Sometimes I get awesome emails from young female readers about their relationship issues, and letting me know what they our younger generation is facing when it comes to dating problems.
This is not one of those emails. (Psyche!) 😛
This is a question posed from a site that I used to be an active commentator on in helping with marriage conflict and counseling, Enotalone.com. It’s a great question, and hopefully it will help any of you out there reading this that are interested in what you should do, or if you’re ever in this position.
“I’ve been with my boyfriend for 3 years. I’m in my late 20’s and he’s in his early 30’s. My boyfriend’s company recently offered him a position in one of their locations in India. The position comes with a rather large increase in salary and a new title. It’s a great opportunity for him but it’s in a different country and he doesn’t know how long they will want him there for. It will be at least a year but it could very well be longer.
He’s asked me to move there with him. I’m lucky that I can work remotely from anywhere so that isn’t a huge problem. It’ll be a hassle but it can work. But moving there will mean living in a place where I won’t know a single person, I don’t know the language or customs or anything. I don’t know what I will do with my house here or my car or anything. i feel like I would be giving up a lot. I’m ready to get married and start a family. At my age, I think this is perfectly reasonable.
However, I do want to be with him and I am considering it. But my problem is, I want us to at least be engaged before I make such a big change for him and for us. I don’t think that’s asking for too much. I feel like if I’m willing to change my entire life, then i want some kind of commitment from him. Being engaged doesn’t mean we get married immediately but it shows that he’s serious about us and I really want that commitment first.
but he isn’t ready to get engaged. He says that he doesn’t feel like we’re there yet in our relationship.
What should I do? Is this the end of our relationship?”
Ok, so this is actually a really great question, and if you’re a reader and feel like you have some advice to chip in, by all means PLEASE do so 🙂 The more the merrier I think, especially with issues like this.
The problem with relationships in this post-feminist age is that people go into them without being clear about their specific end goals. Obviously, this young woman is wanting marriage and a family, and in my opinion, this is in her best interest and great for her. It’s not clear if this woman is a Christian, if they’re cohabitating (living in sin), but even if she is/isn’t, getting married young and starting her family is God’s design for her. Many women find their happiness and fulfillment in this godly role, even if it isn’t for everyone to pursue (those who have the gift of singleness).
However, for men, marriage has become something that’s risky to enter. We are now seeing increasing numbers of men in the 20-35 age range who are turning their backs on marriage, due to the lack of assurance that their future wife will even desire to meet their needs (two of the main ones being respect and sex), as well as all the financial and emotional risk of divorce if their wife initiates one. Men are caught in a strange predicament of having to commit their everything to one woman, only to then feel trapped in a sexless marriage, or be constantly disrespected by their wives and undermined as the godly leader of their home. The risk of losing everything, all their financial success, their business success, their children and the rights to see them if she falsely accuses him so that she gains sole custody, are on him and him alone. Most women (especially young ones) have no idea how to comprehend all this and see from a man’s point of view, how dangerous and unappealing marriage is starting to look.
Women (even Christian women) are initiating more divorces than men, and many times, for reasons that are unbiblical and merely based on their unhappiness or discontentment in their marriage. There are many things that simply don’t warrant divorce, but could be worked through, or (gasp) even suffered through together. I know in our current times, it’s politically incorrect to even suggest that marriage should be expected to be at times hard or difficult. And to be clear, I’m not speaking about cases of infidelity or abuse, where the wife needs to divorce in order to keep herself or any children safe. It’s just honest to look at what our society has created now, though, and admit that it’s no longer in a single man’s best interest to get married, unless he’s certain he’s found the best woman out there for him who won’t destroy their family.
So now we come to her dilemma. My answer would be that she needs to move on from this relationship. She either isn’t the woman he truly wants to commit to, or he doesn’t truly want to commit to anyone at this time (or even possibly ever). It may be that he just wants a lifetime partner to cohabitate with, and is not interested in the legal ramifications of marriage. Since their end goals are so opposite, she needs to be spending her time elsewhere, looking for a partner who is ready and interested in marrying her. She needs to count her past 3 years in this relationship as wasted time, and choose more wisely next time based on the man’s specific end goals. It may sound offensive to call this “wasted time,” however time is each person’s most precious commodity that they have, and with her desire to get married and have children, it is of the most importance that she have a sober view of how critical it is that she not get herself into another disappointing relationship where she is less likely to achieve her end goals.
Another thing I would advise any woman in her position, is that she should also be making herself into the best woman that they can be, physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mindfully. Reading books to broaden her mind, the classics, getting into her best shape physically so that she’s at her most attractive, wearing clothes that accentuate her shape, wearing her hair and makeup in tasteful and feminine ways… all these things are important if she’s interested in finding a husband. ❤