As an empowered woman with a take charge attitude, you may not have the time and patience to sit around waiting for your man to pop the question. But is making a marriage ultimatum the right move? If you aren’t careful, issuing an ultimatum to get that coveted engagement ring could be committing relationship suicide.
There is only one time when you should actually give your boyfriend an ultimatum, and that is when the ultimatum is truly authentic. Only do it if you are prepared to handle the truth and back up your words with actions. If you tell your man “now or never,” be prepared to leave if he says he isn’t ready to get married.
Some men actually need a little nudge to move forward, and using an ultimatum can work in this type of situation. However, if he really has no intentions of marrying you, you should be prepared to send him packing and move on. He would only be wasting your time and keeping you from meeting a man who would commit to you.
Plus, if you stay in the relationship after he says no, you will lose a lot of credibility and leverage in the relationship. It could be perceived as an attempt at manipulation and just empty threats. There is a very fine line between an ultimatum and a threat, so be careful not to let it turn into a threat, especially when you don’t plan to back it up.
The worst case scenario is when an ultimatum backfires on you, forcing your man to actually harden his stance on not getting married. It will force him to make a decision either way, so you better be prepared to handle it if he decides he isn’t ready yet.
If you do decide to go forward with an ultimatum, make sure it isn’t too soon in the relationship. If you have only been together less than half a year, it is probably too soon and you will end up scaring your man away.
A reasonable time to start thinking about marriage would be about a year into a serious, monogamous relationship. At this point, if marriage hasn’t really come up yet, be careful about how you approach the topic.
To avoid scaring your man away, stay calm and try not to let desperation or impatience drive your emotions. Desperation can lead to threats and that is likely to result in the demise of the relationship. In addition to staying calm, you should be firm and direct. Men don’t always catch on to subtle hints, so it’s best to be very direct.
Find a neutral and non-stressful time to bring up the subject, and tell him directly what you want. You could say something like, I see you as my husband and I would like to know if you feel the same way. Or you could say that you want to move forward in the relationship and take the next step, and you want to know if he’s on the same page.
If you turn the conversation into more of an invitation to propose, rather than an ultimatum, you are likely to get a better result. Remember though that you can only invite your man to propose, you can’t force him to do it. If he isn’t ready, decide if the relationship is worth waiting for him or if you want to move on.
Give him a few weeks to think about it before you bring it up again or make any moves. He may not have been thinking about marriage at all so he probably needs a little time to let it sink in and really think about it.
The most important take away is that you should only give an ultimatum when you are ready to face the truth and take action, whatever answer you get. If the answer is no, then he probably wasn’t the right man for you anyway.