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.

How to Stop Pushing Nice Guys Away and Picking Jerks Instead

pickjerks

How to Stop Pushing Nice Guys Away and Picking Jerks Instead

Speak to a lot of single women of a certain age and they’ll tell you that there are no quality men out there. Some are over-developed man children, they say. Others are sad and sorry pushovers, nice guys who have no passion in life and so stir none in them. Then there are the jerks that seem nice at first but play games, ignore needs, act callously, are distant, disrespectful and drop them without a second thought. So is this an actual social paradigm in the modern world, a list of excuses for broken hearts or a lashing out of the scorned and unlucky in love? Dr. Jeremy Nicholson is a social and personality psychologist who studies relationships. He posits that women’s evolutionary selves and the box our modern society tries to place them in are at odds, placing women in what he calls a “double-bind.” To find out more about what he says and what women can do about it, you need to know about Dr. Helen Fisher. She is an evolutionary anthropologist at Rutgers University. Dr. Fisher says there are three kinds of love: lust, attachment—managing the home, parenting and so on, and attraction, which is what we feel when we like someone and wish to pursue a relationship with them.

For each person, these are different. We’re all like weirdly shaped puzzle pieces trying to find the right fit. Though we are supposed to get all three from one person, sometimes we are attracted to one, lusting after another and still only feel comfortable with the third. Each of these three feelings that we blend together and call love start from different needs. Though you may get all three from the same person, Dr. Fisher argues that the needs themselves are very different. For most women these feelings just happen. But if they look deeper they would notice that there are certain features or cues put out by a partner that makes her attracted to him. These include physique, resources such as income, social status, stability, intelligence, conscientiousness and ambition. In society today, however, a woman needs to be many things to be deemed worthy. She has to be good at her job, her relationship, look beautiful, have a great attitude and raise stunning children. That’s a tall order. To do so she’ll have to be smart, industrious, assertive and motivated. These women, in order to have a mate that fits into her plans, must be agreeable, supportive, cooperative, and so on. Yet, by an evolutionary standpoint, these are not the men who are high in status. Those are often disagreeable. They don’t cooperate and they aren’t supportive. So those men who are culturally desirable aren’t desirable from an evolutionary perspective.

What strategies can a woman employ then to successfully traverse this complex landscape of the heart? Nicholson suggests selecting one of four successful strategies. The first is coming to love in the role of the leader. The businesswoman can also be the superheroine or the dominatrix. She can lead the nice guy to the right places and enjoy the ride. The second is holding off and finding the right guy. Here she will follow him and enjoy his attractive, strong leadership qualities, but will select a mate who also has a kind heart and keeps her wants, needs and desires in highest regard. Next, there is mixed dating. This is having one male partner for the household affairs and partnership, while another is for sexual rendezvouses. This could be an illicit affair, an ethical, polyamorous relationship or something in between. Lastly, there is sharing, balance, communication and compromise. Each person is in charge of their own set duties and the couple works everything out together. Good communication and a solid foundation to work from are key. For more on that state of human affection read, Why We Love by Helen Fisher.

Habits that are Signs of a Healthy Relationship

physical-attraction

Habits that are Signs of a Healthy Relationship

Relationships are hard. It’s easy to become too comfortable and begin taking each other for granted. Of course, a little forethought and some good routines and practices can help keep the magic alive. Here are some habits that are signs of a healthy relationship. If you aren’t doing these already, perhaps start including them in your relationship. Though you may keep different schedules do to work or school, if you are cohabitating or married, those couples who try and go to bed at the same time often have stronger bonds. This practice can elicit more physical and emotional intimacy. It can also give you a chance to chat in bed, cuddle or catch up with one another. So if you aren’t doing this, instead of falling asleep in front of the TV and dragging yourselves into bed, set a bed time and climb into bed together. Discuss your day, what’s been on your mind, or just spend a little quality time together. And who doesn’t like to cuddle and chitchat before falling asleep? The next thing is common interests. Do you set aside time to spend together each week? If so, you are doing things right. Every relationship needs some time and care. The best way to do this is to pursue common interests together. Make sure you take some time for your own interests as well. It’s important to preserve your independence, makes each partner well-rounded and less needy, and provides stimulating conversation.

When strolling along, do you two walk side by side, holding hands? This shows the strength of your bond, the love and care you have for one another, and it displays to your partner how important they are to you. This is a great habit to practice. And if you find that you’ve been trekking single file lately, get into the habit. It will bring you two a little closer. What is your fighting situation like? If you two normally hold grudges or harbor distrust this habit will break you up. But if you normally give your partner the benefit of the doubt and practice forgiveness and trust than you will have a strong relationship about to withstand the stormy seas of life and couplehood. Where is the focus of your mind the majority of the time? Is it on what your partner does right or what they do wrong? Happy couple’s focus on the positive qualities of their partner and come to terms with or accept their negative qualities. If you are in the habit of accentuating the positive you are strengthening your relationship. But if you are in the habit of pointing out the negative you are weakening it. Do you give a hug or kiss when you come home or leaving for the day? This shows that you show your affection, love and deference to your partner. If not, make this part of your daily routine. Same when you come home. Do you do a check-in call or text over the course of the day, just to see how they are doing? This is a great habit to remind them that you are thinking about them and that you care. For more advice, read The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages: The Little Things that Make a Big Difference by Shaunti Feldhahn.

React Calmly to Your Lover’s Confession

RELATIONSHIP-PROBLEMS

We all have a past. Like it or not, you have one and your lover has one, too. In that, if you want to grow closer, you will over time reveal your secrets, as will your partner. This building of trust and vulnerability is the path to intimacy, a relationship’s highest goal. So how you react to your sweetie’s unloading can make or break a relationship. You need to react calmly to your lover’s confession. But how can you keep yourself in control when at the moment you are about to hear one of their deepest, darkest secrets your heart is pounding at a mile a minute? Certainly, revealing the skeleton’s in one’s closet is not easy. It shows a lot of trust and commitment for them to tell you. If you follow this advice, you’ll have the best outcome. First, pick a good, convenient time to discuss it. It should be when neither are in a rush or stressed out. Remember that no matter what they say, don’t get heated or upset. Take a step back and evaluate the information. Don’t try to dig for information that only concerns you. Instead, see it from your lover’s point of view. How would you feel if you were in their shoes? If the confession is about sex, don’t ask questions you don’t want to know the answers to.

Respect your partner’s privacy. Don’t push too hard for them to reveal details you really want to know. Instead, accept the confession gracefully. Allow them time to sort their feelings out. Confessing can be quite emotional. Give them a little space and let them feel comfortable. If they are worth your time, they will soon be giving you the details you want. If not, gently ask. If they get too defensive, back off and give them some space, then approach the subject again later. Don’t walk away from a lover’s confession. It can be difficult to hear what they have to say, but if you walk out on them they will shut down and it will damage the relationship, perhaps irreparably. You could make them feel hurt, guilty, or even angry. Don’t ask why they hadn’t told you earlier. Never use the information they confessed against them, say in a heated argument. This will put distance in the relationship, rather than bringing you two together. Perhaps they didn’t have the courage at the time to tell you, or never found the right moment. Don’t blame them for confessing. Invite confessions and openness into your relationship. Do not share the information your partner has confessed with anyone. Eventually it will get back to them and they will feel betrayed. By reacting to a confession the right way, you will strengthen the relationship and grow closer. For more trust-building tips, read the advice of Ashley Rosebloom in her book, Building Relationship Trust- 100 Quick Tips on How to Build, Maintain and Regain Trust in a Relationship.

You Must Establish A Strong Social Ecosystem For Post-Divorce Rehab

social ecosystem

Divorce may seem like a private matter because it’s the ending of a relationship between two people, but you’ll soon come to realize that your divorce will cross into various aspects of your life, if not all of them.  Your marriage probably impacted almost every area of your life, whether you noticed it or not, so a divorce will ultimately have a huge effect as well.

Your social ecosystem consists of all the people and their associated groups, businesses, families, or cohorts to which they belong.  For instance, you may be tied into a social network through the school your children attend or to a business you work for, among other networks.  Although you may keep your family life private for the most part, these social networks are what’s going to remain, following your divorce – they will potentially be what remains “normal” or “stable” for you after the divorce is over.

Having a steady social ecosystem provides you with a strong foundation that can help keep you standing when you lose finances and other assets during your divorce, like the gradual removing of bricks from a sturdy building.  If, however, you don’t have a strong social ecosystem, the removal of marriage might be the demolition of your entire life’s foundation.  For instance, if you relied solely on your spouse for money, security, safety, socializing, affection, etc. then a divorce will likely turn your entire world upside down.  Of course there’s the chance that you already have a back-up plan, a new spouse on the line perhaps.  For most cases, though, you really need a larger and more secure network of people at your disposal to create a life of stability after your divorce.