There’s a scene in the movie Demolition Man where the cops encounter Simon Phoenix (the escaped criminal from the violent 90s) for the first time. One of the cops asks his trusty computer guide what he should do. She tells him to say in a firm voice “Lie down with your hands behind your back.” After he gets a derorogatory response, the computer tells him to add the words “or else.” Simon Phoenix turns around with an angry look on his face, and proceeds to kill people.
I can’t say I’m surprised by that response. We all know how ultimatums go down with people. But I have talked about the Un-Timatum here (and here). You have to let it be known what you want without “putting undo pressure” on the other person to respond in a way that’s untrue to how they feel. As I’ve said before, I know people who have stated how they feel and been ready to follow through with varying results of “success,” if one can call it that. But being placed in this unique position myself brings this discussion up for me again.
There comes a time when you must make a decision. As my 7 Habits for Teens said in one of its nuggets of wisdom, even not making a decision is a decision. If I captain can’t decide whether to go to the right or the left, the ship is still moving forward (no smart alec quips on stopping, please. Thank you :D). More accurately, time marches on…or flies, depending on who you are.
So, in my life plan, extended relationships at my age just don’t fit. I feel that a certain length of time is more than enough to decide yes or no to making a commitment, and anything beyond that is either biding time until something better comes along or a level of comfort with the situation that doesn’t inspire a desire for deeper commitment. At some point, either you do or don’t, will or won’t. Point blank period, as a friend is fond of saying.
Long story short, I had to have the “where is this ultimately going?” conversation with Mr. Perfect and state my timeline for how I would like to see us progress. There was no “neck rolling” or finger wagging; it was a discussion. He said some things and I said some things and we both came to understand the other’s position a bit better…and my timeline didn’t change.
I realize some people would see setting a time line for an answer on whether or not you are moving to the next stage of a relationship as arm twisting, guilting someone into it, or all manner of ultimatums, but as my friends say “closed mouths don’t get fed” sometimes. Besides, I know the type of person Mr. Perfect is; he won’t be swayed by pressure or forced to do something he doesn’t want to do. The purpose of the conversation was to bring our full attention to bear on exactly what it is we are doing here, in this relationship.
I’ll let you all in on a secret: there are things I want to do I can’t do until I’m married. This is just me, but I can’t move in together, sleep together, have children together without that commitment. There’s no “testing the waters” here. I am not interested in playing happy families; it is what it is. I would like to build a home with a husband, pull out the Fredrick’s, split some costs of living, travel the world, have breakfast in bed together, read our Bibles and pray together…all of that romantic postcard stuff. Call me old fashioned, too Christian, or “obsolete,” but I kinda want forever, even though forever includes so not so picture perfect stuff.
The 2blu that has grown from this relationship and the difficult years of life has become able to articulate what she wants out of life without fear of inconveniencing anyone (mostly). I am not threatening anyone, either. I’m just acknowledging where I am in life, putting my blinker on. I’m indicating that I am turning a corner in life, and if you wanted to come, too, you would be welcome to do so.
How have you handled the “define the relationship” moments? Do you wish you had handled it differently? Do you think I’m coming into my own or going out of my mind? Am I forcing it or what? You can respond in the comments section or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Point of it All… (2blu2btru.wordpress.com)
- Having the Difficult Conversations…& Marriage Seminars (2blu2btru.wordpress.com)
- A Really Good Story (2blu2btru.wordpress.com)
- A Little Harsh Reality to My Fellow Singletons (westendsingleton.wordpress.com)
- My Knight in Shining Armor….doesn’t exist! (gracieackerman.wordpress.com)
- Free Daily Love Stories For Married Couples – The one who never got married (thechristianbookcompany.wordpress.com)
- Me and My Mr. Perfect Guy (djeangreen.wordpress.com)
- Fear of Making the Wrong Decision (solutionsorganizing.wordpress.com)
- TurboTax – 7 Tax Advantages of Getting Married (turbotax.intuit.com)
- When did the US begin making laws about marriage? (ask.metafilter.com)
- Longest-married U.S. couple share secrets (pryslar.wordpress.com)