoming new parents and just about anything that requires more time and attention that will ultimately be taken away from the relationship. Being too busy won’t last forever, but it is a legitimate fear or concern to have.
35. Your Finances Are Lacking
One of the scariest parts of any marriage is the part where almost everything goes from two to one. And while it’s okay to keep things like finances separate, you still want to be able to contribute your fair share in the relationship so as not to cause resentment.
36. The Thought Of Being with One Person Scares You
Commitment-phobes and people who are used to being in control of their lives and relationships suffer from this fear the most. Marriage doesn’t give you the option of being with seven different people each day of the week. You’re stuck with one for the rest of your life. For someone used to doing what they want, when and how they want, it can be quite frightening.
37. Marriage Will Hold You Back
When you’re in a marriage, it’s not just you anymore. All the dreams and goals you had for yourself may not be a priority anymore. Instead, you’ll need to prioritize with your partner and see what works best for both of you.
38. There’s A Lack of Personal Space
Space in a relationship is something that lots of people don’t know they need. In a marriage, there’s a lot less space and it can get very frustrating to be around your partner day in and day out. People who really value their space can have a very difficult time with the idea of doing this.
39. Your Looks Will Fade One Day
Being afraid of marriage because of the changes that may occur with your appearance is an insecurity that many people deal with. This is something that happens a lot with couples with rather large age differences. The bigger issue is that they fear their partners will either cheat or fall out of love with them because they don’t look the same.
40. You’ll Be Taken Advantage Of
A fear that’s often associated with sharing a life with someone is that they’ll take advantage of you. And it doesn’t just include your heart. It also includes your money, your time and your emotions.
41. You Don’t Have A Good Example to Follow
Hardly anyone knows what they’re doing when it comes to marriage, and it can be a lot more difficult when you have no idea what a great or healthy marriage is supposed to look like. Lots of people are scared that not having a good example to follow will lead to certain doom for their own.
42. You’ll Screw It Up
Lots of people are afraid of marriage because they believe that somehow, they’ll mess things up. It has a lot to do with self-esteem and one’s idea of what their self-worth is. It can severely affect one’s relationship and idea of marriage.
43. You Have To Trust Someone
For a lot of people, trust is not an easy thing to give. Sure, it’s doable to a certain extent when you’re in a relationship, but marriage takes it to another level. You have to trust that the person won’t hurt you and trust that their intentions for you are pure- it could make anyone hesitant about marriage.
44. You’ll Have To Make Decisions As A Team
This is a fear that lots of independent people experience. Going from making every decision alone to having to consider someone else can be extremely difficult, and for some, it’s enough to scare them away from the aisle.
45. You’ll Fall Out Of Love
There are some people who can’t understand how love can last for a lifetime. And there are some who worry if theirs will stand the test of time. You see, people can change with time, and so can love. And that’s a very scary thing.