“Hi. My name is Monica. I must say your blog is very interesting. I have a question. I’m 24 and in college, and from time to time I think about marriage. My grandmother always says to me, “A man should know within 6 months if he wants to marry you. If he doesn’t ask you by the first year, leave him because he is waiting for something better to come along“. I agree with her, but I feel it could be more of a challenge because the world is so different [now] compared to the past. I was thinking a year and a half..maybe two. From an adult males perspective, I’d like to know your opinion on this.
I want a spiritual man, and I don’t want to date for years and years before I get married. Correct me if Im wrong, but I feel that you will know everything you need to know about someone within the first year, especially if your mind isn’t set on flings. Im not in a rush to marry right now, but its a thought I feel like I should contemplate and pray on until Im ready. Is there anything that you think I should consider with all of this?
Thanks for your time,
Alright Monica, thanks for writing in. It’s clear your grandmother has your best interest at heart. There’s no question she is speaking from an era when things were decidedly more conservative. Still, she isn’t entirely off base and neither are you for adhering to the general principles she has imparted upon you. Hopefully help you avoid being overly frustrated and disappointed in any of your future relationship experiences with a little modern male insight. Let’s go.
“If he doesn’t ask [to marry] you by the first year, leave him because he is waiting for something better to come along…I was thinking a year and a half..maybe two.”
It is true that there comes a point in a committed relationship when a man will know without question if the woman on his arm is the one he desires to marry. You believe a year and a half to two years is good enough. Well, I agree. However, there are caveats – the age and maturity of the man being two of them. Keep that in mind above ALL things.
Secondly, if a man is committed and focused from the moment he enters exclusivity and thereafter, 2 years is ample time for him to become familiar with his woman well enough to have gained a firm understanding of who she is and whether or not he sees potential in their relationship evolving to the next level. So yes, he will typically know during that period if she is ‘The One’ (provided there are no other concerns).
However, if he does not pop the question within that time frame, KEEP CALM and HAVE FAITH in YOUR MAN. Rather than assuming the worst about his intentions and hitting the panic button, take a moment to understand this: Doomsday is not upon you. Unless there already exists areas of concern in your relationship, your beau’s lack of proposal doesn’t have to mean he is secretly laying in wait for greener pastures to blossom on the other side of the fence. There are perfectly legitimate reasons why he may not have made that move. Here are two for example:
1) There is a very good likelihood he may feel he has yet to fully come into his own on his own. Yes ladies, this is paramount to men. You may not understand it, but just respect it. Our sense of personal accomplishment and sustainability is important to us. This coupled with our ability to provide is directly linked to our self-esteem and sense of manhood. It is our Rite of Passage. So if a man doesn’t feel as if he has adequately ‘arrived’ in life on his own terms, he may not feel confident in his position to take on the responsibility of a wife or wife-to-be. Remember, if he already desires you in this light, he will want to give you the world served on a silver platter. After all, his time, love and devotion are just as invested in you as yours are in him.
2) Money. Engagement rings aren’t exactly ‘not expensive’. Neither are weddings. So exercising some patience may make the difference between 3 karats and the wedding of your dreams vs .05 karats and a weekend trip to Vegas at Elvis’ Nuptual Emporium.
“I want a spiritual man, and I don’t want to date for years and years before I get married…I feel that you will know everything you need to know about someone within the first year,…”
Understandable. A woman’s greatest fear is feeling as though she has wasted her time. Time is indeed precious. This is a legitimate concern and is the driving force behind most women’s desire to seek, find and secure a lifelong companionship sooner than later in their adult lives.
However, I caution against moving with haste, as that will undoubtedly produce the results you’re hoping to avoid. Since you’re only 24, time is not yet your enemy. I say pace yourself and pick your men better than you pick your shoes. Take time to get to know him and allow him time to do the same. Verbalize your values and ensure his line up with yours. More importantly, live by your values so that he takes yours seriously. Likewise, hold him to the same standard. And lastly, talk to the man about all things marriage. What are his views on it? His timeline? Do they correspond with yours? Since this is important to you, have a thorough conversation about this early on in the courting phase of the relationship to avoid being blindsided later by differences. It wouldn’t hurt to periodically check in thereafter…without nagging of course.
In short, it’s important to understand there is no universal time frame for how long it should take a relationship to ripen into marriage. 1 year, 2 years, 3 years, blue years. Love moves at its own pace and not by our schedules. We can’t set love to the ticks and tocks of our clocks. There is no metronome keeping a rhythm for our relationships to follow. So focus on building with your man and not so much on the timer. Remember, its a relationship you’re nurturing, not bread you’re baking. In the end, it all boils down to the individuals.
If for nothing else I’ve mentioned, one thing you can be confident in knowing is that a man will always act in accordance with his heart.
So OM family, its your turn to help out a fellow reader. What advice would you offer this young lady? Talk to her.
*Updated on 1/5/18 – Welcome to OM’s brand new installment called, “Ask The Men (formerly ‘You’ve Got Male!’“.
*Update on 01/15/19 – Post originally entitled, “How Long Should you Wait for Your Man to pop the Question?”