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Sad woman, preoccupied man

The Stolen Years

Freaky Friday: Every Friday a new post dealing with love, relationships, dating...and anything else the human soul may need answered.

Picture this: A woman is in a relationship with a man. They've been living together for a few years now. She's been wondering when they will get married. The years pass, and they continue to live together unmarried. Finally after seven years or so, and at almost 40 years of age, she breaks off the relationship. Six months later, he is married to someone else.

 I hear of this happening all the time. So much so that it's really started to bother me. The woman usually becomes bitter because she gave the "best" (baby making) years of her life away to a man who wouldn't fully commit. It is what I refer to as 'The Stolen Years'.

Why stay with someone if he has no interest in marrying you?  Sure, it's fine if that's what you want as well. Though I find that 95% of the women I meet end up wanting to get married,  even if they started the relationship thinking otherwise. Their minds change, and then they find themselves in love with someone who doesn't want to commit. And why would he? The man has everything he desires: a woman at home, without any obligations on paper.

How does one avoid the pitfalls of the stolen years?

First off, don't move in together before you're engaged or married. Don't play house. You're worthy of more. Don't move in to save money. You can find a roommate if that's the case.

Plus, statistically, you're more likely to get divorced if you live together before you're engaged. Don't move in together until there is a true commitment. Don't play the game with him or yourself of "but how will I know if I can live with them?"  Trust me, you can figure that one out easily. Spend time with him. Get to know him. Travel with him. You'll find out soon enough if you're compatible. Don't waste years of your life waiting for someone to make up his mind.

From my experience, when a man knows, he knows and he will do what it takes. I've had over 10 men propose marriage to me. Some of them I wasn't even in a relationship with but they knew they wanted to marry me.

Men know. And when they make their minds up in regard to marriage, it sticks. It's women who change their mind. It's women who question.

 So know your mind first before committing to a partner and have him show his level of commitment before you get to a year in the relationship. Typically men know pretty quickly, usually within a few months.

If you find yourself wanting to marry someone and there has been no discussion of marriage or your future by the time a year hits, you definitely need to broach the subject. If he starts making excuses or doesn't want to talk about it, this man doesn't feel the same way you feel and I suggest you hit the road.