Which category does your boyfriend fall into?
When it comes to relationships, it can be difficult to know what direction you two are going in. Will you be a successful couple? When will his parents meet you, and will that go well? If you get married someday, will it work in the long run? These aren't easy questions to answer, but there are certain kinds of daters who statistically seem to do less well in longterm relationships.
According to new research, men fall into two longterm dating categories: "sliders" and "deciders." Sliders are men either who take the next step because they think it is the "right" thing to do; they slide into it. Deciders do it because they truly want to; they made a conscious decision.
The trouble with sliders is that they are 40 percent more likely to get divorced than deciders — something that could make anyone worried when it comes to settling down with a partner they want to completely commit to.
So, the question is: Is your boyfriend a slider or a decider?
According to YourTango expert Marla Martenson, author of Excuse Me, Your Soul Mate Is Waiting, sliders "might have been living with a woman and just got married to make her happy, or all of his friends are married, so, why not?" Martenson also notes that partners who haven't solved their issues with commitment and marriage, or waited until they were ready, could wind up dealing with those problems later on, thus leading to a divorce.
YourTango expert Janet Ong Zimmerman, author of the forthcoming book How to Attract a Man Who Completely Loves and Accepts Me: The Empowering Three-Step Approach to Create True & Lasting Love, says there are traits that could indicate more of a "decider" personality in certain men. If he "has been in stable, long-term relationships, comfortable with commitment, he's trustworthy (does what he says he's going to do), takes the time for both of you to get to know each other, he woos you, makes you a priority, makes future plans with you, introduces you to his family and friends, he's at a good place in his life, wants to get married, and is comfortable with discussing marriage," then he could be more willing to commit fully and make the relationship last. In other words, he's more likely to be a decider.
But why are sliders the way that they are? Well, in part, it can be due to their families and the pressure to make certain choices in accordance with tradition. Sliders are less likely to stay in marriages because "they were talked into, coerced, guilted or pressured into [it]," says Zimmerman. Making choices out of coersion and stress from outside sources is generally not the best way to please or be pleased.
Plus, societal pressure as a whole is a huge factor: "Society still says that marriage is the ultimate goal, the 'prize,'" says Martenson. "We see that by all of the articles about dating to find 'the one,' the reality shows about weddings, dating, house hunting, families with lots of children, etc."
From shows where the final "prize" is to "win" a partner to Pinterest boards devoted to engagement rings and wedding cakes, it's impossible to feel like being a bachelor or bachelorette at 28, 35, 47 and onward is "normal."
I'm not saying you should run away from anyone who may have issues with commitment. While it is impossible to predict exactly how your marriage will turn out, it's important to pay attention and recognize these potential factors and discuss them. Discuss them as a team, so you are not starting off your life with each other on a half-hearted foot. In the long run, working together to solve problems and make choices will only strengthen your bond — or help you realize you're not meant to be...before you're too far gone.
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