My girlfriend Pam had been dating Mark for 5 years. They were non-exclusive because whenever one of them wanted a commitment, the other one didn't. At the time, Pam was working in Austin and Mark was in L.A.
During one of her visits, Pam found an empty condom wrapper at Mark's place. She knew he was seeing other people, but she realized she was no longer OK with that and she was ready for a commitment. When she tried to discuss it with Mark, his response was to yell, “I'M NOT READY!”
She went back to Texas, changed her number and mentally prepared to move on. When Mark tried to contact her and couldn't reach her, he was hit with the realization that she was serious about a commitment.
He had lunch with several married friends, who convinced him he'd messed up. He missed Pam and didn't have much interest in any of the other women he was seeing. This prompted him to track Pam down and fly out to Austin.
While he wasn't yet ready for marriage, he was ready to take the next step and move in with her. Two years later he proposed and I was a bridesmaid at a beautiful wedding overlooking a cliff in Malibu. Mark says his only regret is that he didn't do it sooner!
My last example involves Stacey, who had been living with her boyfriend Jim for over three years and was ready to get married. When she had brought up the subject in the past, Jim didn't think it was time. He felt that things were going well, so why change?
Stacey had just turned 30 and was tired of calling him her boyfriend. When she went to visit a girlfriend out of town for a week, she was a bit envious that her single friend was able to do what she wanted, whereas, she felt she was stuck in limbo – she couldn't date, yet she wasn't married. She never called Jim while she was out of town and when he called her , he noticed she sounded different and asked if anything was wrong.
A month after she went back home, Jim proposed. The reason he waited that long was because he wanted it to be special and had to do some planning. When I asked him what finally prompted him to pop the question, he said that when Stacey was gone he noticed what was missing from his life and wanted to move to the next step.
I want to point out that in each situation, there was no intentional manipulation involved. The women were thinking about themselves and what they wanted. They were tired of waiting and were ready to move on, with or without their man.
I don't recommend following any of the examples I've given unless you are being true to yourself. If you really are ready to move on, then do it. However, don't do it if you think it will make the guy come running after you or make him finally propose, because if he doesn't and you go back with him, you've lost all credibility.
To quote Sugar Ray, “When it's over, that's the time I fall in love again.”
REMEMBER: Love inspires, empowers, uplifts and enlightens.
Write to Lucia at: www.theartoflove.net .
Watch Lucia's show, “The Art of Love,” on Adelphia Public Access (channels 43, 77 & 98) on Thursday, Aug. 31 at 8 p.m.
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