Boy meets girl. Boy likes girl. Boy loves girl. Boy says “I’m not the marrying type.” Boy stays with girl for five years. Boy drops girl for some floozy and marries her six months later.
We’ve all heard the stories before, though the characters vary. Sometimes it’s boy meets boy, sometimes it’s girl meets girl–the point is when you’re dating monogamously, the issue of marriage arises. Or the lack of it arising becomes an issue, whichever boat floats atop your situation. And some of you are just looking for a solid commitment, you can’t even fathom marriage yet. Nevertheless, when the marriage/commitment conversation does rear its head it might be a fugly one! So how do you approach this very delicate issue without scaring the other person off? Let’s take a looksy.
The first step is to know what YOU want. And the second step is to make that clear. On our first date, (see the details of that date here) Mr. Right-For-Now looked me dead in the eye and said: “I’m not really looking for another girlfriend. I’m looking for a wife.” And I gulped, audibly–the task of finishing my shrimp alfredo interrupted by the weight of that thought. Because he was very much serious. Considering my relationship ineptitude, I was content with the thought of just seriously dating again. But he made it clear that wasn’t enough for him. So if I wanted him, I would have to rethink how deep I wanted to get because he planned to work towards something permanent. So that night I went home and thought about what he told me. And the way I saw it, I could go hard in this or go home. Regardless of what I decided, Mr. Right-For-Now had no intentions on compromising what he wanted for the likes of me. But I respected him for telling me because it allowed me to decide if I was willing to step up to the plate or not.
Obviously, some of you haven’t done this and didn’t do this from the beginning in your relationships. You settled for the “it’s complicated” on Facebook when you know you wanted “in a relationship with.” Not to fear. There is a remedy called an ultimatum. Yes, and do NOT be afraid of it.
What I’ve Read:
According to Cosmopolitan magazine, “it is a relationship myth that giving your guy [or your girl] an ultimatum will mess things up. As a matter of fact, it may be exactly what he needs.” (Read Should You Give Him an Ultimatum? here) If done tactfully–and please take note that the root word of tactfully is TACT–an ultimatum is a very effective tool. Cosmopolitan suggests bringing up your wants calmly but directly. Hints are ineffective. Then, you back off. Let the other person think about what you’ve posed and wait patiently for the answer. The party issuing the ultimatum must realize that you can’t make anyone do anything they do not want to do. If the other person isn’t ready or he or she doesn’t see you in future plans, don’t count on much changing.
What I’ve Done:
Quite frankly, I was tired. I didn’t know how many more ways I could tell him that we had a communication issue. And after the 300 millionth time saying the same thing, I had a feeling the results wouldn’t change much. This time, it had to sound a lot more urgent. I let him know that I had a serious need and if he continued to leave that need unmet, I would walk. And he finally listened. So I am very much in favor of ultimatums and have used them more than once in my relationship. I have also found that not only stating what you want but why you want it works even better. The key, however, to any ultimatum is follow through. If you tell him you will leave him if he won’t marry you, then you do actually have to leave at some point. Which also means that ultimatums should only come up in situations where it’s worth it to leave (and no, her obnoxious infatuation with Justin Bieber doesn’t make the cut).
You know what they say, “actions speak louder than words.” So if you really want her to commit, if you really want him to propose–act like it!