15 Signs You’re A Practice Wife

September 20, 2013 ‐ By Meg Butler
Practice Wife

Image Source: Shutterstock.com

A practice wife is the woman a man dates right before he settles down. You live together, you’re loving, but for some reason he’s not eager to go down the aisle. If this sounds like your relationship, read on for a few telltale signs. If you find that most of them are true, chances are he’s ready to walk down the aisle — just not with you.

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  • Vee

    Relationships are practice for everyone.. period. Thats how we decide what we like and dont and will accept and wont. Marriage is for the person you decide to go there with. What makes you able to marry is the ability to be on the same page and get through things together.

  • Billy Lipps

    This is all operating on the assumption that 100% of people think marriage is an accomplishment that must happen to be happy and that having kids , aka sex trophies, is the be all and end all of existence. Learn to to be a little more independent minded and don’t worry about whatever societal norms try to dictate.

  • doowleb

    With the lopsided family laws nowadays, women will soon be lucky to find any sane man willing to submit to marriage.

  • InklingBooks

    Sorry, but if you’re not legally married, you can’t be a practice wife. You’re just someone to do the dishes and keep the bed warm.He probably knew that from the start.

  • Howard Roark

    And ladies when you spring all this new knowledge on your fella’ just know that your pressure will end the relationship.

    FWIW, any article written by a female telling you the inside info on a male has a 99.9% chance of being a waste of your time. Men and women don’t think or act the same way. Wise women accept that he is different and don’t waste their youth trying to change him into a male version of her best girl friend.

  • Aaron the Just

    I usually know within a few weeks if she’s the kind I want to marry or not.

    That doesn’t stop any of the girls I’ve been with from having sex after a few dates, then letting me move in (no need to pay the rent), then talking about “commitment” or “going exclusive”. Once she delivers an ultimatum we either make this serious or we breakup–thank God, I was getting tired of her anyway.

    Ladies, don’t end up with a man like me. Ain’t no ring, ain’t no thing. Make him commit to you first. Make him marry you first.

    • 500_lb_Gorrila

      I take it that you’re democrat. hey, whatever works man.

      • Aaron the Just

        I do not vote Democratic, although I must confess every single one of my lays has been a rather avowed Democrat and proud Obama supporter.

  • KA

    @Hokiegirl87 – I have to agree with you on this. I refused to live with my husband before we were married, we dated for 5 years, I had A LOT of baggage – kid, still dealing w/custody & jerk for my son’s dad, financial issues, we never discussed marriage, his friend’s never asked me about marriage, of his friend’s that were married or had gotten married while we were dating at least 3 of 5 couples are no longer together & these were long term relationships – definitely longer than ours. So according to this article our marriage shouldn’t have happened. Hmm, go figure that.

    • KA

      Also, I was 32 when we got married & neither of us had ever been married before.

      • 500_lb_Gorrila

        I knew someone who was married once…oh, who the hell am I kidding?

  • wildagreen

    after 42 years of marriage i can tell you this: either you connect and nothing else will do, or you wander aimlessly from pillar to post for ever, looking for the missing link…sorry, sad but true…if you get it, you are lucky and if you don’t, you are just like most people.

    • Sparky Flinstone

      I can agree with this it’s all about finding that right connection — it starts within first though

  • Joliee

    What is in a marriage anyway. More than half of these people married 10 years or more have had their shares of infidelity/heartbreak but stayed so that they can boast later to people that they have been married for so and so years. I’ve learned that many of us get married because its is expected in society not because we really want to be with one person for the rest of our lives.

    • 500_lb_Gorrila

      Been married twenty seven years, no divorces or cheating, just acting responsibly.

      • Joliee

        Good for you and the few other exceptions. The truth is infidelity happens often and sometimes people also stop loving their partner but stay for the kids and security.

  • rae s.

    i dont know about a ‘practice wife’ but i am plenty sick of being a ‘placeholder girlfriend’. the point is.. We as women, have to stop settling for this man-child Bee Ess some men are perpetrating, this article is like “this is what isnt working for him”…we need to figure out what works for US and if he aint, then WE STEP…

    • 500_lb_Gorrila

      Who’s using who is the real question evidently, as there’s nothing mentioned about actual love.

  • Miss Smith

    Ahem. I had a practice husband. It was great. It made me realize he was not the kind of guy I wanted to marry. In fact I didn’t want to marry anyone. Until I met my husband. So hey don’t be so hard on the guy who has a practice wife. Maybe he’s just figuring things out.

  • Fire Sign

    There is no reason in the world that you can’t ask him to marry you. Check his reaction and let that inform what your next step is, especially if he doesn’t give you an unqualified, “Yes.”

  • Serenity

    this is a way to guilt folks into marriages they aren’t ready for….

  • Fred

    Why are all of the pictures of African American couples? Are they trying to imply that only African American men don’t want to settle down? Racists. (Btw, I’m a MWM)

  • http://chelebelleslair.tumblr.com paisleystars

    Bare minimum effort for maximum results = practice wife You live together but you don’t reap any of the social and monetary benefits like if you were legally wed. For example, the years you are married and he’s working and paying into the Social Security system can benefit you should you outlive him. Even if you marry and divorce the fact that you were married means you can have access to his Social Security. Common law/shacking up arrangements are great for the indecisive person or the person who considers themselves unique for being willing to live outside the socially accepted construct. But in the end in a society that claims to believe in the ethics and principles of Judeo-Christianity not marrying, shacking up leaves someone holding the bag and its usually, not all the time, but more often than not the woman. Living together unmarried for longer than a year is not a good move. But to each his or her own. NOTE: A person can receive benefits as a divorced spouse on a former spouse’s Social Security record if he or she:
    Was married to the former spouse for at least 10 years;
    Is at least age 62 years old;
    Is unmarried; and
    Is not entitled to a higher Social Security benefit on his or her own record.

    • manofredearth

      WTF? Are you not working, too? Why not? Are you putting your own money away? Why not? Is he working while you stay at home in a shared house? WHY? “Shacking up” leaves no one the bag if both parties are communicating and assertive. Stop stirring the pot in support of dead religion.

    • Thomas

      So it’s about the money?

  • Mongo Slade


    • Thomas

      Their readership is primarily women. To be profitable, the publishers need to write articles that appeal to their readership.

      • Sparky Flinstone


  • LonDiego

    Why is everyone in this slideshow black?

    • Kali

      Look up the meaning of Madame Noire (the name of this website) and that might give you a clue.

      • manofredearth

        So there can only be black people in all of the photographs? So equal majority time, not equality? <_<

      • Janette

        It does seem a bit one sided. If there is anything white, blacks are always there saying how whites are discriminating or racist or prejudice if blacks are excluded from it; however, on the flip side when it’s anything black they expect and want no whites allowed. I can only imagine what the members of the NAACP would do if anyone attempted to found an NAAWP.

        • Michelle Kirkwood

          The NAACP was founded at a time in this country’s history when it was perfectly okay to lynch and kill a black person and ge away with it—-also at a time when black people has very few rights. Obviously,you don’t know anything about them or you wouldn’t have made such an ignorant statement—especially considering that white people have ALWAYS had everything and been able to dominate and take over because they’re the majority–so y’all don’t have a damn thing to complain about. . Plus this is a black site dealing with black folks’ issues. If you can’t deal with that, I suggest you go to another site more to your liking.

          Tired of ignorant white folks coming on here whining about “supposed” racism from black folks, when it’s always been the other way around.

  • xMVince

    Practice? What a disgrace. Anyone who uses someone else for practice in this manner deserves to be alone for the rest of their life.

  • Anon.

    This list seems like a woman’s angry rant after a bad experience. As if woman don’t implement the exact same tactics. For this to be really a good assessment, wouldn’t you want to look at the couples relationship history? Maybe this is caused by the way the relationship was going? Or maybe there is another underlying issues? Every woman, just like every man, is capable of anything when it comes to relationships.

    We all want things to be equal, maybe this person should have demanded a higher level of commitment or moved on herself. The only way to get what you want in this life is to figure out what you want and work hard for it.

  • buyitcheap

    Or maybe he’s realized that as a man you are SCREWED once you’re married, or more specifically divorced. Lose your assets, lose your kids, and pay your ex for 10+ years. No, he’s not marrying you because he’s finally smartened up.

    • Toddnews

      You got that one right. I was married once and lost it all. Never again. Now everything I’ve worked so hard for is mine and no one can ever steal it again. BTW – I’ve been in a monagamous relationship for 20 years now – I must be doing something right. Hers is hers and mine is mine. We are together because we want to be, not because we have to be.

  • Katie Brown

    As a woman, I think this is extremely offensive. A guy could just as easily be a woman’s practice husband!! We have the power! I am woman, hear me roar!

    • Howard Roark

      Careful your overcompensation is showing.
      Actual strong powerful people don’t have to announce it.

  • Logic

    BullShiii (Sneezing Sound)

  • Janae

    I like the fact that you can use him as a practice husband…yeah, I like that.

  • Mixycurly

    If I would have listened to you guys… I’d still be single… thank goodness you weren’t around when I got married 20 yrs ago!

  • PleaseDOBetter

    (and Madame Noire), we have really got to stop selling ourselves short:
    “why buy the cow when he is getting the milk for free?” Aren’t you
    getting some sausage in that arrangement? For free might I add? Some of
    us don’t want marriage. Also, some of us don’t want to marry the man
    that wants to marry us. Maybe HE is the “starter or practice” husband.


  • D

    We were together for 7 years, and now we’ve been married for 24 years, and very happy. This article is a stereotype.

    • Lena

      You’re the exception, not the rule.

      • manofredearth

        That’s ridiculous. Anyone who gets married and stays married is the exception now (divorce occurs at a rate greater than 50%). Therefor, your dismissal of D’s experience can’t be based on the fact that the instance does not occur within the majority of experiences. Perhaps the long engagement is what strengthened their relationship, regardless of exception.

    • Blueberry01

      Did you talk about marriage while you were together for 7 years? Or, at least did he give you the indication that he wanted to be with you in the future? If so, than you weren’t a practice wife. I guess you were his “pre-wife”.

  • grimspec

    First things first, women thinking on behalf of men? Get the f*** out.

    Secondly, a PRACTICE wife? Do you honestly, truly, in your heart believe that men waste years of their life dating someone they can’t stand just to be better with the next woman? Are you truly so shallow and insecure that you’d believe this?

    This article reveals nothing about men, and absolutely exposes pathetic, lonely, insecure women.

    • Lena

      I do believe what it says, I hang out with enough men to know that some men will date a woman FOR YEARS knowing that they would never marry her just waiting for a “better” woman to come along. As soon as they find what they think is a better woman, they leave the practice wife like she’s the plague.

      • grimspec

        Yet if he was looking for something better, he could leave at any moment.

        Why wait? It’s all in your head.

        If he wanted a better woman, he’d go find one.

        Also, what’s the big f***ing deal with marriage? 2 of 3 marriages fail. That’s over 50%, OVER HALF. Who the hell wants to get married with odds like that?

        • Blueberry01

          I believe men take the path of least resistance in that if he has a practice wife, he’s at least getting something for “nothing” (i.e. sex, cooked food, clean apartment) from the woman. So, even though he COULD leave, he may not leave until he found that upgrade.

          • manofredearth

            Wow, stereotype much? All men take the path of least resistance? What do all black people do? Or all Mexican men? Got any more wisdom that all of one group will do?

          • MadSci

            The male version of this article would be about Women who date you and then dump you when someone with a bigger wallet crosses their path. Love hurts, until it doesn’t – and that cuts both ways.

        • Lena

          UH DUH, because he’s USING her! Who says he’s not looking while using the practice wife? Of course he’s looking elsewhere! Meanwhile, it’s not a bad deal for him to have a cook, a cleaning lady and a copulatory recipient while he tries to find Mrs. Perfect.

          • grimspec

            You people are paranoid to the point of delusion.

    • xMVince

      Agreed. At least in my case, I would never even have intercourse with a girl unless I REALLY liked her. Marrying will only be for the one I want to spend the rest of my life with.

  • 9Boots

    He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord

    Proverbs 18:22 New American Standard Bible (NASB

    Ladies you don’t have do tricks to get a husband. Males that do not recognize the value in being married and would rather constantly troll for new sex partners are not worth your time.

    • grimspec

      There is absolutely no value in being married.

      You can have a monogamous relationship just as well without it.

    • Aaron the Just

      And for us males, females who will give up sex without marriage first aren’t worth our time either.

      Other than for an hour or two.

      • 9Boots

        You are the exact type of man I tell women to run from and NOT have sex with.

        • Aaron the Just

          That’s exactly what I tell women, too. Of course, none of them do.

          They have sex with the bad boys for years… then hit 30 and try to find a “nice guy”. Sometimes one of ‘em will try to change me into a nice guy. As if.

  • sabbatha

    Stop worrying about whether or not someone is going to marry you and just live.

  • CasualObserver

    Should probably change the title to “13 Signs You’re a Practice Wife” since there are only 13 of them. There is one title slide and two slides that give the Good New and Bad News.

  • lisa

    lol at the comments, i think i was a practice wife

  • L-Boogie

    Stay single!

  • Kath

    It’s just a matter of why buy cow, when you can get milk for free. Stop giving it up ladies!

    • Nope

      That’s one of the dumbest sayings ever. Either a man wants you, or he doesn’t and that’s regardless of the cost of the cow or milk. Too many women try to decide the relationship for the man and that never ever works out.

      • Lisa

        It works out when the man is moldable and desires marriage.

        You are very negative and demeaning. Hope you don’t treat your wife like that.

        • Howard Roark

          Moldable? Is that similar to changeable? The divorce courts are full of bitter, disappointed soon-to-be ex-wives who thought they could change him.

    • lisa

      I agree kind of, only at first. just no so quick. not a good look.

    • mrsberry711

      On the flip side we (women) may not want to buy the whole pig when all we want is the sausage!

      Btw I’m 30 been with the same man 9 yrs married 6

  • Hokiegirl87

    This list is not necessarily true…I know people who have dated for 8-10 years and have been married for a long time and people who got engaged after dating for a year or two and were divorced by year three. Point: Each realationship is different. And besides, not everyone has to get married. If the relationship is going well, then what is the problem?

    • lisa

      it is but at 30, i have NO time to even thing im a practice wife. a guys knows in his heart like in 3 months prob less if he would marry you or not.

      • Sparky Flinstone

        @ Lisa FOH chicks be fronting and faking and it’s true u know if u would consider it by 3 months but usually by 6 months the real person comes out if a person is really paying attention — Mess around and marry one of these crazy fake bishes then they get a ring and think they got a license to act retarded so Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That At Any Age!!!