7 signs you’re in a relationship with a man who isn’t marriage material

We sometimes include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate disclosure.

Ever caught yourself wondering if the man you’re with is really in it for the long haul, or just a fleeting chapter in your life story? 

A close friend of mine faced the same dilemma. She was looking for marriage, but she realized the man she was with wasn’t suited for long-term commitment — not because he was a bad guy, but simply because they weren’t compatible on that level.

And the thing is, if you’re aiming for a lifetime partnership, it’s better to know sooner rather than later if he’s truly your “forever person.” 

So I asked her how she knew, and she identified a few key signs that I’d like to share with you today.

It can save you both time and heartache, allowing you to either work things out or gracefully move on. 

This isn’t about judgment — it’s about aligning your love life with what your heart truly needs. Shall we dive in?

1) He’s consistently unreliable

Ever tried building a tower of cards? The first thing you need is a stable base; otherwise, the entire structure topples over. 

The same principle applies to relationships, especially one that you’re considering for a lifetime commitment. And a key component of that stable base is reliability.

The guy my friend dated was charming as all get-out, but was consistently unreliable. Whether it was showing up late for dates or forgetting promises, his behavior was unpredictable at best. 

Now, we all mess up sometimes; we’re human, after all. But there’s a significant difference between an occasional oversight and a recurring pattern. 

Being unreliable isn’t necessarily an indicator that he’s a bad person or even a terrible partner for everyone. Some people are okay with a more casual, spontaneous lifestyle. 

But marriage is filled with challenges that require both partners to be dependable. If he can’t be trusted with the small stuff, it will be hard to trust him with the building blocks of a shared life.

2) There’s poor communication

Communication is the roadmap of a healthy relationship, crucial for resolving conflicts, expressing needs, and nurturing emotional closeness — all crucial parts of a healthy marriage. 

In my friend’s case, her former partner’s communication skills were lacking, to say the least. 

For instance, he would often shut down during arguments, refusing to engage or provide any meaningful dialogue. When they faced disagreements, he’d either avoid the issue entirely or offer vague responses, leaving her feeling more confused than before.

Poor communication can manifest in many other ways too — misunderstanding messages, ignoring feelings, or failing to discuss future plans and aspirations. 

It’s not limited to verbal communication either; non-verbal cues like facial expressions, body language, or even the lack of affectionate touch can tell a lot.

While nobody is perfect, and we all have moments where we could communicate better, a pattern of poor communication is a red flag. 

You’d just be setting yourself up for a lifetime of misunderstandings and emotional detours.

3) He has a history of cheating

A past record of cheating can either be overlooked or treated as a critical issue, depending on how you view loyalty in relationships.

In the case of my friend, her ex had admitted to cheating in a past relationship. While he never cheated on her, as far as she knew, his lack of remorse over his past actions bothered her deeply. 

Loyalty was not just a word for her but a non-negotiable quality she sought in her life partner.

To be clear, people can change. A history of cheating doesn’t automatically make someone an unfaithful partner for the rest of their life. However, it’s the attitude surrounding the action that often matters most. 

Loyalty is often an important topic in marriage, and if you’re someone who holds it in high regard, it’s worth considering how a past breach of trust might play into your future.

It’s an individual call, but it’s one that can significantly impact the quality of a long-term relationship. 

So take the time to weigh what loyalty means to you, and if you find it to be an essential pillar of a relationship, proceed with caution when it comes to past infidelities.

4) He’s unable to support you emotionally

Emotional support is like oxygen for a relationship; it’s crucial but often goes unnoticed until it’s missing. When times are tough, a committed partner should be a source of comfort and support, not another stressor. 

In my friend’s experience, she felt rather emotionally stranded when challenges arose. 

Whether it was dealing with a family crisis or confronting everyday stressors, she found herself managing it all alone. 

Her ex wasn’t necessarily unsympathetic, but his support was sporadic and lacked depth. 

Offering emotional support can manifest in various ways: listening attentively, providing reassurance, or even helping to brainstorm solutions. 

However, if a partner’s emotional support is inconsistent or altogether absent, it might be a sign that they’re not equipped for the long-term demands of a committed relationship.

5) You’re not aligned on key issues

Marriage and long-term relationships are not just about love and attraction; they’re also about compatibility and shared goals.

Having differing opinions is natural, but there are some key issues — like finances, family planning, or core values — that you really need to see eye to eye on.

My friend realized that she and her ex had fundamentally different views on money and family. 

She wanted to save for a home and prioritize starting a family, while her ex was more interested in living in the moment and making impulse purchases. 

Though neither approach is inherently wrong, the disparity created tension and frequent disagreements.

A lack of alignment on such pivotal matters doesn’t make either of you bad people or unsuitable partners for everyone, but it does cast doubt on your potential for long-term happiness together. 

After all, these are not just minor disagreements but fundamental differences that can make or break a lifetime commitment.

6) You don’t feel like yourself around him

Feeling like you can be your authentic self is crucial in any relationship, especially one that you’re considering for the long term. 

So if you constantly find yourself suppressing your opinions, altering your appearance, or holding back from sharing your dreams and aspirations, that’s a red flag. 

My friend noticed that around her ex, she often felt like she had to tread lightly. 

She’d hold back on sharing her ambitions for fear of being judged, and she couldn’t express her true feelings because she didn’t feel emotionally safe. 

While he never explicitly criticized her, the environment made her feel like she couldn’t be her genuine self.

Remember, marriage is a long-term partnership, one in which both individuals should feel free to be themselves. 

When you can’t, it’s often a sign that the relationship may not be the right space for you to grow and thrive for a lifetime.

7) You have a gut feeling

Sometimes, everything can look great on paper, but you just can’t shake an uneasy feeling deep down.

That gut feeling is your intuition speaking, and it’s important to listen to it, especially when it comes to matters of the heart.

My friend initially couldn’t put her finger on why she felt uneasy about her relationship, but she had a lingering gut feeling that something was off.

As time passed and she reflected on her experiences, she began to identify the specific issues above that confirmed her initial concerns. 

You see, feeling safe and secure in a relationship often goes beyond what’s tangible or easily explained. It’s about those intangible elements that either create harmony or sow doubt. 

Her intuition had picked up on these subtle, yet crucial, factors long before she could articulate them.

So if your gut is nudging you with hesitations about your relationship, pay attention. Our subconscious mind often notices red flags that our conscious mind hasn’t caught up with yet. 

Trusting that inner voice could save you from entering a commitment that doesn’t align with what your heart truly needs for a lifetime partnership.

Trust your heart to find your “forever person”

Navigating the complexities of love is rarely straightforward, but being aware of these signs can give you the roadmap you need to make informed decisions. 

Remember, it’s not about labeling someone as “bad” or “good” for you, but rather recognizing if they’re the right fit for the long-term journey you envision. 

My friend learned some of these lessons the hard way, but in doing so, she also became clearer about what she truly needs and deserves.

If you’re looking for a lifetime commitment, it’s crucial to be honest with yourself. 

Whether it’s an unsettling gut feeling or a glaring mismatch in values, these signs serve as indicators that can guide you towards a relationship that aligns with your aspirations and emotional needs.

Did you like my article? Like me on Facebook to see more articles like this in your feed.

Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

People who avoid difficult conversations usually have these 10 traits

11 traits of people who spread good vibes wherever they go