3 Ways To Deal With the Pressure to Get Married Without Losing Your Mind

BY: - 20 Apr '17 | Relationships

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“I just came here to find a husband.” That’s the sign Ayana Evans wore to a party she attended a few years ago. The picture she posted on her Instagram, shows her standing on the balcony, scanning the crowd below, with a sign taped on her back.

One might think she was being desperate or thirsty by being blunt about her purpose for showing up. But in an interview with The Root, Ayana said she was just being honest about her desire for a husband. And, she explained, putting her desire for a mate out there helped her to be honest about what she really wanted, instead of pretending that she was fine with being single. Her honesty helped to take some of the pressure off herself to get a husband before her fertility clock expire.

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If you’re feeling pressured to get married, you’re not alone. I remember returning home for the summer while I was in graduate school and it seemed everywhere I went, people were asking me when I was going to get married. It didn’t help that I didn’t have men lining up to propose to me (no one was even asking me out for ice cream!).

On top of that, seven of my friends had just gotten married that season and had asked me to sing at their weddings. The pressure to have a serious relationship drove me into the arms of the man who was absolutely wrong for me, and I knew it. But because I wanted to say I had someone too, I I hung on for dear life to a very toxic relationship.

Maybe your family has been pressuring you to get married, and you’re sick of hearing “when are you gonna give me some grandchildren?” at every family gathering.

Or maybe you’re dreading wedding season because you’re always the bridesmaid and never the bride. You could start to feel like your dreams of having a family are fading fast, and so you’re looking at the person you’re dating, wondering when they’re gonna pop the question.

I want to help you take some of the pressure off so that you stop making relationship choices out of fear of missing out and start making choices based on wisdom for what’s best for your life. Use these 3 tips to get started.

1. If the pressure is coming from yourself, focus on what you can control

If you’re feeling anxious or frustrated because you’ve been beating yourself for not being married yet, you need to focus on what you can control.

You can’t control when you’re going to get married. You also don’t have much control over your fertility, so worrying about having children won’t make it happen any faster. So what can you control? Let’s make a list.

  • You can control your thoughts. When anxious thoughts arise, you can shift your thinking by using affirmations that keep you calm. READ: Sisters, We Got You: 15 Powerful Quotes to Keep You Encouraged
  • You can control dating. Sitting around at home is the best way to guarantee you won’t meet anyone special. Be intentional about making dating a priority, and you’ll feel a little more in control of your destiny.
  • You can control who you listen to. When someone in your life starts to ask you a ton of questions about your love life, you can control whether or not you want to talk to them about it.

2. If the pressure is coming from friends and family, use your words to create boundaries

Boundaries are a beautiful thing! If you feel like every conversation with your friends or family will end with a question about when you’re going to get married, you can create boundaries around what you will and will not talk about.

For example, if you’re open to discussing your dating life, you could reply to questions like, “when are you gonna get married,” with “whenever you set me up with someone who’s a perfect match for me!” Not only does this lighten up the conversation, but it also let’s people know you’d love their help to meet your mate.

However, if you’d just rather not talk about it when your mama asks you, you could let her know that you appreciate the fact that she wants you to be happy, but that her questions have the opposite effect.

Tell her exactly how it makes you feel when she pressures you about marriage. You may discover that they’ll back off.  And even if they don’t, you’ll have released the resentment you feel about the whole situation.

3. If the pressure is coming from within your relationship, it’s time to have a conversation

If you’re feeling like your partner isn’t on the same page with you when it comes to marriage, you could end up with a lot of relationship problems. Pressuring your partner isn’t effective in moving you toward marriage.

Neither is investing another year into a relationship that may not lead to a ring. If you find yourself in this situation, it’s time to have a real conversation, where you allow each person to express what they really feel about marriage. If you discover that your partner loves you but can’t see himself getting married within the next 12-18 months, you’ll need to decide whether it’s worth spending your best years with someone who doesn’t want to commit to forever with you.

Pressure doesn’t feel good and leads to you feeling anxious about your future. Getting honest about how you feel is the first step to lifting that heavy burden off of your shoulders. You’ll discover that dating feels more fun (and less like a chore) when you’re not so attached to the outcome. This freedom will empower you to take one more step closer to the marriage you desire–and deserve.

Let’s talk BMWK. Where do you feel the most pressure to get married? Your family? Society? Your partner? Share your thoughts below

About the author

Aesha Adams Roberts wrote 142 articles on this blog.

Dr. Aesha is a matchmaker, dating coach, speaker and author of the book, Can I Help A Sister Out: How To Meet & Marry The Man of Your Dreams. After years of making painful dating mistakes, she met & married her husband in 11 short months and has made it her mission to help women and men find and keep the love of their lives.

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Is It Okay for Love to Be Conditional?

BY: - 21 Apr '17 | Relationships

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If I had to say what I love most about my relationship with my husband, it would be how he loves me unconditionally. He’s never made me feel like his love for me has conditions attached to it. Never makes me fee like I am constantly trying to earn his love. For that, I adore him.

I have seen people I love in relationships overflowing with conditions and it breaks my heart. Why should anyone feel like they are always trying to earn someone else’s love? Don’t we all deserve better?

Frankly, when someone loves you with conditions, I have to wonder if it’s really love. After all, wouldn’t true love be given freely, not based on every single thing you do (or don’t do)?

If you are wondering is you’re being loved with conditions, you need to think about how you feel when you are with your partner. What does he or she expect from you before genuine affection is shown?

Some may argue, what’s wrong with conditional love? Shouldn’t I have standards?

Yes, I think we should all have standards. I hate to see anyone settle. But for me, conditional love is not about settling. When you love someone conditionally you are saying that if you meet certain conditions, you can earn my love.  But if you don’t, I just can’t love you.

And whether you truly love someone actually isn’t the same as whether or not you should spend a lifetime with that person.

When someone truly loves you, they love you for who you are. They don’t withdraw love based on what you do or don’t do. For example, think about your children. On the day your child entered your world, do you remember how immensely you loved him or her? Hasn’t that love grown with time?

And no matter what your child does, will you ever stop loving him or her? Probably not. You may disapprove of your kid’s choices but your love never goes away—even if your kid messes up big time. You just keep on loving her unconditionally. That’s what true love is.

So what do you do if you find yourself being “loved” by someone with a list of conditions? I think you need to ask yourself why you are there? Is that person really giving you what you need and deserve, or have you told yourself that conditional love is better than no love.

I say go it alone. I know, I know—a lot easier said than done. But listen, you shouldn’t spend your lifetime feeling like you are constantly trying to meet someone’s expectations. Rather, you should feel like the person you are with just loves you for who you are—flaws and all. That’s what real love is about.

But I should point something out, though. Although my husband’s love for me may not be conditional, I certainly think his decision to stay married to me is. And I am okay with that. I think we have mutual conditions when it comes to staying married, like respect, fidelity, and a few others. But those conditions have nothing to do with how much we love each other. They simply have to do with whether or not we should stay with each other. Do you see the distinction?

So even if my husband messed up big time and cheated on me with a friend, I can’t sit here and tell you that I will stop loving him. That’s a lie. You can’t stop loving someone overnight because he messed up. But does that mean I will stay with him? Not necessarily.

And although I think true love is never conditional, I do believe that the decision to stay with someone for a lifetime has a few conditions, whether we choose to admit it or not.

But as we all move through life looking for true love, we should always remember that we are lovable just as we are. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. Maybe being married comes with a few conditions, but not being loved. In my opinion, being loved should be condition-free.

BMWK family, what are your thoughts on conditional love?

About the author

Martine Foreman wrote 488 articles on this blog.

Martine Foreman is a speaker, writer, lifestyle consultant, and ACE-certified Health Coach who specializes in helping moms who want more out of life but feel overwhelmed and confused. Through her content and services, Martine is committed to helping women embrace their personal truth, gain clarity, and take action to create healthier, happier lives. For more on Martine's candid views on life and love, visit her at candidbelle.com. To work with her, visit her at martineforeman.com. Martine resides in Maryland with her husband, two kids and sassy cat Pepper.

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