Relationship Q&A: All or nothing?

His Question…

I’m 26 and life is GOOD.  I have a good job making decent money, just bought a nice ride, own a townhouse and I’ve been dating my girl for about three years.  She was with me before I had any of this and I guess I can say that she helped to me to get my mind right when I first started working.  I wanted to buy a bunch of nonsense (I can look back and agree to that now) but she convinced me to save some of my money and now it’s paying off.  She’s a good girl but lately her girlfriends have been getting engaged and married and now she’s starting to put some pressure on me to make a decision about our future.  I can feel where she’s coming from but I’m just getting settled and I don’t know if I’m ready for that type of committment, right now.  I think she is the one I want to marry – one day – but I’m not ready.  Whenever I try to explain this to her, she starts crying and I just can’t take seeing her so emotional.  I feel like I’m going to cave in but deep down I just don’t feel this is the right decision for me.  What should I do?  I don’t want to lose her but she won’t stop stressing me about this.  It feels like it has to be all or nothing with her.

My Answer…

Wow… I can imagine the frustration on both ends.  Let’s start with her point of view.  I am sure she feels as though she has been investing her time, support and love into you for the past few years to help you get what you want and now its time for you to return the favor.  If you have been exclusive during this time, it probably seems like getting engaged is the obvious next step.  Seeing her friends, who may or may not have made the same level of investment, getting what they want -> the ring, the marriage, the husband – probably compounds the situation.  You, on the other hand, seem grateful for what she’s done but may feel like you have been working hard to get this point and you just want to take a moment to take a deep breath before you take on the responsibilities of a family.

However, if you feel like she is the one that you possibly want to spend the rest of your life with, you all need to master one of the keys to a successful lifelong partnership – the art of compromise.  I imagine that there have been situations in the past where she has used crying to get what she wants but guilt tripping you into a marriage is not a good start.  She is going to have to sit down with you and each of you be honest about your current situation and where you see yourselves going in the future.  If she really wants a  lifelong commitment from you, she should want you to make it from your heart.  However, I also think you need to be realistic about how long you expect her to wait for this commitment.  Are you thinking six months, one year, three years?  She needs to know so that she can determine whether she wants to wait it out or move on.  I wish you both the best in this situation.

***Want more relationship advice from me? Buy “Is She The ONE?” on Amazon.com

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8 thoughts on “Relationship Q&A: All or nothing?

  1. Dude, tell her why marriage isn’t something you’re interested in doing right now. Also, be honest with yourself about whether marriage is something you want to do at all, as well as is she truly the one.

    You have to be upfront about your feelings and your time frame for something as serious as marriage. You owe it to yourself to know what is up. And, you owe it to her to be brutally honest, so she can decide if staying with you is something she can be happy with.

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  2. here is my thing

    If you say you want to marry her anyone, WHY not just marry her? What better time than now.

    There is this awning on the side of my house that I keep pushing back. I am going to take care of it next week. Next week becomes next month, which becomes next season which becomes next year, etc.

    That’s called procrastination.

    Here’s another thing, you shouldn’t be marrying anyone if you feel obligated (you said you were grateful for her advice, but i am sure she wasn’t the only one to give you that piece of advice of saving $$$) to that person.

    Three years is a long time. If you can’t respect her for that, then don’t marry her. Come clean. Let her go.

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  3. What exactly is the definition of “ready”? Money? A house? Spiritually ready? Greener grass syndrome? Evidently the writer has strong feelings for the young lady since they have been dating for three years. What is stopping the writer from going to the ultimate level? You can’t date for three years just to have “something to do”… feelings naturally grow, and a bond naturally forms.

    When people say “ready” they often mean that they have a mental picture of everything being “perfect” in their lives. No one is ever “perfect” going into a marriage, because there will always be areas of our lives that is broken. Marriage is about making the decision to be with someone to death do we part, despite our flaws. Instead of worrying about the negatives or whether or not one is ready or perfect enough, celebrate the positives of the relationship. Three years in, there should be a lot of positive history to draw from (or, at least there is nothing to the contrary of that in the letter).

    Yet also, unresolved hurt from past relationships often show up in current relationships in the form of commitment issues. Unforgiveness. Emotional baggage. These are things that will cloud your judgment and corrupt a perfectly good relationship and cause it to self destruct.

    So in summation, my answer would be to get rid of all of the past hurts, man up, and get your woman. The two of you can have fun and live life to the fullest together. Otherwise, you will find out firsthand what it feels like when a good woman is gone. :- )

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  4. Why are people telling him to man up? You don’t rush into marriage! Three years is a long time, but that doesn’t mean he should rush into marriage. And, it would be rushing into marriage if doesn’t feel ready.

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  5. Good morning :- )

    Any thing in life is done with a purpose and vision in mind. The purpose of dating is to get to know the other person for the purpose of marriage. It is a natural progression. The writer stated that “I don’t know if I am ready for that kind of commitment”. Three years in, what do you not know? The fact that they were together for so long means that their relationship works. The writer does state that he wants to marry the young lady… how long does he expect her to wait around? What are you afraid of?

    My thing with the above letter is that she understands this, and he does as well, but my question again is, what is the definition of “ready”? What makes one “ready” for marriage? Three years in they should know all they can possibly know about each other and three years is not rushing. My point is that she has invested a considerable amount of time into the relationship, and so has he. But she is getting to the point where inaction by him is making her question his intentions (regardless of her girlfriends getting engaged), and rightly so. Yes – marriage is something that should never be rushed into. In my mind three years is certainly not rushing.

    The writer’s letter is not about knowing what he should do, because he knows he wants to marry the young lady. His negative emotions and feelings (ie – “feeling” ready, often scars and unforgiveness from previous relationships) are clouding his thinking and causing him to be wishy-washy. The bible says “a sound mind makes for a robust body, but runaway emotions corrode the bones. Feelings and emotions change from day to day, so it is in our thinking (not feeling) that choices should be made.

    One thing I forgot to mention in my original response (as if my posts are not already long enough) is that they should find a good dating and engaged program to get into. My wife and I took a nine month class, which has helped us in many areas. It allowed us to be better prepared for what is to come. Since I have been married, I have been having the best time of my life. Yet there also have been challenges and obstacles as well. Marriage is certainly not for cowards. It takes a lot of courage to get married. The writer knows that his future lies with the young lady he has been dating, but wishy-washy-ness is stopping his from stepping up to the plate. So yes, I say take care of whatever thing inside you that is causing confusion, man up, and get your woman. Otherwise you will find out what it feels like when a good woman is gone. :- )

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  6. My wife…

    Ok… so I showed my wife these blog posts, and she offered a different perspective as it relates to my comments (she agrees but disagrees). Years ago before my wife and I met, she wasted six years with a guy because the guy she was seeing was not ready. If they had been married, she would have been in a miserable relationship (not to mention that she would not be married to me). At 26 years old, and I don’t know where the writer is in his life, but maybe he is not spiritually mature enough to be in a marriage. Age and experience definitely plays a role in the success of a marriage as well.

    Many times women fall in love and want to get married. Men will decide to get married and then find someone to fall in love with. Men and women are quite often not in the same place at the same time, and at 26 years old, this is especially often the case. When my wife and I met, we both knew we were looking for marriage. This was one of the first conversations that my wife and I had when we first met. So in dating, if one (or both) of us felt like it wouldn’t work, we would have parted ways and it wouldn’t be a wasted experience. My wife did agree with me in that the writer and the young lady should find a dating and engaged class to see if they are on the same page, or at least pick up the book “Before You Say I Do” in addition to Lakeesha’s book. :- )

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