When a client complained to me about her boyfriend, saying that she can’t get him to commit, it was my job as a relationship coach to start asking questions. Turns out her idea of getting her boyfriend to propose to her involves giving him ultimatums. What she doesn’t understand is that resorting to such tactics will have the opposite effect and eventually drive him away.
When a woman uses manipulation in order to get her man to commit, a man-especially, one who is commitment-shy-has a tendency to withdraw. If a man suspects that what you really want is a wedding ring, he may start to feel that marriage is your only goal-in other words, you could be happily married to anyone. Since women usually want a commitment sooner in a relationship than men this push-pull dance is a big issue in love relationships.
Remember that ultimatums are the same as threats. Would you want to stay in a relationship with someone who is constantly threatening you?
Some women resort to using reverse psychology and take this to the opposite extreme, acting like they don’t really care whether they can get him to commit. This tactic ultimately backfires when the man starts to feel that his woman doesn’t really care about the relationship and so has no incentive to initiate the next step himself. Using reverse psychology will not get him to commit. It is just another form of manipulation.
So what does work?
First, let me give you some statistics. The numbers of married couples is rapidly declining. According to the New York Times, there are more women in the United States living without a husband than with one. In fact, this number is higher than ever before in history… currently, 5.9 million women live alone. But this is not just an issue in the U.S., this trend extends around the world. Although women are more independent than ever before, this does not mean that they do not want to share their lives with a man who loves and cherishes them. What are women doing wrong?
The short answer is-nothing. It’s not your fault if you don’t understand what your man needs to commit to marriage. It’s not your fault because no one has taught you about male psychology and because you’re getting all kinds of mixed messages from the media and from books that teach you certain ways to behave in order to get your man. Usually these books are based on some form of posturing or manipulation.
Think about it for half a second and you know that such techniques will not work. Why would you want to push your man to marry you? Don’t you want him to want you? Is it really love if you have to manipulate him to get him to commit? Can you really feel secure in a relationship in which you’ve tricked him to get what you want?
Using an ultimatum to get that much-coveted wedding ring is equivalent to committing relationship suicide. If you ever do give your boyfriend an ultimatum, it must come from an authentic place-it really must mean the end of the relationship if he is not ready to take the next step, not just a ploy to get him to commit. In other words, you must be prepared to pack your bags and walk out the door forever.
So now that you know that ultimatums won’t get your man to propose, take the time to find out what does work. Being yourself-being real and genuine-is essential to any healthy relationship. Learning more about male psychology, in particular, what a commitment-shy man needs in order to take the next step in a relationship is a good idea. When you understand what a man needs to feel secure and to feel like you are really The One, then you can get him to commit without him feeling like he’s been pushed into a corner. In fact, committing to you will actually bolster his self esteem and make him feel like more of a man-a man who is taking the next big step in life.
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