Most single ladies definitely know that maddening feeling you get when the guy you have been dating for ages, just refuses to propose. The first time you met, you clicked! He asked you out on a date, which quickly became two…and then three…and soon you two are inseparable. You have a rock solid connection, complete each other’s sentences, and have met both your families. You have seen each other’s worst character traits, have survived the most epic of fights, and have gotten to the stage where every single person around you knows you as a solid item. Yet, you are nowhere near a ring.
And be rest assured that you are not the only one wondering. God bless you if you have a younger relative, or even friend, who gets married while you are still awaiting this ring! You’d best be prepared to hear enough “Oko e nko?” (literally meaning, “How is your husband?”), “When is your wedding?”, “Weren’t you already dating when Funke (the bride) met Fola (groom)?” and lots of other questions, side talk, and innuendo. If you’re lucky, you’ll get prayers from the nicer relatives, hoping that your own wedding is not too far in the future; if you’re not, you’ll be left painfully reminded of your protracted boo’dom!
If you are a smart lady, it might be a wise move to have your Boo at your side. Not only will he get to hear all the comments and questions firsthand (instead of a whiny replay later in the day), it will also reduce the amount of questions and comments you get, because people will see him with you, and make their own assumptions, right or wrong. (Thank us later for the tip )
But back to the matter at hand…you have everything going for you in that relationship, but there is no ring on your finger…not an engagement ring, not even a promise ring (except perhaps the cocktail one you bought yourself, to act as a placeholder). So how do you get Boo to propose? No, we are not asking you to emotionally blackmail him into committing. You really don’t want that! A man who feels he was blackmailed into getting married, will always be resentful, and will lord it over you for all your days together. No…you don’t want that at all.
Since, we all know that the carry-belle-collect-ring tactic does not always work, it is time to look for new ways to get that proposal. The intent is to make him come to the realization that he needs you in his life. It’s all about influence…and not control.
Here are some tips how:
1. Let go of the fear of losing him, and instead focus on you!
On New Year’s eve, two years ago, ,a community member, Chioma* thought she was going to get a ring from her boyfriend of two years, Afam*. They had attended Watchnight Service together, and had sat in his car, talking for hours afterwards. The conversation soon led to their plans for the New Year, and as he reeled off his how plans (working towards a promotion, getting higher certification training, spending more time with his dad, and a number of others), she realized that none of which included her. Bottom line was that the dude wasn’t ready for marriage. Say what? She was disappointed, and although it cast a shadow on their discussion, they had still spent the rest of the day together.
But when she eventually got home, she decided it was time to do things differently. She realized that she had built her whole life around him, and that she was always, always, available! She decided it was time to start doing things with herself in mind. So, she got more focused at work…no more skiving off work or extended lunch hours just to see her boo. She stopped making excuses when her friends wanted to hang out and started spending more time with them. She renewed her gym membership, revived her love for books and baking, decided to stop putting off her CFA exam, and enrolled for classes…soon her life was so busy that Afam soon found himself struggling to fit into her schedule. And he didn’t like it.
Their roles had reversed, and he was now the hunter…the one always trying to get her to squeeze out time for him, the one whose BBM messages went read but unresponded for hours, the one who had to stage mini-coups to thwart her alternative plans. Of course, this might have backfired, as he could very well have found another more available and accessible babe…but luckily, it didn’t. Being away from her made him realize how much he wanted her with him, and by the next New Year, they were engaged!
For Chioma to get that ring, she had to let go of her fear of losing him, and started to focus on herself. It takes a strong, self-aware woman to do this.
2. Identify the Root Cause
True, it is so tempting to want to walk away from a long-term relationship, especially one that seems to be going nowhere. It might be very foolish to just wait and waste more precious time, so it’s often a better idea to understand the reason behind his cold feet.
If his excuse is that he is not ready, then there just might be something that is not sitting well with him…something that’s keeping him from taking the plunge. It could be that he is emotionally unavailable (and you don’t want that kind of man) and not able to commit to any woman, or maybe it’s something specific to your relationship. Whatever it is, waiting and following the routine, will get you nowhere closer to getting that rock on your finger.
If it’s something specific to your relationship, working on it might help fast track his decision. Look within to identify what you might be doing wrong. If he finds you are overly quarrelsome and aggressive, it might be a good idea to reign those behavioral traits in.
If he thinks you’re not nice enough to his family, make an effort to be friendlier. An occasional phone call to Mom wouldn’t hurt. However, you need to be true to yourself…and anything that would mean changing you too fundamentally is definitely not worth it.
Also, if his cold feet have nothing to do with you, I hate to break it to you, but it might be unlikely that you’ll get him to change his stance on the matter. In this case, the wise thing would be to kiss him goodbye, and go wait for the man ready for you!
3. Talk about the future
Yes, talk about the future. And no, not just the marriage future! Talk about what dreams and aspirations you have for yourself, as a person. It shows you have plans of your own, which may, or may not, include him. Men are hunters by nature, and often desire the unattainable. The mere idea of you waltzing off continent hopping, might just be enough of a push to get him to put a ring on it!
But, caveat emptor! Before you go with this “gospel” truth, note that this will only work, if your guy really loves you, and you are his main squeeze. If you are the side chick, or one of many, girl…you are O.Y.O! If it is established that he is a perennial bachelor, please run…and we mean RUN…faster than your legs can carry you.
You deserve the best, even if it is a diamond.
Kristine is a member of the The Lovelint team. She is a down to earth person, who says it as it is. Having given relationship advice for years in a national daily, she has found out that fear is one of the main reasons holding people back from enjoying a healthy, happy relationship. She is married with kids and is willing to listen to you and help as much as you let her to.