We've previously reported on how Gwen Stefani's religious beliefs have delayed her marriage to Blake Shelton. She takes marriage very seriously.
Now, a new report expands upon exactly what is keeping them from tying the knot. Once they cross this milestone, they'll be eager to wed.
People reports that it isn't a lack of love or eagerness that's keeping Blake Shelton from popping the question to Gwen Stefani.
"Blake was very serious about Gwen right from the start," a friend of the couple affirms.
That same insider details: "And early on he thought about proposing."
But thinking about something and actually doing it are very different things.
The friend of the family reports that they both consider the other to be "the one," no questions asked.
That is what has kept them together for, what, four years now?
They remain "very serious" about their romance and about their relationship towards each other.
Just because they were both on the rebound when they first began to date doesn't mean that real love didn't bloom.
There's more than just a bond between Gwen and Blake that keeps them together.
Gwen's children, 13-year-old Kingston, 11-year-old Zuma, and 5-year-old Apollo have taken to Blake as a secondary father figure.
And Gwen and Blake definitely want to make their romance deeply official.
"It’s definitely headed toward marriage," the source assures.
"They’re all very like-minded and comfortable with each other,” the insider says of this complex family unit.
The source opines: “Gwen brings this sparkle to the country world."
Remember, Gwen had a career making good music for many years before she fell in with Blake.
"Her love for Blake is clear," the insider affirms, "and she’s been embraced by everyone."
Just because they've been entangled for four years doesn't mean that their passions for each other are slowing down.
"They fall more and more in love with one another," the source shares.
The insider continues: "And their happiness quotient keeps rising."
Happiness quotient? A fun combination of everyone's favorite things: feelings and math.
So what is holding them back? That's not really a secret.
Gwen Stefani is a practicing Roman Catholic, and very serious about it.
She wants a bug wedding in a Catholic church, but was previously married to her ex-husband and cheating baby daddy, Gavin Rossdale.
Without an annulment, her odds of being granted a Catholic wedding are slim to none.
It's always sort of interesting when orthodox faiths look the other way at one forbidden thing (four years of cohabitation) but draw the line at remarriage.
(I'm not being harsh on anybody's faith, I'm religious myself, it's just genuinely interesting to see what institutions are willing to ignore)
We're not sure when or how Gwen believes that she will be granted an annulment by the Catholic church.
But when that day finally comes ... if it comes ... we expect Blake to pop the question almost instantly.
That is great news for the couple's many fans, some of whom only followed one or the other before they hooked up.
Others, however, have felt resentful of the way that Gwen has become part of Blake's world but Blake has not done the same to hers.
We'll note that Blake isn't guest starring on a bunch of pop albums. Instead, Gwen is lending her considerable talents to ... songs about guns and beer.
Or, you know, whichever Country Music staple Blake happens to be singing about at any given moment.