Don't Blow It! 3 Ways To Make Him Stay

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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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3. Take your time and pace the relationship. Really! You can fall in love with anyone, even someone you don't share values with or like. But really loving someone takes peeling away the layers. The goal of lasting love is acceptance, which you can only do once you've seen him in good times and in bad, at his best and at his worst. You can't accept someone until you've both been transparent and vulnerable about who you really are, warts and all.

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We all have parts of ourselves that we're not particularly proud of, whether it's minor character flaws or past history. In the early stages of relationships, we put our best foot forward. As you connect on a deeper level and build trust, you begin to let down your guard, show your humanity. You gradually fall out of starry-eyed love and into real love.

To discover the depth of your love beyond a crush, date intentionally, but never desperately: You are consciously and openly intentional about finding the right person with whom to share your life. You want a great relationship, but you don't need it. You are attracted to him, but you have not yet decided if he's the one. You show him you are falling for him, but you take the stance of "we'll see."

It's a balancing act: one step forward, another step back, gradually building a connection. Keep your balance, take your time, and you'll find yourself in a rewarding relationship that leads to a great marriage!

About the author: Nina Atwood, M.Ed., LPC, is a nationally known psychotherapist, author of five self-help books and frequent expert media guest. Read the transformational book that will change your life and your relationships with men: Temptations of the Single Girl: The Ten Dating Traps You Must Avoid. To successfully date online, get Nina's $0.99 cent eBook Internet Dating for the Savvy Single. Get loads of free advice and Love Strategies at www.singlescoach.com.

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