How to safeguard a new relationship that has all the potential to be lifelong.
So, you've finally met a guy who is husband material, marriage-minded and wants to make a commitment to you. Wow. Now that you have this unpolished gemstone in your hand, you can either bring out the brilliance, or you can seriously waste the opportunity. You may be tempted to rush forward, but if you do, you'll likely blow it. Here's how to safeguard a new relationship that has all the potential to be lifelong.
1. Take the target off his back. Adjust your attitude and keep it in check. If you're looking at him as your future husband, bring yourself back down to earth. Even the most commitment-minded of guys will feel uneasy if you convey that you've selected him as the father of your future children, and it's only the fourth date.
When you don't yet know someone well, and you target him for marriage, it can feel to him as though he's going to be your sperm donor rather than your sou mate. Why? Deep down, he knows that you couldn't possibly know him well enough to love him. So when you instantly look at him with stars in your eyes, it can feel insincere, as though you only love him for his looks, his great car or his financial success. He's an object of desire to you, not a real person to you. An emotionally healthy guy will find that offensive and back away.
2. Watch your language. Be forthcoming about what you are looking for, but don't overdo it. Once you know there's a mutual attraction, let him know that you are marriage minded. But tell him — and emphasize it — that you don't yet know if you are right for each other. Reassure him that it takes time to tell and that you intend to take your time. The language of pacing a relationship over time reassures him and reinforces your intentions as well. Here are examples of the language of pacing:
"I'm interested in finding someone to share my life with, leading to marriage. I want a family, but only once I find the right person. I don't know yet if that is us, but that's why we are dating."
"I really love getting to know you, and I feel something special happening."
"We don't know each other that well yet. We need to see each other when we’re not at our best and find out if we still like each other."
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