Stop making your dreams sound like such a nightmare!
Yes, ladies, I understand you're eager to get married, or, at least, to have a serious, committed relationship. However, the surest way to sabotage any chance of that happening is to keep mentioning your master plan to your boyfriend.
That’s right! The more you bring it up, the quicker he'll split!
In my job as a dating coach and matchmaker, I always ask clients about their last breakup. Women usually have a variety of reasons things didn't work out in the past. Men are more repetitious. Oftentimes, guys say things like "We had different goals" or "We grew apart."
However, the one thing that I hear from men more often than not is, "She kept nagging me to get married."
Let’s first address the 'nagging' part. You know, ladies, that if you repeat something to men more than once, it goes right under the heading of 'nagging' in their books. Annoying, but true.
For example, if you ask a man to take out the garbage and a week later (when your apartment smells like an erupted cesspool), you bring it up again: BOOM! You’re 'nagging.' So we’ll take the ‘nagging’ part with a grain of salt.
However, according to men, there are a lot of women who are guilty of excessively broaching the subject of commitment and/or marriage. Please understand that just like 'nagging', the word 'excessive' is also a vague term when it comes to men.
How much is excessive? To answer that, you should know your man really well. To some, once is overplaying it. To others that magic number is significantly higher. Men have different tolerance levels for commitment discussions. But one thing they do have in common is that when you push the discussion one time too many times, they’re out of there.
Very often, men admit to me that had the woman not "nagged them about commitment", they most likely WOULD have stayed in the relationship and eventually asked her to get married.
Let that sink in for a second.
What the men are saying is — if you let the relationship play out in its own due course, if you stop persisting in shoving it toward commitment or marriage, it would evolve exactly into what you want ... all on its own. But when you try too hard, you risk losing it altogether.
So, what are the best ways to discuss commitment without sending your guy running?
1. Pick your timing carefully
Even though you want to introduce the subject in the first few dates, that initial discussion should be less detailed and urgent. After all, you don’t want to sound like you have the future mapped out and are just looking for a proper tool to fill it.
However, as your relationship progresses, you need to trust your gut. If it’s telling you it’s too early in the relationship to broach the subject — then don’t. On the other hand, don’t wait for the relationship to progress for so long that he becomes comfortable with the status quo without committing.
After all, why would you want to spend years with someone only to find out you have entirely different goals in mind?
2. Don't force the issue
For example, while watching a movie about a big family, you can ask him how many kids is his ideal. Or if you’re at a wedding, ask if he ever thought about having a wedding, etc. Don’t make the conversation heavier than it needs to be.
I am not saying it’s a frivolous subject or should be treated as such. However, the last thing you want him to see is your obsession with the issue. It's a turn off to him to think that, instead of enjoying your relationship in the present, you're continuously making plans for your AND HIS future.
When you do speak to him, however, make sure you listen as well. Sometimes instead of saying 'no', he is saying 'not right now.' Don't be so preoccupied with him buying into your plan that any divergence from it sounds like total disavowal.
3. Ask for what you want honestly, not repetitively
Assuming that the time and conversation flow is right, do open up about your hopes and wishes. After all, very few men have ESP, so how would he know what you want unless you voice it?
However, do not impose your plans on him or talk about it incessantly. Instead, speak from your heart and then listen to what he has to say. Do his plans mirror yours? Are they just a little different, or are you two on different planets when it comes to marriage and commitment?
Yes, you may find that your goals are so different that it’s best to part ways and start anew with someone else who shares your vision for the future.
Or, in some cases, you may happily learn that, when it comes to commitment, you two are even more compatible than you thought.
In the end, it's important to determine the best timing and approach needed to raise the subject with your guy, so you don't send him running. And if you can’t, that’s a sign in itself. It means you don’t know him well enough to talk about commitment.
Need help with your relationship? You can contact Marina at firstname.lastname@example.org.