A link to this amusing article appeared in my Facebook page today.
In short, after living with a man for three years, a woman wonders why her boyfriend is reluctant to marry her. He says he is not ready, which, come to think of it, is one of the few male euphemisms. It's male-speak for "I'm scared of marriage. Since I am having regular sex, meals and company watching TV, why do I need to get married?" "I'm not ready" is girly enough to make girls sympathetic, but not as girly as "I'm scared."
Anyway, the therapist consulted in the case was not impressed by the woman's "Decide in a year, or I'll split" ultimatum. She seems to advocate more of a "This is what I'd like. What would you like?" approach. It seems very touchy-feely, as if men thought and expressed themselves just like women.
Girlfriend: Wow! That is a nice cardigan.
Boyfriend: Do you like it? I got it on sale.
Girlfriend: It's great! Now, listen, I've been thinking, and you are the kind of guy I'd like to marry.
Boyfriend: Wow. That's a nice thing to say. I'm truly flattered.
Girlfriend: What do you think of marriage?
Boyfriend: Well, of course I have always dreamed of my wedding day. I love my parents' wedding photos although, don't tell my dad, but I am so not wearing his wedding tux. The thing is, oh my gosh, I hope you're not offended, I'm so scared of being stuck in a Bobby Breadwinner role, you know? And I'm also scared my wife would get too fat or too skinny and old. I mean, I know that happens to everyone, but when I hear the word "marriage", that's what I think of. A too fat or too skinny old woman. Who shouts. ARGH! I hate it when women shout. And what if she took off and sued me for everything I ever earned for the rest of my life? EEE! OMG, I know this guy it happened to. What a NIGHTMARE!
Girlfriend: I don't shout. And I'm not like that.
Boyfriend: OMG, I never meant YOU! I meant in general. Marriage! Eek! Shudder!
Girlfriend: Um...So when do you think you will stop feeling that way?
Boyfriend: I have no idea! You know? AAAH! I forgot! I so totally have to text Stephen now about our BFF pedicure date.
Amusingly, the woman's live-in boyfriend has adjusted his ideas now that the deadline approaches and is speaking more positively about marriage. Of course, I have no idea what their ultimatum conversation was like, but I like to imagine it was something like this:
Girlfriend: So have you thought any more about us getting married?
Boyfriend: (thinks) Eek! (says) Oh gosh, can we have this conversation later?
The Girlfriend looks sad.
Boyfriend (thinks) Darn. Better throw her a bone. (says) No, wait. I can see it's important to you. Well, I have, and it's the same thing. I just don't feel ready yet.
Girlfriend: After three years with me, you don't feel ready?
Boyfriend: (thinks) Ready, hell. I'm terrified. (says) You know with work and stuff....
Girlfriend: Right. Time for a deadline. I'm tired of just being your girlfriend. It's tired. It's old news. Frankly, it's boring, not knowing if we're ever going to move ahead, have a family and create a permanent life together. I don't want to be just a roommate with benefits, I want to be your wife. So you have a year to make up your mind, bucko, or I'm out of here.
Boyfriend (thinks): Uh oh. Uh oh. Uh oh. She's serious. Oh noooooooo! Give up the goodies or just get married? Give up the goodies or just get married? Give up--Oh my God. I actually love this woman. Maybe I should man up. Maybe we should get married.
You all know, of course, that I am very DOWN on premarital cohabitation, especially for Catholics who are supposed to know better and set a good example. But I am also down on three-year non-marital, exclusive dating relationships for working adults. I mean, three years??? One year of steady dating should be plenty to figure out if marriage is the plan.