Home Featured Ladies, A Man Can’t Lead You on Forever

Ladies, A Man Can’t Lead You on Forever


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By choice or circumstance – perhaps I agreed to sell my soul writing for a respectable paycheck in a past life – I have predominately written about sex and relationships for the greater portion of the decade I’ve been writing online (For the record, I actually write about a wide variety of topics, which people are more than eager to ignore unless it’s about sex or relationships, but I digress). I’m not sure if this is the life I chose or the life that chose me. Regardless, for many of those years, I’ve heard one line that has grown to become the bane of my existence. It’s some variation of “man lead a woman on.”

For many of these years, I assumed that maybe men really do lead women on. Maybe men are so well gifted in prose, word play, and general game spittery that they could legitimately lead another fully functional person with the capacity to process thoughts and ideas at the relative same or greater level of equivalency for days, months, or even years. I won’t lie to you, I’m sure there are any number of women, who felt I “led” them on. My crime? Dating them for an undefined period of time – a time in which they could have left whenever they wanted – with our dating period terminating without a serious commitment or engagement ring. Sometimes I feel bad knowing that I might have contributed to a woman (or women) feeling like they were led on. Then it occurred to me recently…


In most of my cases, I was honest, but even if I was dishonest, I clearly wasn’t giving these women what they wanted. Why some stuck around despite this fact makes little to no sense to me. The thing about being led on, in my opinion, is that women have the power to terminate the leadership at any moment. All they have to do is walk away. It is literally that simple. Yet somehow a man’s inability to give a woman what she wants in a time frame in which she wants it translates into him leading her on. This, to a degree, makes some level of sense (not really, but I’ll give women the benefit of the doubt).

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It’s like this… if someone leads me to a cliff, and I follow them over the edge, is that their fault or mine? I had every opportunity to terminate the journey. If I continue to blindly follow someone that clearly demonstrates – through word or actions – they do not have my best interest in mind to my own detriment, at what point do I hold some or all of the responsibility for continuing to allow them to lead?

While you ponder on that question, I posed a similar inquiry on Twitter. “How long can a man lead a woman on?”

I figured that a man (or woman) can lead a woman (or man) on for a defined period of time. However, at some point, it transitions from someone being led to that person being complacent in their own life choices. In life, you have a couple options: You can blame the world for all that happens to you or you can assess how your actions or inactions contribute to some of the undesired outcomes in your life. Fortunately or unfortunately, the choice is really yours.

As far as men leading women on, I liberally started the bidding at 18-months. In my mind, 18-months was the maximum amount of time you could claim someone else was leading you on without taking action to change the undesired course your relationship is heading. To be clear, I’m not saying you have to leave or you have to stay. I’m simply saying, whatever choice you make is your choice. Own whatever your choice may be, and stop blaming other people for putting you in circumstances you did or do have every opportunity to change.

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Below, are some of the responses I received from men and women on Twitter.












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Wisdom is Misery imageHow long can a man truly lead a woman on before it becomes her own doing that is holding her back from achieving happiness? When it comes to the progression or stagnation of a relationship, can a man really “lead” a woman on forever? Think of the answers to these and visit SBM to read more such blogs. 


  1. "someone that clearly demonstrates – through word or actions – they do not have my best interest in mind"

    Someone who doesn't have a woman's best interest in mind probably isn't going out of his way to be "clear" about it. So, pretending that women are really to blame for their own pain because they stuck their head in the sand is pretty bogus IMO. In fact the "well, she fell for it" line is wearing thin in general. It sounds like an excuse a man might enlist to assuage his conscience when he knows he's done something wrong. Women should be realistic about men and understand that some of them are just users. BUT, I think part of being a genuine stand up guy is NOT messing with a girl unless you have her best interest in mind.

    It's time we start taking better care of our community. We've got to stop treating love, dating & marriage like a game. We've got to stop treating each other like commodities. #letscleanitup #lessonsfromtrayvon

    My recent post Proverbs 31: A Life Worth Living?

    1. @Amicus but at what point is the woman responsible for her own choices and goes “hey, I’m not happy let me leave this situation alone”. I’m not excusing the man for being shady, but some on as a grown woman you should be able to know when someone is using you. Heck some grown women know they are being used, and stay around only to complain. Also a man who is a user isn’t going to have the traits or characteristics of a stand up guy. So you as a woman need to have your own best interest in mind, so when you run into a user you can protect your feelings and leave him alone.

      1. Also as a person who do you expect for someone to have your best interest in mind when you don’t have your best interest in mind? In any aspect of life you will bump into people (friends, co-workers, lovers) who don’t have you best interest at heart. If a girlfriend didn’t treat you right or used you, would you continue to be her friend or drop her. Heck woman drop friends for the smallest issues but will stay with some dude who is dogging her out forever.

        I’m not making an excuse for the man’s poor behavior, because a woman can’t control how a man acts. But she can control what she will and won’t put up with.

      2. She's always responsible for her choices. Everything you said is right. I wasn't trying to let women off the hook for taking responsibility for themselves.

        I'm just suggesting that part of being a good man (or woman) is taking care of our community as well as ourselves. We should treat people in our community well, and take responsibility when we see other's treating it badly. Why? Because if we don't eventually the whole place is going to be unlivable/unlovable. Everyone understands the wisdom in not pooping where you eat. & IMO, the same sort of logic applies here in our dating community.

        Don't mess where you marry…or something like that.

        let's stop drawing "your & mine" lines in the sand and start accepting that all of our community is ours. Ideally, when a man sees a woman accepting less than she deserves from him…HE will remind her to do better for herself. Just like he would remind his daughter, mother or sister to do better. I know that's asking a lot…but I think it's possible.
        My recent post Proverbs 31: A Life Worth Living?

        1. True but that only works if the man is indeed "A good man". Some men aren’t good men and may never be good men. So you have to take that into consideration. It’s when it comes to good men and women, while there are a good amount out there, there’s just about an equal amount of no good men and women to go around.

          I agree that we should start teaching are son’s to treat all women with respect and to not use women.

      1. @WIM

        LOL. Thank you for the brevity. Alot of women in America feel that exact way.

        I have all the agency/right to do whatever. He has all the responsibility. Shoot me now.

      2. No, we're all responsible for ourselves alone. I was trying to articulate what makes a man a "stand-up" guy. A really good guy. I figured people would disagree, I was just giving my opinion. Our community is in shambles in SO many ways. And a big part of the problem is that our family units aren't right. So, when I see guys (who, IMO are supposed to be leading our community towards better things) making excuses and trying to do the bare minimum to not be "wrong", I'm trying to call it out.

        No you don't have to treat every woman like she is your mother, sister, daughter,..but IMO you should.
        My recent post Proverbs 31: A Life Worth Living?

        1. Ok, thanks for clarifying. I guess I can respect that. I don't agree, but I can respect it.

          Just so we're clear…

          I don't think men should disrespect women. I never said that nor would I ever say that. I do, however, think if a woman feels dis-respected, she should have the courage, confidence, or whatever you want to call it to leave that man alone. So it's a two-part responsibility: a man shouldn't disrespect a woman, and a woman shouldn't stay in a situation she perceives as disrespectful. I liberally defined this period as 18-months. If a woman chooses to remain in a situation she can control, after a certain period I'm going to stop feeling sorry for her circumstance. It's not about being right or wrong or doing the "minimum."

          I feel you're interjecting more into the conversation than I addressed in the post, which is fine. Still, just because a man chooses to deal with a woman and he fails to commit to her does not, in my mind, equate to that man disrespecting her/women. Every interaction isn't meant to end in commitment. Not committing to every woman you interact with isn't disrespectful. That's a leap at best.

          Lastly, you say men are "supposed to be leading our community," yet any number of women seem to be hypocrites in this alleged goal in that they want men to lead, yet they don't want to be led. I'm not positive you can achieve both of these goals. Nor do I particularly agree that all men should be deemed as leaders. Assuming relationships are more democratic than dictatorships, then part of dictating responsibility to a leader is choosing the right person to lead you.

        2. "So it's a two-part responsibility: a man shouldn't disrespect a woman, and a woman shouldn't stay in a situation she perceives as disrespectful."

          I'd like you to consider whether it's a 3-part responsibility. Men & women are responsible for themselves as well as their community. When people say things like – "that's her fault she didn't choose better" or "I'm going to stop feeling sorry for her circumstance" – I cringe a little. IMO we're all in the same boat here, so it really matters to me whether someone off in the corner is shooting bullets in the air. It may take time, but the slow deterioration of the black family unit (even if it's not your unit) is going to effect us all. Lol, clearly I'm beyond the scope of the post, but the his/hers/ours responsibility triage was at least a little indicted.

          "Lastly, you say men are "supposed to be leading our community," yet any number of women seem to be hypocrites in this alleged goal in that they want men to lead, yet they don't want to be led."

          I hear you. IMO, women don't understand what it means to be led – so they see submission & following as the enemy. I try to explain where I can, but there's a spiritual & cultural brokenness that's difficult to talk past. All I can say is keep trying to find a woman who isn't a doormat, but is willing to trust you. We do exist.

          My recent post Proverbs 31: A Life Worth Living?

        3. I can dig it. I've had similar conversations. While I can respect both view points, I've generally used this analogy when it comes to helping the "community": There are volunteers (like myself) and there are missionaries. I feel like volunteers are usually out to help people who are already seeking help; whereas missionaries tend to take the next step of volunteering help, even if the help is not originally sought by the person. For example, I'm more of a "lead a horse to water not force them to drink" type. It appears you're advocating for a "lead the horse to water and help/wait until they drink" philosophy.

          Again, neither is wrong. I just don't have the patience to help or feel sorry for those who are not taking proactive steps – if it is within their control as I feel this specific (post) situation is – to help themselves. That's just my view on things. I also believe that if people improve themselves as individuals, the community as a whole improves so it accomplishes the same goal. I'm merely not as "aggressive" in my approach.

          I feel like a good first step in helping oneself is to recognize you need help in the first place – even if that helps come in the form of seeking the support of others to help guide or mentor you if you can't accomplish those goals by yourself. There is definitely nothing weak about seeking support, however, I do find it kind of weak to remain complacent in a situation you in which you are not happy. If someone hasn't even made that first step, I really can't do much for them nor do I feel obligated to do so. I know and recognize there are many people who feel you have to help those in need even if they don't recognize they need your help or (for that matter) will even accept your help. I just don't hold that same viewpoint, which I feel informs my views on this and any number of related issues.

      3. I try to be pretty transparent in the hopes that I would receive the same in return. But I don't lol. A lot of times women let hearts cloud judgment and it's not until I say, that guy is not good, that they will stop dating them.

        Idk, but even though I am celibate, I still feel a certain way when a guy basically tries to lead me on. I just get soo mad.

        A guy once told me he beat up his sisters ex bf for hitting his sister. Is she stupid for letting him? Just wondering because everyone is acting as if they have no compassion for women that are in these situations.

    2. @Amicus

      Someone who doesn’t have a woman’s best interest in mind probably isn’t going out of his way to be “clear” about it.


      So, pretending that women are really to blame for their own pain because they stuck their head in the sand is pretty bogus IMO. In fact the “well, she fell for it” line is wearing thin in general.

      The equivalent to this is a woman who is accepting gifts/money & emotional investment from guys she has no plans to sleep with. We already know she is “wrong” but IMO, but is the burden on men to “cut the cord”?

      I think so, I think most people believe should know better.

      And if that is true, then women need to show some muscle & “cut the cord.”

      It sounds like an excuse a man might enlist to assuage his conscience when he knows he’s done something wrong. Women should be realistic about men and understand that some of them are just users. BUT, I think part of being a genuine stand up guy is NOT messing with a girl unless you have her best interest in mind.

      Being a STANDUP guy is overrated/bullsh*t in my book. Women want STANDUP dudes only when it is for their benefit. But most are not in the business of reciprocation.

      It’s time we start taking better care of our community. We’ve got to stop treating love, dating & marriage like a game.

      But love/dating/marriage IS A GAME. And that is not ever going to change. You have to manipulate here, and poke there, and use LEVERAGE anywhere necessary. Necessary evil.

      Game is all good, when it is in your favor, but when the game shifts…

      We’ve got to stop treating each other like commodities. #letscleanitup #lessonsfromtrayvon

      Stop invoking Travyon/Till into the conversation. Be attractive/valuable & choose well & you’ll be fine.

      1. "But love/dating/marriage IS A GAME."

        We have the power to change the way it IS in our community. King, X, Mandela – these men were about how it *should* be, not how it is. I think we have GOT to stop doing the bare minimum. And IMO, it's going to have to start with men. (lol, I know you're not going to like that).

        "Stop invoking Travyon/Till into the conversation. Be attractive/valuable & choose well & you'll be fine."

        Yikes, I hope it doesn't look like I'm trying to use that poor boy's death to let women off the hook for being responsible for themselves. That's not my intention. A lot of people responded to his death by blaming black entertainment (hip-hop/sports stars etc). While I think most of that is BS, especially in the case of Trayvon, I couldn't help but notice that children in our community are struggling to know what's good/bad/ugly. When I look at stupid stuff/people on TV, I call it stupid. But women just a few years younger than me are *imitating*. While hip-hop artist are merely expressing their life in their lyrics, some young men are pulling their pant down and acting like violence is cool. Yikes. I think the passage of wisdom and good sense happens from one generation to another, in the family. And parts of learning from Trayvon's tragedy for me, has been trying to do my part to make our families better.
        My recent post Proverbs 31: A Life Worth Living?

      2. "Being a STANDUP guy is overrated/bullsh*t in my book. Women want STANDUP dudes only when it is for their benefit. But most are not in the business of reciprocation."

        I hear where you're coming from. Why should men have to be standup to women who aren't reciprocating? Logically, it doesn't make sense and no one wants to end up with the short end of the stick & a "nice guy" label.

        All I can do is encourage you to persist in being the best man you can be no matter how women act – because it's what's right to do. I can even give you conclusive evidence on *why* it's the right things to do. It just is, and you should do it.

        maybe do it for your future children?

        IMO, I needed my father to be a stand-up guy in order to recognize what a good guy looked like when I met my husband. & perhaps your daughter will too. You're fooling yourself if you think that you're going to spend years being a D**K and then turn it all around for your kids when you have them. Being a good man takes years of work. And it's not over rated. It's what our community desperately needs.
        My recent post Proverbs 31: A Life Worth Living?

    3. Purposefully ignoring your response for many reasons, I have one thing to say: leave Travon hash tags out of the conversation. His name should not be used to make irrelevant and absurd correlations.

  2. I think it depends on the stage of the “relationship”

    If they're just dating then after I say about 3 months I believe it’s the woman’s fault. If a guy isn’t giving you what you want after a few months find someone else, if you decide to wait longer for someone that isn't committed to you, that's on you. It gets a little more complicated once you’re in a relationship for a few years. Then he could possibly lead you on forever.

    1. So why do you say after 3 months? What's an appropriate amount of time for a man to ask a woman to be his girl? After 5 dates, 2 weeks, and etc..Just curious.

    2. Then he could possibly lead you on forever.

      I don’t get this… Lets compare to jobs because people love jobs vs relationship analogies. If someone wants a promotion and your job either: A) never offers you one or B) continues to kick the can down the road with promises of a “promotion” at an undetermined period, is the job leading you on?

      It seems like the job is being pretty forthright and honest here. Forever is a long time to wait for a promise, especially one that goes unfulfilled year after year. I guess I just can’t buy into the idea of someone being “lead on” indefinitely.

  3. There was a time I'd love to sign up for the 18 month plan! Lol like most things brotha, this leaving thing is easier said than done for women. I think the amount of time a woman stays with a dude with an ambiguous status of relationship may depend on her own history. Maybe some ladies don't know when to go yet. Just a thought. Love the topic.

  4. I think a man can pull a facade over a woman as long as he has the energy to do so. You all may do everything a couple does without a commitment and to some this may be okay. But in the mist of that 3,6,9, or 12 month long affair.. there will be several signs that he isn't serious at all about you. Some women just tend to ignore the facts.
    My recent post Is Shacking Up Really Ideal?

  5. I guess it comes down to what do you think is leading on:

    1. If we mess around and we are doing everything that a bf and gf does, but he/she keeps saying they need more time to commit or they are giving hints that they want to be in a relationship, but never follow through. That to me is a situation of leading on, because you have so many people saying "enjoy the ride! why rush". Not to mention if this person got out of a tough breakup or a divorce or some life changing issue, you'd be more likely to fall back and just enjoy the flow because you don't want to be "that guy/gal".

    Solution: Leading. State what you want, see if they can't give you a straight answer. If they won't comply with your needs, then move them to friendzone.

    2. If i tell you i don't want to be with you romantically, but yet we still kick it and go out to dinner, and i accept your gifts/services in the meanwhile that could be perceived as "leading on" Now, with that being said, I think that person who said they weren't interested should allow some space before they continue to be friends (that's just me looking out for people though, so move at your own speed), but that person did tell you what they meant up front and at that point you should have adjusted accordingly.

    Solution-Not Leading. Fault is on the person who didn't take that no and got out of dodge.

    At the end of the day, we are all responsible for ourselves, and sometimes we hope that others will step up and be mindful of their actions, but sometimes they are not. We as people have to put our foot down and know when to hold and when to fold.
    My recent post A real woman knows a real man always comes first

  6. I’m Smilez_920. I know some people are going to think 1-4 months isn’t enough time. I will add that it depends on what stage in the relationship ship you guys are in. If you’re in the “early dating/talking stage” then 1-4 months you should be able to tell if someone isn’t matching words with actions. Now if you guys are already in a relationship, of course it will be a little longer.

    Do men lead women on: Yes, Some men lie and try to deceive women so they can use them? But at some point the responsibility falls on the woman to care about her self enough to leave the man alone. Of course there are men out there who are good guys and won’t lead a woman on. But there are also guys who aren’t like that and will use whatever woman is around.

    1. Let’s be honest, most women know when their in a jacked up situation. Those women stay in those situations because their in love with the dream that was sold and won’t look at reality. They let hope, and not wanting to be lonely keep them in a bad situation. Heck look at” Single Sam” she aid she saw red flags in the beginning, he told her he lived with his baby mother, he never called only text and he only came over for chex, yet she continued to mess with him until she was ready to let it go.

  7. You cannot sell me in feminist/pro women environment, that women are just dumb & don’t know the deal.

    But the problem is, they are just being entitled/greedy in this situation.

    They already have the man they want, & he is treating you well (some of y’all love being Tina Turner incarnate), enjoy it while it lasts. You got 80%, stop chasing the other 20%. Be thankful & sit down.

    Another issue here is that most people/women don’t go hard when it comes to dating. They really expect the near-perfect scenario to happen to them, without doing any improvement on their part.

    That plays into today’s dating woes.

    Good day.

    1. So in your scenario, 80% is a decent relationship, and the 20% women should let go is marriage.

      I think when people speak of the 80/20 idea, they mean the guy is handsome, fit, financially secure, loves his mom, but he's only 5'7". In that scenario, you might want to hold onto your 80% and forgo the 20% of a 6'4" version of your guy.

      Many people think of marriage as a deal breaker for spending serious, long-term time together, kids, buying houses, etc. So if you don't get marriage, that denies you of other things you'd like, so that's giving up more than 20%.

      Just a thought.

      1. @KitKatCuty84

        80/20 can mean alot different things across life. But the 80% is what you need or value the most, and the 20 is what you want, but what you can do without.

        Now, I operate in the modern dating context.

        Women ONLY want to deal with dudes romantically that they find attractive.

        And the way the dating market is set up. Women tend to want to romantically involve themselves among a small group of attractive men.

        That is why I say, if you can get a guy you want to at least commit to you & your children informally, be thankful & sit down.

        If you need to have a ring, you are going to have to dive in the “boring dutiful provider” pool.

        Good day.

  8. 18 months is waaaay too long.

    If something's off with a guy I'm talking to…or we aren't on the same page…I usually get that feeling within a 2-8 weeks! I'm 32 though, lol. As a younger CO81, I was still only attracted to men that showed lots of interest…so I was never led on. Now, I believe I've been led on in the midst of a couple official relationships…but that's a different monster, LOL.

    No, a man can't lead a woman on too long. Once she's aware that he's questionable, she has a choice to accept it and bounce or ignore it and stay. If she ignores it, it's on her.

      1. I'd like to know guys' take on this deadline. Is expecting a ring after 18 months an over 30 thing? Same for under 30? There should be a post on this. Like, what about the guys that aren't INTENTIONALLY leading a woman on, and they think everything's great, but they aren't "progressing" forward in the relationship. Is that leading a woman on at that point, just taking their time, just "enjoying the present", or something else?

        1. Kitkat, personally I know what I expect from a man. If Im into him and Im marriage minded, I refuse to be in a relationship 24 months or longer without a proposal.

          Of course, I cant answer this for a man, but I would say that if a man knows he wants to spend the rest of his life with his woman than 18 months isnt a long time to pop the question.

        2. It may be different for me cause I've been there, done that…have kids to prove it…

          …but, I think I'll need 3-4 yrs coupled, and a year engaged.

          Forever is a mighty long time, and forget him…I want to be sure! Lol…

        3. I see your point in this but…..i just cant agree

          A man can see himself with a woman for life, but personally, if i feel I am not ready to be a husband within 18 months im not proposing. Thats if too, because you very well can feel ready within that time frame. All about timing.

          So you meet a guy, and you knew for a fact he is the one. then (whatever time frame you decide to do this) lay down the law of 18 months, are you gona propose? He then says, "i will propose to you when the time is right." You dippin out on em?

        4. He then says, "i will propose to you when the time is right." You dippin out on em?

          Yes Im dipping and Im going to tell you why. I personally refuse to be the 5 year gf. My last serious relationship ended after 25 months because he was dragging his feet. It wasn't so much that I knew in my heart that he was ready to be married but I knew he still wanted to live the single life. Now there are negotiables and I am willing to wait (cant say how long) if he is dead serious about getting married– but is dealing with issues unforseen.

          Other than that, Im not bending my rules. 2 years max for an engagement and 1 year engaged. If a man can't respect that… I dont need him.

        5. Ok that i can understand, but just to clarify my question was under the notion that the guy is ready and willing to marry you, committed( not wanting the single life) and all…..just not within 2 years for whatever reason.

          So in other words you WOULD wait longer…..for the right guy?

        6. The fact you just hit a man with a deadline pretty much deads that event happening anywhere close to that date, and thats even if he stays. Regardless of age group, you should be looking for a significant other to spend the rest of your life with, not looking for marriage.

          I didnt know you needed a ring for a relationship to…….progress forward…..or is that just me?

        7. Dating —> Relationship —> Committed relationship —> Engaged —> Married

          This is what many people think when they think of the "progression" of a relationship. There could be other steps of moving in together, or buying a pet, but these are the big ones.

        8. If I could take out the first instance of Relationship, I can 100% cosign this, lol.

          I don't think I'm down to agree to "date exclusively" anymore. Either we're in a committed relationship or I'm still single. Dating, committed rela, engaged, then married…that's my take. This, and thoughts concerning timelines (if any) should be discussed up front. That's how you can avoid being led on here…

        9. 2 things (or maybe we should take this down to WIMs thread lol)

          1. relationship—>comitted relationship??? whoa!! so many ppl think its normal to hop into a relationship without wanting to be comitted? that just blew my mind

          2. strictly looking at a comitted relationship. (and i only say this because most women will say "we have no progression in this relationship, when a man doesnt propose) doesnt the relationship progress kind of alot though time. I never got this thought process

        10. I personally believe that as soon as it's called a relationship, it's committed, and I'm clear on that with my guy, but I split it in two parts for those out there that do the exclusive dating thing or whatever. I don't know about this, but I've heard it exists. Sounds like dragging feet to me.

          And yes, a relationship is progressing over time, but the time between dating and engaged isn't FOREVER. For some women, it can be 18 months. For others, 4 years. But it's not like you can be progressing towards marriage forever and then get engaged on your deathbed. That's generally not the progression.

        11. I was with my ex-fiancée for almost two years before I proposed (I was 19 and she was 17), and let's just say Miscommunication, Misunderstandings and Expectations of Others made a fissure between she and I- the Two People IN our Relationship. One thing led to another, I Cheated and became a Father out of it. Three Years later, two of my ex-fiancée's friends got Engaged and Married themselves- at 20 and 19, ironically.

          I've already owned up to my infidelity and role in the dysfunctions and end of my relationship, my ex-fiancée and I are still Best Friends and still Love each other, but Life, Parenthood and our Career Paths has her in Hawaii and I back in our hometown. The Decision of Marriage lies with the Couple, not Friends, not Families or anyone else.

        12. wow, that sounds very similar to my current situation. I'm under 30, and I'm in a relationship where I can't complain about a thing, but I feel we're not progressing. We've discussed this before, and are attempting to rectify the issue. We're learning about each other, and we've come to the consensus that if we can't progress within the next few months we'll shake hands and go our separate ways. Since then I've never been happier with her. But still, we struggle to progress 🙁 So to answer your question, I think that we're taking time. Under 30 I think 18 months is doable. After 30, hell I dunno I'll tell you when I get there.

      2. As a divorced lady who rushed in, let me assure you that 18 months is a tad fast. There are exceptions to this but most situations are not exceptions.

        Depending on how long you dated unoffically, it can take at least a year to fully wave bye-bye to all remnents of "the representative". It takes a few cycles of life to really know who someone is when they are broke, mourning, angry, depressed, etc. You really need to see some of that stuff before you decide whether or not this is your husband/wife. Situations/life experiences reveal so much about character that mere conversations cannot. Wait for them…then decide.

        1. I agree with the idea of doing your due diligence, but I also think there's no way to completely know what marriage will be like beforehand, so what is dating indefinitely really accomplishing, after a certain point. Like, how long of a test drive is really reasonable for something as unpredictable as marriage and a future with one person?

          For example, often babies come after marriage. If I've been with my guy for five years, through sadness, anger, finance troubles, etc., and then we get married and have a kid, how did any of that prepare us for children? It didn't. Some things have to happen before you can know.

          And however long before a guy pops the question, whether he was dragging his feet, things progressed naturally or they were rushed is a matter of someone's perspective. I used to say one year for me without seriously talking about the future meant there was a problem. I've seen people wait four and leave with nothing. I don't know what my current limit is, but I'm hoping it doesn't get to that, lol.

        2. There is never a guarantee…but, personally, I still feel like the more you know, the better. Better to go in with your eyes open about as much as possible than to talk about "oh, I didn't know" later on.

          …and you babysit together. A neice, nephew, god-child, lol. Grab a baby, toddler…hang with a teenager and listen to the convo. You can learn a lot ahead of time, trust me.

          Again, it's no guarantee. But, there's no guarantee you'll get a job after you get a degree either…you should probably still go to college though, lol. I'd rather be over-prepared than under-prepared any day.

        3. I've also been divorced so this isn't coming from someone who is quick to rush into another marriage. However if you are spending 4-5 days a week with someone or even possibly living together, I think 18 months is a long enough period of time to contemplate being engaged.

          An engagement is special between two people.. but you can still wash your hands of that if a situation should arise that you dont want to deal with. And being that Im a lot older than I was when I first married. I know what I want and I wont compromise.

          Dating for a long period of time does not guarantee a successful marriage. I've seen proof of that.
          My recent post Is Shacking Up Really Ideal?

        4. There's proof both ways, honestly. Still, again…I'd rather be over-prepared than under-prepared.

          Also, with me being a parent, I'lll never live with someone prior to engagement…which makes this process take longer.

      1. *digs in bag of experiences*

        1. Over time, you realize he only calls in the early morning or late at night or you only talk when you're both busy (at work, out, etc.)
        2. Me: Do you have a gf? Him: I'm not married…I date. Me: You do know that "I'm not married…I date" does not mean that you do not have a gf, right? Him: Yes, I know…
        3. He brings up chex/overtly chexual jokes/tries to touch you in a rela zone (lower back, thigh) too soon
        4. He's not offering much info about himself and isn't really asking any deep questions about you either

        …you know, stuff like that…lol

    1. No, a man can’t lead a woman on too long. Once she’s aware that he’s questionable, she has a choice to accept it and bounce or ignore it and stay. If she ignores it, it’s on her.

      That’s all I’m saying. I’m not even saying a man is right for making and not fulfilling his promises BUT I can’t condone a woman sitting idly by waiting for some man to define her life either. That just doesn’t make sense to me, especially with all this “independent woman” rhetoric. Also, I personally think its a minority of men making false promises about the future. I think the fact of the matter is that the majority of men are pretty clear – in words, actions or both – that they do not want a commitment (with you or period) and most women just simply choose to ignore this because they think he will change their mind (for her) or she can do all these relationship-like activities while not catching relationship-like feelings. I’m not saying that can’t occur, but it seems to be a social experiment that far too many men and women fail.

    2. "If something's off with a guy I'm talking to…or we aren't on the same page…I usually get that feeling within a 2-8 weeks!" Me too Cyn. Doesn't take long at all and it ain't hard to tell.

  9. 18 months is how long it took me to get out of an abusive relationship and reveal the whole thing to my friends and family.

    If you're just talking a normal situation where you're dating and you claim not to be able to tell the guy's motives, I think you should know after three months. There have definitely been signs of true intentions by then, whether you're under or over 30. If you ignored them, you had to live with your choice but you knew you were ignoring the signs by three months.

    In my OK Cupid days, I'd give it about ONE month before I started closing up shop. I was over all the ambiguity. You wanna see other women? Go for it. Ain't nobody got time for that.

  10. Above KitKatCuty84 posted: Like, what about the guys that aren't INTENTIONALLY leading a woman on, and they think everything's great, but they aren't "progressing" forward in the relationship. Is that leading a woman on at that point, just taking their time, just "enjoying the present", or something else?

    I think this is an excellent question, so I'm starting a new thread. IDK if I could write a full-post on this, because I think most men and most women see this differently – and I'm not sure either is wrong. Based on my observations, men are perfectly content being a in a relationship without a specific direction. In fact, the #GreatMaleSurvey I posted last month (https://www.singleblackmale.org/2013/07/18/greatmalesurvey-2013-askmen-captures-mens-thoughts-on-women-sex-and-relationships/) found: 68% of Men Would Continue Dating a Woman They Don’t See as “Wife Material”

    Women, don't seem as open to this option. Meaning, it seems, women prefer to be in relationships that have a direction of some kind, usually ending in commitment (of some kind, not necessarily marriage). So, honestly, the whole "leading on" thing seems defined by women.

    Ironically, I seriously doubt women would be as sympathetic or eager to find excuses for this situation if the roles were reversed. If a man was chasing after a woman for 12, 18 or forever months, I doubt women would say "well, a woman can lead a man on forever. Women are sneaky. Women lie and mislead and blah blah blah."

    I'm pretty sure most would tell that man to "man up" and move on. Regardless, I would be interested to see people's response to Kat's question to see if follow-up post is needed.

    1. This is what I was talking about in my initial comment…being led on while in a few relationships. I think it can happen in a few ways. Now, if either the gf/bf is being HONEST about where or who they are, this does not apply…cause you can then opt out if necessary. But, if they are not being honest, this can be categorized as leading your partner on to believe that its going some place that it never will or that you are someone other than who you present yourself to be.

      1. Thanks for the context @ CO81 and @ KitKat. I was def operating under the belief that (most) men are honest about their intentions – at least as it pertains to whether they want a committed relationship or not. The most obvious sign that a man doesn't want a committed relationship, in addition to communication? THE FACT THAT HE HAS NOT COMMITTED TO YOU – however you define the commitment you are seeking. For instance, if you claim you want a marriage and a man won't marry you, how is there any confusion about what he does or does not want? I'm lost on that front.

        Again, I must repeat that if a man says he wants "X" and his actions consistently say "1" THAT is also an indication. Per usual, people can do whatever they want but WisdomIsMisery cannot and will not buy into the idea that a man can lead a woman on forever.

        I. Just. Cant. Do. It.

        1. Well, it takes time for people to appear inconsistent. Now, outside of marriage, I'm pretty strict on a 3 strikes policy concerning broken agreements: 1. We discuss it again, 2. I remind you one last time of what we agreed to, 3. I'm out…cause either you're lying or retarded. But, that's easy cause we have no bills, kids, etc. For those that aren't as lucky though…or who are committed to making it work, they give chance after chance. And, you can't fault someone for hoping that the next time would be different, you know?

          But, if you're married, there is no strike policy…or there shouldn't be. So, you're def giving chance after chance. Again, if a party isn't being honest, they're leading you on. At some point, though, you def realize they are not being honest and you need to make some decisions. If a persons actions don't line up with their words around the year/18 mos mark, you may need to start heading for the exit…or at least counseling. This entire comment is only for those already in committed relationships/marriages…

        2. Here is what happens in real life and in real time. In the beginning you meet each others representatives. Later on as time goes by stuff gets a bit more real and honest. It takes time so really learn a person. You can know a person for a decade and not know all of their secrets and the skeletons in their closet. If a person truly wants to keep something from you, they will do just that and you won't find out unless u probe and become I Spy Private Eye or until they decide to tell you the truth. I agree Wis that women should take more responsibility for themselves and their choices. At the same time, what you may not realize because your not this type of man, and you don't know this type of man is this; What many fairly good & decent men do is tell women what they want to hear to get what they want. Steve Harvey said on his show, if man knows a woman likes dogs, he will go out and get her a dog because thats what she likes. He will use everything she says she likes and wants to get what he wants if he namely wants sex.

        3. This is whats wrong on the mans side. Someone on SBM has mentioned that a woman can start off as a 9 or 10 in a mans eyes and lose points and go down to a 5 because of what she says or does. Most men won't outright tell a woman that he is no longer interested after dating her for 4 or 5 months and finding out stuff that are dealbreakers for him. Or maybe that man decides to give the woman the benefit of the doubt because overall he really likes her, but the deal breakers overrule and he ends up pulling away and disappearing.

        4. The reality is many men and women Do Not tell each other the truth about how they really feel more often than not. I agree with holding women accountable, however, I would challenge the men to be held accountable too for being more forthcoming with how they feel as feelings change.
          My ex admitted to me that he continued to sleep with a woman he knew he wouldn't commit to, knowing she liked him and wanted to be with him. When I asked him as soon as he knew she was not the woman for him why didn't he tell her instead of continuing to sleep with her and then moving on and slipping out of her life. He said she was a good girl and he didn't want to hurt her feelings. This phenomenon of people not telling other people cold hard truths is more common than u probably realize Wis.

        5. Its a universal problem that won't be fixed overnite. In fact many people will be this way for the rest of their lives because its all they've ever known and they don't know how to be any other way.
          I think you and some others on here have also said that men don't owe women any explanations if they are not in a serious relationship with them when they decide to end things and move on.
          The problem with that is, if you do that with all the women u just "date" and dip out on them with no explanation how will they ever know what was wrong? How will they be aware of their issues if you and nobody else ever tells them and makes them aware of the whys?
          I agree and learned from the men in my family at an early age, that if a mans actions don't line up with his words then 9 times out of 10 he's bsing. However, another reality is that many times that woman has fallen In Love with that man, so that makes it much harder to let go.

        6. Real life situations are like this – a man is with a woman and he does commit to her but never gives her a ring. This goes on for almost a year. The woman wants to be with this man. She loves him, he has her heart. He gives her 101 excuses that are perfectly masked as reasons why he hasn't proposed.
          Some are good legit reasons, others are fear of taking that step to marriage and him wanting to be sure that she is the right one for him. Now its into year 2 and still no ring. The woman does bring it up and state clearly what she wants. The man tells her not to pressure him and rush him. You would agree that the man shouldn't be rushed and pressured into marriage no matter how long he has been with a woman, right? Now then its almost year 3.
          Honestly we as individuals cannot put timelines on other peoples lives and say when its right for them or not. We need to stay focused on our own timelines. What works for some doesn't work for others.

    2. I didn't realize you'd created another thread before I responded above. I'm flattered I get my own thread. LOL. I agree with you and with CO81.

      CO81 suggests that whatever amount of time that has passed, you're only being led on if you're being DECEIVED about intentions, not if you know them and stay.

      You suggest that whoever wants the relationship to progress is the one being led on, even if it's unintentional, with the other person content with the status quo.

      I think the solution to both issues is communication. If the guy openly says he doesn't see a future and you do, you should put a period on the relationship. If you feel enough time has passed in a holding pattern for you to move to the next step, and the other person doesn't, then you should have a conversation and maybe you have to put a period on the relationship.

      The latter is more difficult, because nothing, supposedly, "went wrong"; one person just needed more time than the other was willing to give. I think this could FEEL like being led on because with time, comes an expectation of the future if the relationship has been going well up to that point, but it might just be things not working out, due to conflicting time tables.

      1. But you shouldn’t blame people for not meeting your expectations. And sometimes when we say “he/she lead me on” were really saying we created a certain expectation for this person to meet by a certain time and they didn’t so now I’m disappointed.

    3. MAN as soon as i saw that i jumped on it lol. so dont mean to repeat but ill just take what i said earlier

      The fact you just hit a man with a deadline pretty much deads that event happening anywhere close to that date, and thats even if he stays. Regardless of age group, you should be looking for a significant other to spend the rest of your life with, not looking for marriage. You can interpret this how ever you want but simply put, whether its 3 months, 18 mnths, or 5 years "im not proposing if I am not ready to be a husband to you."

      P.S. I didnt know you needed a ring for a relationship to…….progress forward…..or is that just me?

    4. @KitKat. I think it’s very rare that someone unintentionally leads another person on. In your example it looks like to people are dating, the man is happy about where the situation is. The woman feels she’s being lead on because the situation isn’t progressing in the “direction” she wants’ it to go into. That’s not leading on that’s “not seeing eye to eye” or not being on the same page. At this point it’s the man and woman needs to be honest with each other about where they stand.

      Woman: Should tell him how she feels and where she would like this situation to go. If his answer isn’t satisfactory she needs to make a choice, wither leave or stay.

      Man: Should be honest about his intentions. If he’s not ready to progress to the next step let her know, and tell her he understands if she decides their current situation isn’t working for her. If he’s a stand up guy at that point he will respect whatever decision the woman makes. Even if she chooses to stay if he feels the situation isn’t healthy, he will remove himself.

  11. Speaking of ages and ish…

    So I remember reading this book called, 'Bitch is the New Black' and the author was talking about a guy she had been dating for eight years and how she had to come to the realization that there was no way to go from "nothing" to marriage.

    I was like, "It took you 8 years to figure that out? I want to shake this guy's hand."

    1. Shake his hand? HE needs to write a book of his own: The LEAD Principles.

      I guess my game isn't that good. I wish I could lead a woman on for 80% of a decade. I'm going about life all wrong brother.

  12. 18 months is a long time. I figure you should know in a seasons time (1-4 months) whether or not you want to put a title on something. It's not rocket science and provided you've been honest with yourself and your date about what it is you actually want, it should be a mature conversation. However, nothing is totally cut and dry so…yeah. Lol

  13. I've read every.single.comment. and it is clear to me that there is some Subjectivity when it comes to "leading on" and "not seeing eye to eye". 18 months is not to long nor to short IMHO because Courtship and Dating is like an Interview between two folks to decide if they have things in common and want to spend the rest of their lives together (depending on Age, 18 months may be Perfect, if older than 30 then 18mths is kinda short. Again this just me).

    If kids are involved ( and if the Other Parent is involved or not) makes the "time frame" even longer than 18 months, IMHO. We are talking about a Person's Life and Everything in it- Emotions, Accomplishments, Failures, Personalities, Spirituality, Sexuality, Education, etc. Heck, a Year may SEEM Long, but next thing you know it passes and depending on if you had Goals and Didn't Accomplish them that same year would have passed Quick, Too Quick for Some.

    Bottom Line, a Person has Morals and Ethics that they can Give or Not Give to Others, and at the end of the day a Person has to be True to His/Herself. Take that how you want

  14. Like a previous poster said, we have to stop treating each other and our feelings as a game. Women, if a man shows/tells you that a commitment isn't what he wants from you, you have to believe that. I don't care how much history, friendship, or whatever is involved. For the health of your own heart, you have to believe that and keep it moving. You also can't have the mindset that just because you've developed feelings, that the man owes you anything. People have the freedom to love and feel as they please, and with whomever they please. It may hurt, but if you love that person you have to respect their freedom to choose even if it isn't you. Avoid that pain early on by paying attention.

    Men, regardless of not wanting to hurt a woman's feelings or not, you have to be clear about your intentions. I've seen situations where a woman has expressed that she wanted more from a man, and he still dealt with her knowing his feelings weren't the same. That is acting completely out of self, and just cold. Most of the time, all an emotionally healthy woman wants is the truth. You want to be in her life? Fine. You don't? Cool. But don't block the path for someone else who wants the same things she does just because you don't have the courage to be completely honest. Be that real A** guy you claim to be, make yourself clear, and align your actions with that.

  15. I’ve read a lot of posts and have seen a lot of “deadlines”. I hope that works out for the lot of you. This love thing is a delicate and fluid experience. So, the question becomes, do you want love, which has no rules or do you want marriage, which has a shit load of ‘em. You absolutely can have both but I’d rather have love first and foremost.
    I lost a great woman because I didn’t care to get married. I’m not against it fundamentally; I just don’t view it as a necessity of life. Like most women, she viewed it as “leading her on”. My argument is unchanged and that is that we and we alone define what our love is. To enter into love with a “built in” idea about what it should look like, is a flawed approach. Kudos to her and all who go away if it appears that you won’t get what you want but I’d rather women would just wear a “marry me” sticker and stop cloaking it in the idea of “love”.

  16. So this is off topic, but to the women in relationships, what did the guy do to impress you to take that extra step? Just curious…


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