This is just a trend that I can hardly ignore. It’s basically almost every woman’s story to me nowadays. In one of the places I work, it’s almost a theme to all the women in relationships there. I see it online, offline and the very least I can be thankful for is that at least one of my friends is not in that situation.
Women nowadays are so afraid of ‘Commitment Talk’.
What is Commitment Talk?
- Mentioning a future together.
- Talking about the ‘Big M’ (Marriage, not the yummy chocolate drink)
- Wanting to have children.
- Future lifestyles.
These are basically no-nos to women in relationships in the modern times. For the life of me, maybe because I do tend to be the odd one out, I do not understand why they are taboo. I’ve asked many of these women and the answers are basically a standard set.
“I don’t want to pressure him.”
“I don’t want to scare him away.”
“I want it all to be a surprise (especially in regards to a proposal).”
Proposals are an event that are meant to be a precursor to a major life chapter – Marriage. Marriage is not a surprise (well, I hope not!). It is a factor of life to plan, to work on and to prepare oneself for. Being engaged is basically a practice run for that. While I am not against proposals being a surprise, there is a way to talk about proposals and commitment in general without submitting to these worries.
Have a ‘Timeline Talk’.
By Timeline Talk, I mean asking your man (or partner) what his plan is for the future in year-spans. What about in two years? Five years? Where does marriage and children fit into that?
Early in the relationship, if you are still new, be clear that this is not about whether it’s with you – it’s his general outlook in life as to how he would want for it to progress no matter who his partner is.
A truly responsible man who is ready for real commitment and the next chapter of his life, having a wife and children, should be able to answer these questions confidently. It shows in how he is setting up the future and is moving through the right emotional phases of your relationship. It’s okay to have nerves about the timeline talk, yet if you become seriously afraid of asking these questions, then there is obviously something bothering you about your man’s character. Something in him signals to you he is not really ready for commitment or would not want a future with you.
These same women have asked me, when I’ve told them these things, why should they bother bringing all this up?
Aside from their very obvious impatience and limbo status, this is simply about having self-respect.
Respect for your own time and life. We as women are, unfortunately more tied to our biological clocks than men are. Or even if it’s not about the children, many of us want to feel stable and settled with our guy simply because we want to. We want to have the security socially and also physically, signalling to the world we are happy to promise forever with our guy.
Don’t you want to use your years well? Why should you put your life on hold, waiting for someone? It is also your life to live and if you want to be married in a couple of years and have children the next, that is your choice and right to feel.
As part of a couple, your lives are becoming inextricably linked and you have a responsibility to each other (as he does to you) to work on a timeline together, so no one is wasting the other’s time.
If your timelines for the future are roughly the same, there is nothing to worry about. If it isn’t and you can’t negotiate then both your outlooks in life are different and there is a probably a better match for you elsewhere. Again, don’t waste each other’s time.
Oh and don’t be one of those passive-aggressive ones who try to hint by complaining and being petty – he will only get annoyed about how many times you’ve mentioned how much you love Mary’s fairytale proposal and her shiny ring. The past seven times in the last few months.
Don’t be a child, be an intelligent, logical woman who cares about her future.
Finally, no – it’s not going to spoil any proposal!
If for example, he tells you he wants to be married within a couple of years and engaged within a year (which is the aim of the timeline talk, for a time-span estimate, not an exact date) – you will know the proposal will be somewhere within the year.
You actually can take some precautions, keeping your hands nice and making sure if there is any formal or ‘super-special’ sounding plan ahead that you look great and feel ready. You don’t have to know the month and day, you just have to be ready when it comes and it will still be a surprise, don’t worry.
Now go on – talk to him, woman!
Do yourselves a favour. If he hasn’t brought it up yet, maybe the reason is that he doesn’t think you’re interested since you don’t talk about it. Or he thinks it’s too soon since you haven’t spoken of your timeline.
Maybe you can fix that.