In part two of author Enitan Bereola's "Getting the Groom" series, he gives advice on how to keep the man once you've snagged him.
Once you get your man, there poses another problem – how to keep him? Relationships don’t come with contracts. I recently read an article challenging the reality of relationships. The writer insinuated that if you’re not married, you’re single. This can be difficult for some women to accept, but the truth protects you from future pain.
Understanding that a boyfriend isn’t a husband is something that some women fail to realize. If you truly see your boyfriend as a potential husband, it’s best to communicate that early. Life requires goals, and relationships are no different. So don’t be afraid to communicate your intentions. If you insist on letting a man take the lead with the marriage-talk, then you may still be boyfriend and girlfriend 10 years down the line.
A man that has to be convinced to walk down the aisle isn’t a man you’d want to marry, but some relationships do require a little nudging. Even healthy couples aren’t immune to complacency. It’s sometimes necessary to turn up the heat when a man’s desire to pursue has diminished. I always say, chase her even when she’s yours. Here’s the plan:
Don’t be scared: You should be direct. A man will happily remain in a healthy relationship for years if the subject of marriage isn’t brought up. Bringing up wedding talk too early can scare a good man off, and bringing it up too late is like asking us to start paying for what you’ve been giving us for free. No need to drop hints. Let us know what you want when the relationship is progressing.
Turn up the heat: Sometimes we need the fire lit underneath our ass. If you’ve been direct about your romantic desires and years continue to pass without action, it’s time to turn up the heat. Start by taking away what I like to call Wife Privileges: sex, cooking, sleeping over, etc. A serious man will get the hint.
Remove doubt: I recently saw an online video of a man who proposed to his girlfriend in front of a large audience at a nightclub, only to be rejected and embarrassed. I witnessed a similar video of man proposing to his lady in the middle of a shopping mall accompanied by a Mariachi band and all. When the band decided they were finished, so did she. The man’s girlfriend walked away without a ring. Sometimes men are genuinely afraid of the response to a proposal. Before we embarrass ourselves, reassure us that in the event we ask, you would say yes.
Hold us accountable: After you’ve put all of the above plans in action, set a timeline. Don’t bring up marriage anymore. If your timeline is one year, then love us like you’ve never loved us before for that one year. If you don’t see a ring by January 1, 2000-and-whatever, leave.
After we come running back with the ring like Reggie Bush at the Super Bowl, maybe we’ll live happily ever after. …
– Enitan Bereola, II
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Enitan Bereola is the go-to style and etiquette impresario, public speaker and entrepreneur. He is also the author of the critically acclaimed BEREOLAESQUE: The Contemporary Gentleman & Etiquette book for the Urban Sophisticate. He is working on his follow-up, Guide to Ladies’ Etiquette from a Gentleman’s Perspective. Find him at his new website bereolaesque-online.com, or @bereolaesque on Twitter as well as his Facebook fan page