Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Asking for the Commitment

Most women want their suitors to pop the question since it literally seals the deal in salesman’s term. There are a few things to consider before asking for the commitment. The deal you are considering might not be the deal he is offering. You need to determine your motivations too.

We women tend to want to nail a man down fast. Some of us can remember the Andy Griffith show where both Andy and Barney dated their girlfriends for over eleven years. Sounds like a man’s dream, no responsibility for a family and some female affection when he wants it, preferably on the weekends. The only problem with this is the woman and her dreams.

By date two, she may be guilty of imagining them as a pair. Some women do this at the end of date one, even others somehow do this without the guy even asking them out. We are a society that values a couple over a single person. Ask any newly divorced person how much of a nosedive her social life took when she became half of a pair. Of course, everyone imagines the single again person would be a spouse-stealing threat if invited to a party. The sad, very lonely person stays home and considers her chances of being part of a couple. SO much so, that a plan is devised that may include diet, hair color change, or even Lasik surgery. The goal is to be united once more…with someone.

Ladies, and my few male readers, did you notice the goal was to be part of a couple. That was the end goal. Many people afraid of dying alone will set up being married as their ultimate goal. How soon they forget being married to the wrong person was often a form of purgatory, and sometimes hell on Earth. In their lemming-ish rush to matrimony, some women will go so far as to quiz men on first dates if they want to get married. If the man answers “no,” then they need to move on to a more likely prospect. Really?

If a man answers “yes” to such an outlandish question the woman needs to run like crazy. This shows a lack of thought and an impulsiveness that doesn’t bode well for a long term relationship. It also shows man as desperate and needy as the woman ready to marry anyone who shows similar interest . That never works out. Consider it this way, if you walked through a room of people asking who would like to go out and get Chinese with you. You’d find an interested party and you’d head out to the restaurant for dinner. You both get what you want…Chinese food, but over dinner you discover that you just don’t mesh. You may even find out you detest the person. The good news it was only Chinese food and you never have to see that person again. Not so, when either you agreed to marry someone you don’t know, or convince an acquaintance to marry you.

I know my sweetie, you’ll whine, we’re together all the time. Marriage changes everything. Both men and women will be on the good behavior or whatever behavior you want until the ring is on your finger. Face it, you do it too. Dating behavior is different than relationship behavior, and often married behavior is even more unique than what happened leading up to the event. The longer you date the more you get to know the person, but I’m only talking about a year before asking for the commitment. I heard of one couple who dated for twenty-seven years before marrying. Can’t say what their motivation was, but one partner definitely didn’t want to get married.

Most of you can tell tales of friends who lived with someone for a number of years and then was dumped for another woman who the guy immediately married. Many people enter into relationships with the thought you’re good enough for now. They don’t say these words aloud, but when they meet “the one” they leave so quick there are tread marks in the driveway.

What is the difference between the live-in girlfriend and the chick he married. One thing only, the last female asked for a commitment. She probably said in so many words she wasn’t changing her entire life unless she had some guarantees. Marriage is no guarantee anymore, except maybe in divorce court. What the woman is asking for is how serious is the man about her? We sometimes mistakenly believe that a wedding ring will make a man stay with one woman. Personal choice, his, makes the man stay. Fear of losing the best thing in his life renders him monogamous.

We can usually get a man to do the deed on bended knee, but if he isn’t mentally there it will not go well. What do you really get? A man forced into a life-changing relationship by manipulation. This sets the man up for being continually manipulated in the marriage. The wife will use her manipulations skills to get her way, but will resent her malleable husband. The man doesn’t win, ever in this scenario.

Before you ask for the commitment, consider what you are really asking for. Are you tired of being a single and you just want to be a pair? Maybe you hope to nail down a good prospect with a wedding ring. So far in the relationship, he hasn’t demonstrated enough devotion and you hope marriage will do the trick. None of these are good reasons. EVEN being madly in love isn’t enough. Consider how many times do you want to endure a contentious marriage or suffer through a bitter divorce. Instead of asking him for a commitment, ask yourself if this is the person you want to wake up to the rest of your life? Is he the man you want to make love to the rest of your life? Are you committed to making his wishes paramount to yours? Will you work to make his dreams come true?

If you answered no to any of the questions, you’re not ready. Committed relationships are not about what you want, but about making the other person your focus. In a balanced relationship, your spouse will do the same for you. Really, it does work. There are a great deal of unbalanced relationships out there, probably because a person asked for a commitment from a man who was not only not ready, but was a bad match to boot. Being a pair is not the end all to happiness, often it is the beginning of misery. Think, wait, think some more, and it will happen.

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