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Why Aren’t You Married Yet?

by: Terry Hernon MacDonald
Is that the most annoying question, or what? Here’s a better one: Who fears commitment more, men or women?The media would have you believe that it’s men. Countless magazine and newspaper articles counsel women on how to “get a guy to commit,” but experience tells me that it’s women who are skittish about taking a relationship to the next level.

A career coach recently told me that her 29-year-old son has dated many women who are in no hurry to get married. “Women have so many options now that I didn’t have years ago,” she says. “Why should they hurry into marriage?”

“This doesn’t apply to me,” you may be saying (or shouting). “Of course I want to meet and marry a wonderful man!”

But it’s possible you do and you don’t. Perhaps you fear being stuck with a man who ultimately bores you. Or betrays you. Maybe you don’t want to give up your name, or don’t want to be the one “balancing” career and family.

Or perhaps the prospect of being responsible for writing 125 post-wedding thank-you notes makes you somewhat resentful (in which case, consider asking your husband-to-be to share the burden).

If you continually attract (and are attracted to) men who shun commitment, it’s possible that you’re attracting them for a reason. You know you’ll never have to face him at breakfast every morning, and therein lies his appeal.

So what do you do?

First, examine your feelings (after years of attracting unsuitable men, I came to realize that I’d done so for self-protective reasons). Hold your fears up to the light. Ask yourself how you can overcome them.

For instance, if you learn you’re terrified that your life will turn into a movie from Lifetime (i.e., you find yourself unwittingly married to a man with another family across town, an abuser, or a serial killer), make a decision to look beyond the car a man drives, or the things he may say to impress you.

Actions speak louder than words. Watch him. Listen to him. There’s no reason to get paranoid, but do be aware. Observe how he treats other people: children, other women, his parents. What are his friends like? Get to know them. Their behavior can tell you a great deal.

Casually ask questions (“casually” being the operative word here) and really get to know a man. Ask him general questions about his parents. What are they like? Ask him what he liked best about his childhood. Did his family eat dinner together, or did other activities force them to run in different directions?

There’s no need to interrogate the guy; being friendly and interested will provide the information you need to further the relationship. What’s more, you’ll keep your peace of mind.

If you discover that you fear being bored, overwhelmed, pressured into having children you don’t necessarily want, or losing your identity, then look for examples of happily married women.

Write your concerns on a piece of paper. For example, “Being responsible for taking care of a house, children, and a career would leave little time for me. I’d resent it. How can I be married and not be resentful?”

Over the course of the day (or the week), your subconscious will provide answers. Getting over your own fear of commitment may be the key to opening the door to the loving, exciting relationship you deserve.

About the Author
Terry Hernon MacDonald is the happily married author of “How to Attract and Marry the Man of Your Dreams.” Sign up for free dating tips at http://www.marrysmart.com . For Dating Advice (Almost) Daily, go to http://www.happygirlmusing.com

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