Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Wishing, Hoping, Dreaming

Remember that old Dusty Springfield song, "Wishing and Hoping." Part of it went like this:

Show him that you care just for him.
Do the things that he likes to do.
Wear your hair just for him,
cause you won't get him, thinking and praying,
wishing and hoping.
Hold him and kiss him and squeeze him and love him.
Just do it and after you do, you will be his

Really? Seriously? If only it was that easy!

Sometimes clients are in a relationship with a boyfriend/girlfriend who doesn't want to commit to marriage or who isn't ready. They often ask me how they know if they should wait it out or move on.

It's hard to answer that question, because just as there are a million different relationships, there are an equal number of factors that can enter into such a decision.

In general, though, here are some things to consider.

1) Is this person worth waiting for? Ask yourself, in general, if this person has all the qualities you want in a partner. Consider employment, character, personality, family relationship, desire for children, habits, legal issues, etc. If you are waiting for a person who has major issues that you hope will be changed by marriage, you need to realize that marriage will not change who they are.

2) How long have you been in this relationship? If you have been in a relationship for over two years and there is still no long-term commitment from your partner, then the relationship needs to be examined. I generally feel that after one year you should both know if this relationship will work or not.

3) Do you find yourself arguing over the lack of long-term commitment? Be careful of that. If you end up engaged because of pressure you have put on your partner, you may find yourself in one of two situations. First, you may have an angry partner who will (later on) complain that he/she was forced to marry you. Second, you may find yourself engaged for a very long time and the argument will no longer be about becoming engaged but rather about setting a wedding date.

Decisions to leave a relationship are painful for both people, but sometimes it is better to give yourselves a chance to start over with someone who will make a commitment rather than spend time and energy trying to talk someone into marrying you.