Image Courtesy of HBO
How long is too long to wait for a man?
Women have an uncanny instinct for knowing when they meet the right guy. Or do they? Unfortunately, in too many cases the men delay all efforts to move the relationship ahead. So the women are resigned to waiting for their guy to figure out who they are and when they are ready. The process can take years. It’s so prevalent that the new movie, “The Five Year Engagement” tackles the issue.
Make no mistake about it; the male delay game is insidious. It’s unfair to women and a cop-out for men. And yes, I was guilty. I participated in a long-term live-in relationship with a terrific partner that ultimately went kaput. I take full responsibility and learned a great lesson when it was over. However, we both paid a price, and if I have one regret, it’s that we could have fished or cut bait a lot sooner.
Why do men stall?
It’s not that they want to waste your time and their time. They’re usually afraid of making the wrong decision or missing out on all the hot women that they are probably not dating anyway. It’s that simple. But, the universe has a great sense of humor and it dishes out ironic lessons if we pay attention. In my case, by the time I was ready to take the next step and get married, my partner had had enough of my shenanigans and for her, it was over. And once a woman checks out emotionally, it’s O-V-E-R. Most guys don’t realize that until the door slams in their face. My final instructions were not to be at home when the moving van pulled up. I looked into the mirror and admitted that although I messed up, I learned my lesson. And, I did. From that moment on I developed a deeper appreciation of a woman’s patience and a greater sense of urgency for finding and securing the right partner. The good news is that it all worked out. My ex was married within a year and after a few laps around the online dating pond and a handful of wonderful, yet brief relationships, the right woman found me. And, after I swam into her net, we were engaged exactly one year later and married one year from then. And, I’ve never been happier.
I accepted my mishandling of someone’s heart and was blessed and given another chance. Unfortunately, not every couple experiences life the same way. Too many great women are left waiting and too many men spend their time waffling instead of taking action.
What can men and women do?
Acknowledging that every situation is different and life often gets in the way, it is critical that couples discuss what they want in clear terms along with their thoughts about timing. That does not mean during the first date. Wait until you are in an exclusive relationship. At that point, once you lay your cards on the table, there are no surprises. A lot of women I’ve spoken with expect a man to know what’s on their mind. Sorry ladies. We don’t.
Most men are problem solvers. If something is wrong, men will express their feelings clearly. So, if they don’t hear their partner stating her concerns about the relationship (I don’t mean leaving the seat up) in direct terms, men think everything’s cool. They are not going to pay attention until you are packing your bags. When men are being men and women are being women, this is what happens. So we have to go take that extra step to find out how our partner feels about the relationship. Guys will do their best to avoid this, but if you sit them down and let them know that this is very important to you, they will pay attention. If they don’t, why are you bothering with this guy?
So if you’re a woman who feels that she is with the right guy, but he seems content to keep you waiting indefinitely, you need to have a heart-to-heart with him right now. And if he waffles a bit too much, then ask yourself if the relationship is toast and if you would ultimately be better off moving on.
What are YOU doing to move your relationship forward?