I’m writing today’s post at the request of one of my readers. She wants to be married, and is currently living with her boyfriend. However, when she broached
the subject of marriage, his response was: There are things “you” need to work on and behaviors “you” need to correct before I can even “think” about marrying you.
I’m sure many a woman have faced this same dilemma. You and your boyfriend live together and are “playing” house, so to speak (not judging). Unfortunately, oftentimes, you two have varying outlooks on where the relationship is headed — you marriage but, unfortunately, sometimes, he just wants to keep you in girlfriend status.
So my reader is a little down because she doesn’t know what to do at this point. She and her boyfriend have lived together for a little bit. They share the bills, chores, cooking and, of course, intimacy. However, he is not currently ready for marriage based on their conversation(s). The reader feels like she is in girlfriend status, but doing wifely things, and this is not how she envisioned their relationship to be. She doesn’t feel comfortable with intimacy and some of the things he is asking that she do, and is often told in so many words that “it really isn’t all that great”. I can visualize all of you right now rolling your eyes. Trust me, I know.
The reader doesn’t want to get “stuck” being a girlfriend indefinitely but wants to know what to do at this point. It’s easy for everyone to say, “Girl, if he’s not going to marry you now, you need to leave him” because we’re all on the outside looking in. Some people may even say, “You shouldn’t live with him anyway unless you’re married” as they look down their noses (people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones). However, when your heart is involved, it’s not as easy as it seems; you aren’t able to think clearly, even though your head is trying to lead you in the right direction.
There is an old saying, “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free”? Sometimes, guys only want the milk, and not the cow. They will “play” house as long as they are allowed to without any real commitment. In most instances, we, as women, become emotionally attached a lot sooner than men do and, therein, lies the problem. However, in my opinion, men know the type of woman they are looking for and who they want to spend the rest of their lives with, but cannot and will not be rushed just because we want it “now”.
If you’re in a relationship, talk about what you want and don’t want before the relationship goes too far. If you want to be married, don’t be afraid to say that as you are getting to know him. If you want children, that should also be a topic of discussion. No one likes to be blindsided by these conversations later because they feel like you’re changing the rules midstream. The flip side of the coin is that you’ve been with your man for several years, and every time you discuss marriage he chokes up. You ask him why, and his response is “I’m just not ready”. Then, “Houston, you’ve got a problem”.
Now, getting back to the reader’s question, what should she do? We all make choices — some good, some not so good. Personally, I’ve never lived with anyone before marriage, so I don’t know that I can answer that question appropriately; however, that doesn’t make me any better of a person than she is. We’ve all done things and are still doing things that we’re not proud of because none of us are perfect. What I can say is that we have to not only listen to what our partner says but pay attention. There are definitely times that “he is just not that into us”. If he says that he only wants to keep you in the friend zone, believe him. You can never try to force a person to do something they don’t want to because it will blow up in your face every single time. I will say, though, that sooner or later you’ll have to make a decision in terms of what’s best for you. If you want marriage and he is saying no cigar, then you need to rethink your relationship. You don’t want to spend a million years with someone who is not on the same page as you and possibly miss the “one”.
Years ago, I dated a guy whose sister-in-law told me that he would never get married. Not long after that we stopped dating. He has been dating a woman for years now, and hasn’t married her to this very day. I’m not knocking it because apparently it works for them. However, this arrangement doesn’t work well for every woman and you need to make sure you’re getting what you want.
Sometimes, you may find yourself alone because you refuse to settle for less than what you want or deserve, for that matter, and it’s perfectly okay. Trust me, when I tell you, that settling will cause you a lot of heartbreak and heartache. Been there. Done that. Didn’t feel good.
Don’t continue to be milked only if that’s not what you want because…