Josefa Holland-Merten

So here’s the scenario. You and your girl have been together for a couple of years. Things are going well. You’ve even talked about or are living together. One day out of the blue, she drops a “bombshell” on you – she’s ready to get engaged. Not only is she ready to get engaged – she expects a formal engagement in the next 30 days (side note: I’ve yet to figure out why 30 days is the standard timeline but that seems to be the going rate). What do you do? How are you supposed to respond to it? I mean, you are a man – you don’t want to be “dictated” to by anyone, let alone – a female.

First, let’s explore how you are feeling about her “ultimatum”. Do you feel like she is rushing you? That’s an understandable feeling. At the same, have you thought about how she is feeling? A million thoughts are going back and forth in your mind. But one question needs to be answered – are you ready?

My grandparents were married almost 60 years at the time of my grandfather’s passing. I remember asking my grandfather what what made him want to marry my grandmother. His answer was simple. After dating for some time, she became the most important person in his life; the first person he thought about in the morning and the last person he thought about before he went to bed at night. He believed in his heart that she was without question the one. So he asked her to marry him. Of course, she said yes and the rest his history.

Those stories are few and far between nowadays. Society’s general view of marriage has changed. That, coupled with an individual’s views of dating and relationship roles being incredibly varied make the idea of getting married almost laughable in some instances. It has become acceptable in some circles to simply love some one and be committed to them without having to get a license that says so. But it is not about a societal view – it is about you and what you want. For you, for her, for your relationship and your future.

Let’s talk about you for a moment. You’ve been in the relationship for some time. Honestly, everyday is not perfect but all in all you enjoy being together. Have you reached a point where you can see yourself only with her? Does she make you want to be the man you can be? What do you think of her as a woman? Have you formulated what you want in a mate long term? What are your views of marriage? During the course of dating her, have you thought about your future? Was/Is she a part of it? All questions to consider as ponder her “ultimatum”.

What about her? Part of being a man in a general is the ability to look at things from a logical point of view – doing your best to separate emotion out of making smart assessments. Is she ready to get engaged? Has she shared with you her thoughts about you as man? What are her views of marriage? What has she said to you in the past about the future of the relationship? It is a good chance that she’s been thinking about the future of you and her for some time, so the “ultimatum” isn’t out of left field for her.

And your relationship? Is it ready for the next step? Are each of you prepared for everything that comes with the next step? Do you each share the same vision for your relationship? It is vital to ensure that you have a common vision for your relationship and it’s future before you can truly determine whether or not you are ready to take to the next step.

Typically, there are two types of dating women: those who date for fun and those who date for future. The types depend on several co-factors including: how she grew up, her age, kids (whether she has them or wants them), her circle of friends, her career aspirations, her spiritual beliefs (if any), her previous relationships etc. You better know if her priorities are based in securing a good time or a good guy. Chances are she’ll spell that out sooner than later. If she’s clear about what she ultimately wants early and you make the choice to stick around – you’ve ultimately told her you’re on board.

But back to the issue at hand. The 30-day “ultimatum”. You may have noticed the word “ultimatum” in quotations throughout the duration of this article. Ultimatum is defined as a final demand or statement of terms, the rejection of which will result in retaliation or a breakdown in relations. So ask yourself – Is what she is requesting an ultimatum or is she’s merely making what she wants known based on where she feels you’ll are in your relationship?

So what to do now? Well, start with processing how you feel about the request. In her request, do you believe that she is trying position herself to trap you or treasure what you have together long term? Then look closely at you, her, your relationship and your future. Are each of those entities ready for the change that will inevitably come with taking the very serious step of getting engaged? Be honest with yourself and make a decision and tell her. Even if it’s not the outcome she was hoping for, at least she and you will know that you were straight up with her. Ahh!!!! The 30-Day Ultimatum – now what are you going to do?

People who strive to change the world don't take the high road; they build it - @MaxwellWStyles