Home Advice Commit or Die: Even Good Relationships Should Have An Expiration Date

Commit or Die: Even Good Relationships Should Have An Expiration Date

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Last week I started a firestorm on Twitter when I Tweeted the following in rapid succession:

@WisdomIsMisery: I’m thinking there is no reason to date a man over the age of 25 longer than 12 months if you want a ring from him. There, I said it.

@WisdomIsMisery: If you’re still “seeing where things go” on the 13th month. BREAK UP. You’re wasting your time

Plenty of men took exception with these statements but I already knew that was going to happen, since men don’t like timelines when it comes to relationships because men don’t like being held accountable. What surprised me was the number of women that took exception. I’m sure the majority of whom were with men longer than 12 months with no sense of commitment and will be with said man in their ambiguously defined “relationship” for the foreseeable future with no sense of commitment. Why is that? Lucky for you, I have some theories.

I’m not sure why people were shocked and appalled I suggested you shouldn’t waste time in pointless relationships after the age of 25 when the US Census Bureau states the average US man will marry by age 28; and woman by 27.

By 25, you should know the type of woman/man you do not want to date. You may need more time to determine the type of woman/man you want to be with but if you can’t figure out the type of people you do not want to be with you are behind the learning curve. You need to enroll in Remedial Dating 101 before all your friends graduate and you’re still trying to figure out freshmen level dating.

Ladies, if a man is dating you for 12 months and he does not know what he wants from you (assuming you know what you want from him), another 12 – 36 months will not help. At some point, you need to leave him. No matter how good he is on paper, because if he is the man you need, he will come after you; otherwise, he is a good man but he is a good man that is wrong for you.

I’m going to be honest with the ladies – fellas forgive me – the average man knows where he wants a relationship to go in 48 hours (or less). Men play dumber than we are for the sake of avoiding accountability but when a man walks up to you he already has an idea of what he wants from you. As you begin conversing, he begins mentally assigning you to the various categories you may fall into in his life. If you meet on a Friday, by Monday he knows where he wants the relationship to go and it’s likely it will not change – and if it does, it will usually be for the worst. In other words, if he meets you and thinks, “This girl is possible wife material,” you can only go downhill from there. Furthermore, it is much harder for a girl to go from “this girl is a [garden tool]” to this girl is “wife material.”

A man knows long before a woman whether he is going to commit to her or not. He knows, you can only assume. Often times, however, he will put off the inevitability of his decision for as long as possible, especially if you are not forcing him to choose. If a relationship was a boat, men are the captain. They know the destination but that doesn’t mean they have to tell you – and if you’re in an ocean (an undefined relationship), regardless of the final destination the scenery on the way there looks the same.

A woman asked: If a man hasn’t asked you to marry him after 12 months he never will? No, but the longer you date a man in an undefined relationship the odds of you ever getting a commitment from him decrease, not increase. Nine times out of 10, if a grown man is keeping you around, while refusing to commit, it’s because he is looking for something better.

Why else would he do it? Who is this guy, Barack Obama? What is he doing that is so important in his life that he cannot commit to you but he can do everything BUT commit? If he sincerely thought you were irreplaceable, why on God’s green Earth would he risk losing you? I’ll answer: He doesn’t think you’re going anywhere and he is likely looking for an upgrade; give him enough time and he will find one.

Think about it, you’ve deemed this man good enough for you but he is still on the fence about your worth in his life? Why wait around for a man that has made it abundantly clear he doesn’t value you as high as you value yourself?

In closing, if you want a commitment, date men that want to commit and hold them accountable. It’s really that simple. For the sake of their sanity, I know women are going to argue, “I know X and they dated for XX years and they still got married.” My response is twofold: 1) As your parents use to say, “I’m not X parents…” so I’m going to say to you, you’re not X and unless you’re married too, who cares? 2) The point is not they finally got married. The point is how long did he string her along without a commitment before they got married? …is it worth it?

#PleaseRespond



Comment(203)

    1. Thanks Paul. What I'm about to say doesnt really have anything to do with your comment but figured I'd drop this little notice here for the reads:

      If anyone here reads my personal site, it was hit by a virus last week and I had to temporarily shut it down. I'm hoping to be up and running again next week. I'm not sure if my site was specifically attacked or if it was a coincidence, so I'll provide a step by step process on how I did this for anyone who runs WordPress and faces the same issue. Thanks for your patience and the love you've shown my personal site, WisdomIsMisery.com and SingleBlackMale.org.

      – WIM
      My recent post BRB!

      1. I even feel a little weird about people who get married after that long of a courtship period. I mean, won't she always feel insecure? Something in the back of her head always asking, "Why'd he take this long to decide? What am I, a hard sell or something?" I know I would. I wouldn't have given him that long to decide and I've seen too many cases where taking that long to decide means they just don't want to go there with you. They won't pull the plug if you don't. As far as relationships: Dudes are about status quo; women are about progress.

        1. "Dudes are about status quo; women are about progress."
          lol, in a side convo a man told me this same thing in as many words…

  1. Forgive me, but I'm a tad confused. On the one hand, it seems like commitment = engagement, but on the other, you could simply mean "I take you to be my girlfriend". I'm leaning more towards the latter, but I got the impression of the former a couple of times. Please clarify, for my sake.

    While waiting, I'm just going to go ahead and say that I would be mad (as in, stark raving mad) for dating a man for 12 months without any sort of title or commitment. It simply makes no sense to me. I'm relationship-oriented, and yeah, I've had a few situationships, but I've outgrown all of that and I'm still shy of 25. I'm not looking for marriage per se and still question whether or not it'll happen for me, but at this point in my life I'm at the very least looking to date people with whom I can see a future, and I don't think I would be involved in anything longer than 3-5 months if there was no definitive talk of commitment. I'm very well in my own company, so I would rather continue my life without any potential hassles or headaches.

    1. Honestly, for the context of this post, I dont think it’s important that I define commitment. That definition is really up to you (or any reader) to define for themselves.

      I will say this: A relationship is like building a home. You can build the prettiest of homes, but without a strong foundation or no foundation at all, it’s not going to stand very long no matter how good it looks on the outside.

      I feel comments are separating their desire to get married from their desire to have a relationship and I would argue that they are not mutually exclusive components, especially after a certain age. In other words, you cant have a relationship without a commitment, and you cant have an engagement without a relationship, and you cant get married without that engagement – give or take a step or two, as I dont want to get caught up in semantics, focus on the concept.

      Each step is a building block which supports the next step. People need to be more forward thinking. You cant say “one day I’d like to get married” if you never take into account at some point you’ll need to be in a committed relationship and a good one at that. Otherwise you’ll just keep right on dating, failing, and then wondering why you never got married. You never bothered to put the pieces together because you were too busy looking at them individually instead of holistically.

      What tends to happen, is people wait for a catalyst to “inspire” them to begin forward thinking instead of thinking in terms of the present. For example, you wait until you get pregnant to begin asking, “where is this relationship going?” and then you wonder why you two arent on the same page but the difference now? It’s too late.

      1. "You cant say "one day I'd like to get married" if you never take into account at some point you'll need to be in a committed relationship and a good one at that. Otherwise you'll just keep right on dating, failing, and then wondering why you never got married."

        OMG, like I seriously love you. It's so comforting to see a DUDE finally feels this way. Where do you live, man? What are your digits? LOL. Do you have friends who feel this way? Where do they live? LOL!

      2. Between this reply and the one below, I believe we are in agreement. Women tend to date older men, so by the time I'm 25, the man I'll be with will likely be closer to 30 (if not already there or past it; I have some older friends who are always trying to hook me up with their buddies) and more aware of what he's looking for, as far marriage is concerned. I actually cringed a bit when I added the extra two months when giving my maximum dating period. Within three months, we should have already figured out whether or not a relationship is worth exploring, and within 12, we likely would have had some random and not-so-random conversations about marriage that would allow us to gauge where the other's head is at.

        I will say, though, that it's not always easy for a woman to make the judgment call as to whether or not she's being strung along at that point. Short of directly asking if he intends to marry you, I can't quite think of many ways to broach the subject as it relates to you specifically that wouldn't come across as an attempt to strong arm him into something. I'm talking about the relationship in which the boyfriend is actually doing the right things, and not the one in which her girlfriends are telling her that he's no good. I can see it closer to two years, but of course, that would have been an additional year lost. Within the relationships that I have inside knowledge of, the guy is usually the one that starts making serious references to marriage, and this is usually anywhere from the sixth month of a relationship. But I guess there's a difference between knowing that he would put a ring on it as opposed to knowing that he will.

        1. "Short of directly asking if he intends to marry you, I can't quite think of many ways to broach the subject as it relates to you specifically that wouldn't come across as an attempt to strong arm him into something."

          Would a dude who really wanted to marry you really feel like you were strong-arming him into something by asking? I feel this would only apply to those who didn't have an interest. Dude? What's your take?

        2. Perhaps strong-arming was not the expression to use, but pressure can be felt by individuals who can't see forever with you and those who can, alike. If the guy can see himself going there with you but still feels some distance away from getting down on one knee (or isn't quite sure he does want to), bringing up the matter prematurely could put him in a bad place. However, these are matters that grown people need to tackle and move forward from. It's just the thought of having to bring it up that slightly irks me.

    2. "I don't think I would be involved in anything longer than 3-5 months if there was no definitive talk of commitment."

      That's being generous. I'm known for a lot of things, but patience isn't one of them. What do I look like, accomplishing things in every other part of my life BEYOND what people TEN YEARS OLDER are doing, and yet I'm letting a dude lollygag over whether I'm gonna work out? Nah, man.

      1. Yeah, I know. I was just trying to cover worst-case or special scenarios without putting too much thought into it. The odds of me hanging around beyond 3 months are rather slim, but I'll leave room for error as always. I could very well be the reason things are lagging, for one reason or another.

  2. Great post, WIM! I was following along that day when you tweeted all that! You put me up on game before I cross that mid 20s threshold and I'm glad! Sounds perfectly clear to me! Goes back to that old saying of "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?" and like you said yesterday, at some point the ladies have to make the call to leave an investment that isn't really yielding what she wants. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this!

  3. Awww, hell. Well this should've just been titled "So Don't You Fall in Love: Chapter 2". (shouts to Most) I'm surprised this was never brought up on Monday when we were talking about emotionally unavailable men. Ladies, just like you know within ohhh, 15 seconds or less whether or not you'd ever sleep with a man, we typically know what category you'll go in (notice I didn't say anything about whether he'll sleep with you or not. I'll agree with WIM but I'd say a year +/- a month or two depending on the man's age, career, and financial situation/stability. Mainly because [usually] a man wants to feel capable of taking care of wife before getting one.

    I'm kind of expecting this to become "Well I have/had a friend who dated her man for ___ years before they got married and they're still together…." but I could be wrong.

      1. I hope not too, and I like the logic you’re using. But judging from the posts on Monday there was a general “I can get him to come around” or “He should be the one to call it off if he knows it’s not going anywhere vibe.”

        I don’t know if all the women that are here today cosigning what WIM is saying today realize he’s saying exactly the same thing he was saying Monday. If you’re not getting what you need from the relationship and “he” is perfectly happy and content, don’t expect him to do anything about it. Step up to the plate and end it. Amazing the difference a couple days make.

        1. I think this one is more women friendly :-). Sometimes people are afraid of letting of what they know, for fear of what they dont and/or might discover. So they deal and deal hoping shyt will change and it rarely ever does. They say the first step towards happiness is always the hardest, specially when you try to ignore how unhappy you are.

        2. I agree. The odd part of the first step is your alternative is something you already know you don't like or want. LIke you said, it all comes down to fear. People (and I'll take the heat of saying women more than men, in relationships that is) tend to prefer settling in a position they don't like, be 'content', and say "Better the devil you know" than to attempt to find happiness because of fear of the unknown.

          I personally don't understand this. Unless you're a child or married, no one else is responsible for your happiness but you. So just do what it takes to be happy.

        3. "They say the first step towards happiness is always the hardest, specially when you try to ignore how unhappy you are."

          This sounds too much like right….

        4. I wrote a “woman friendly” post? *and then I hit my Dougie*

          Sorry…where was I? Oh yeah…

          If you’re not getting what you need from the relationship and “he” is perfectly happy and content, don’t expect him to do anything about it. Step up to the plate and end it.”

          This guy gets it.

        5. I wrote a "woman friendly" post? *and then I hit my Dougie*

          My sentiments exactly and when I saw @KatWebb84 getting all excited up there talking about your digits and if you had any friends, I thought "errr, this is WIM, no you really don't want his digits or his friends either. Follow him on twitter or read his blog and you won't feel that way anymore!" I kid, I kid! GREAT "woman friendly" post WIM :-). I had to go back and read to make sure it wasn't Most or Slim, speaking of which, where is Slim? He hasn't posted in a while but I digress. Good insights in this post!

    1. Well I had a friend that was dating a man for 4.5 years and then her bf dumped her by leaving a note on his doorstep while she was walking a friend's dog. So why don't y'all think about THAT when you're sticking with him during year three. When I helped her through that, I knew that would NEVER be me.

  4. So is this in regards to dating as well? Should there be a time limit from date #1 to having that "lets be exclusive" talk? I'm probably the youngest person here at SBM so I'm no where near wanting marriage, but dating is where I'm at. I don't wanna rush into a relationship, but I also don't wanna waste time on a guy who doesn't want one either. It's like a catch 22 sometimes.

    1. I think the article addresses that as well.

      "A man knows long before a woman whether he is going to commit to her or not. He knows, you can only assume. Often times, however, he will put off the inevitability of his decision for as long as possible, especially if you are not forcing him to choose."

      Seems like its pretty much on women to look for those signs early, whether you wanna stick it out in hopes we commit or keep it moving. I think being younger than 25 is an appropriate age where u can do either one without worrying about ur clock running out (cuz we all know women obsess over that lol).

      1. Right, If you still are of collegiate age you still have some time to figure out what it is you do and don’t want. To be quite honest I don’t think that so called “foolish hindsight” is out of your system until you’ve experienced some things and developed more as a person. Chances are slim that a 19-23 year old person knows exactly what they want or need. A man of this range more than likely won’t be ready to commit he probably has other thing of more importance to him on his to-do list.
        I would say that if you want to be ahead of the game spend the time getting to know yourself and becoming the person you want to be so that when the time comes you will be ready for a serious relationship (and do all of this of course without making an *ahem* little name for yourself on campus)

    2. 9 times out of 10, a college aged guy won't willingly make a relationship move unless he's the relationship type (i.e. Jumps from relationship to relationship) on the other hand, a college aged guy will make a relationship move if u put him in an ultimatum type situation and unless ya live on the same campus and relatively close to each other more than likely he'll cheat it prolly won't work, but you'll have ur relationship for the time being.

      Guys generally don't stiff arm ultimatums until they get more confident, comfortable within themselves, which seems to be post-college days.

    3. I agree with Primo. Plus, to keep it real, young dudes don’t know what the hell they want, especially in college. Well, they do know what they want but I’m not going to go there.

      Generally speaking, I think the “steps” still apply. Actually in college the time line should be even shorter because you don’t want to get with the dude who is just “making moves” around campus. 12 months on a college campus is like 3 years out here in the real world. Lol

      1. "Plus, to keep it real, young dudes don't know what the hell they want, especially in college."

        Why is this? People act as if age is a factor for everyone in whether we know what we want. I know for dang sure I knew what I wanted to do and be at a young age. Dudes don't have any of those feelings? What's it like inside y'all's heads before age twenty-five? I mean, it takes drive to get through high school, to go to college, to graduate and enjoy those first three post-grad years. I just find it hard to believe that in all that drive, dudes seriously didn't have any idea what they wanted in terms of women, even though women seem to know pretty early. Well, at least my friends.

        But I hang around driven people. People with life plans and goals and ish. You add that to the fact that I'm from TX where A LOT of people get married right out of HIGH SCHOOL, and I'm a driven person in EVERY area. Not one to dilly dally. I just don't believe there are no guys out there with relationship goals before twenty-five.

  5. Good write up. I agree with a few points and some points, quite frankly, haven't been my experience, personally. But from a general standpoint I see where your going.

    A couple of assumptions I'm making is when you say dating for 12 months that means you are in a committed monogomous relationship..boyfriend/girlfriend title and making a committment is getting engaged.

    1. (Cont…)I'm not a huge fan of the defined timeline, but it's more so because I feel it's an arbirtrary measure of where one is at in a relatioinship cycle. After 12 months some couples are further along in a relationship than others possibly. Based on various external circumstances just because you've had a title for 12 months doesn't necessarily mean you spent the same amount of time together as another couple that held a title for 12 months.

    2. (Cont…)And when I say time together I mean actually physically in one's presence…dates, attending events, family functions, etc.. etc… At any rate so for some people it could be 6 months and they're at a point to pop the question…others it may be 18 months…but both are at that stage. Obviously there is ongoing communication on intentions along the way. If I tell you after 9 months you're the one I plan on making my wife, but first I need to save up money for this ring…finish grad school…move first…etc, etc…I don't plan on being dumped at month 13 b/c it's past some sort of 12 month time limit, lol. But I know that's not really what you're getting at, but figured I throw in some specfic perspective.

    1. Great point. NEVER tell a man "I'll wait for you." That has to be the worst thing you can say on Earth and I'm saying this from the perspective of a man that has heard that phrase on more than one occassion.
      My recent post BRB!

  6. I don't know if I'm gonna disagree but I'm not 100% sure that what you're saying is right. I'm not quite 25 yet (dam I just realized I'm only 2years away tho) but I wouldn't marry someone after only dating them for a year. Maybe I am a little paranoid about the whole "til death do us part" thing but I'm gonna need at LEAST 2 years dating before I'll say yes and at LEAST 6months after the engagement (and me moving in) before I'll make any wedding plans. I just want to be as sure as possible that I want to spend the rest of my life with you.

    I know this post was about the guys side of it but I don't think I would be alarmed if it took longer than a year for them because it would take longer than a year for me….then again, this is all in theory I might jump the broom earlier than I think (although I don't think I'll literally jump a broom at my wedding but thats a whole 'nother convo).
    *waits for Adonis to tell me that if I wait too long no one is gonna want me cause I'll be an old used up hag*
    My recent post Just watched RHCP Live at the Roxy……it ain’t…

    1. Two years is my somewhat arbitrary number as well. Whatever the case, I'm definitely not going to be following in my parents' footsteps. An engagement within 7 days is a bit too risqué for my taste. To be honest, though, I'd likely say yes to the ring (and him, I guess. lol) within 7-12 months if the stars seem to have aligned and provided me with someone with whom I felt completely safe, at ease and in love.

    2. I don't think he was saying you have to marry said guy but he is saying that that guy knows if he wants to commit to you in a marriage type of way within 48 hrs and will possibly give you a ring somewhere around that 12 month period… I think that's where a lot of us women go wrong ignoring exactly what the guy is telling us because we analyze too much instead of just taking it at face value. We have to learn that most of time we're the rule and not the exception and that giving him time will leave us high and dry and him on to next.

      1. This… “I don’t think he was saying you have to marry said guy but he is saying that guy knows if he wants to commit to you in a marriage type of way within 48 hrs

        I can’t speak to the ring part. Kriola, the main point is to have SOME idea where the relationship is going by (or hopefully before) 12 months. What I see is a number of women thinking they’re going to wait a guy out or if they stay with a guy long enough they MUST be moving towards a relationship/marriage and that is incorrect. The difference between men and women is that a man can date you for 10 years and assess you with no more potential of getting a ring from him as he did the first 10 days. Time does not equate to progression for men like it does for women.

    3. Girl, those are just your fresh eggs talking. You're 23, this is really aimed at folks 25 (and older). Don't worry about it, your plan is a good one. Don't be mad if it totally changes in five years though.

    4. Ladies, if a man is dating you for 12 months and he does not know what he wants from you (assuming you know what you want from him), another 12 – 36 months will not help.

      This is the key. It's not that he needs to put a ring on it at month 12, but it's more so the fact that his head should be wrapped around the idea of something much more serious after month 12, which can take another 6-12 months. So, moves don't have to be made necessarily at that point, but there should be a consensus on the next step after 12 months.

      That's what he's saying. I think.

  7. ALL OF THIS^^^ is ALL I have to say! The good Lord knows I’ve been trying to resolve some questions I had about this very topic and since Monday (minus the MLK and Greek post) I’ve been sayin’ “Amen” and utilizing my Deaconess rock while reading these posts. Lately, I’ve been learning so much from what men DON’T do and applying that to what I’m willing to do, with Most’s and now this post as a reference. Kudos to WIM for once again pointing out the red flags when it comes to interacting with the male species!

  8. Every last word right here!!! This needs to be a sticky link somewhere on the main page (looking at you Slim)…

    I have a girlfriend who has been with her man for 5 years. Sharing a living space for 2 years. My friends and I explained this exact concept to her when she talked about her “dream” wedding. She asked him what the deal was that night and he proposed. Wellllll two days later- he broke it off. SMH. If only she would have read this post in ’07.

    1. Girl I have an friend/coworker who has been with her man for 10 years! She’s been hollering marriage in his ear for the past 2-3 years. She keeps on saying “if he doesn’t ask me to marry him in 6 months I’m leaving him” Girl stop its 3 years later….Her thing for staying is that he keeps telling her they can’t afford a wedding so he don’t wanna talk about it until they can. Anyway a month ago I pulled up Franklin county marriage licensure and showed her it only costs $75 to get a marriage license….Expensive?! The ceremony can always come later smh she is a good one, I’m positive she will be a girlfriend for the rest of her life lol

  9. ima start by saying this article isnt the case for every situation/ relationship, but it does touch on some interesting topics that are very debatable… Although i a agree with most of this article is saying, i cant honestly say that when i reach the age of 25 that after a year of being in a relationship i'll be ready for marriage, there are way too many factors to come to a conclusion on that decision unless you're in that situation. Im 23, and like to think i have another 10 years in the game, but i can't say for certain…. but as for the other topics such as men knowing where they want the relationship to go with 48 hours, i TOTALLY agree with. Based on the decision we then make a series of other decisions, like how often we want to call, if you're gonna call at all, and the amount of effort we want to put into her. One of the comments over said "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?" I think all men can say that if they could get away with not being in a relationship and still getting all the benefits, they'd string a girl along even if they plan to commit for as long as they can… that is until she hits us with "the question". That question usually being "so what are we" or "where is this going"…. something along those lines.

  10. Seems crystal clear to me. I've already had the "talk" with myself and several other chicks that i've seen being strung along that at this stage of the game, after month 12 if marriage has never even arbitrarily made its way into at least 1 conversation then there's a problem and if by month 24 there's no ring on my finger, i'm ghost. There'd have to be some pretty major extenuating circumstances to make me change my mind about that.
    My recent post I don't wanna go to the movies!

  11. I think this was a good post. I agree that a hard and fast timeline is not always the best approach, ideally a woman would have developed her intuition to the point where she knows how to distinguish a man who’s in it for keeps vs a man who’s not. Unfortunately, alot of women don’t know what it even looks like, to have a man pursue her, let alone commit to her and want to marry her, so a timeline is will have to do until they figure it out.

    I think a woman just needs to have one experience with a man who is truly and sincerely interested, because having a standard to compare things to makes all the difference in the world.

    1. I think a woman just needs to have one experience with a man who is truly and sincerely interested, because having a standard to compare things to makes all the difference in the world.

      Agreed … What's funny is that more than not, that man is in the "Friend Zone". With that being said, there's not much sympathy given to women who haven't been involved in sincere interest cuz it's stared you right in your face on more than one occasion.

  12. I so agree with this post. I dated a guy for a few months, it was great, we met each other family and did all the great things a couple heading in the right direction. He says he still wants to see other people, I asked..well how is that going? We spend every weekend together or talk almost every night during the week…he had not found anyone else he really wanted to date..I looked around said I can't do this anymore..I am not goin to hit the 9mth mark and no committment….He wanted to remain friends..and I said NOPE…you can't get the friendship without the committment…Now we are not speaking…and I am not calling why? I have factored him out of my future…even though my feelings have not changed.

    NOTE: Fellas no matter how much a woman loves you..if she has factored you out of her future..the wedding day and beyond..will be a challenge to win her back..that is usually why the woman stops calling..after she seemed to go along to get along for so long..

  13. Adding to my previous comment. Friends says he just needs time and is using the date others as a way to take time to make the relationship official..My thing is that he still has his time..he just doesn't have mine. Mine comes at a premium.

  14. 100% agree I’m nowhere near 25 yet (give me 4 years) but as I approach that age I know a family and a commitment is something I want ( I might not marry someone I've only been dating for a year) but there will definitely be some type of serious commitment which will be leading down the aisle. I think women fill like they might change in ranking ( she's cool to kick it with to wife) b/c we've been in relationships with men who went from ( he can’t be my man to maybe I’ll give him a chance to "so me and such and such go out). I think it all comes down to being with a man who is into you like you are into him or more into you than you are into him (just a little).To me in those situation getting a commitment/serious relationship by month six is this tug of war it comes natural b/c it's something he wants to do.

  15. Interesting post. If a woman broke up with me after only seeing me for one year, she'd probably be doing herself a disservice. I don't think a year is a long enough time for me to make that decision to get married. I think after a year I am able to make a judgment call on if I see something like marriage in the future or if I'm ready to make a long term commitment, but i'm not just throwing rings out there after a year. First of all, I got to save for the thing. So when would I do that? Six months into a relationship? Nah, no way. I date differently, I take my time, i'm not looking at the clock. I said in my post yesterday that women shouldn't hold on forever, but 12 months might be too short. However, I hedge this… i'm always more than willing to explain where I think things are going.
    My recent post How To Get Rid of the Bad News Dude

    1. Let me begin with, I think part of your comment is made from the beneficial perspective of being a man. Still…

      Let me put this into an analogy as I did with someone else when I had this discussion on Twitter. Let’s compare a relationship to stock. You buy in at $10 and the stock shoots to $20 in a year (I’m using low numbers for ease). That’s a good investment. You made a 100% return. But at some point the question becomes, do you sit on that stock for the rest of your life? Some would argue yes and they’re not wrong. Relationships, like stock, have an inherent risk tho. Let’s say you sit on this stock/relationship and tho the value never goes down, it never increases either. Now you’ve sat on the same relationship five years only to find it still has the exact same value it did 4 years ago. Arguably, a stock that was worth $20 in 2005 isn’t as valuable to you as a stock worth $20 in 2010, even tho in the aggregate it’s the same amount.

      So, basically I’m saying people should “sell” earlier. It’s not an affront to the stock (or person), it simply means you need to move on and find something with a better return on your investment, even if you’re original return was good. Just because something was good once doesn’t mean it’ll be good again or should be evaluated at the same value.

      Pertaining to the time line piece, if a woman dates you 12 months and even if you are honest with her, as we saw from Most’s post, but the relationship doesn’t go anywhere or at least not where she wants it to go, is she really doing herself a “disservice” by leaving you? I don’t think so, I think that’s your ego talking, broham.

    2. *Singing Beyonce* He's got a big ego…such a big egooooo!! LOL, what's so wrong with putting some money to the side 6 months in? I'm not saying put a down payment or anything, but if you pad your savings just a bit early you don't have to start from scratch when you decide that "she's the one" 2 years in. Then you gotta take however-long-on-top-of-that to save for her ring or put yourself in debt to get it. Worst case scenario you start saving, it doesn't work out and you have extra money in your account. Cuz I have no doubts that the future Mrs. J will be sporting some major blingage.

      1. Nope. That's not how I save. Maybe that's how a woman would recommend a man saves, but that's not how I save. I will start saving for the ring when i'm sure and ready that I will marry her. Not before. I'm not setting aside money for something that may or may not happen, when I could be taking that money and investing it in other vehicles with higher interest rates or better returns. That's just nonsensical.

        1. Ok, so what does your timeline look like? If you're with a girl for, say, 2 years. Because as you said earlier, a year is not enough time to know. So after 2 years together what do you do? Do you start saving? Use some money from previous investments? Accrue debt? If you start saving, for how long? Another 1-2 years? If you cash in on some investments or use savings you already had, aren't we saying the same dang thing?

        2. I am not married so I can't say. I would say that relationships go like this for me:
          0-3 months are bliss, 2-3 months is when you have your first argument.
          3-6 months are cool, growing pains and all, but you're still in the infatuation phase. Big argument around month 6 or 7, typically the "Looks like this will be long term, figured you should know."
          6-12 months fly by, here's when you start to observe a person's consistency and their character. You can't keep up the front for too long. I've always thought you've got to be able to see someone for four seasons before you can make a solid assessment of who they really are. At the one year mark, BIG argument about who she is and who I am. This is an argument out of love, but it's an argument that basically says, we've got to stop fronting 100% in this situation, if we gon' be here, then we might as well be here.

          That's one year in, i'm still getting acclimated to the relationship. I haven't thought to myself that I would want to marry her. However, after 2 years, I know if I want to marry her. That doesn't mean i'm going to start saving. And typically, i've always dated younger. So when I was 23 and dating my girlfriend who was 21, I thought at the time, I would marry her. But I knew that I didn't want to be married until I was at least 26. I was more focused on getting out of my mother's house, getting my own car, ridding myself of credit card and student loan debt, and establishing myself in my career (which included a significant investment in threads). Around the age of 25/26 was when I planned to actually start saving for a ring, or to make the decision to spend on a ring. Another mistake that I think men make, typically because women persuade them is … moving around "savings". I have a few savings accounts; House, Investments and Misc. A lot of times a guy will set aside money for a house but when he's ready to get married he goes into that savings account for a house to buy the ring and adjust his savings goals. I don't do that. Me and mine will save for the wedding when we decide to start saving for the wedding, no borrowing money from my house savings. And once I decide to get a ring, then i'll save for the ring, but I won't be robbing Peter to pay Paul.

        3. Your plan is sound…for a 23 year old. Saying at 23 that you want to get yourself together before you think about a ring, and your girl is 21, that's cool. But what happens when you're 29, your girl is, let's say 27? You really gonna tell her that she needs to devote 2 years before you'll even consider a ring, let alone start saving for one? Older women don't have that kinda time.

        4. Yeah that's why I haven't really dated that many women who were 27, seriously. I'll be the first one to tell you, it's impossible to date women over the age of 27 and not expect them to want a ring in 2-3 years.

        5. I agree. As I was reading it I was thinking…hell this sounds like a man that just simply isn't anywhere near ready for marriage regardless….I dare say, dating just to be dating (maybe…maybe not) but regardless, if that's the case, any woman that is "ready" may be doing herself a disservice to stay.

        6. J, you know you my boy right but…

          Last I checked, most people dont pay cash for engagement rings or anything. I put it like this, I have good enough credit to get a ring TODAY if I needed to and I'm sure most men, on this site anyway, can say the same. It's about priorities really. We can all sit here and name a 1000 reasons not to do this and that but if you really want something, most of us make it happen. As an aside, if you have any kind of savings account, you can likely put that towards a ring. I'm just saying, while I agree 6 months is a short period of time to start saving for a ring, at the same time if you really wanted to get her a ring, you'd find away to get her a ring.

          Now if you're dating one of those Kim Kardashian I need a mili milli type ring chicks, then this may make more sense. I'm not going to buy a woman a ring I cant afford and if she doesnt like the ring I get her she can kick rocks, no pun intended, BUT that's another discussion for another day.

        7. (Keep this between friends, I got a guy in Brazil… makes rings at cost. Keep that on the low.)

          Anyway, I don't think most people buy rings on credit anymore. That's a very unwise decision. You have to think of all the costs associated with a marriage. At a minimum, ring, wedding and honeymoon. You're going to have to make some decisions on how much of that you want to do on credit. Heaven forbid, you decide to buy a new home with your lady. Don't want to move a woman into a house where you had other b*tches at. Best advice I can give is to buy the ring in cash. You can't finance rings like people did back in the day. They will let you make payments until you pay it off and then you can pick it up. But that's just a savings plan if you asked me.

          However, some people do slap down their credit card and pay for a wedding ring. They are the same people who complain about their bills the first 5 years of the marriage too. I could go on for days on being credit adverse though. You guys know me, i'm a finance guy and a fiscal conservative.

        8. I feel you, plus I posted my comment before I saw your other comment (pertaining to not reallocating savings, which I can respect).

          Some of this depends on the woman too. I think men assume EVERY woman needs a $10k ring and $100k wedding and that's not always the case. O, it's def sometimes the case but not always. And honestly, if yall cant come together on the cost of a ring/wedding that in itself probably says something about the direction of your relationship/marriage.

          Again, another time and another place for that discussion. lol
          My recent post BRB!

        9. I love you J but answer me this please. You plan on getting married right? What’s stopping you from saving even before you meet the future Mrs.? Five or ten bucks here and there really adds up. If you don’t get married by whatever age you deem is right take a trip or something. No? I agree don’t go into debt if you don’t have to but the right woman isn’t going to want you to go into debt over a ring, at least imo that is. Is that backwards?

        10. I think the only thing wrong with it is that I don't think it's fiscally responsible to save that way. I may never get married and that money could have gone to better use. I can save for a vacation because I know that is going to happen. And besides, I don't think it would take me that long to save for a ring anyway. Give me six months to set aside some money, stay my ass out the strip club, and i'll make sure she won't say no.

        11. J, you already know my debt free strategy by 2012. I'm doing pretty well with that. Life is good.

          But, as a side note, if I stayed away from the "Gentlemen's Clubs" I swear Donald Trump would be delieving my paper in the mornings by now – AND I WOULDNT EVEN TIP'm!
          My recent post BRB!

        12. I don't think she was saying to keep the money under your bed:D You can still invest the money pending the time that you actually have to use it for the ring. That way if it doesn't happen, you're fine and if it does, you're also fine. win-win
          My recent post Breeding style

        13. Fine! Save up for a trip but don’t plan the date. When you choose a woman, you can just say “hey I’ve got that trip fund I can just use that, I’m cool and I can still afford to go to the strip club and make it rain!” 😛

  16. Commitment =! Marriage

    What's most interesting in the census information is that all the states in the Northeast + California are the ones higher on average. Guess that has to do with the cost of living in a Metropolitan city and different values. The only thing I disagree with in this post is that I know what I want from a within 48 hours.

    1. Commitment =! Marriage

      Exactly.

      However, you have to start somewhere. I believe that somewhere is 12 months at the longest. I actually believe it's closer to 12 days. The sooner you know the destination, the better you can plan the route. Most people just meander aimlessly along, then something happens, like a pregnancy, and THEN they want to have the "where is this relationship going?" talk.

      …and that's stupid.

      1. Most people meander along and wait for a pregnancy to have the talk? Really? That’s odd. And stupid. I doubt most, but I guess it depends on the people you are around. Once I knew i had the man with the qualities I wanted in a husband, I made sure he knew that’s what I wanted within nine months. Had to lock that down cause you don’t find it everyday. Problem with some women, I guess, is that they wait to be chosen and just take what they get.

  17. WIM, you are bringing the HEAT today…lol…I love it!

    I 1000% co-sign this post…for the simple fact..in my dating experiences and dealing with men throughout my years..this theory has proven to be correct….a Man does know what he wants frorm a woman pretty early on…after a year in..he knows if he could see himself married to you or not…he may not have all his ducks in a row to make it happen at that point in the relationship..but,he knows if he woud indeed wife you if all his ducks were in a row…..that's just fact. The fellas aren't necessarily going to agree with this..for the obvious reasons…lol..but, ladies, trust me…WIM speaks the truth.

  18. "I’m going to be honest with the ladies – fellas forgive me – the average man knows where he wants a relationship to go in 48 hours (or less). "

    *cough* bullsh#t *cough* no way i'm knowing that within 48 hours. maybe if i spent the entire 48 hours with her and got a glimpse into her real personality. the first couple of dates people are still putting their best foot forward. sorry not happening.

    also, i think 12 months is entirely too short in my opinion for a timeline of meeting a woman to asking for her hand in marriage. by 12 months yes i'll have an idea if i want to marry a woman but i take marriage way too seriously to not be very confident that i want to spend the rest of my life with that woman.

    i get the general premise of your post but not adhering to timelines doesn't always mean a man doesn't want to be held accountable. also, i just don't like being told what to do.
    My recent post Childish Things

    1. I do not fully agree with the time line, I was thinking more like 18 months and that includes a lot of "shared space time". Living with someone is totally different then living separately and thinking you all can make it in marriage.

        1. I don’t believe in cohabitation before marriage either

          @madscientist I took the whole 48 hours thing as a man knowing what he wants for you as far as someone he just wants to “have fun” with versus someone he wants to potentially date
          And I took the 12 month timeline as meaning he should at least know by then whether he WANTS to commit to you or not. I didn’t take it as WIM meaning the man should be slapping a ring on it. But if this is all the case would your perspective change?

        2. I feel you, but everyone is not playing by the same rules. I have lived with one woman before marriage and one after marriage, neither of those damn things worked out. Anyway, by "shared space" I meant a lot of sleepovers… On another note it always kills me how some people (no short at you as I do not know your life) can pick and chose their sins…. we can sleep with'em, but we better be going home before the sun comes up and not have more then two t-shirts at the house at one time.

        3. I personally don't choose to not live with a man for any righteous reason. I choose not to live with a man before marriage because I feel that if we as an unmarried couple engage in close to EVERYTHING that a married couple does, their wont be much to look forward to when you are married. I personally want to not have sex with my future fiance until marriage, but Im sure that wont fly on his end. Hopefully we can at least not live together so that we will be able to experience something new together for the first time.

  19. I agree for the most part, if dude is stringing it along he is most likely waiting to find "the right one" and upgrade himself… after a bit he might just decide to settle, but then he is still always going to be looking.

  20. I definitely agree a person shouldn't just date past the age of 25. if you don't see any possibility of something more developing than there is no point in continuing that relationship. What I don't like is the idea of giving an arbitrary number to decide if a man wants to marry a woman. This idea is as ridiculous as the 3 month no chex rule. You can't put a timetable on these types of things. There are plenty of failed marriages where the man asked the woman to marry him within that 12 month window and they were divorced within a few years. The divorce rates are so high IMO because people get engaged before truly knowing the other person, and people don't know how to fight to keep their marriage alive. You can get that engagement within this 12 month period but it isn't the golden ticket to a successful marriage. I guess the real question is this. Are you showing women how to get a ring, or how to have a marriage? Those are two totally different concepts.

    1. Are you showing women how to get a ring, or how to have a marriage? Those are two totally different concepts.

      Mmmmmmmmmmmmmhhhhhhhhhhhh … Definitely worth a thought or two.

      1. Are you showing women how to get a ring, or how to have a marriage? Those are two totally different concepts.

        This is not just about how to get a ring , it’s about how to make sure the person you are dealing with can see their future with you like you see your future with them. In most of these situations where it’s a chase for the ring the women is already acting like a wife hence why dude feels no need to actually put a ring on it. ( but I understand where your coming from anybody can get married but not everyone can be a husband/wife )

    2. @The Black Mamba: The divorce rates are so high IMO because people get engaged before truly knowing the other person, and people don't know how to fight to keep their marriage alive.

      I agree with half of this setence. I believe rates are high because "people dont know how to fight to keep their marriage." Honestly, we are a spoiled, instant gratification type of generation/society. People are quit to hit th "restart" button instead of playing through the hard levels.

      You can get that engagement within this 12 month period but it isn't the golden ticket to a successful marriage. I guess the real question is this. Are you showing women how to get a ring, or how to have a marriage? Those are two totally different concepts.

      You're right. Today's post is about getting the ring. Perhaps a follow-up on how to have a marriage is warranted.

      *turns head slowly and makes awkward eye contact with TheMostInterestingManInTheWorld*

      Handle that, bro.
      My recent post BRB!

      1. I completely agree that people are quick to just restart instead of trying to work it out. As a society we are too focused on just ourselves and not others and that applies to marriages too. When you look at it that way, its not so surprising that the divorce rate is so high.

    3. I think it's about deciding to stay once you get married…not so much about getting to know each other at some magical level. Any married person will tell you that you will never know the person that well or the same you will once married, so folks could stop trying to accomplish this beforehand. Yes, I think it's important to get to know each other, but really, if you are paying attention and invested, how long does it take to do that well enough to know if you could see yourself married to this person and bearing your babies?

      A lot of people get divorced after knowing each other/dating for years and years. Folks date 13 years and stay married only 2. Nothing is really a golden ticket to marriage but the will and determination on both folks part to make it work.

  21. Yes, yes and yes again! I hope WIM clarifies this later, but I don’t know if he is necessarily saying if you don’t see a ring after twelve months you’re never gonna get it. We know the kind of relationships he’s talking about. You and him are dating but not exclusive, you’re together but not really, you call him your boo but not your boyfriend, whatever it is. I think its more like, if yall dont have a concrete action plan after twelve months then its time to leave. Hard pill to swallow, but its the truth. And because its hard to accept, a lot of women (including myself) will cosign this post and go back to doing what we’re doing lol

    The happy hour last night was an amazing time. Great crowd, GREAT drinks and a really nice venue. I live 40 minutes away and that was my first time in the Empire State Building o_0 If you live in the city and didn’t come out, shame shame shame on you. Jk, but not really 😉

    1. Hard pill to swallow, but its the truth. And because its hard to accept, a lot of women (including myself) will cosign this post and go back to doing what we're doing lol

      Giiiiiiirl, you said a mouthful…

      1. I’m just being honest *Andre 3000 voice*

        But seriously, I’ve been actively trying to keep it real with myself. I agree with this whole post and with almost all of WIMs extrapolations on the subject, but only objectively. Sometimes Subjectivity is a bigger b!*ch than Karma.

        1. Yup, women are the best at making excuses…"you just don't know him like I know him girl" Funny how easy it is to see how naive your girl is being, but when it's you… *voice trails off*

  22. By 25 you should know? I disagree. I was with a a woman that I thought I would marry at 25 and it would have been the biggest mistake in my life. I stand by my rule that most men aren't ready for a serious relationship(not marriage) until they are almost 30. You have to get to know yourself and I can't say most folks know themselves at 25. I think you should know if you want to be in a committed relationship that may lead to marriage within 12 months. But knowing you want to spend the rest of your life with someone after knowing them 12 months? I don't see it. Too much room for error.

  23. More and more as I read these posts, I realize that I know nothing about dating, relationships, men. Maybe I’m still idealistic but I don’t want to constantly play games. Is there a such thing as intuitive prerogative? Where we both reach the same conclusion and it’s not a constant battle? I used to think dating was fun but as I get older and older I simply hate it. It’s enough to turn you into a hermit! Geesh!

    Thanks for the wise words WIM, I’ll keep them in mind for the next time (‘cuz who are we kidding, there WILL be a next time lol)

    1. I mean no disrespect by this question, but how old are you? I ask because I still struggle with this concept myself. I hate that men are always giving us advice on how to "get over" on men because their motives are so suspect – this is MEN telling us that MEN are very rarely any good…it's a very hard concept to wrap my head around. I've had the advantage (or perhaps disadvantage) of having great men and seeing good relationships in my life – but as I age and as I have my own experiences, unfortunately the men's warnings become more and more useful… 🙁

      I hold out hope that I won't have to play games with the guy I marry, but it's not looking good… http://bit.ly/qZPu8t

      1. No disrespect taken. I'm mid twenties… I guess I just feel old because I'm the youngest of 5 who range from 38 to 32. I've been out of college 4 years. I'm lucky that I took opportunities as they presented themselves: lived abroad about 2 years in many different countries, pursued my passion, changed my goals, currently following a different dream… But I always thought that marriage meant finding your ultimate companion, that life long friend you were searching for and are blessed to not have to live without. Without artifice I can say that now I am more open to that kind of relationship than ever, but the older I get the more jaded I become.
        I guess the problem is that the reality alarm clock is going off and I continue to hit snooze. I've yet to see a successful first marriage in my family (both immediate and extended), and for those with a second marriage, it definitely came late in life. I'm faced with nothing but the harsh realizations of love gone wrong: domestic violence, divorce, multiple babies/multiple parents, where at the root I find nothing but pain. Reading most of the posts on SBM make me reevaluate the relationships I've been in and the decisions I've made for the elusive concept of love. And in the journey to be the exception I've inevitably made myself the rule.
        I used to think it was them… always them… because well I'm the bomb.com, but upon further analysis… there are elements of me that creep in and destroy us. *Sigh*. I like self-reflection, it really encourages growth and for one SBM makes me sit down and stop playing victim all the bloody time. (though sometimes I just get angry and walk away from the computer lol).
        One thing I've realized is that I'm not going to change much. Innately I'm a nurturer, a giver, a lover, and a companion so I will continue to act that way until the right one comes around… and I'll do it without games. I'll continue to be genuine, to say what I feel, and if I have to, I'll walk away.

        My recent post Make you feel my love

  24. Hmm, some of y'all are getting caught up on the idea that if he doesn't present you with a ring in 12 months then you should bounce. I didn't get that from the post, I read it as if you are not actively discussing marriage and know that your relationship is heading there within 12 months (and you're not a youngin')…you should cut your losses.

    My addition: don't be afraid to ask a man where he sees your relationship heading. When I was younger I was afraid to rock the boat. As an older woman dating I just said "fug it" and told guys what I was looking for from jump, then periodically (bout every 3 months or so) checking in to see where his head was. Gets rid of the uncertainty for you, and puts him on notice that if he needs to start getting himself together if he wants to keep you.

    1. "Hmm, some of y'all are getting caught up on the idea that if he doesn't present you with a ring in 12 months then you should bounce. I didn't get that from the post, I read it as if you are not actively discussing marriage and know that your relationship is heading there within 12 months (and you're not a youngin')…you should cut your losses."

      That's how I took it.

    2. @Teflon Mom: Hmm, some of y'all are getting caught up on the idea that if he doesn't present you with a ring in 12 months then you should bounce. I didn't get that from the post, I read it as if you are not actively discussing marriage and know that your relationship is heading there within 12 months (and you're not a youngin')…you should cut your losses.

      This comment is great for two reasons: 1) you understood my intent and 2) this is great AND PERFECTLY REASONABLE advice:

      don't be afraid to ask a man where he sees your relationship heading. When I was younger I was afraid to rock the boat. As an older woman dating I just said "fug it" and told guys what I was looking for from jump, then periodically (bout every 3 months or so) checking in to see where his head was. Gets rid of the uncertainty for you, and puts him on notice that if he needs to start getting himself together if he wants to keep you
      My recent post BRB!

  25. I agree to an extent. I agree that after a year, you should be at least talking marriage. A year is a good enough time to know someone's character, and whether or you can see her as the mother of your children. However, that doesn't mean you need to propose within 13 months. However, my girl is proof that it can happen pretty quickly.. My girl started dating her fiance a little over a year ago. He proposed back in May, and the wedding is this weekend. So,it does happen. On the other hand, my homeboy has been dating his girl since 2007, and he proposed back in April. However, he always knew she was the one, he just wanted to get more finacially stable before he proposed.
    My recent post My Love Is Like…

  26. I love you. That is all. 🙂 I need to save this every time I'm having a weak moment and feel like calling one of my dudes who was happy to have me as their "friend" while I slowly fell for them. I finally kicked the creamy crack (yep, think about what that visual is implying and enjoy that. 😉 LOL).

  27. The key is to know yourself, and know the person you're with. If you really intend to marry your lady, but things aren't stable in your life(career, finances), then you should wait before you propose because you aren't quite ready to be a husband. But, you also have to articulate that to her truthfully and honestly. On the other hand, if you are ready within the 14 months, the go ahead and do it, and don't let societal pressures convince you that you aren't ready. Just do it. When you know, you know.

    However, I suggest you do not "play" relationship with a woman (or man, ladies!) if you aren't really ready. Take some time and deal with you and your emotional, mental, or spiritual mess before you decide to bring another person into it. Anything else is dishonest, not only to the other person, but to yourself. Deal with your demons!

    My recent post My Love Is Like…

  28. I agree with the gist of this post but I would probably revise the ages a little bit. I don't think anyone (man or woman) should be dating anyone beyond a year and not be exclusively committed. I'm not talking about "kicking it" or "hanging out" or "he/she stops by at midnight once a week". I mean the twp ppl involved have had a conversation and they both are on the same page about being an exclusive couple. With all that being said I would up the age to 30 for men/women. The reason being is you don't know shit in your 20s. (I'm 38, for what it's worth). You think you do, but you really don't. You don't really start to get comfortable in your skin (meaning you've probably made some mistakes and had to make some harder decisions) by the time you hit 30 and up.

    If you are a woman, don't give a man all your good years and fresh eggs, past 30. If he was going to put a ring on it by then, he would have done so.

  29. WIM, glad you brought this firestorm here to the blog….and im so happy you did not sugar-coat it. Your opinions which we share 100% are so on point.
    This is one of those things that women need to hear, from a man…but yet and still many will find some way to not only disagree, but avoid it.

  30. Thinking about it, i'm with the homie WIM on this because after well lets say 8 months or so (those extra 4 months add up) i start looking at a relationship differently, at that point i wonder if we could live together, how view her as a potential mother if her father's the type to pay for a wedding . Essentially, once I realize shes not Hisbetteroption im merely prolonging the inevitable. It sounds sour when you say it like that but basically every relationship you dont see heading towards marriage is going to end and the longer it goes the worse it'll be.
    My recent post ItzTrizz617: This old dude at work always be overly impressed with my outfits like yes I'm aware that my shirt matches my hat that's why I wore them :/

  31. Ya know, unless I slept with her the first night I can't really say I know if I wanna commit to a chick within 48 hours…in most cases. Given that people don't show you the real them until they're comfortable which can take weeks, months, and in some cases years, I like to just let people get more comfortable and then make whatever type of decision it is that I make. The only caveat to this would be if I've made intentions clear that I'm not even trying t explore that right now.
    My recent post 5 Things I Learned From Chicken Titties and Dove Soap

    1. That's interesting. Like I said in the post, I already know which women I do not want to date within 48 hours, so really it's only a matter of determining which women I do. I actually dont need to sleep with a girl to figure out where the relationship is going not that it hurts. I've been with a girl who wasnt that good in bed but she had a lot of other intangibles I liked so we dated for a good minute. In fact, had we both not moved to dif states this might be a different discussion but such is life… (1/2)
      My recent post BRB!

      1. (2/2) I know what I'm looking for at this point so it's really only a matter of figuring out if I can be with this particular woman "forever" so to speak. However, I am more of the mindset that being with someone is a choice rather than that whole "soul mate" crap, which I dont really buy into, so maybe that's why it's different/easier for me. I still stand by my statement that most men know what they want, consciously or subconsciously, from a woman a lot sooner than they'll admit to themselves, let alone the woman.
        My recent post BRB!

    2. Would you say that you know within a few dates that you definitely wouldn't marry a woman though? <–This is why I have so few second dates, once you're deemed unmarriageable, I'm done. I got the feeling that this is more where he was headed. Remember Wis has two categories for women: 1) Marriageable, 2) Not Marriageable; and while category 1 can easily slip into category 2, it doesn't work inversely and he'll have relations with either category. I interpret that he's saying don't waste three years with someone that knew you were a category 2 from the third date.

  32. I'm just gonna go ahead and Nod Excessively In Agreement.

    But really though, who doesn't understand this? *scratcheshead*

    I'm not saying he has to put a ring on it after 12 months of dating, but the topic should have at least come up by then or something along the lines of discussing OUR future TOGETHER and Women should also be leary of becoming a "ForeverFiancee" you know what that is…he proposes just to shut you up and to buy himself more time which can be a 5 year stretch or more.

  33. I’m certainly not a fan of ultimatums/strict timelines, but I do agree with your premise. If you’re headed East and he’s headed West, at some point you gotta get outta the car-the trick is figuring out he’s headed West.

    I will say that once in a relationship this seems like an easier concept than when trying to start a relationship but I really wouldn’t know. I saw above that you say it doesn’t matter whether we’re talking relationship or marriage, but I’m not sure about that part. The stakes with marriage are much higher and require a more aggressive position IMO. If you’re wishy washy with a guy that may or may not start dating you, you can still be dating other men, doing other things. If he doesn’t end up dating you-not that big of a loss*. If you’re headed the wrong direction with a boyfriend of two years, that’s time you can never get back, serious emotions invested, opportunities missed.

    *Depending on how much you invested in him, which to be fair, sometimes is just as much as a relationship.

    So did I fall into any landmines?

    And I see the #Shots you threw with the effin pic, [email protected]

    Oh and good write, I followed the topic on your TL too and it definitely made me think.

    1. Girl you better be standing there like a hitchhiker with a sign that says in big bold letters "HEADING EAST". Tell these fools what you want from the get-go. The only guys who will be "scared off" are those who don't know what they want and who were planning on wasting your time.

      In other news, one of my besties was approached by a guy as she was leaving work. He was cute, had a good resume and a nice car. She gives him the digits. He immediately: 1)begins texting her too much and 2) asks for dirty pictures. Are 75% of single men reading from the same "How to Date Like a Lame" playbook? Damn!

      1. Baaaaby! You know I DO! Which is prolly "why I'm single" *eye roll* –> Girl you better be standing there like a hitchhiker with a sign that says in big bold letters "HEADING EAST".

        And YES "How to Date Like a Lame" is a nationwide best seller which is why the "good guy" has it so easy! I truly, truly don't think men understand how wack 98% of the men are…it's TOUGH in these [email protected] streets!

    2. Nah, you didnt really say anything I disagree with.

      I also literally forgot I was suppose to lay a "Trap" for you. See, that's the problem with being a man. I cant hold grudges and anything that isnt centered around sports or chex, I forget about in like 8 hours.

      O woe is me 🙁

      PS. You and I both know that pic is awesome and applies to 90% of "arguments" on the Internet. lol
      My recent post BRB!

  34. "A woman asked: If a man hasn’t asked you to marry him after 12 months he never will? No, but the longer you date a man in an undefined relationship the odds of you ever getting a commitment from him decrease, not increase. Nine times out of 10, if a grown man is keeping you around, while refusing to commit, it’s because he is looking for something better."

    Mmmhmm, this is such a hard truth and something I'm seeing going on in someone's life right now. It's super painful and cringeworthy to see. Women usually take exception to dumping a man after a year with no visible hope of commitment because of the fear of starting over. I mean, hell, it was already hard enough to land this one! LOL But on the other hand, if you know in your GUT that this relationship is stagnant, think of it as you wasting time and solving that problem by freeing up time and space for something better. I mean, after all, he's stringing you along waiting for something better. Why not do something that actually makes and let him go, freeing up actual space for something better?

  35. Great post. I also think men know early on. They just like to play ignant. But me and a few of my g/f's needed to hear this. We still clinging to that exception to the rule mess. Funny how you (more like I) don't use your( ok ok my) good sense in relationships.

  36. Well WIM (official card carrying member of the lightskin nation) you hit the nail straight on the head.
    But I would like to say you are giving an additional 6 more months than you should.
    But here are the disclaimers
    1. You should only be dating men that want to be in a relationship if thats what you are looking for
    2. Waiting to stir the cocoa about 3 months should happen- unfortunately for woman when you do add that element to the mix then premature feelings and expectations start to rear their uglyheads.
    3. Every 3 months you need to have a discussion on where the relationship is headed untill you get a proposal which should happen around the 2 year mark
    4. Most important be prepared to walk away if you're not getting what you want out of the relationship /nor do you see it happening at any time in the near future
    After dating hanging out courting getting to know someone you should know if you want to be in an exclusive relationship with them. If you both go into it as yes I am looking to be in a relationship and if it doesn't happen by that time you need to leave. What else needs to be talked about.
    Now once you hit that year mark the talk of marriage and the possibility of this going further should happen. If he says no I don't think that's in our future than leave what else needs to be talked about.
    By no means do I think WIM is saying you should be married/ putting a ring on it in a year ( it does happen for some) but after a 6-9 months of dating exclusively you need to know where you are headed. So that you can thoroughly review your options.

  37. Love this post. As they say, don’t make someone a priority when they only make you an option. I think it’s something women learn as they grow older and they date more. The more you experience, the more you can peep the signs of a man who is not ‘acting’ like a man who wants to commit. Also, I think that being in a committed relationship at sometime in one’s life, helps you again, peep the signs, sooner than if all you’ve ever dealt with are men who drag you along which is another reason why i think you’re able to understand this more clearly as you get older. When it’s all said and done however, as we all know, it’s a lot easier to know what you’re sposed to do rather than doing it. But at least now a chick can’t say she was walking in uninformed. I’m not all on the twitter but *pound* cosignature.

  38. I think a lot of the comments are jumping to extremes. I do think a man puts a woman into a particular box, that is often a permanent placement, within the first 48 hours of meeting her. You may not know whether or not you're going to marry her, but you know whether or not she's marriage material for you.

    Also, I don't think Wis is saying that after 1 year you're going to ask her to marry you. I think what he's saying is, if you're looking for a serious relationship that ends in marriage – like – if that's your goal… then you can't just be kickin it with a n*gga for 12 months with no sorta of commitment. If you're a guy you gotta know this as well. If you know she's looking for something serious, and you also know you're not willing to give something serious – let her walk.

    I agree with Wis' logic on both fronts. I'm all about open, honest communication whenever it's possible. Better to know now than to find out later.
    My recent post That Certain Something “Watch The Throne” is Missing

      1. Best I can tell, Most isnt contradicting himself because he's clearly saying "let her walk," whereas the majority of women on Monday were refusing to walk. They wanted a man to lead them to the cliff and then push them.

        If you're depending completely on someone else to help you reach your destination, dont get mad if they lead you astray…
        My recent post BRB!

  39. I think the main point that might be missed (and I haven't read comments yet so maybe I'm wrong) is WITHOUT commitment. I know couples that were in relationships 3, 4, 7, 9 years before marrying but they were committed and exclusive to each other and then (not just the man) had other reasons for postponing the nuptials. I think that those circumstances exist but yes, not the norm maybe. Also, I don't think anyone should go longer than 6 mos without a defined relationship. the ambiguity is what messes things up for folks, IMO.

    this quote said it all for me: He doesn’t think you’re going anywhere and he is likely looking for an upgrade; give him enough time and he will find one.
    My recent post I may be young in age…

  40. This right here just might be the the realest advice post written on SBM.

    My mobile browser erased my dissertation so I shall be back with an adequate cosign.

  41. I completely co-sign this post.

    Men, can ya'll explain this to me? Why do men string women along for years without a commitment? I really don't get it. Why keep her around if she's not the one for you? I think that behavior is selfish and shows a total lack of integrity. I mean, couldn't you just be single with the perk of not having to be accountable to anyone but yourself and find the one? Why be "attached" while looking for the woman you really want to be with? *scratches head*

      1. As much as the onus is on the one who wants more to make a definitive move, it's something that both sides should be held accountable for, and can therefore answer to. That said, the OP already answered her own question: selfishness. Sometimes a "situationship" provides them with certain perks that they enjoy, and will therefore bask in for as long as they are allowed to do so. Also, when you're not in a commitment, you're hardly accountable to that other person. That's the whole point.

      2. I agree, it goes both ways. However, the man in the aforementioned situation is the one using another human being and I don't understand the reasoning behind that, especially when imo being single would be easier.

        1. I gotta side with @Ivory Tabb here. You're only punishing yourself looking for a "reason." Honestly, most men dont need a reason. The simplest way to see how a man feels about you is to cut off the chex and see if he stays around. 90% of the time this will answer your question.

          Since analogies help drive points home for both parties, keeping a woman you like around but dont want to marry is sort of like staying in a job you like but dont want to do forever while you look for other work. Sure, it might be more fair to the company for you to leave and be unemployed so they can find someone who really wants to be in that position but how many people do that? Most people keep the job, while looking for something better. This, in a nut shell, is what men are doing. (1/2)
          My recent post BRB!

        2. (2/2) I'm not saying it's right, because it isnt. However, it's really not a discussion about right, wrong or selfish. It's more so, here is the reality you face; what are you going to do about it? The reason I agree with @Ivory Tabb is because it's really not up to men (or anyone) to look out for your best interest. While ideal, in this situation, ideal is not the reality. Frankly, some women are looking to "understand" something that either cannot be understood or doesnt need to be understood in order to fix the root problem – that you want commitment and he does not.

          I'll end with a quote I read yesteterday from Plato: There is no reason to be unhappy about things you can control or things you cannot control.
          My recent post BRB!

    1. I'm not a guy but I will take a jab at this:

      Reason being is that he is getting all the perks of having a wife/LTG without the paperwork or actual commitment. Hot Food/Clean CLothes/ Clean Sheets/Constant Poon and Head.

      Why be "attached" while looking for the woman you really want to be with?

      See response above. Also, just in case he don't find the "ONE" he really wants to be with, he still got you to fall back on.

      1. That is an awful way to treat someone, but I guess that's the world we live in *shrug* I agree with you WIM, everyone has to look out for their own best interest. I'm just really big on honesty, integrity and respect, and that kind of behavior shows none of those attributes.

  42. I agree with the comments about many men knowing what they fairly soon, (just like women do)

    However, some men don’t know what they want…folks can be very fickle and want one thing one day and something else the next or want something then once they see first hand it may be “too hard” or it may be more to it than they anticipated they change the game and don’t want it anymore.

    I think some men don’t want to get married because they simply don’t want the responsibility that comes with being married….same reason some don’t want a relationship and/or kids.

    Some folks just don’t want certain responsibilities…(and there is nothing wrong with that, to each his own).

    Also many men have told me that in a marriage they know that they have to give more financially and pt of their role as men and husbands is to be the breadwinner and hold down the household financially. At the same time they feel like they lose their youth when married and lose the chance to do the fun things they want to do and be themselves. Men also hear a lot of negative things about marriage from many married men for instance how their sex lives goes downhill once they marry and how women can change for the worse. So what do you think that makes men think about being married……? Obviously it doesn’t make them want to run out and “put a ring on it”.

    These are the reasons (that I’ve heard from men) why they don’t want to get married. It’s not always about the fact that they don’t love the woman enough or don’t see her as “wifey” material.

    Sometimes it’s the factors that surround marriage in and of itself and the negative feedback they hear about marriage.

    1. In that case, adequate communication demands that they disclose their intent (or lack thereof). Even if it's just to say that they have their misgivings, it's something that should be known to both parties. If the woman wants a ring and he's made it clear he likely won't be saving towards one anytime soon, then it's up to her to make a judgment call. Should she decide to stay, she would have forfeited to right to whine and complain six months down the line.

  43. And you also have men who truly do love the women they are in a relationship with and are in love and are more than willing to marry that woman, once she changes some of her bad habits.
    One man told me he told his wife before they were married that he wanted her to get herself together before they got married. He told her "you need to get a job and get your finances in order". He said he wanted her to be able to contribute to the household financially. They were already living together but she was getting "too comfortable and spoiled" by him and becoming lazy. He knew if they got married he didn't want to be in a situation where he was financially in over his head with bills and she was there taking but not contributing anything. He had already helped her purchase a car. She got a job and got her finances together and he married her. ( I actually know 2 guys who went thru similar situations and married the women once they had good jobs and their finances were stable).

  44. I also know a man who told his girlfriend to curb her ridiculous spending habits and get her credit straight and he would marry her. He said he loved her and wanted to marry her but he wanted a house and knew he couldn't get one with her with her credit being jacked up and he didn't want her credit messing up his good credit. Well this chick continued to spend money (she really didn't have) on stupid stuff she couldn't afford and kept up the same stupid spending habits and her credit got worse and her car got repo'd and once this guy saw that she didn't listen to him and get her sh** together thats why he didn't marry her.

  45. Sometimes women have great men in their lives who want to marry them and they sabotage their own potential happiness for whatever reason.
    I've had 2 men who wanted to marry me and proposed when I was in my early 20's. I did not want to be a wife and mother before I was 27 years old. Even at 30 something I dated a great guy who wanted to get married (he was definitely the marrying type of guy). My stupid azz let him go because I wasn't attracted to him enough and found him too boring and not exciting enough….when in reality he was just a really nice guy who lived a simple life and just wanted marriage kids a family and to be happy.
    Folks need to really take a hard long look at the "Man In The Mirror". Thats half the battle won right there.

  46. I agree. Women who want to get married just don't have the luxury of wasting their prime years waiting around. Commitment doesn't mean getting engaged. Seriously, if y'all are still "just kicking it" with no title or no exclusivity after a year? Why bother? I get that by age 25, most folks are out of school w/ a job and you can't see each other all the time. But if you've been doing more than just hitting the sheets, a year is more than enough time to figure out if this is potentially serious or just a good time.

  47. @WIM, I agree with your entire post and all of your comments.

    But let me throw in this food for thought: A lot of people are saying if you don’t like the situation then leave, and while this is the best advice given in theory, in reality it’s not so easy. When emotions and time are involved some women are more likely to have second thoughts about up and leaving. Not saying it’s right, but it happens.

  48. I agree for the most part, past 25 longer than 2 years is wayyyyy to long to commit without the ultimate commitment. Screw around and wait longer, wake up at 38 single and wondering why. Too many women waste their young supple years on non-committal men. Get it when you're young and supple. Stop wasting time in your 20s to cry "mea culpa"in your 30s and 40s.

  49. 1. I hate to be simplistic, but if he’s not trying to lock it down, you’re not the one. You’re good enough for now. If he eventually marries you, its cause the one didn’t show up, or married someone else. You’re a consolation prize. When a man meets the one, he doesn’t need even a whole year to decide he betty get cracking or else.

    2. Too many women value the ring and being asked. I think its better to look for the qualities you want and when you find it, lock his azz down. Propose to him, if you must. Just don’t waste a year or two or three with just good enough dude you’re hoping will improve.

  50. Damn. SO last year I was dating a guy and we had been off and on for about a year and a half (steady for 10 months) and he told me our relationship was not leading to marriage. At the time I was so infuriated I wanted to put a hit out on him. Looking back now I see what he means. And reading this validated it!!
    My recent post Mystically Surreal

  51. first off…it was nice to meet the SBM Massive.

    i agree with WIM's Logic…in terms of 'dating'…i would probably need at the most 3 dates to figure out where this is…quite honestly, at my age, when i'm interested in a woman, i'm aiming for marriage…

    it's just a matter of the feelings being reciprocated…lol
    My recent post kjnetic: http://t.co/EJBPwGy RT @Nickyjinx: And why do internet bullies exist?

  52. What a FANTABULOUS post! I was super busy yesterday…just reading this.

    WIM, I'd like to take your 12 month deadline and shorten it to 6 months…cause that's all the patience I have, lol. In my humble (yet golden) opinion, if a man commits sometime after 12 months of non-committed dating, he is settling. I'm not anyone's Plan B. During the "figuring out what's happening" phase, my Nike Air's are ALWAYS within reach. After 6 months, I'm lacing up and heading for the door. He doesn't need me in his face to think. In 6 months (or 48 hrs according to WIM, lol), you've got ALL the info you need to decide if you're rolling or bouncing. And, if you don't decide, I'll decide for you…BOUNCING!

    I'm not talking marriage…I'm talking "this is a committed, monogomous relationship". I've done the marriage thing before…so I'll need about 2-4 years of the "committed, monogomous relationship" phase in order to agree to marriage again….just to be sure we're cooking with good grease.

  53. Exactly how does the author define commitment? If he's saying that after hitting a quarter century, that men should be ready to put a ring on their woman's finger after month 12, I think he's being painfully unrealistic on a multitude of levels. If he's saying that men who are 25+ should start making moves towards transmogrifying the relationship into something more serious after month 12, then I'm on board.

  54. I admit that I've gotten in a few '"in the mean time" quasi-relationships that I simply should've avoided, and I take 100% of the blame simply because I never set the tone early on clearly stating what I wanted. But one thing's for sure two thing's certain, I always told dudes "you have about 3-4 months with me before I throw up the deuces." So for this very reason, I never found myself like one of those women wondering why I wasted the last 12 months of life, and trust me I know lots of women who found themselves in this position.

  55. I admit that I've gotten in a few '"in the mean time" quasi-relationships that I simply should've avoided, and I take 100% of the blame simply because I never set the tone early on clearly stating what I wanted. But one thing's for sure two thing's certain, I always told dudes "you have about 3-4 months with me before I throw up the deuces." So for this very reason, I never found myself like one of those women wondering why I wasted the last 12 months of life, and trust me I know lots of women who found themselves in this position.

    Now, that I turned 29 this year I don't play around, and as a result this year has been the most transforming for my love life and it's because from day one I establish that I want to be married and will not date longer than a year. I'm upfront and very vocal about it and in fact, I hope to scare them away because those are the time wasters I don't want to deal with. And you know what happened, it absolutely works.

    My biggest problem now is that I've found myself attracting men who absolutely want to be married and have a very definite time frame that is immediate. And the moment I declared I wouldn't waste my time in another quasi-relationship, I found myself in a relationship with a man who after week 1 asked for a commitment and said that he wants to work towards that "I don't believe in divorce type marriage."

    Ladies, we hold the power. Don't give it up just to keep the peace & compromise.

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