It’s important early in a relationship – after a few fun and light first dates when you know you’re interested in getting serious – to have a frank talk about aspirations and values.
What this means is sharing short- and long-term goals and priorities with each other. This is the time to find out whether the guy you’re with wants to get married and/or have children, and when he sees himself being ready for these big steps.
If you learn from this conversation that you’re not on the same general page, you may want to end the relationship before it gets deeper so that you can be available when a more compatible guy shows up.
If it seems that you do have the same general future in mind, then relax and enjoy the relationship.
If it’s meant to be, a commitment will happen naturally. It’s wise to check in with each other once in a while to make sure you both still want the same future, but applying pressure to seal the deal usually doesn’t work.
If a man really wants to build a life with you, it will be obvious from his actions. And you deserve nothing less.
Dr. Amy Wood – www.amywoodpsyd.com
Meaning, have you spent the time, effort, and daily practice of making a commitment to your personal and professional development?
The truth is a man is most authentically attracted to and compelled to marry someone who sets her health, needs, future, career, and relationships as a priority.
When we are moving forward in the natural flow of life, opportunities open up and we are guided toward our strongest desires. Here’s a tip and centering phrase to focus on to achieve your relationship goals. What I expect from my partner, I must also expect from myself.
Your mind-set paves the way to achieve your desired goals.
Our internal condition and mind set reflects our external reality. For example, when we plant the seed in our mind and tell ourselves daily that we are worthy of a fulfilling relationship and marriage, then we exude confidence which attracts our partner to us like a magnet.
In summary, love all of you and think loving thoughts about yourself and your partner will naturally find you irresistible. He will gladly want to spend a lifetime with you.
Brooke Campbell, M.A., RDT-BCT, LCAT – www.CreativeKinections.com
Commitment is a tough topic for many couples because it has various meanings for different people.
You may think commitment means a ring and wedding bells, whereas your partner may think that commitment simply means a monogamous dating relationship. Broaching the topic of commitment may have you feeling anxious because you are not sure if it is too soon in the relationship to discuss such a weighted topic.
The key to talking about commitment is simple; open communication. Open communication is what fuels a happy, healthy, and successful relationship. With open communication, you and your partner can talk about any topic, regardless of its intensity, because the conversation exists in a safe and open space.
Here are some tips to consider when bringing up the topic of commitment:
1. Before you ask your partner what he/she thinks of commitment, be prepared to answer this yourself.
What does commitment mean to you? What does it look like? What do you hope to get out a committed relationship?
2. Emphasize to your partner that you are curious about knowing how he/she thinks and feels about commitment.
Coming from a place of genuine curiosity will allow your partner to feel more relaxed, less defensive, and more open to discuss how he/she feels.
3. Understand your partner may not have the same ideas about commitment as you do.
Prepare yourself for this reality before you begin the conversation. Becoming reactive with your partner will not change his/her mind, nor will it make him/her more likely to discuss this topic in the future. If you want your partner to consider accepting some of your ideas about commitment, you must be willing to accept some of his/her ideas about commitment.
Tara Gogolinski, MS, LGMFT – www.lifeandlovecft.com
It can be agonizing to feel ready to move forward in your relationship and, yet, not know if your partner feels the same or will ever take that next step in the relationship.
However, this thought process can also become complicated by focusing on the external pressures or “external indicators” to inform you if your relationship is ready for marriage. We get wrapped up in determining if we’re “marriage-ready” by the number of years we’ve been together, if we’re at a certain age, or by who else is getting married before us.
Keeping in mind that it is *the relationship* that determines when you all are marriage-ready helps to focus on the “internal indicators” (i.e. your own relationship’s signals and signs) to determine the right time for more commitment and a discussion about marriage.
To help realign your focus to the “internal indicators”, ask yourself “what will I notice about myself, my partner, and our relationship when our relationship is marriage-material?
How will I know we’re ready? What will be happening differently?” When you notice these things are occurring within your relationship, you will know that your relationship is expressing the ability for more commitment and be able to discuss this with your partner.
Finally, building the relationship that is marriage-worthy will be your best bet to inspire both partners to want that next level of commitment and ultimately want to discuss it.
Invest your focus and energy into the “internal indicators” of the relationship and observe the relationship qualities that will translate to a life-long commitment that is satisfying and fulfilling. Assessing your relationship from this genuine, internal angle is the key to knowing when to discuss marriage and it will give you the best ability to communicate your commitment desires with your partner by expressing the positive qualities you feel make your relationship ready for marriage.
Randi Hennigan – www.randihennigan.com
1. You Both Feel the Same Way
You feel comfortable around him, you trust him, and you look forward to waking up with him. Does he feel the same way?
A long-term relationship requires you to be each other’s best friends. You must know each other’s likes and dislikes; respect each other; listen to each other; and be a welcome addition to each other’s families.
Are you each other’s best friends?
It’s important that both people in a relationship have mutual feelings. You must have chemistry and enjoy the time you spend with each other, if you want to make it a long-term thing.
2. He Reacts Well to the Idea of Marriage
You know the dreaded single girl question? It gets worse when you’re finally in a relationship.
When someone asks you and your partner, “When are you two getting married?” how does he react?
Does he seem squeamish or put off? Or does he squeeze your hand and hold you tighter?
If he reacts well, he may be open to having a marriage conversation.
3. You Can Communicate and Create A Deeper Connection
Are you able to communicate, argue, and make up about your relationship issues? Does this make you feel a deeper connection?
Can you be yourself in this relationship?
If you spend a great deal of time keeping yourself hidden or not asking for your needs in the relationship, it’s probably not right for the long-term.
Jeannie Dougherty, MAPC, LCPC, LPC – www.jeanniedougherty.com
He Says “I Love You”… But does he really mean it?
This 7 question quiz tells you if your man truly loves you or if he is just using you…
There is not a “right” answer to this question.
I believe each woman will have their own “right” answer based on a solid foundation of self-understanding. Before moving into a deeper level of commitment, make sure you know who you are and what you believe. It’s important to understand why you want to get married, what your views and expectations of marriage are, and why you believe he’s “the one.”
Take some time to really understand what marriage means to you and how you feel about some “hot topic” issues such children, money, sex, and religion/spirituality.
Knowing your values and how you feel about each one of these things will help you start a meaningful conversation about marriage.
I am often surprised how many people don’t discuss these topics before getting married!
Next, really understand why you think he’s the one for you.
Examine how he treats you and others and how you feel when you are around him. If you feel that he’s the one, start asking questions about the issues listed above. If you like what you hear, ask him how he views your relationship and how he feels about your future together. The exact timing is less important than having taking the time to really get to know someone. I recommend having many deep conversations before tying the knot.
So, back to the timeline, figure out what your personal timeline is and decide when the right time is for you.
Remember, some men are not ready for commitment, so (in their opinion) it’s always going to be too soon. I recommend going with what feels right for you and getting the answers you are looking for in a timeline that feels good for you.
Dr. Bianka Hardin – www.psychologytoday.com
I don’t believe there is a cookie cutter-time sequence answer to this question.
I believe that when two people come together with the same values in place that the progression into marriage happens organically. However, I believe that the couple should be communicating their goals, dreams and aspirations from GO.
An openly communicative relationship will cover all these bases through “friendship communication”.
That is the building foundation of the relationship- the honest and vulnerable getting to know each other area. If these topics are not being covered, it is likely one or both parties are experiencing fear in some area. A man that is already committed to you (ring or not), will not deem any topic off limits. Which incidentally, is a good way to measure how into you your man really is.
On the other hand, if a woman is pressing a man for marriage, I believe for some reason she probably feels like she needs to.
She may be feeling his distance or lack of deep commitment and she may be trying to “seal the deal” in order to feel emotionally safe. And in this case if she continues to ask the question, the already commitment shy man will see this as pressure and probably begin to push back by broadening the gap between them even more. However, with that being said, by at least having the conversation, you will begin the revelation of who this person really is and what his intentions are with you.
Kristen Brown, Certified Empowerment Coach/Mentor – www.facebook.com/SweetEmpowermentLifeCoaching
Initially, the response to this question is: it depends.
On what? You might ask. On your life goals. If you are in a “serious relationship” with your dating partner this conversation likely has been touched upon many times. The question really is: do you know what you want? Many times the women I hear from want a commitment but are afraid of the uncertainty of a commitment.
First, sort out your fears.
Assess whether you or your partner are not “commitment-phobic.” This occurs when one has been hurt in prior relationships where trust has been shattered. I have also observed this with persons who grew up in families where divorce appeared to be the norm rather than the exception.
This leaves the fallacy in thinking, “is marriage and commitment still honorable; will this work for me.”
Second, ask yourself how well does my partner really know me?
How well do I really know my partner? Third, have all of your desires and wishes been explored. Do you both want children? Are you of the same faith and religion? If issues like these have not been discussed, it’s time to explore differences like this.
Finally, if you have been in a committed relationship for an extended period of time (a lengthy engagement), why aren’t you married yet?
If you have done all of the above and you still cannot answer this question, it may be time to reevaluate your relationship with your partner. Life is too short!
Dr. Angela Clack – www.clackassociates.com
Learn Why Men Pull Away
There is a deep-seated “Gap” in communication that very few women (or men) understand.
It’s the #1 reason why men pull away.
To be truly irresistible to a man, you MUST understand this gap, and the way feelings of love get confused and entangled in a man’s mind…
Most women dream about their wedding day years before they find that special man to make their fairy-tale day come true.
Ask yourself the questions below.
– Are you in a position (emotionally, spiritually, physically, mentally) to become a life partner to your mate?
– Are you ready to selflessly commit your money, time, and heart to someone else? Have you accomplished the things in your life that you desire?
– Does he share your core values?
If you answered yes to all of the above, ask yourself one final question:
Is my life whole and satisfying now or am I looking for this person to make my life? Think hard about this one and know your motives for wanting to get married. I suggest you enter into marriage with a life that is whole, fulfilled, and happy prior to bringing someone else into it. He should be in your life to help enhance your life, not create your life or fix the broken pieces from the past.
Before having the discussion with your partner about marriage, first commit to doing some self-reflection.
If there are things in your life that needs some work, your first commitment should be repairing areas of your life, personality, or anything else you deem needs help. Once all things in your life are in order, you are ready to have the discussion of the next level of your relationship.
Dr. LaRay Imani Price – www.womeninnerfitness.com