Some of you watch the Real Housewives of Potomac so you know who I am about to write about. I just watched The Reunion Part 2 of the show and found out that Katie is no longer engaged to Andrew. We all watched during the season as she hinted, harped on, prodded and poked Andrew about getting engaged.
Turns out that he DID propose at the end of the season, but by the time the reunion aired the relationship was already over.
I want to talk about this because as a dating coach with a program called “Married in 2 Years or Less” many think that I advocate rushing into marriage or trying to get the ring immediately or by any means necessary. No way. Not at all! I was just as surprised by Katie’s behavior as the rest of you viewers. While it is OK, of course, to want engagement and want to move into the next phase of your relationship, continuously asking your man or hinting you think it should happen doesn’t usually work well.
Here is what I believe and teach: You only need to say things once. And then if it doesn’t happen, you remove yourself. Nagging never produces the results you really want. I call my program “Married in 2 Years or Less” because I don’t believe you should DATE someone for longer than two years without the ring coming, if marriage is your goal and you are over 30. If neither you nor your man feel like you two are the right fit by then, move on. If you feel like you are the right fit but he doesn’t, move on. More time does not usually convince him. I believe you should say in the beginning of your relationship, such as when he brings up the two of you becoming exclusive, that you only believe in dating a couple of years at most before knowing if you want to make it permanent or not. You should only say it then before the relationship really gets started so he knows up front.
Hopefully he realizes he has two years to get it together and propose.
But if he doesn’t…
Around the two year mark if he has not brought up getting engaged or looking at rings or anything like that, you can mention it one more time only. You can say it even in a joking way, like “Hmmm…we’ve been dating almost two years. I guess we only have three more months to decide on what we want to do.”
He may ask what you mean, if he has forgotten. So you re-iterate that you don’t believe in dating for YEARS and YEARS and that if you two do not think you want to take the next steps after two years, maybe it means the two of you aren’t sure about each other. Most women are afraid to rock the boat. They are afraid that if they stick to their own time line, he will walk. Or they are like Katie and start to wine and nag about getting engaged. But if you take the more practical approach I have suggested, you can have a real conversation about where you both are. If he is really in love with you, this will cause him to reassure you on his intentions. If he is not (believe me, he already knows whether he wants to marry you or not), he will not want to talk about it or act indifferent or get upset. Any of those answers means you will have to walk away before you waste any more time.
It is better to walk away than stay for a few more years with the same result. Men know very quickly if they feel like you are the One or not. They may not be ready for marriage despite knowing you are the One for them, but it is not your job to wait around until they get ready. They tend to get ready quicker when you walk.
I hope it works out for Katie, either with Andrew or a new man.