“You have 1 year from today to propose.”
“My little sister’s wedding is in 4 months. If you don’t propose before then, I’m leaving.”
“If you don’t knock me up within 9 months, it’s over.”
Give a guy an ultimatum and his instinct may be to run for the hills before you can! Men are defensive creatures. They don’t being told that they have to do something or else.
Instead of an ultimatum, it’s time for you to start thinking realistically about what you truly want and need.
There are several beliefs around the ultimatum, and honestly I believe in all of them depending on the circumstance (despite their contradictory approaches).
1. Don’t ask for what you want and you will get it.
The inclination of some guys is to do the opposite of what you push for. If you say you want them to propose by a certain date, while they had every intention to propose by that date, the mere fact that you required it, has now made them decide to wait until after your due date to do it. Which is honestly childish and annoying. But frustratingly common. Yes, some guys do need subtle hints in order to understand what you want. No guy wants to propose to someone who is going to turn them down. Let him know that you want it. Put it out there. Then shush up about it! Even subtle hints can feel like megaphone demands if redundantly expressed. The fact that you want to marry him isn’t something that he likely will forget (despite his propensity to forget seemingly everything).
2. Be upfront about what you need, want, and expect.
If you want to get married within a year and a half and get knocked up within 2 years, say it, IF it’s more than just a willy nilly time frame, but an actual- “this is where I stand, this is the course I am on, are you on this course too?” Especially if you are at a time in your life where you feel like your window to have children is closing, being upfront with what you are looking for out of this relationship is absolutely realistic. The fact is that some men just won’t commit. They have girlfriends for 3 years, then they feel like the relationship has run its course and they jump ship. It’s a pattern. Or maybe they just truly don’t see a life with you. They think you’re great and they are really enjoying your relationship, but they don’t see it going anywhere beyond where it is. You are on a ride that will end. That is for sure. The only question is: when? He knows that this relationship will not move into marriage. He will not be proposing. Although he wants kids, he does not want kids with you. You have a right to know that.
DO NOT THREATEN LEAVING IF HE DOESN’T… This is not a threat. This is an honest conversation about what you want, need, and expect. And you need to be aware of and ready for the potential repercussions. If he is not in the same place, you need to be okay with adjusting your expectations or making a change and moving out and on, even if that means breaking your own heart.
What’s He Waiting For?
Now… You know he wants to marry you. You know that he wants to have kids with you… Someday. He just isn’t ready yet. You need to think about that too. Is this truly the man you want to spend your life with? Are you really on a time frame? Or do you just want to speed things up a bit? Is it worth leaving him or having him leave you, only to end up searching for your next guy for a year or four, then to end up in the same stagnant situation with someone who isn’t as good for you, all the while knowing that, had you stayed with the other guy, by now you would be married, have a kid, and be living the life you always wanted. In fact, he just might be living that life with someone else now. If your guy is slow out of the gate, not ready to propose, not ready to take any relationship next steps quite yet, it might be time to have a conversation. Not a show down. Not a fight. Not a sob fest. A conversation. When do you see yourself being ready? Is there something that you are not sure about yet?
I’m SO Over “it’s not the right time.”
One response that many guys use is “it’s not the right time.” Well what is the right time? Doesn’t he want to be settled first? What does settled mean exactly? Why does he want to make a certain amount of money a year before sealing the deal? Is he too busy at work? Will that busy time pass, or is his career busy in general? If his career is too busy in general, that’s just life. It will always be too busy. The time will never be exactly right. He just has to make the decision of if he wants to fit you into his life or have your presence as a side note. My parents got married in college. They got pregnant with me when my mom was an art TA at a college and my dad was unemployed. Not exactly ideal timing? But guess what? They figured it out. My dad got his shit together. They made it work. In fact, my coming into this world helped light a fire under his ass and propel him into the amazing career that he had.
Time to Question Yourself
All of that said. I urge you to seriously think about why you want to get married so badly? Is it because “it’s time?” Is it because your parents were married at your age and you want what they have? Or maybe your best friend or even your little sister just got married. Maybe he’s perfect on paper. Or does he have potential and you think he is going to change once you get married… everything will be better when you have a ring on your finger. It could be that you feel like it’s just time. You have been together for 2 years and it’s time to take the next “natural” step. STOP. Do you want to spend the rest of your life with this man? Even if he doesn’t change at all? Even if he stays the same jack ass, lazy bum, uninteresting, flirtatious, immature, guy who you really aren’t that attracted to anymore. Do you want to spend your life with this guy? Believe me… please take it from someone who has used every excuse in the book to get married… and not have it turn out as hoped/expected/dreamed/fantasized.
Chickadees, it’s not just his decision. You aren’t just sitting there waiting for him to make up his mind, to decide if you’re the one. You are part of the picking too. Is he the one? Really. Take control of your life, starting with your love life.