Should You Stay with Someone Who Doesn’t Want to Get Married?

long term

Should You Stay with Someone Who Doesn’t Want to Get Married?

Sometimes you are at a point in a relationship where you are so in love, everything seems perfect. You and your partner have been together for quite some time and you are expecting things to progress. But when you broach the idea of marriage, the other person gets anxious or defensive. Perhaps they don’t believe in marriage. Maybe they’ve been down that road before. Or maybe you get a noncommittal “we’ll be married, someday” without a hard date to count on. If you are with someone who is eluding your efforts to get married, or just says they don’t believe in it, while you do, what do you do? You could hand them an ultimatum, either marry me or I will find someone who will. But that usually doesn’t end well. Should you stay with someone who doesn’t want to get married? That depends on a number of factors. First, are they against marriage in total or just marrying you? If the relationship is mutually beneficial, warm, open, loving and stable but marriage is against your partner’s personal philosophy then you can negotiate and come to some sort of compromise. If this person is just biding their time with you until someone better comes along then this person is not the one for you.

Another important thing to do is to search your feelings about marriage. Why is it that you feel as though you need to get married? For some, it has something to do with their culture or religion. Others are being pressured by a family member. It could be something you have always dreamed of. Or it might be because all of your friends have gotten married. Start to uncover what your real feelings are about getting married and why you feel that way. It will give you a better perspective on why it is so important to you and how to address the issue. If you just want to walk down the aisle, have a great reception and be the center of attention, think of the aftermath. You are supposed to spend decades of life with this person, living side-by-side. So you want to make sure your desire to get married is genuine. Then consider the person themselves. Is this who you really want to spend the rest of your life with? Do they love you? Are they supportive? What’s the communication situation like? How is the sex? If you were both thrown into a crisis situation together, would your relationship make it through? You don’t want to set yourself up for divorce.

Don’t just wait around for a proposal and brood. That will never make it happen. If you’ve still decided this person is right for you, discuss all the insights that you’ve come to with your partner. Don’t pressure them with an ultimatum. They will probably pull away from you. That won’t get you anywhere. Instead, slowly get your partner used to the notion. Introduce things subtly and make the idea seem like theirs. British psychologist Anjula Mutanda says to ask your partner, “If we were to get married, what would be your ideal way of doing it?” Agree with their answer and make it sound as if you are very impressed. Keep subtly moving things along like this and see if you get anywhere. If you want to take a more straightforward approach, sit them down in a comfortable place when you are both in a good mood. Make sure it is free of distractions. Compliment your partner and tell them what they’ve done right and what personality traits you adore about them. Tell them how close you feel to them and how much the relationship means to you. Let them know the reasons why you want to spend the rest of your life with them. Explain to them in a calm manner why marriage is so important to you and why you want that person to be them. Tell them you aren’t pressuring them or giving them an ultimatum. Let them know that you can make each other so happy. And then give them time to think about your thoughts and feelings and let the matter drop. Don’t blame. Don’t be defensive. Instead, use a positive, complimentary and romantic approach. If they still refuse to marry you, you’ll have to be ready to either move on or settle for not ever being married. But if they really love you and you were meant to be together, you two will find a way forward. For tips on being extremely persuasive in your quest read, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini.

Ammo for Answering Why Aren’t You Married?

happy-single-woman

Ammo for Answering Why Aren’t You Married?

Some people don’t know how to mind their own business. And it can be pretty embarrassing when they question your single status in front of everyone. The nerve of some people. But because they’re related to you they feel like they have the right to be a callous, ignorant, pushy pain. How are you legitimately supposed to answer that question? What are they expecting? What does it even mean? Instead, here is some ammo for answering, “Why aren’t you married yet?” First, let them know that people are living longer now, so why rush it? There’s no hurry. And with the divorce rate the way it is, wouldn’t they want you to be sure? Point out to them that just because people are married does not make them happier. Elucidate all of the things in your single life that make you happy such as your education, career, hobbies and interests and so on. Remind them that there were plenty of dictators and tyrants throughout history that were married. So being hitched does not automatically make you a better person. In fact, lots of plotting wives helped audacious husbands succeed and become tyrants throughout history. If you are a comic book fan let them know that virtually all the superheroes are single. And why is that?

Let them know that you don’t want to limit yourself to merely one disappointing relationship. Now there are all kinds of ways for you to be disappointed. And isn’t variety the spice of life? If you want to make a more serious effort, let them know that you just haven’t found the right person yet. Tell them you want to be knocked off your feet by the gusty gales of love, not settle for some little gust of happiness that blows through and is ordinary and so quickly over. The divorce rate is about half. So you want to make sure you do it once and do it right. If you are a free spirit and never planning on getting married, remind them that you do not live a conventional life. Why limit yourself to one experience while there is a multitude of experiences to be had, in love just as in any other category? If you are female let them know that the U.S. Census Bureau states that single women are happier than men, so you are in the right statistic. Also point out that married men are the happiest, so you are looking for the right guy to make happy. Lastly, question the reasoning behind this person’s question. Are they trying to pressure you? Are they just trying to tease you or be funny? Or do they want to make you feel uncomfortable? Perhaps a shallow barb will put them back in their place if they are being malevolent. But a small joke will put them back on track should they be teasing. For more advice on how to respond to annoying questions, read The Snark Handbook: A Reference Guide to Verbal Sparring by Lawrence Dorfman.

You Don’t Need to Get Married

happy rain

You Don’t Need to Get Married

It happens to some of us at some point, when everyone around you seems to be getting married and having kids and you are still planning your own life out, never mind thinking about settling down. Some people are fine with it. Others feel tremendous pressure to fit in with their friends. Then there are those who are pressured by their family to get married and raise children, or perhaps they come from a traditional family or culture where it’s expected to do so. The truth is that in today’s world, you may be far more normal thinking this way than you realize According to a National Marriage Project study lots of young people today are holding off on marriage and raising a family to further their careers, pursue their dreams and fulfill their own life goals. Young people aren’t the only ones staying single. People fifty and over are choosing to cohabitate over getting married, consider the jump from 1.2 million in 2000 to 2.8 million in 2008 according to the U.S. Census. Not only are you not alone, you may fair better flying solo physically, psychologically, even financially. You don’t need to get married if you don’t want to and here are some reasons why. First, there is no need to rush into marriage today. Statistics out of the Pew Research Center found that in 2011 the median age for marriage reached its highest yet, 27 for women and 29 for men. Lots of people are marrying older, or just living together, even living alone. We are free to choose what we wish.

Most people don’t think that married people have advantages in today’s world in terms of  “fulfilling sex life, being financially secure, finding happiness and having social status” according to a 2010 Pew Survey. 24% said that marriage would get in the way of their career goals. Conventional wisdom always says that women put on weight after getting married. But according to findings published in the journal Families, Systems & Health its men who really “let themselves go.” 2,300 Midwestern married men were followed in this study. It turned out that married men were 25% more likely to be overweight than their single or merely attached counterparts. Married men in general were 60% more likely to be overweight, married women were 40% more likely. It used to be that people got married for financial stability, as well as love. Today, it could cause you financial grief. You may have a harder time if your spouse say has lots of debt to get a mortgage, an auto loan or a business loan. For older people, getting married could mean taking on more medical bills. Nursing home fees can pile up to ten thousand dollars a month or more. If you are a single parent with a child in college, getting married and increasing the family’s income could lower or eliminate your child’s access to a student loan. Sometimes marriage hurts your social life. All of a sudden the invitations to dinner and other places from friends stop, assuming that you would rather hang out with your spouse than your friends. But we all need time with our friends. Lastly, there are a lot of studies that show the benefits of marriage but few that show the benefits of singledom. However, studies are now showing that stressful relationships can put you in an early grave. Better to be single and happy than attached and not. You won’t only be happier, you’ll live longer too.  For more on feeling fulfilled while flying solo, read Single: The Art of Being Satisfied, Fulfilled and Independent by Judy Ford.

Is it Time to Rethink Marriage and Infidelity?

INFIDELITY-CLAUSE

We always think of marriage as monogamy that always was and always shall be. But throughout history, this wasn’t the case. Originally, marriage wasn’t about love but social status, wealth and power. It was about political alliances and keeping wealth within families. Plural wives and even plural husbands were not unheard of. Our modern outlook on marriage is only two hundred years old. Marriage was also an institution in which to have lots of children in order to have workhands for the family farm. But that’s no longer the case either. Today we marry for love and we don’t need to marry for economic reasons. Still, with the high divorce rate and high infidelity rate some believe it’s time to rethink marriage and retool it so that it can survive and thrive in the twenty first century. 41% of spouses admit to emotional or physical infidelity according to the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, as reported by the Associated Press. The solution that seems to have arrived, rather than spending the rest of your life with someone, is instead getting divorced and serially remarried. But is this really the best method to enjoy love and marriage? The divorce rate is between 40% and 50%. Isn’t there a better way than this?

Until recent history with advances in diet and medical science, life expectancy was a fraction of what it is today. When two young people met and fell in love in their twenties it was reasonable to think that one of them would be dead in a decade or perhaps fifteen years, or even earlier. Today the same couple can be together for six decades or more. We are certainly not condoning adultery, but merely talking about contemplating the institution of marriage in a new way and perhaps organizing love in a new pattern which fits better the current realities of human life as opposed to those of our ancestors hundreds of years ago. One of the reasons adultery is so taboo is that it is the breaking of a promise you made on your wedding day in front of everyone. Trust has been severed which is quite painful for both parties, but especially the aggrieved. Some have argued that perhaps talking to your spouse and setting up rules together on what is and isn’t allowed in both platonic and romantic relationships may be a way to subvert all of the barbs of adultery and yet be able to explore the world that keeps the marriage healthy and intact. For more interesting views on marriage, check out What Is Marriage For?: The Strange Social History of Our Most Intimate Institution by E.J. Graff.

Older Divorcees Need to Beware of Young Gold Diggers

Older Divorcees Young Gold Diggers

An article from the Financial Advisor called What to Do if a Gold Digger Hooks Your Client brings up an issue that has become more prevalent within the United States.  More and more people are getting divorced later in life (in what is sometimes referred to as a “gray divorce“).  An issue many older divorcees face is adapting to the new dating scene after so many years of being away from it.  This doesn’t apply strictly to people over a certain age either; it really pertains to those individuals who were married for an extended period of time.  Over the years, you become adjusted to the married life, which for most of us is a completely different lifestyle from being single and dating casually.

Because dating after divorce can be difficult, many divorcees are now going to dating websites for assistance.  An issue that has come up more often from couples meeting through dating sites is the pairing of wealthy divorcees with people who are motivated not by love but by money.  Individuals who were married for 15, 20, and 30 years or more may not be prepared for the scammers that could potentially come along and contact them via dating websites.

Some of us may have heard a story of a newly divorced adult going on vacation and meeting the “love of her/his life” while out of the country.  Sure, there may be scenarios that turn out to be romantic and lead to strong relationships, however, there are also stories of people from other countries latching onto single and vulnerable people from the U.S. in order to obtain citizenship or to get financial assistance sent to their home country by their new lover.  For divorcees who are attempting love again for the first time, it might be difficult for them to see when they are being used or manipulated.  That’s why it’s important to say something if you see someone you care about being used in this way; even if it’s based only on a strong suspicion.  It’s important to make them aware that there are people out there with this kind of selfish motivation.  Also, if someone brings this to your attention regarding someone you’re dating or speaking to, listen to them.  It doesn’t mean they’re absolutely right about the person you’re seeing, but it’s important to be aware of this possibility and to be open to the truth.