WOULDN'T IT BE GREAT IF the men you dated came with stickers?
Stickers that say, ‘I am not trustworthy’, ‘I am never getting married’, ‘I will end up cheating on you!’, or something like ‘I am a man of integrity, and I will be a great husband and dad’.
Well, the stickers may not exist in the real sense of the word; but the messages do. Lauren Frances indicates that men give clues that can help you know their personality, interpret their agenda and spot any red flags. Better still, you can obtain all the information that you need from your potential partner simply by asking him questions.
Men have their own relationship goals, and they would be happy to share them with a woman. Many women do not know where a relationship is going because they never ask, and only muster the courage to ask three or four years later.
In ‘Act like a Lady, Think like a Man’, Steve Harvey interviews a lot of men who were self-proclaimed ‘players’. All the ‘players’ indicated that if the women had quizzed them upfront about their intentions, they would have told them right away that they were not looking for anything serious. The guys indicated that the women they dated didn’t ask the essential questions for fear of running the guys off, so they (the guys) just strung the women along.
Why you should ask questions
Just because you love each other does not mean you will automatically create a great life together. Many times, great relationships end despite people loving each other deeply; one is too ambitious while the other is not ambitious enough, one wants children, but the other one does not, one is self-driven while the other one is a slob. So you see, you better ask the questions early enough before you invest so much time, effort and emotions.
Lose the fear
The first step is to get over the fear of losing a man by asking him important questions. In every area of life, taking chances to get what you want is much more productive than sitting around being too scared. Just stop being afraid already. If being clear about your requirements means you risk him walking away, then it is a risk you are going to have to take. In any case, you will only scare the wrong guys off.
What to do
To get the most out of your relationships, you must change your strategy. Start by ensuring that the man is really clear from the word go about what he wants out of his life and his relationship with you.
Q1: What are your plans for the future?
This is truly an important question; you need to know whether you and him share goals and dreams. From his answer, you will able to determine whether:
- You fit in his plan
- What role you can play in the plan.
- You need to remove yourself from the equation.
The man you want to involve yourself with is the one who has a solid plan; one that you can see yourself in. If he has no vision, you do not want to be part of that confusion and mayhem. He is not going anywhere and sooner or later, you will be stuck too.
Q2: How do you feel about me?
This is a question that you will ask after a few dates. If he cannot tell how he feels about you after a month of dating, then he does not feel anything for you; he just wants something. At this point, you are not looking for him to confess his undying love for you; it is too soon anyway.
However, you can expect answers like: I love talking to you, I always wonder what you are doing, and I feel a little better whenever you come around. In other words, his answer should make you feel fantastic. He may not be in love with you just yet, but he will let you know that he is crazy about you and he wants to pursue a long-term relationship with you.
If you realize that his feelings for you are barely scratch the surface, and he is nowhere near where you want him to be, step on the brakes until you hear the things that you need to hear from him.
Q3: Do you believe in marriage?
This sounds like a scary question to ask, but look at this way; you are not telling him that you want to get married to him now, you are only asking him what he believes.
This question will help you to establish whether the guy wants to get married in the first place. That he is in a relationship with you does not necessarily mean that he wants to get married. Also, the fact that he has been dating you for a while is no guarantee that he wants to marry YOU.
Q4: How do you feel about having children?
Over the last few decades, things have changed, and more people feel less need to have children. If you want children, it is best to find out if your man wants children as well before you commit to him. Do not make any assumptions.
If you realize that both of you want children, great! Find out more about what he thinks of children:
- How many children does he want?
- How does he feel about having all boys? Or all girls?
- What would he do if you discovered that as a couple you could not have children?
- Is he open to alternative ways of having children; like adoption?
Q5: What are your thoughts about religion?
Religion is a big issue, and it is ironic that many couples do not discuss it before committing. If religion is especially important to you, it is prudent to ask all the relevant questions.
- Does he practice any religion?
- If the two of you practice different religions, who will be willing to switch to the other’s?
- What religion will your children practice?
Quick tip: Ask your guy about his relationship with God. If you realize that the man has no relationship with God, has no belief system or guiding force in his life, this might be a huge problem.
- What moral barometer does he answer to?
- What makes him feel whole?
- What is going to make him do right by you?
By all means, you can date a guy who does not go to church or have a relationship with God, but if his core beliefs do not match with yours, you are likely to have challenges in your relationship.
- Men love to talk about themselves; they do this because they know that to get you, they have to impress you. Allow him to impress. The more inquisitive and interested you are, the more the information he will give you.
- Believe what you hear. Do not stick around hoping that the guy will change his mind about something down the road. For instance, if he does not want kids, he will probably not change his mind, regardless of how deeply he feels about you.
- Do not be afraid of the answers you might get. See the answers as a way to plan your future. Be proud that you are proactively creating a future that you will love.
- Do your best to be equally honest about your expectations from the start. Be absolutely clear that your man understands that you are looking for long-term relationship, marriage, children…. whatever it is, define it for him so that you are on the same page.
The reason why you are asking all these questions is because you like a guy and you want to find out if the two of you have a future together. You do not intend to make him feel uncomfortable.
So, do not ask all the questions in one sitting and do not ask them in a formal way. You are not interrogating the guy. Be tactful; make the conversation as casual and as fun as you can.
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