As a child you probably got the message that drawing attention to yourself was self-centered and you shouldn’t make waves. That’s why you probably find it difficult to speak up for yourself, especially in relationships. The more important the problem, like whether or not to ask for a commitment, the harder it gets.
Asking for what you want and need from your partner is essential for a healthy give and take. If you’re afraid to speak up for yourself you’ll find there’s no one else who will. You have to learn how to do it, after all you’re 50% of the couple and you need to have a say as it changes and deepens.
This was one of the hardest things for me to overcome. I would let too much time go by, afraid to speak up about the future. But eventually my worry and anxiety would get the better of me and cause me to blurt something out — but never at the right time or using the right words.
I describe how this happened to me,“How I Sort of Proposed,” in chapter 4 of my book “It’s Never Too Late To Marry.” My inability to express myself in that relationship contributed a great deal to its breakup.
If now is the time (or it’s past the time) to finally bring up the subject of your future together and ask for a commitment here are 3 tips that will make it easier:
1. Don’t start this conversation when you’re upset.
If you’ve been bottling up your feelings for too long, you may reach a boiling point where out of the blue you attack him with anger and blame. Most men get defensive when attacked. You won’t be able to have a sane conversation about the future at this point; you will only be driving a wedge between you. Wait until you feel calm and centered enough to broach the subject.
2. Don’t play the victim and blame him for not talking about this earlier.
Take responsibility for your part in letting things go for so long without speaking up. He’ll appreciate that you’re not making him the “bad guy” and be much more open to what you have to say.
3. Don’t demand that he give you an answer right away if he can’t.
Most men usually need to take time think and process their thoughts about important matters. Remember, you may have been thinking about this for months or years and this is the first time he’s hearing about it. Give him the space and time to consider what his life would be like without you so he can give you an honest answer.
If you ask for a commitment be ready to accept his answer good, bad or whatever it may be.
This could be one of the most important conversations you have with your man so it’s important to do it right. Bringing up this touchy subject in the right way can change the course of your relationship and make the difference between getting married or not, so take it seriously.