Is a Committed Relationship Before Marriage Necessary?

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Courtesy of spikesandstories.com

Recently I read an article that challenged my thinking more than anything ever has. The article was written by a woman telling her story of how she purposely never entered into a “committed relationship” with her now husband. She explained how when he asked her to be exclusive and to be his “girlfriend,” she told him no. She stated she did not see the benefit of allowing him to take her off the market while he spends another two to three years deciding if he wants to marry her. So she told him they could continue building their friendship and when he was serious about really taking her off the market (proposal) then she would acquiesce. Until then she explained she would continue to see other people and that he was free to do the same. Nine months later, he proposed.

I’ll be honest, I was completely shook when I read it because I never seen a woman turn down a chance at a relationship when she ultimately wanted to get married. It seems every woman wants to be in a committed relationship, right? What this article showed me is that maybe people, particularly women, are focused on the wrong thing. Instead of focusing on getting in a relationship, maybe they should challenge the other person including themselves to step up to get what they really want which is marriage.

Now I am fully aware this is not some formula on how to get a husband. I understand what she did may not work for everyone. If you decide to do so, do so at your own discretion. What this article did for me though was give confirmation on why some women remain eternal girlfriends and never the wife. Yes, I know some people don’t want to get married. Obviously, this article is not for those people. This is for the people who want marriage but sometimes get caught up in what happens before getting there.

I say often that dating and being “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” are relatively new terms. I describe them as things we created to allow us to stall before marriage. Don’t get me wrong, when that time is used properly it is quite beneficial. The truth is most people use this time to make themselves feel secure that the person they are with are not being with anyone else. Although we all know this rarely is the case as we have seen numerous people upset to find their mate entertaining someone else.

Just humor me for a second. What if people when they meet, decided to get to know each other. As they get to know each other, they also build a solid friendship. As they build friendship they realize they may really see a future with each other. They communicate their desires for the future and potentially how that person may fit into their future. They have fun and enjoy each other’s company. They finally decide they no longer want someone else to have a chance with this person. Now they prepare to spend the rest of their life with that person because they know they do not want anyone else. They then both decide to do that together and proceed into engagement. Sounds simple, right? The catch is, they didn’t confine themselves to each other until they were both ready to take the step into marriage.

I know for some people is sounds farfetched or just plain stupid. “Why would I not want to commit to someone I really care about?” “How can you be a good spouse if you were never in a relationship?” If that is the case, why are so many people getting stuck in relationships that never move on to more? Yes commitment is important, but is it getting you what you really want. “People should date with a purpose.” Well it doesn’t get much more purposeful than not entering into a relationship because you want more than a false sense of commitment.

Basically, what I am saying is, sometimes people, particularly women, are so focused on being girlfriends, that they limit themselves to only being that, a girlfriend. This is fine if this is all you want in life. It becomes an issue though when that is as far as you go because that’s where you put all your energy. How many people do you know who have been in numerous “long term relationships?” We think it means they are good at commitment. Maybe it just means they don’t know how to go for what they really want. That’s all I’m trying to encourage people to do. Go for what you really want.

If you were interviewing for a managerial position at a company, would you accept an offer for an entry level position knowing you are highly qualified for the role you want? Yes, I’m aware that some companies require you to move your way up and some people are willing to put in the work to do so. This works out for some people and not for others. Some people are so desperate to be hired by somebody that they offer themselves up for an entry-level position just to get in the company. They hope to prove they have what it takes to get the position they really want. So they slave themselves, putting in managerial work at the entry level position. Unfortunately, so many people never move up in the company. Many end up fired, with nothing to show for the time and effort spent. What if at the time of the interview you made it clear that you were only going to accept an offer for the position you want. Letting them know when they are ready to make an offer, you’ll be willing to accept. Until then, you’ll be considering other offers.

Think about it, how much more motivated would someone feel to get their stuff together if they knew at any given time someone else could come in and snatch you up. Some people won’t care while others may pretend they don’t. You are focused on the one who does. The one who will do what they have to do because they know what they want.

Let me be clear, I am not saying people should never get into an exclusive romantic relationship ever again. What I am saying is, if that is something you feel brings you comfort, just be careful to not get too comfortable while there, especially if you know you want more. This is simply another perspective. It takes a special kind of person to hold this type of philosophy, but I’m sure for them it works. I just simply want to challenge your thinking, open your mind but most of all get you what you want and desire.

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Are You His Dreamer?

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courtesy of pinterest.com

 

As always, I was recently in session with a couple. I love working with couple’s as they always manage to remind me of the little things we take for granted. In this session, the girlfriend stated she expressed her lack of desire to no longer dream. Naturally I thought she was discussing goals and aspirations for things she wanted to accomplish in life such as career and education. She corrected me, letting me know she meant as far as dreaming of the future of their relationship. She stated she was afraid to dream about a future of them together if it wasn’t a guarantee it would happen.

So often this happens to women in relationships. Women feel like the person they’re with doesn’t seem as enthusiastic about their future so they give up dreaming about it. They don’t want to get their hopes up so they decide to shoot down their dreams of what could be and what they want to be. My issue with this is that it is fear based. You only take this approach if you are afraid of not getting what you want. The truth though is, you can’t get the love you desire if you’re too afraid to even believe it will happen.

I politely had to explain to her that her role as a woman is to dream. It’s what some women do. We dream about everything. We dream about business, families, friends and of course, our love lives. We do things like create entire pinterest boards of our weddings (that would be me) and pick out our dream engagement rings (also me). We think of cute baby names for our future kids and look up dream homes in perfect neighborhoods.

Well she politely let me know she had been doing all these things and she didn’t get much of a response from him. She gave examples of times she would send him pictures of homes or talk about life after marriage and he wouldn’t respond. I smiled and told her that’s because his job is to keep them grounded in the present while they move toward the future. Most men are present oriented. Majority of them don’t think past today. Do they ONLY think present? Of course not. They think of the future and plan for it, they just don’t live in it like some women tend to do. She was not yet convinced though, stating she didn’t feel he wanted a future like she did.

The powerful moment came when he told her he needed her to be his dreamer. He told her he needed her to have faith in them and what they were doing. What she and many women fail to see, is that when you have no expectations and no faith in his ability to move forward with you, it’s a slap in the face for all the work he has put in to show you how serious he is about you. I pointed out to her that I could see he expected a future from them. When she asked how so, I simply told her, because he’s here. He shows up session after session airing out his most intimate moments with a stranger to help strengthen this relationship.

See the problem is women always want to talk about the future while men simply want to work towards it. Both have the future in mind, but they simply manifest it differently. Men aren’t going to keep telling you they want a future with you, send you pictures of engagement rings and houses for you to live in. They are going to SHOW you they want a future with you. Listen, men think talk is cheap. Therefore, if you want to know how he feels and what he thinks, watch what he is DOING not what he is or isn’t saying. They put all their effort in their action. When she gave up on their future simply because he didn’t want to keep discussing it, it made him want to stop putting in effort for their future. In his mind, it was as if his efforts were unappreciated and in vein.

The other part to a woman being a dreamer, is she needs to be willing to dream with and for him. If he has a business, don’t just be excited about it, dream about it. Dream about how he will get new contracts or how he’ll expand it in three years. If he wants to go back to school, dream about his graduation day and how proud you both will be. If he wants a promotion, dream about the celebratory dinner you all will have and the next position he can then strive for. Dream with and for him!!! Now I’m not saying be the only person in the relationship dreaming. That’s why I say WITH him. He should be dreaming too. Again, you may not realize he is because he shows it instead of always talking about it.

Dreaming for and with your man shows him you believe in him, you have confidence in him and you support him. Believe it or not, men seek the validation of their significant others more than they will openly tell you. If you want to speak to your man, speak to his dreams. Speak to his future and include yourself in it. Show him that you have faith in what he’s doing and that you plan to be there every step of the way. If you can dream of baby names and look up wedding dresses, you can dream of your man succeeding in life.

All I am trying to say is how a woman dreams about a man says a lot about what you think of him. And believe me, he is paying attention to how you do so. Men know that women think future, so if she doesn’t include him in hers, that says to him she either doesn’t want it or expect it. Women just have to understand their role which is to dream, and his which is to work to make the dream come true while keeping them in the present. Once everyone understands their position, they can better function as a team. Ladies dream for and with your man. Let him know you can dream for more than just a perfect wedding. Because long after the vows, he still needs you to dream. So, ladies get to dreaming and fellas get to working, there are some dreams that need manifesting😊