If there’s one thing I’ve noticed about today’s dating scene, it’s how pervasive the anti-marriage sentiment is. And trust me, I get it. Getting hitched to the wrong partner is a guaranteed life-ruiner. The thing is, many guys and girls out there still choose to partner up for years—even decades—with someone without tying the knot.

This would be all well and good, except for one issue. In most of these situations, one partner wants to get married and the other one has already decided that it’s never going to happen. As someone who has been in the “wanting” position, I can tell you that it’s not a good idea to stay with someone who has made the decision that you are not the one. Here’s why…

#1: You cannot convince him otherwise. 

When a guy first tells a girl that he’s not interested in marriage, the most common reaction a girl has is to try to convince him he does. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work. Men already know whether they want to marry a girl within the first three to six months of dating. If he’s not serious by then, he never will be. 

No amount of coaxing, cajoling, or bribing will make him change his mind. If anything, he’ll just be happy to have someone he can take advantage of. If marriage is your goal, doormatting yourself for a guy is not the way to go about it. 

#2: A man who doesn’t want to marry you is not a man who totally respects you.

Let’s be honest. Most of us have had a one-night stand with someone who is cute, but we’d never be caught dead with. It’s a part of modern dating. If a guy isn’t willing to commit, what he’s saying is, “You’re good, but not good enough to be part of my family.”

Doesn’t that piss you off? It should. And you know what you do to people who piss you off? You better kick ‘em to the curb.

#3: Staying with him drops the chances of finding someone who does want a commitment.

This is a huge reason why your “not interested in marriage” boo needs to go. Every day that you waste on a dead-end relationship is a day that you are not spending with someone who does like you that much. It also is a day where you’re losing time and resources by pouring your life into a relationship that has no future. 

Is that really what you want? Of course not!

#4: There’s a pretty good chance that you’re being used as a starter wife.

One of the things that really makes my blood boil is the number of guys who are open to having a girl pay rent for them, provide for them, and even have kids with them…only for them to refuse to marry and later go on to get hitched to another woman. It’s infuriating and frankly, absolutely disgusting. 

This is a trend that is known as having a “Starter Wife” or a “Practice Wife.” When you’re the Practice Wife, he is basically making sure that he gets his things in order and learns skills he needs in order to be a husband to someone else. 

Oh, and you? Yeah, he’ll “feel really bad” when he says it “wasn’t working out” but he never really cared in the first place. You might even be dealing with this relationship dynamic and might have even had him clamp down on marriage talk with a threat of leaving. 

Does that make you angry, too? Great. You should be. If you’re stuck in that limbo, now would be the time to pack your things and leave. If he asks why, tell him that you felt you were wasting your time. 

#5: The resentment can and will build.

Even if you aren’t really that into a wedding and marriage, there’s a certain amount of hurt that you’re bound to feel when you get rejected by someone you love so much—and yes, this is a rejection. Over the years, you will start to wonder why you weren’t enough to put a ring on it, or to be worth a wedding. 

Eventually, most people will start to get resentful. Resentment tends to bleed into relationships, which means that your relationship will undoubtedly turn toxic. Even if you don’t take it out on your partner, you will most likely find yourself dealing with issues as a result of it.

#6: You don’t deserve that hurt.

Refusing to marry a long-term partner is hurtful, period. It’s a type of rejection that stings, and you know what? You don’t deserve that type of hurt. You deserve someone who will see you and say, “Heck yeah, I wanna marry that!”

By staying with a person who doesn’t deserve your awesomeness, you’re just hurting yourself. It’s okay to leave to find someone better.

#7: The fun and laughter you have together isn’t enough.

Yes, I know you love him. Yes, I know you had great times with him. Yes, he can be a loving guy. But, do you really want to be stuck in this situation for the rest of your life? Of course not. All the fun times and nice chats in the world won’t be enough if this guy won’t be willing to give you what you need.

Trying to stay with a man who is not willing to give you that level of commitment is a lot like buying a bucket with a small hole in it with the expectation of holding water in it. That bucket could be made of gold, but it still doesn’t do the job.

#8: Even if you were to convince him or get a shotgun wedding, it wouldn’t be a good marriage.

Most of us have met at least one couple who should not have ever gotten together, or should have broken up years ago. This is doubly true when the girl clearly was the one dragging the guy to the altar. We all can spot it a mile away. The dynamics are almost always universal.

The girl might be loving and tiptoe around her spouse. The spouse is clearly resentful, angry, depressed, and refuses to do anything around the house. She’s at a loss as to why he’s not doing anything and can’t ever seem to “fix” anything. More often than not, they argue publicly.

Sounds like a basket of sunshine, right? Most of the time, this is what you get when you force a relationship. It’s not a good idea.

#9: The sooner that you break up, the less pain you’ll be in for the long run.

Will a breakup hurt? Absolutely. You will most likely have to rearrange your life a bit, and there might be a tub of ice cream involved in the grieving process. This is okay, because it’ll save you more tears and more complications down the road

If you could cut future pain short, would you? Instinctively, we want to avoid that issue altogether and try to avoid the hurt of a breakup.

#10: It’s also the only way to get people to respect you.

If you let people treat you badly, then you are going to have a hard time convincing people why they should treat you well. By keeping your boundaries intact, you’re ensuring that you get the best possible outcome for yourself—and show people you won’t tolerate bad behavior.