By Rori Raye
I’ve been married for over twenty years, and since most of my coaching focuses on inspiring a man to commitment, my clients always want to know how my husband proposed to me.
When I tell them, they’re both surprised and relieved to hear that it wasn’t an easy journey - he was stalling and “not ready,” and I was feeling very uncertain. And then, without realizing it, I did something completely counterintuitive that changed the situation around completely. In doing so, I showed him my worth and was able to change his behavior very quickly. If you’re ever faced with a man who’s “not sure,” here’s how you can do it, too.
My husband wooed me. He courted me and won me over. I was so confident that our relationship would lead to marriage, that I agreed to move in with him. I thought we were on track to a proposal, and I figured it was imminent. After all, my husband had been chasing me since the moment we met! He was the one talking about forever. He was the one who kept saying I was “The One.”
And so, on New Year’s Eve, when he sat me down and looked me in the eye, I was certain a ring would appear. But what he said instead broke my heart.
He told me that he needed more time, and that his therapist said that if I loved him, I’d understand and give it to him! I was shocked, saddened, and didn’t know what to do.
After I caught my breath and got my bearings together, something dawned on me – something I’d never considered before. I didn’t want to lose him, but I needed to let him know that this wasn’t just about him and that he could lose me, too. I also realized that I could end up wasting months living with a man – and being exclusive with him – while essentially cutting myself off from other opportunities and the commitment I needed.
So I told him this: “I love you, and I want you to take as much time as you need. But while you’re deciding what to do, you can’t have me all to yourself.” It wasn’t manipulation or an ultimatum – it was a way of taking care of myself and doing for myself what I needed to do. That weekend, I packed my bags and treated myself to some alone time. I needed to reconnect with myself and remind myself that I had a life outside of him.
As soon as I did that, and I put the focus back on myself, so did my then boyfriend. So much so, that two weeks later, he proposed.
So what does this mean for you? Lots of things. First, it’s a hopeful lesson that everything can be turned around. I wouldn’t normally coach my clients to move in with their boyfriends.
Instead, I often advise women that they should keep dating different men until they have the commitment they want from the man they want. But women often cringe at the idea of continuing to date other men.
When my then boyfriend told me he wasn’t sure if he wanted to marry me, I didn’t go and line up a bunch of dates. But what I did do is “date myself.” I made plans by myself to do things that pleased me. And, in doing that, I reminded him of the woman he fell in love with.
I shook him up so that he saw that his life was much better with me in it than it was without me. It scared him a little – by reminding him how great I was, it woke him up to the fact that other men might rush in to claim me before he did. When a man realizes what he has with you – and that he could lose it – he’ll feel naturally motivated to make a lifelong commitment to you.
Commitment is a different emotional process for men than it is for women. To learn how men decide whether or not a woman is “the one,” subscribe to my free e-newsletter. I will teach you specific words and body language you can use that will inspire a man to want to create a lasting relationship with you.