The 4 Big Mistakes That Get In The Way Of The Commitment You Want
Posted by Girls Guide To on June 24, 2012 at 5:00 PM
How many of you have been here before? You and your boyfriend have been dating for quite some time. You are totally in love and know that this man is the one you want to spend your life with. You have a secret wedding pin board and you already know where you’re going to put your couch in your dream house. You maybe have even gone to a friend’s wedding and had conversations like, “well, at our wedding, we’ll do this,” or, “our kid would never do that.” They make your heart go all a-flutter don’t they?
So one day you bring up the idea of where the relationship is going, because like you told him early on in the relationship, you’d like to get married and have kids. He says that’s his intention too and he’d be surprised if you weren’t engaged by the end of the year. Well that ball drops and there’s no ring in sight. Instead, you got the “speech” about how he “wasn’t ready.” That he needed more time, and if you really cared about him, you’d give him some space.
You’re stunned, right? He’d not only worked so hard to start a relationship with you, but he actually said he had the future in mind! In this situation, it’s hard not to feel totally, completely, utterly trapped. You don’t have a clue how to get yourself out of the mess and into the married life you want.
But here’s the truth. Once you get past that uncomfortable first week (you know the one I mean, where awkward silences stretch out and you just know you’re driving him away, even though you aren’t bringing up the subject of “commitment”) you start to realize…it’s not all one-sided here. You’d been making some serious mistakes. Mistakes many women make.
Mistake #1: Focusing On Events, Not Feelings
We women are taught to believe that events, and the time we “put in,” mean something to a man. If he’s introduced us to his family or friends at work we’re on cloud nine. We think of these as “milestones” moving us closer to commitment and marriage. And we couldn’t be more wrong.
Time means nothing to a man. Sometimes, being in a comfortable holding pattern with us is exactly what he has in mind! They spend time with us, but then they go and commit to someone else.
This is a superficial level that will never lead to a lifelong commitment.
Mistake #2: Thinking Exclusive = Committed
How many of you have been comfortable in a relationship, only to have the man you are with meet someone else, or tell you he’s “found someone who really gets me.” How can it be that a man who is exclusive with you can “fall for” someone else so easily? It’s because he was not committed to you.
Oftentimes, women focus on getting a man to be exclusive - but this is only a temporary state. Instead, you need to focus on getting him committed to you. When that happens, he’ll be exclusive AND won’t “fall for” another woman ever again.
Mistake #3: Talking About Your Relationship, Not Creating It
Often when women feel their man becoming distant, they decide to talk to him about it. To ask how he’s feeling, why he’s acting this way, or where the relationship is going.
When you talk to a man about your relationship, you have the opposite effect on him than you intend. Though we often hear men say how much they hate how “emotional” women are - this is exactly the part they crave. They are so stuck in their brains, so much of the time, that if we’re stuck in ours, they can’t connect to us.
Every time we talk about the relationship, it feels to him like a laundry list of to do items instead of inspiring a man to want to be with us.
Mistake #4: You Panic… He Leaves
Because we know that “Lifelong-Commitment” is a frightening thing to a man, we’re often afraid to say or do anything that might scare him more.
It’s easy to get paralyzed by fear and anger and stop being ourselves. We try too hard. We stop being the fun, relaxed women who he originally fell for who made him happy. This takes us further away from the commitment we want.
So how do you make his desire to be with you stronger than his fear of commitment?
It’s surprisingly easy.
Just let it go. Stop trying. Remember Mistake #4…you started panicking and stopped having power over yourself and your emotions. Because you do get to choose how you feel. You can choose to be upset and wallow and make it worse, or you can choose to have control (even if you have to fake it). Focus on getting your sense of power back, instead of trying to get HIM. Instead of working so hard at the relationship, work hard on yourself and on the rest of your life.
Because here’s a secret: You’re going to be all right no matter what. If you stick to your own plan, you’ll have the relationship you want, even if it wasn’t with this guy.
When this happened to me awhile ago, I did just that. Mostly because I was so tired of caring, I just had to let it go for my own sanity. But that’s when things really started to change completely. In my mind, I became a prize he needed to pursue in order to “win,” rather than something he was already guaranteed to have for the rest of his life. And you know what, he started acting the same way.
I focused on making myself happy instead of trying to make him happy. I spoke to him like he was a friend, instead of like a potential husband. I’d somehow hit on something that worked, and I didn’t even know what that was! Here I was, more attractive to him than I ever was trying to make him happy.
Just try it. Nothing can make you feel worse, right? Not only will your guy notice a difference, you’ll notice it too. Instead of feeling sad and mopey and hurt and angry, you’ll be a woman who is happy and in control over her own life. Why wouldn’t you want to be that girl?