In the previous post my focus was on ladies and how they can irresponsibly hurt men. The concern was with how they end relationships. But in this article we shift our focus to men, who interestingly as you are about to find out are to blame just as much when they are hurt by women. The concern is with how they initiate relationships. A lady’s selfishness when she ends a relationship is simply a final nail to a coffin the man makes for himself when he carelessly enters into the relationship. Let’s see why I say the blame falls with the men.
The phrase irresponsible pursuit might mean many things to many people, depending on the funny things men can do out there to get a lady. But my aim is not to highlight some funny and desperate measures crazy characters employ to get that ‘Yes’. My aim is to help us understand some negligent attitudes of very well meaning and serious men. It is of crucial importance for any man wishing to start a relationship to get two things right. These two are that he goes after the right person, and that he gives that person every opportunity to ensure that he indeed is the right person for her.
Failure to do either or both of these requirements is setting oneself up for a heartbreak. Patience is one very helpful virtue at the point when one is pursuing a lady. However, because the heart rarely takes ‘No’ for an answer many men proceed ignorantly. Their ignorance ensures that they commit two very serious mistakes.
Going after the wrong target
If marriage is the only end to a relationship, then any desire to be in such a relationship must be treated as a desire to get married. That carries with it the implication that though everyone may long for a relationship, not everyone should immediately get into a relationship. It is only the one that is ready to reap the harvest (marriage) that should plant (relate).
A man who longs to be in a relationship in response to the deeper longing to be a husband cannot have that desire met by just any lady. It is only thelady that is both willing and ready to be a wife that can meet that desire. The priority of such a man is family. It doesn’t mean that he has abandoned career or anything like that. He just sees all other things as means to get him to where he ultimately hopes to be. He may only be in his second year of study, but if he were to enter into a relationship it would be for one reason alone; to get married.
Now think of what would happen when such a man happily commits to a relationship with this wonderful young lady whose priorities are completely different. She wishes to have a family someday, but that’s just nowhere close to her priorities currently. She hasn’t even given it much thought. All she thinks of now is how she can rise up her career ladder. So that means like four more years of studying to go. She wants to travel the world too, and so the last thing she wants is a husband and a baby who will tie her down.
Would it be an exaggeration to suggest there are slim to zero chances that that relationship heads anywhere? Priorities are bound to conflict, and inevitably hearts will be broken. The young lady’s heart may be in love with the man, but her world is yet to become his. She is the wrong lady for him, at least for the time. It is not because she is a non-believer; she’s very much one, perhaps a prayer warrior even. The only thing that makes her the wrong lady is the fact that she is not yet ready. Until she will dream as the man dreams and share his priorities of life, she remains that. Asking her to belong with such a man is unfairly giving her a bite bigger than she can chew.
It is upon the man then to be certain that he goes after the right lady. In as much as you may be in love with someone, if you should determine that she is not yet ready for you then it is only prudent to wave the white flag. It may be hard, but it is the safest thing you would ever do.
Disclosing information partially
This they do in two ways. The first is by not being fully clear about their intent. Men, you need to understand that half stated intentions can only be rightfully met with half rewards. We are fond of using phrases like “I just want to know you” or “I would love to have you as my girlfriend.” No wonder we should never cry foul when a lady walks away after a year or two. Haven’t you known her enough in those few years? Or hasn’t she at least been so kind to allow you to proudly own the title of her boyfriend?
The very thing you asked for is what she has generously given to you, and so you have no right to question her actions when she leaves. If your intention is to marry someone, don’t hold back. Make it clear from the onset. I’m not suggesting that you do that prematurely. There’s a reason why people are asked to first be friends before they can commit to anything more. It gives both of you enough time to know each other well enough and be sure before you commit to anything, and it also gives time to progressively build to when you finally get to make the proposal.
No man should expect a lady to commit to more than he has communicated, and whatever a man communicates has more to do with what his actions suggest he is working towards than what his words may claim. So many men are known to promise marriage while they never show the commitment to back up their words. How will you convince a lady that you plan to marry her when for over three years of dating she has never met your family? Or at least even had her name mentioned in your home? That is wickedness!
If a man never portrays a strong commitment to lead his relationship to the right goal of marriage, his girlfriend might only think of him as a man she may get married to while on his part the man assumes she is the woman he will marry. The seriousness of her commitment only goes as far as the clarity of his communication. Whatever future plans a man has in his heart can only keep his lady with him for as long as she knows them and believes in them. He has to speak and act upon them.
The second way men disclose information partially is by not being thoroughly honest about who they are and what they hope to become. Excitement often defines the starting phase of a relationship. Sometimes a man is yet to even believe this beautiful lady said yes to him. In the process there are a lot of important things that are ignored. It never feels requisite to talk about family. Maybe you didn’t even find it worth the time to mention you plan to spend a year in Garissa serving as a missionary after clearing school. “That is for later” you say.
It is a huge misstep to imagine that a life goal or a vision is nothing important to state as early as on a first date. It is often these things that are reserved for later that later turn into ‘irreconcilable differences’. If anything has the potential to break a relationship, as we’ve seen in the previous post, then it is worth being stated before any relationship can begin. If as a man you allow a lady to commit to a relationship with you out of thrill and excitement, I’m really sorry you will be to blame when she walks away the moment serious shows up.
It is important to use the window of opportunity when you are still friends to very much wisely and progressively lay everything in the open before you can make that ask. Too many ladies ask to be given time to think if they will agree to a relationship and their suitors let them walk away with nothing of real substance to think about. Please men, don’t let that lady walk away from that date without letting her know the real implications a relationship with you will have.
If a proposal doesn’t ‘scare’ a lady, it’s not serious enough
Don’t let her only make a decision based on the heaven you promised. Let her think also of the sacrifice you’ve assured. If she comes back with a yes, you have a very good chance she’ll be your wife. You had rather she rejects you because she’s found out who you are and who you hope to become, than she accepts you because she doesn’t know…yet. Some quote at this gym I used to go to before I got married and moved places read ‘if it doesn’t scare you, it is not heavy enough’. I’d love to borrow from that and suggest if a proposal doesn’t ‘scare’ a lady, it is not serious enough.
Inviting someone into a relationship is asking her to embrace a serious responsibility. A man who pursues responsibly then is only the man who goes after a lady well prepared for the responsibility he wishes to introduce her to. The fact that a lady is very willing and in love with a man is not reason enough to ask her into a relationship. A man has to determine in his heart to only commit to a lady who is ready. You wouldn’t relate with a young girl yet to join high school for example, would you? Even if she were madly ‘in love’ with you, you would excuse her ignorance of what she’s asking for and turn down her efforts.
The same applies with relationships among peers even. There’s more to being ready than what a lady may presently desire; the relationship. A lady is only ready for a man whom she’s willing to embrace his desire for the future; the marriage. Whichever man that rushes a lady into a relationship must be willing to assume full responsibility when she rushes out of it.
By rushing her I don’t mean getting her to commit against her will. I mean, equally harmful, getting her to commit despite her unpreparedness. When blinded by what she feels in her heart for you and the charming person you are and the dates you take her out to, a lady might not even realize how unprepared she is. It is upon you as the man to determine whether she is prepared or not; and that by clearly helping her understand the weight of what you are inviting her into. If she isn’t, it saves you both to not proceed any farther.
To each one of us
We all understand how serious a marriage is. None of us goes in expecting it to be all bliss. We foreknow that in many ways we will have to die to so much of our own even as we become one. Our spouse will come before anything; before the job, school or family even. So we never mind waiting until when ready. We’ll be patient until we’re done with school to whichever level we wish. We’ll wait until we are stable in our careers first. But when it comes to relationships, we don’t treat them with the same solemnness.
We don’t realize the much we have to compromise as we begin becoming one. Values will have to be shared and soon life goals will only be determined by the shared values. For some that might even mean a change of career before you’ve even worked your first job. Don’t we realize then how very seriously we need to approach relationships? It may not allow for enjoying privileges reserved for marriage, but the commitment I daresay requires not even an iota less of seriousness in comparison to marriage.
Some think it’s not a big deal. They wonder why I would ask them to be serious with relationships when marriage is the last thing on their minds. I think it is illogical for anyone to relate and not plan to get married. You cannot ask to be served when you know too well you are not hungry and won’t take even a bite, can you? As insane as that would be, so is anyone relating without a purpose to settle in marriage. If you think you can keep the food for years later when you are ready to eat, believe me it will rot before you’ve even had a bite. A relationship that is purposeless from the onset will end in the very same careless fashion with which it began.
I close with this: seek to court rather than date (as we know it). Commit after you’ve known each other well enough, rather than hurriedly committing before knowing each other well. I have a simple reason why I prefer courting to dating. It is that the heart is not built to withhold some love until when it is assured of a commitment that the person you love is whom you’ll marry. As it gives all of itself in marriage where a vow is binding, it will also give its entire self in a dating relationship that has nothing binding. If the relationship fails, you and I both know what wreckage will become of that heart.