45 Reasons People Didn’t End Up Marrying The One They Saw Forever With

While many of us might have certain dreams or visions of a life together with our current partner, the reality is that people change and sometimes we are not quite perceptive enough towards their flaws. 

Someone asked folks online “What was the reason you didn’t marry the person you thought you were going to?” and people shared their stories. We also got in touch with marriage and family therapist Elizabeth Earnshaw to learn more about communication and “red flags.” So get comfortable as you read through, upvote your favorites and be sure to comment your thoughts below.

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More info: ElizabethEarnshaw.com


Right as I started to think of marriage he quit his job, then decided I needed I made enough to pay for the 2 of us. Then got mad when I cut the cable TV and things like Netflix to save money, because he was not looking for a job and we were slowly going broke.

As a gay man myself, I am not paying for another grown man to live. I don’t care if he works 35 hours a week at McDonalds, he has to contribute something.

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He wanted an open marriage (we were engaged). I am monogamous and he knew how I felt about anything open.

Then I found out he was in a relationship with a co worker at his job. On top of that, I found out that If I did marry him, I would be wife number five! (he only told me about his first marriage and said that was it).

His daughter told me everything.

His other exes divorced him because he just didn’t understand that being married and having a chick on the side wasn’t an option.

Just throw the whole dude away.

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He got drunk one night and started yelling at me for eating french fries with my fingers instead of using a fork. All I could think of afterward was a lifetime of being yelled at for stupid s**t, so I broke it off with him.

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Bored Panda got in touch with marriage and family therapist Elizabeth Earnshaw to learn more about communication in a relationship and she was kind enough to answer some of our questions. Firstly, we wanted to know what things a person should really consider before a relationship gets serious. 

“Before committing to a long term relationship, I think it’s important to consider the other person’s capacity for both openness and respecting boundaries. When we look at healthy relationships, what we see is that those who are in fulfilling relationships have a good sense of how to respect each other’s boundaries and also have the ability to be open and loving.”


We had been together for 3 years when I proposed. We held a big engagement party at my parents place in the country, and invited both of our families.

Not only did our families not really get along, we didn’t even get along with our own families. We had a long talk about dropping 5 figures on a glorified party for people we don’t like. That led to a conversation about whether we really believed in marriage.

Together, we called off our engagement at that party (but we didn’t tell people for months.)

This year will mark 19 happily unmarried years we’ve been together.

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Edit: Thanks to everyone for the kind replies! In Canada, you get many benefits from a common law partnership. You can also register as a domestic partnership at any Service Canada centre, which we’ve done. Only took a few minutes.

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We had been together for a short while when “things got too real” and he broke it off. Flash forward 6 years and I go on a blind date only to find out it’s him. That night started a series of very long conversations where we cleared the air and all the skeletons were taken out of the closet. And we decided to give it a go again. After being together for a few months he popped the question, I said yes and we started making plans. About a week later I received a call from his sister. He had died. He was a long haul trucker and had developed phlebitis (blood clots in his legs). One of the clots broke loose and caused a massive heart attack. Thankfully it was in his sleep so he didn’t suffer. I think about him every day and miss him terribly.

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She went put with a friend one night and asked me to come pick her up the next morning. I knocked on the apartment door, and my fiance answers, she said, “You want to just wait out here while I get dressed? It was 32 degrees outside, so I said no and walked in. I could hear rustling around coming from one of the bedrooms. I said, oh Is that Kasey(Her best girlfriend)? I walk back there, and she’s literally trying to hide two men in her closet. I looked at my fiance and said, “I’ll ruin your life if you ever try to contact me,” and I left.

I’ve been happily married to the love of my life for 10 years. So thanks, Kasey, for taking Haley out that night!

“Of course, we are all works in progress so no one has this completely “right”. However, we want to ask ourselves, does it seem like this person has a willingness to be a respectful and open partner?” she shared with Bored Panda. After all, even with a “perfect” partner, it’s still possible for issues to arise, so knowing how to handle them is just as important and knowing where boundaries lie. 


We were decent together and it seemed like the next logical step. I bought a ring and we flew to California for her to meet my parents. I was going to propose to her.

She knew my parents had money (but not to what extent), even though I didn’t have money. I was having a hard time making the mortgage on my 75k house with utilities and basic upkeep.
We spend a week living outside anything we could ever afford. Borrowed my parent’s cars, spent time at their house in Lake Tahoe, nice dinners.

Before I actually proposed she started talking about my trust (which never existed), how much they’d give us for a wedding gift, how much I’d be making when I took over my dad’s business (never going to happen. Never even worked for him). I decided to wait on proposing.

Within 2 months of us getting back home she traded in her car for an SUV she couldn’t afford, bought silly items she couldn’t afford, stopped paying her portion of household bills. She was a completely different person. Even when we talked about it she said she could see that my current lifestyle was just to make sure she wasn’t with me for the money. I could never convince her otherwise and we broke up a few months after our visit to California.

I’m married to a woman now who I’m obsessed with. We have a strong and loving marriage. We’ve supported each other through our career growth and are doing ok financially. I never dreamt I could be this happy. Luckily for me everything worked out great.

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Everyone’s is sad or heartbreaking.

I was 18 and he was 24 and thought he was a werewolf. It wasn’t til he stopped the car while taking me home to howl at the moon that I realized I needed to get out.

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He dreamt I was trying to k*ll him with a six foot frozen fish and in his sleep tried to defend himself by choking me.. He had very strange dreams that he physically reacted to in his sleep. We decided after the third or so time it wasn’t going to work.

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We were also curious to hear her opinion on the question of if it’s important for people to share their own stories, both in relationships and outside of them. Yes, I do. I think there is a time and place – perhaps don’t share it all on the first date – but I do think if you’re in a long term relationship with someone that part of getting to know them is getting to know their stories and what has influenced them and the way that they feel about themselves and the world around them. “ You can find more of her work on her website and her new book, “Til Stress Do Us Part“, on Amazon


Watched her blow weed smoke into a babies face.


Because I was an idiot and didn’t appreciate what I had.

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Alcoholism and never ending lies about even minor things. After 5 years of giving chances and hoping things will change, I realized that they, in fact, won’t and this will be my life if I don’t break it off.

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She committed s*****e. Over 50 years and I’m still not really over it.

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My friend found her on tinder

Edit: didn’t expect it to blow up. To summarize the answers: no my friend didn’t match with her, just sent me the screenshot, I instead tinder and found her profile to double check. Her profile picture was a picture that I took after we got engaged so it wasn’t her old profile. On the upside I kept the tinder profile that I created to find her profile and eventually ended up meeting my future wife there so there’s that.

Edit 2.0: the way I approached my ex about the whole thing was creating a profile with my real name and photos and leaving a “super like” or whatever it’s called now so that if it was her she’d definitely see it. She did and she messaged me about it apologizing and trying to explain herself, so no, it wasn’t a catfish, my ex just didn’t think I’d find out because I never used tinder before.

Image credits: ApatheticWonderer


He wanted babies

I had fertility issues

He wanted to speed up baby making and ivf

I ran as fast as my legs could carry me.

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He found a girl in another state, while I mourned my dads death.

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We were discussing former partners and somehow she got to the point where she told me she didn’t expect me to be her last partner.
And not in the sense of “after you die, I’ll go on with my life”. She sincerely didn’t expect us to stay together forever.
Now I can respect some realism in a relationship, but I decided right there and then that we weren’t going to make it.
We broke up that same week.

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He came from old money vs I came from no money. (as in familial wealth). Education wise, on par. He is Jewish, I am Afro-Latina. Parents (mom + step dad) threatened to cut him off if he continued the relationship. We break up suddenly after a few really fun years. Sucks to suck.

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He ended up being into dudes as much as I am.

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Covid. Just being a home, stuck together stressed about bills. The things we used to love about one another, we quickly grew to hate.

We went through the most toxic breakup I’ve ever been through in my life, 10 months of manipulation on both parts.

We had one last dinner together, a nice Italian place. We people watched a little, watched an awkward couple on their first date. Laughed some. Went back to her place and played “scattagories”. But we were both emotionally drained, trying to make something work. I could sense the emotional fatigue in her and she knew i was there too. That was the last time i saw her. We ended up mutually blocking eachother on everything you could think of. We didn’t talk for about two years. But dammit i still thought of her everyday and still loved her, even if she was bad for me. I liked to believe she was the one, at one point.

She passed away last year. That was a tough phone call i got.

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Said something about finding herself. Anyway, she was looking for herself in other guys’ beds, which I thought was a funny place to look for one’s self.

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Oh man. We’ll call her “A.” In the early days A was such a delight. I knew it was her when I started to have actual dreams about what our children would look like, which was something I’ve never experienced before or since.

For a long, long time, I was blind to all others but her.

“A” did not feel the same. The emotional distance that she kept between us eventually came to a head when my mom had a severe stroke. It nearly killed my mom, took months for her to recover to a minimal level, and simply stripped away much of who she was.

Far from offering support and encouragement during what was, at the time, the worst point in my life (not to mention my mom’s), I began to realize that “A” seemed to view the whole thing as an inconvenience.

The realization that my life, and my family, didn’t really matter to “A” at all broke me in ways that I’m still recovering from. I saw what I wanted to, of course. In hindsight “A’s” relationships were always about projecting an outward appearance of high-value normality in order to boost her own fragile ego, and little more. My mom’s stroke (and my resulting mental state) were not relevant to her because neither added value to her.

To this day I’m not sure if she’s really capable of treating people as anything more than set props.

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She decided having sex with her boss for more money was a better deal.

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First person I was engaged to ended up beating the s**t out of me. That was the end of that.

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He ended up having a wife I did not know about.

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He had an affair with my stepmum.


It was a long distance relationship and she found someone closer.

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It took me a while to figure out that she was actually an entitled grand daughter of a once-rich Asian family. There never really is just one thing and maybe I ignored it when we first started dating. But here is a list of things I realized after about a year of dating

1. She flat out said that public school kids (like myself) weren’t as good as boarding school kids (her)

2. Her expectation was that everything was going to rely on my salary. At the time, I was making about 2x her salary

3. She was a closet racist. She’s Korean and I’m Chinese and just had to take jabs. One time I was in line in the grocery store while she had to get something. When she came back, there were a few people in between us and I just told her to come up and cut the line. She made a comment like “…just like a Chinese person” underneath her breath.

4. Her mom would buy her business flights tickets back home. She came back once and implored that was the life that she wanted. Sure, but she was on a $70k salary.

5. She was nostalgic about the life she had that her grandfather built for the family. Wealth really lasts three generations and she was never “taught” what job or vocation would make money for a life. She was smart and well educated (art history major) but the fancy education really is just an intangible Louis Vuitton bag that was there to make her more marriage material.

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Realized i would’ve been his second mom for the rest of my life instead of his partner.


Her husband was vehemently against it.

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She decided to go with another guy, who she had a baby with and then he left her for some other girl.

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He started drinking a lot and I just didn’t want to end up with someone like my dad. I adore my dad but it hurts to see him struggle and I knew I couldn’t handle loving two men with drinking problems. It broke my heart because he was otherwise such a great guy.

It was ultimately the right choice though. My husband is the true love of my life. And I can’t imagine being happy in any other life.

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I was young. Didn’t know what I had. Would be different now. I think about her everyday and it’s been 11 or 12 years since I’ve even seen her.

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Turned out she was a cheating narcissistic liar and I had been trying to ignore the signs. Bullet dodged.


He married someone else on my birthday because he got her pregnant.


FBI knocking at my door to arrest him for being a p*******e and a CP salesman. No joke.

Image credits: ameliiax


He was not meant for “settling down” as they say. We dated expecting marriage in the future but some people abhor commitment and he fooled himself into believing he could settle down as well but but turns out commitment was difficult for him and this is something I should have realized way before in the relationship.


Said no.


The last words she said to me were, “who are we kidding? It was never going to work out.”

Long distance relationship that optimist me thought would actually work out despite my buddies telling me otherwise.

Still sometimes think of what might have been. The temptation to search for her online is strong.


I needed to face my baggage by myself.


She’s a nice girl and I was a s****y boyfriend.


He died.


We were too young.


We grew apart.


I realized I was settling.
Source: boredpanda.com

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