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.

Marriage in America Today

marriage

Marriage in America Today

The number of people getting married is declining. Experts say the marriage rate today is lower than it was in 1880, another time when extreme differences in income affected the social landscape. Though marriage is touted in America and many societies as helping to preserve the social order, the atmosphere with which we operate is far from conducive in promoting it. In the original Gilded Age as Mark Twain called it, a new class of industrialists slashed wages and with it the prospects of workers of marrying age, mostly male factory workers. Sociologist Andrew J. Cherlin at John Hopkins University wrote that one difference today is many are choosing to cohabitate and have children without a marriage license filed away in the family home. That would never do in the 19th century. But today it’s quite common.

One problem is the gatekeepers to pop culture, the TV and movie writers, musical artists and others have failed to keep up and give us an image we can hang onto for this new state of affairs in how long-term love should be.  Zoë Heller at the New York Review of Books says films today and other cultural milieu are filled with simplistic plots and clichés about love, without delving into the complicated minutia of modern relationships and how best to navigate them. They don’t reflect what people are actually experiencing, nor do they give a strategy for which to encounter the prickly paradigm of modern love. Supporters of traditional values decry the end of marriage as it once was. But couples staying together longer show greater stability, know each other better and perhaps can best negotiate differences. The expense of a wedding, weakening norms and lack of financial benefit may result in a further decline in marriage, experts believe. On the upshot for advocates, statistics show that those who are getting married stay together longer. Also, the divorce rate has dropped dramatically. In fact, since the 1980’s, divorce has been in deep decline. 70% of those who married in the 1990s celebrate their 15th wedding anniversary today. That’s 5% higher than those who married in the 70’s and 80’s. Those who tied the knot in the new millennium have an even lower divorce rate.

According to economist Justin Wolfer at the University of Michigan, two-thirds of married couples today stay together. For those cases where divorce does occur, two-thirds of the time it’s the wife who wants it. The reason is women’s expectations for marriage have vastly changed. Gender roles in America saw a dramatic paradigm shift over the past two decades due to the Feminist movement. This in turn affected how both sexes interact with one another. Today, marriage isn’t only about raising a family or having financial support. It’s about love and partnership. People also want someone who will help lead them into personal growth. They want to grow and better themselves and they look to their partner to help them complete their metamorphosis. A lot of times, when we feel as though we are in a stale relationship and the well has gone dry, we feel it’s time to move on. The baby boomer generation remains the one with the highest rate of divorce. People are living older nowadays, and so when the children have moved out and they still have decades of life left, they want to make the most of it. That sometimes means leaving someone they no longer connect with in order to enjoy those years with someone they do. For more on this topic read, The Marriage-Go-Round: The State of Marriage and the Family in America Today by Andrew J. Cherlin.

Opposites Attract, but Should They Marry?

opposites-attract

Opposites Attract, but Should They Marry?

Traditional advice is that one should marry someone whom they have many things in common with. Common interests, norms, morals, hobbies and a similar view of the world are thought to help keep harmony and balance throughout the course of a marriage. One blogger however is advising her readers do the exact opposite. Kara Storey in her newest blog post The Perks of Marrying Your Opposite explains that since she and her spouse are nothing alike, their marriage is an adventure and a process of discovery. She is always learning something new as time unfolds. Storey says her marriage prods her into trying things she would have never considered before, and how this fosters personal growth, and keeps things engaging. So the old idea that opposites attract but shouldn’t marry seems a little far-fetched, at least in her case. In fact, many psychologists suggest that this type of marriage can be healthy and beneficial for both partners. The most important thing to find out is whether or not your personalities are compatible or incompatible. If you complement one another, you will enjoy your marriage. This can be one of the most satisfying of relationships, offering two aspects that each person craves; safety and novelty, or nuance.  A balance should be struck within the marriage between comfort and learning something new, thereby keeping the spark alive.

The most important parts are sincerity and communication. It used to be, since courtship in the Revolutionary period, that couples were instructed to be completely honest with one another. Noted historian Ellen Rothman says, “For both men and women, the best defense against deception was openness. After the turn of the [nineteenth] century, openness became almost an obsession for courting couples. In the nineteenth century, it was no longer enough to be sincere in one’s affections; lovers were urged to be frank and open about everything.” Certainly lots of things have changed since then. But we could all use a bit more candor in the dating scene. Men for instance today are socialized to believe that sex with anyone that will preserve or elevate their social status is the end goal. This can lead to all kinds of dishonest methods, poor relationship choices and other negative consequences. Meanwhile, many women are socialized to “put on their best face” and not let the man know exactly who she is, specifically what her shortfalls might be, until after marriage, cohabitation or whatever commitment style she is longing for. The irony in all of this is deception undermines love, but they are using deception to try and get it. Love is intimacy which cannot be had without mutual respect, openness and honesty. Yet these false stances threaten to undermine the very intimacy lovers seek to establish.

Being honest is one part but not judging others too harshly is another important element. People could go out and just be themselves, not try to put on their best face. They would also be upfront on what kind of relationship they were looking for, or open to, without fear of ridicule or rejection. The trouble is compatibility is complex. It’s difficult to know when it will inhabit a relationship. There is no test to see if two people will be good together for the long haul. Just when you think you understand it, a happy older couple will throw you for a loop and you are back to square one. Moreover, how two people interact changes over time. The two may be compatible now, but will they be in five, ten or twenty years? When you date someone, and marriage or a serious commitment is your goal, what do you look at? The best you can really do is keep your evaluation process streamlined and accurate. What do you look at when you are searching for someone to date seriously, and perhaps marry? Do you look at how the two of you interact, if you laugh and enjoy each other’s company? If it is only how you feel about them or when you are with them, realize that the fluttering of the heart like a hummingbird sooner or later fades. What‘s left is two people who hopefully like each other and can get along. Too many think that the honeymoon phase will last forever. It really can but not in the same way. That initial giddiness will be gone, but so will the monumental fear, a part which everyone forgets. But you can have a deep, abiding love and fondness for one another for the rest of your lives. If you are happy together, supportive of one another, and can work out problems as a team, you just might be the right fit. Whether you are the same or complimentary is really irrelevant. What truly matters is how you interact. If you are still wondering if the one you are dating is right for you pick up a copy of, Before You Save the Date: 21 Questions to Help You Marry with Confidence by Dr. Paul Friesen.

All About Nabbing a Designer

Enjoying every moment at work

All About Nabbing a Designer

So you are interested in dating a designer. There are definitely some things you could pick up that would help you in your mission. But before you jump headfirst into the designer pool, inherently filled with coffee and deadlines, think about what it all means and how it might affect your life. Here is all about nabbing a designer. First, you may think this is an advantage, that your place will look fabulous. That’s fine, if you are going to allow them to make all the design decisions. Otherwise, it may lead to some fights. And how will you win? You’re not a designer. You don’t know anything about the rules of aesthetics, tungsten lighting and pantones.  You may want a more eclectic style that they wouldn’t be caught dead with.

Lots of patience will be in order, especially if you are used to dating someone who doesn’t care, or are used to getting your way on these things. When showing documents to them, realize what they do for a living. They may tear apart that report or cover letter you took hours creating. But if you let them help it will make you look amazing. They’ll also laugh at your outdated and outlandish software and confuse you with terms such as kerning.

Realize that designers don’t keep regular hours. Sometimes it will feel like they are always there, at other times they are sneaking in after you’ve gone to bed, as not to wake you. Any reputable designer won’t cut corners just to get home quicker, nor should you want that. It is the career they’ve chosen. They should be the best they can be, and if you love them you should support them.  Your designer will get excited about new fonts and will talk for hours about Adobe while your eyes glaze over. You are essentially living with a very talented visual arts nerd. It helps if you are a bit of a geek as well.

Designers think they know everything. Getting them a present is a nightmare and they never seem impressed. Your designer will secretly chuckle when you still have a mouse that has a wire, or if you use only one computer screen, because a pro uses two. If you decide to tie the knot, your wedding invitations will knock people off their feet. There are lots of advantages too. You will get great gifts. Designers are conscientious, detail-oriented, creative, and know how to get things done. Your aesthetic and other parts of your life will improve. Just know what you are getting into. Tell them Helvetica is cool, you’ll score major points. If you’re looking to impress them with a gift try buying them a book such as, 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know about People by Susan M. Weinschenk, Ph.D.

Actions that Mean He’s in Love with you

man-in-love

Actions that Mean He’s in Love with you

Some guys hold their heart on their sleeve. They are direct and speak their mind. You can tell when they are in love. Everyone in their life tells you. And it’s written all over their face. Other guys are an enigma. You never know what he’s thinking or feeling. He’s private, the strong silent type; a good type to have in your life. But he’s a little hard to read. So if you’re feeling it, how can you tell if he is? His behavior will show you. There are certain actions that mean he’s in love with you.

Take a look out for these to see if he’s swooning.  First, if he’s said those three little words believe him. Some women hear those words and still question. Relax. Men don’t use those words willy-nilly. Next, what is the PDA situation? Some guys don’t like to show affection in public. But even if he isn’t, if he hugs, kisses, puts his arm around you or holds your hand he’s into you. This is a protective move. It shows other males that you and he are an item. And it shows he’s proud to be with you. Does he hold you up when you need a little ego boost? Does he do things to encourage you? If you are down, does he try to cheer you up? He more than likes you, he’s way into you.

Is your guy very respectful? Every relationship needs respect. But if he goes out of his way to be considerate he’s totally in love with you. If you feel like you’re treated like a queen or a princess, enjoy it. What happens when you two fight? Does he fight fair? Is he willing to compromise? If so, he’s totally into you. If he wants to do right by you, and is willing to bend even if he’s usually a little stubborn, he loves you. If he crosses a line, or thinks he has does he apologize? If you don’t care about someone, you don’t apologize to them. In fact, it takes a big character and a lot of caring to apologize.

How often are you on his mind? Certainly don’t ask him. But if he posts things he came across that you would like on your Facebook page, or emails them to you, if he texts you all the time to see what’s up, how you are, to say good morning or good night, or to find out about big events in your life like a promotion or an important exam, he’s totally into you. Does he talk about plans for the future? Does he say we should do this or that? If he’s planning a future with you in it, he’s wild for you. What about his lifestyle? Has his bachelorhood given way to couplehood? If so, he’s in love with you. For more advice read, How to Make Someone Fall In Love With You by M. Farouk Radwan, MSc.