Love without commitment

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Saturday, June 7, 2014


Dear Cindy,

My boyfriend and I have been going steady for six years now, but it is clear that he doesn’t want us to get married. I’ve come to realize this because whenever I drop hints about it, he gets uneasy and changes the course of our conversation.

I have finished my studies and I have to find a job. I would like to start saving or making some plans but he doesn’t want to hear a single word about the matter.

He says he loves me and he will marry me in the future, but I think his actions speak louder than his words. How do I make him realize this is important to me? I can’t believe a man who says he loves me but refuses commitment. We are both adults, we are not children.

Corrine

Dear Corrine,

Love and marriage are not linked in the minds of most men as they still are in the minds of many women. The nesting instinct comes late to a male, if it comes at all.

He loves you, yes, but he is not ready to settle down and as he sees it, turn into the old stick he imagines married men to be. If you hang in there, that image could change and eventually he may hanker after heirs, for example. But for the moment, he is comfortable with things as they are. He is secure and satisfied. If marriage is an absolute “must” for you right now, you will have to make him less comfortable, less secure and less satisfied with your relationship.

You could also set him a time limit, say a year or 18 months, and tell him if he hasn’t change his mind by then, you’re off to pastures new. If he doesn’t relent and you have to leave, he might find he cannot live without you—or he might not. It’s a gamble, and never forget that only those who can afford to lose can afford to gamble.

The point is, there is no magic formula to make him change his mind. Just as you feel he should love you enough to marry you, he may feel you should love him enough to stay with him without marriage. Do you love him that much?

Corrine, marriage is characterized by open communication. If there is open communication, there is trust. If you think you are meant for each other, practice it now. Talk to him in a nice way, not forcing or pushing him. If you love him, trust him and do not force him to marry you immediately. Work it out between the two of you; two mature children of God loving each other. On the other, hand, there might be a deeper reason why your boyfriend isn’t keen on tying the knot with you. So, don’t jump into a lifetime commitment such as marriage without thinking it over 10 times or more.

Even though you will suffer a broken heart, I’m pretty sure you’ll survive it through prayers and with the help of your loved ones.

God bless,
Cindy

Marriage has become joyless

Dear Dr. Dana,

My husband and I married 16 years ago. We are both in our 40s now, and we have children ages seven, 10 and 15. I think we are in a “philosophical argument” now.

I am concerned because we don’t seem to laugh together anymore. We love each other and we don’t fight much, but I just don’t seem to be the fun person I once was, and neither does my husband seem be.

I already shared this concern with my husband, and he says that it comes with getting older, more responsible and mature. I hate that thought.

Am I being naïve in wanting a successful or “perfect marriage,” or is my husband wrong in telling me that fun is for the young, and that we are already mature and therefore stuck in a joyless life?

Grace

Dear Grace,

IT'S easy for us to rest on our laurels. The laurel crown was a prize that was given in the Olympics. Two thousand years ago, the runner who ran the race first, the person who accomplished the goals, received the laurel on his head as a crown. The crown of success.

When we hear the words “don’t rest on your laurels,” what does it mean? It means don’t rest on your past success. The same thing is true with our failures, “forgetting what is behind,” and we can so easily look at our success or our failures and rest on the past, instead of moving forward to be the people that God has called us to be. “Forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead.”

Grace, press on toward the goal, toward the prize to which God has called you. You can also redefine success, That success isn’t about busyness or more and more, faster and faster. It isn’t doing more than everybody else so that you can acquire more wealth or happiness and in your case, a “perfect marriage.”

It’s when God smiles on your life and tells that you are living the way He wants you to. There should be joy, peace and contentment that other people can see.

Very truly yours,
Dr. Dana R. Sesante

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 08, 2014.

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