So you have found the woman you want to spend the rest of your life with. The problem is, how do you know if she feels the same way about you? You may also be wondering if she's really the one for you. There are a few question you can ask to determine if the time is right to take the plunge: 1. How long have you been together? Every relationship has its own unique ebb and flow, but relationship experts have found that it usually takes about two years for a couple to fully commit to each other and begin what's called the "negotiation phase" of the relationship - the period in which you've both gotten to know each other so well that you're battling out what you will and won't live with while trying to hang onto your individual identities. Interestingly, statistics show that most couples get married after knowing each other for only 18 months, so it's no wonder so many newlyweds fight like cats and dogs! If you've only been together a few months, it's too soon to decide for sure that this is a lifetime relationship - it's certainly worth thinking about, but don't jump the gun.
2. Are you ready to commit? Make sure you're absolutely certain that you're ready to settle down before you worry about what she's feeling. Think about what you're giving up - sleeping in on weekends, all night video game sessions, beer with the guys, dating other women, drinking milk straight out of the carton - and weight it against everything that you'll get from a long term relationship with her. If you have any regrets about giving up your single lifestyle, then you're not ready. 3. Is she ready to commit? This shouldn't be too hard to figure out.
Does she leave a toothbrush at our apartment and feels comfortable cooking in your kitchen? Has she introduced her to her family and friends? Does she gaze longingly at babies in strollers when the two of you go out for lunch? Then she's ready to commit. On the other hand, if she hasn't given up going out with other men, has never brought you 'round to meet her parents and insists that you don't leave any of your stuff at her place, she's probably not ready. 4. Is she commitment-phobic? A obsessive aversion to commitment is usually thought to be an entirely male problem, but women suffer from it, too.
Experts point out that women exhibit it in different ways from men - mainly by repeatedly getting involved with men who are unavailable to them. If the woman you love has a history of dating men who are married, or gay, or who treat her badly and break her heart, you may be involved with a commitment-phobe. If she picks fights with you whenever your relationship starts to settle down and become comfortable, that could be another sign.
She could have come from a home with parents who made marriage seem unappealing, or she may just be attracted to the drama of new romance followed by the inevitable break-up. But if she's not ready, that can be a problem if you're sure that she's the one for you. 5.
Are you willing to be patient? If the lady you love really is a commitment-phobe, you have two choices - you can stick around and hope that she'll change her mind, or you can find someone else. You have to ask yourself what's more important to you, to be in a committed relationship, or to be in a relationship with her no matter what form it takes. If your heart belongs to her and you want to stick it out, then be realistic about what that means. It may take months or years for her to come around to where she's ready to fully commit to a relationship - during which time, you'll have a number of fights as you adapt to your situation, and she may go out with other men.
And ultimately you may not be the man she chooses - it's not unusual for a man to stand by patiently waiting for a commitment-phobic woman to come around, only to have her fall in love and marry someone else. If you truly love someone, you should try to negotiate a relationship that's satisfying for both of you. But if one of you wants to get married, settle down and raise a family and the other person isn't ready to do that, there's not much you can do besides be patient and hope for the best.
You may find that the best solution is to put your own expectations on hold, and accept that not every great love affair ends in long-term commitment. Enjoy your time together, love her for who she is, and perhaps you'll get your wish and she'll commit to a lifetime of happiness.
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