Normally, when it comes to relationships (and love in general), us women folk get a lot of stick for being the ones who are commitment-mad.
Bunny boiler, stalker, needy – yes, yes, we’ve heard it all. Judging from various media portrayals and misconceptions, it seems that all every woman wants in life is to find a man, get a ring on her finger and start popping out the babies like there’s no tomorrow.
You could say that when it comes representing the modern woman, magazines, websites, films, TV shows and a host of other mediums are still stuck firmly in the Middle Ages.
But we live in a society now where gender roles are changing. Women are no longer confined to the house and we have our own lives. We have our own careers, our own ambitions – our own collection of designer shoes (which are a status symbol of our new lives, clearly).
For some women, it’s a case of career first – family later. Yes, women are constantly judged for being clingy and needy, but what happens when the shoe is on the other foot? What happens when HE’S the one who is desperate for you to settle down with him? What happens when HE’S the one pressuring YOU for a commitment?
And what happens when you know, deep down, that while you’re crazy about him, you’re not ready to make that level of commitment just yet?
Commitment can be a scary, scary thing. Especially if he’s pressuring you for a commitment of epic proportions like moving in together, getting a mortgage, getting married, having kids, getting a shared bank account – the works. Shudder.
In modern society, romance has been kicked up a notch. People meet and become an item insanely quickly. We rush through the traditional courtship process. There’s no waiting. How many times have you watched your friends (and even yourself) get sucked in to a whirlwind romance?
Our relationships move so fast sometimes, and while it’s great to be caught up in the moment, it sort of plays havoc with our ability to commit to someone.
You may be absolutely mad about him, but just haven’t had enough time to get comfortable with the type of commitment that he’s asking you for. And that’s perfectly understandable. Honestly. We’ve all been there at some point in our lives.
So how can you deal with him when HE’S the one acting like a bunny boiler? How do you deal when you still love him and don’t want to hurt his feelings, but you’re honestly just not there yet?
It’s a touchy subject and you need to tread very carefully with this one.
Talk it out: Yes, talking about how you feel is the age-old way to tackle any problems that crop up between you and your man. Sit him down and have an honest, genuine chat. Let him know exactly how you’re feeling about the prospects of settling down with him. If it terrifies you, tell him, but do it in a tactful way.
Explain that while you love him deeply, you’re just not ready for a house, kids and the whole shebang just yet. It’s important to stress the fact that while you’re not ready right now, you love him and you know that you will definitely be ready to settle down with him in the future. This will hopefully help him see that the timing isn’t right for you just yet and that if he gives you a little bit longer, you’ll be more than happy to take the plunge with him soon.
Listen to his feelings on the matter: Men don’t handle rejection well. Even if you’re not really rejecting him, you’re just post-phoning his plans slightly. Either way, understand that he might be a little bit ‘off’ with you over the coming days.
There’s not a lot you can do if this happens. The best course of action is to be patient and simply bite your tongue. He’ll come around in a few days.
Take the pressure off: For the few days following your ‘I’m not ready’ conversation, it’s probably a good idea to take the pressure off the relationship. What we mean by this is to just shelve the idea of commitment for a while and instead enjoy each other’s company.
Go out and do things that the both of you love. Laugh and have loads of fun. Relax and remember why you guys are so great together.
Remember, when it comes to big life commitments you should only make them if you’re completely ready. Don’t allow yourself to be pressured into taking the plunge – only you know what’s right for yourself.
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