People tend to use relationships for everything short of building a future with someone. Relationships are 100% optional so if you’re ready, willing, or able to commit to someone, then don’t! The sole purpose of being in a relationship is to have the added support from someone you’re romantically interested in, with the potential to grow. If there’s no potential to grow, there’s no sense in being in an exclusive relationship with someone; you can do bad/good all by yourself.
When you first meet a person, you evaluate them based on their appearance, their character, morals/values, etc and from there you can decide whether or not this person is worth giving more of your time to. Once you’ve determined he is worth giving more of your time to, simply give him more of your time until he has proven to be someone to be taken seriously and considered for a position that will allow him to be closer to your heart and to the people who are important in your life.
Side note: Before you give a man your time, make sure he has a steady source of income. If he can’t afford to take care of himself now, he won’t be able to afford courting you, he won’t be able to afford a ring to propose to you with, and he will not be able to afford the wedding of your dreams within the next 2-3 years. If somehow he miraculously comes up with the money within 2-3 years, he won’t be willing to spend all he has on you. He will take care of his own priorities first. The idea is to get married “one time” in your life, so don’t sell yourself short by getting married at a courthouse or in Vegas just because this man doesn’t have his life together. If you marry a broke man, you can expect to have a broke marriage. Not quite the “Happily Ever After” you imagined eh?
While you’re getting to know this person, dating, etc, you’re also be busy with you’re own personal life; whatever that might entail (i.e. Work, school, kids, etc). Days, weeks, and months will go by before he’s earned his place in your heart. If at this point, you feel comfortable enough to take things further, allow him the opportunity to ask for a commitment. You don’t have to “wait” for him to ask. Simply keep yourself busy so he’ll be prompted to ask you for more exclusivity. When you withhold special privileges from a man, he will do anything to receive favor from you (including marriage), especially if he considers you to be a woman of substance.
3 months is more than enough time to determine whether or not a man should or should not become your significant other, so make the decision to keep him around or keep it moving now. You do this by making yourself less and less available to him, which will prompt him to take the lead. If you express to him through words that you want more, you’ll scare him off and make him change his mind about you, so use a subtle approach and simply remove yourself from the picture, so he’ll work harder to get you back in the picture. Think of relationships like a big game of chess! You study your target, plan your moves, and always keep your mate in check!
After deciding that you’d like to get more serious with one another and it’s established that you’re now a couple, continue to get to know one another while still living your lives. Be sure not to smother one another; give each other enough room to breathe, but not enough room to leave. Men of substance are secure in themselves, they are independent and enjoy keeping their independence, so be sure to establish that you too are capable of enjoying life on your own, and at the same time enjoying his company when he’s around. Coming off as too needy or clingy early on in the relationship is a sure fire way to send a man running for the hills.
Throughout the first year of being together, you will experience a birthday, Valentine’s Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and an entire summer’s worth of excitement! If this person is someone you are interested in growing with, there will be no question in your mind that you will want to spend each and every one of the upcoming Holiday’s together. If this is the way you’re mutually feeling about one another, it would be a nice touch to invite your partner to family gatherings and introduce one another to the people who are most important in your life. <<< This is a sign of vulnerability and growth.
After you’ve introduced him to the people who are most important in your life, get your partner’s feedback on what he thinks of your family, and also get your family’s feedback on what they think of your partner. Both opinions are equally important so listen carefully to the feedback they give you. Your family has nothing invested in your relationship… but they genuinely care about you and your well-being, so treasure the things they tell you that they see in the man you’re with.
If your family who loves and cares about you senses that there’s something unsettling about your partner’s character, and they feel as though he’s not a good fit, it’s a good idea to take those feelings into consideration when deciding your future with him. This doesn’t have to be the determining factor, but certainly a factor in your decision making. Often times when we’re in love, we don’t see or think clearly, and we’re blinded by our emotional state; people on the outside looking in sometimes have a clearer vision of our current situation.
No matter how many men who come and go from your life, your family will always be there, however your family will be less reluctant to help you in the future if you don’t appreciate the help that they offer now. Staying in a relationship that everyone around you views as unhealthy will effect the way your family views your partner, your relationship and your character from that point on (if you continue on with that relationship). Your family comes first, so if your partner has a problem with your family, then you should have a problem with him. Weight the pros and cons and decide on your own accord what’s best for you. No matter who’s giving the feedback, never disregard the feelings of the people who love and care for you; they are there to help!
So now one full year has gone by and if you’ve survived the Holidays, survived meeting the family, and survived “each other” (lol), then you’re definitely on the right track. In a full year’s time, the seasons will have changed, you’ll have learned so much about your partner, and now it’s time for a pause!!!! After one year of your life has gone by… how do you now feel about your partner? Are you still excited to see him? Are you still interested in growing? Is he being consistent with the behaviors he’s exhibited from the beginning? If so, continue to enjoy this person’s company, and continue to do things that will bring you closer together.
Throughout this 2nd year, those Holiday’s will have rolled back around again, and if your family liked the man you brought around them the first time, they will be delighted to see that you’re still with him. Only this time, your family will sense that the two of you are serious about one another, so they’ll want to know if marriage and babies are in the near future. He will love the fact that your family accept him and feel as though he’s worthy of such privileges, so those honorably mentions will be on his mind and on his heart. And he’s also aware that you heard these mentions as well. <<< So he’s definitely got to do something… and soon. Otherwise, he can look forward to holding his head in shame the next time he faces your family if there’s been no progression. A relationship should not be a flatline; it should always be on the path of growth!
Side note: It’s very important to be family oriented when you’re in a relationship, because it establishes what a person values (or the lack thereof). It becomes a matter of pride after a certain amount of years go by and your family, friends, and co-workers are not seeing any growth in you or your relationship. They may not say anything after a certain amount of years, because by then they will have accepted the fact that the two of you aren’t going anywhere… and they simply stop inquiring/caring about what your future holds. The only people left to realize that the relationship isn’t going anywhere is the people who are actually in the relationship…You and him!
After year two, his feelings for you should be crystal clear! If at this point he is in a comfortable place financially, and he still feels the same way about you as he felt in the beginning, he will want to do something to take your relationship to the next level because he wants for this experience to continue on and remain exclusive. On the other hand, if at this point he isn’t considering popping the question, or feels differently about you, then he’ll probably be content remaining your boyfriend until one of you can’t take it anymore. <<<< If this is the case, cut your losses and end the relationship with him (even if it hurts).
Marriage is very tough decision for a man to make, so if the relationship is still healthy and you feel as though he is considering marrying you, be sure not to give him any reason to change his mind. It’s during these stages, his tolerance will be at an all time low and he’ll be subconsciously looking for a reason not to pop the question, so don’t give him one. Marriage (to a man) can be quite intimidating so whatever you do… do not pressure him into making this decision. Do not even mention the words “marriage” around him unless you’re intentionally trying to get rid of him. It’s already been established during the getting to know you process that you desire to get married, and you can show him in subtle ways that you will not stick around without one.
It takes a man a great deal of courage to walk up to a woman and simply say hello, so if you can imagine, it will take a man even more strength, courage, and self-assurance to propose marriage. While you’re in a relationship with a man, always be his support system so that he can feel 100% comfortable coming to you and talking to you about anything on his heart and mind. If throughout the relationship you have proven to be an asset to his life, he will want to give you the title that you rightfully deserve, and will be more open to making it a reality.
Marriage is a life changing decision and a serious commitment, and it will take him a little bit of time to think. A marriage will require him to share his assets, his living space, his last name, and pretty much share his entire world! This is something that he has to run through his “board of trustees” before making it official (i.e. His mother, his father, his siblings, and his boys for their approval). If you’ve already met these people and have made a good impression, you’re in good standings.
You can rush a man into bed, but one thing that’s for certain is that you can’t rush a man into a relationship or a marriage, so while you wait, continue to be the best woman you can be. The last thing you want is for a man to marry you as a result of an ultimatum. If your goal is to be married and the man your with doesn’t want to be married, then maybe that’s not the man you should be spending years of your life with. Go where you’re celebrated, not tolerated! If you’re with a man who enjoys being around you, loves you to death, and wants to build a future with you, you can expect a marriage proposal between years 2-3.
If its past year 3 and you still haven’t gotten the ring, then you should take a look at your life and your relationship, and reevaluate your future. Some men can go a full life time being in a relationship that offers friendship and benefits. He could care less about a title because he’s already getting everything that he feels a marriage could possibly offer. It’s common for a man to use an engagement as a way to keep the benefits flowing, with no real intentions on investing in a wedding, or going through with a marriage. Instead of being mesmerized by the words “Will you marry me?”, pay close attention to his actions and ask yourself, “Does this man actions show that he’s interested in marrying me?” Never listen to a man’s words… always follow his actions.
If you agree to a marriage proposal, do so not just for the sake of saying, “I got the ring!”, but because you’ve found a man who loves you, cares for you, and values having you in his life. If a man doesn’t see value in you from the beginning, let that be the end. Do not allow a man to take years of your life deciding whether or not he feels you’re worth marrying. This is a trick that men use to string women along. A man knows the role he wants for a woman to play in his life before he even meets her!
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Life & Relationship Coach