Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Ring? Try Put a Title On It.

So I wrote Tell him to "Put a Ring On It," and some of the comments I received from men were beyond mind-blowing. Some of my favorites:

Thats's bad advice. Never put the pressure on a man early in the relationship by bringing up marriage or titles. When he's ready you both will know. Come on ladies don't be fast and find yourself by yourself.

and

Why can't women just be cool with the situation at hand?? If he isn't going anywhere, and he makes you happy, why do you need a title?? Once you get past the whole dating thing and you know that you are together, the just have fun with the situation for what it is. IF he wants to pop the question then it should be nothing to say yes, because you are enjoying your time with him!!

Couple this with Belle, over at A Belle in Brooklyn (an absolutely fabulous blog that I think EVERYONE should read) is having relationship problems because she wants a "title" (i.e. Girlfriend) and he doesn't. He say's he's not ready for a relationship, even though by all accounts that's what they have.

And finally, a relative of mine has been in a "relationship" with a young man for almost a year now and he still refuses to call her his girlfriend even though recently told her that he :loves her," very much and that he isn't "checking for any other woman."

Right.

So what's the problem?

Here I am writing about telling your guy to "put a ring on it," and it seems like I need to be telling ladies to tell their men to "put a title on it."

Let's be real, if you can't get a man to put a title on it, how in the hell are you ever going to get him to put a ring on it?

I call this scenario the "Pseudo-relationship" with the "Not-boyfriend." Pseudo because you're in a relationship in almost every way but name and Not-boyfriend because...well...he's not your boyfriend.

What I'm really scratching my head to figure out is how did women allow this situation to develop? Why have we, do we, allow these relationships to occur?

I get the man side of this. It's the perfect set-up. You get to have the exclusivity of having a girlfriend but without any of the commitment, because let's face it...the difference between calling a chick your "friend" and your "girlfriend," is how you view your commitment to her.

It's the same thing with the difference between (most) co-habiting couples and married couples. The married couples have taken a firm commitment to each other. The co-habiting couples tend to be there on a "try and see" basis.

However, for women, these low-commitment relationships rarely work. I know for me if I'm not your girlfriend then I'm dating other people. I don't agree to any sort of exclusivity. Don't even ask. if you want exclusive with me then you definitely need to put a title on it.

And every woman I know in one of these pseudo-relationships is rarely truly happy with the situation. Most want a title but they agree because they really care for the guy and he's somehow convinced him that, though he's not ready now, he will be someday.

Someday.

The reality is however, someday isn't likely to come. Just as the co-habiting couple rarely turns to marriage, the pseudo relationship rarely turns into a full relationship. I've seen many a damaged woman form the pseudo-relationship gone wrong....myself included...and we weren't even exclusive.

It's just a bad deal. Why put up with the drama of a relationship, the ups and downs, the possible (and likely) heartbreak if you don't even have a firm commitment from the guy you're involved with?

I believe a woman is selling herself short if what she wants is a relationship and instead she settles for this poor substitute. Like I said in the last post: If you want a relationship get/have a relationship. Your wants, needs and desires shouldn't be held up because some man in your life isn't ready. If he's not ready...move on...let him know to hit you up when he is...and hope you're not already taken.

17 comments:

Sunshyne said...

exactly!

sounds like commenter #2 is one of these sorry men that cant commit

u DONT know if he's gonna be there or not if there is no title

ladies gotta stop selling themselves short, stop going through the motions with someone who isnt even sure if they wanna be with you, keep your options open

Skinny Black Girl said...

Can't co-sign this one.

I've been happily un-titled for almost a year now and quite frankly, I wouldn't have it any other way.

I don't think that a title keeps a man from seeing other women. If he wants to screw around, he's going to do it no matter what you call it.

When a man wants to give you his time and his heart, he will do it.

Let me be clear that I am not settling for anything. I'm not sitting around waiting for it to become "official." When people feel the need to ask, I say that we're "officially" in love. I have no desire to put a cuff or a leash on him because WE are honestly happy as we are.

I'm not saying that other women need to adopt this mindset. If you need the title to feel secure, then by all means, don't settle for anything less. I just don't happen to be one of those girls and contrary to popular belief it has worked quite well for me.

Eb the Celeb said...

Men act like its all us that have a problem with titles and its more so them... they feel if they have a title on something then there world would be over or something... if they didnt put so much pressure on NOT having a title we wouldnt even care that much. Just like the man quoted said... if everything is going well... and you know you aren't going anywhere, why is officially saying she is your girl a problem.

personally I'm not one that is big on titles, actually prefer just to go threw the motions without that pressure but there does come a time where men need to grow up and makes things official

JJ said...

@Skinny Black Girl

If you're hapy that's what matters but the post was for women who are not.

If what you want is a relationship, titled and all then have one of these non-titled joints isn't going to cut it.

I'm for people having the relationships they want...not what someones tells them they should want.

@Eb the Celeb

I'm fine with no titles to...just don't expect you're the only man I'm seeing.

Rox said...

Some men (& women) try to have their cake & eat it too (intimacy without commitment) and I see that most of the time one party ends up getting hurt in the process. When it comes to relationships of all kinds, communication is SO necessary. If both people are clear in what they want from the other (titles, rings or neither), that makes it a little easier to figure out of the relationship may work down the lin or if its doomed because you want a ring & he's just in it for a fling.
So I say if you want a title, that's what you deserve, nothing less. You can't make someone be the kind of person you want them to be or in the relationship you want to have.

A Female Serial Pseudo-Relationshipist said...

I think guys want a pseudo-relationship so they don't have to worry about breaking up with you or cheating if someone better comes along. They are basically saying you are fine for right now until I can find someone I want to get serious with. One foot is already out the door ready to dip when necessary. Also, it's less messy for them this way and they won't have to feel like they hurt anyone. Pseudo-relationships usually end when on party slow or quickly becomes to busy to see you anymore. It's just an easy escape root. I know because unfortunately every relationship I've had has been a pseudo-relationship. I think that's the only option available now.

JJ said...

@ A Femal

Exactly.

I've had 1 real pseudo-relationship, completely accidental and it blew up it in my face.

The thing about these low-commitment relationships is it doesn't stop you from getting your feelings hurt. Doesn't stop you from being hurt when they leave (with no announcement). Doesn't stop you from being jealous.

Why put yourself through that kind of drama for someone who has no desire to be with you?

singlikesassy said...

I'm not single any more but one rule of thumb I lived by was this: I can only hold you accountable to what we agreed to -- not what I wanted and hoped and wished you wanted too. Simple as that.

Oftentimes men don't want to "put a ring on it" cause you ain't the one. Simple as that. I tell my girlfriends all of the time: don't let him have the relationship with you that HE wants if it's not what YOU want.

Anonymous said...

I totaly agree! Glad I found this blog. This time last year I started "haningin out" with a guy who asked me up front what I was looking for, and coming out of a relationship, I said I was cool just hanging out...Fast forward 5-6 months and feelings changed. He said he loved me, I knew I cared for him, but he was insistent upon not calling it what it was.
I tried to tough it out, but couldnt stomach it and told him that he was full of * you know what*. When he realized I was serious and didnt want to be with him unless he respected what we supposedly had, he changed his tune. Still going strong to this day=0)-but if he hadnt come around...well they say time heals all wounds, right?

Anonymous said...

I love your blog you always speak the truth I used to be in a psuedo relationship for about two years and I was soooo unhappy. The guy used to do all types of crap that men pull to try you and when I used to say something to him about it he would immediately say that I am not your boyfriend so why should it matter. When it ended it ended horribly I feel that the longer the psuedo relationship went on, the less and less respect that I recieved from him until it blew up in my face. He is with some girl now that mind you he was talking to when we were "together" and they are in a psuedo relationship and he is really trying to get back with me Oh well I have moved on and I am happy.

Belle is... said...

I checked my numbers this afternoon and was like, why am i getting so many hits? Lo and behold. Thanks for the kind words and the love... and the analysis too. I should do an Epilogue on Anatomy of A Break Up. Some interesting developments.

As always, you're insight is painfully valid. Makes me think too hard, damn you!

Miss April Joy said...

I really enjoyed reading this blog and I have always preached this and it bothers me when women want to bend over backwards for a guy who won't even commit to them even after years, he just isn't ready for a real relationship and he is scared that the moment he makes it official something better is going to come along.

sexyndacity said...

Okay, I'm 22 and I am dating a guy that is 34yrs old. I have been dating him for 3yrs and only know it's been official. We currently are living with each other and times I want to give up and throw in the towel but I won't quit on him because when things get crazy he hasn't quit on me. I know he genuinely loves me without one doubt. You have to give some people time but still let them know that you know what you want in life. If that guy shows no interest in marriage in the next few years then you should go because you are wasting each others time. A lot of women in their 30's are in a rush to get married without getting to know the guy and the whole relationship because they feel they are getting older faster. Better to marry your partner when they are ready instead of pressured and trapped. Women need to stop thinking a baby keeps a man. America is one of the top countries for divorces. Many black women never get a chance to walk down the aisle. I'm taking my time and loving each blessings in life. I want to get married in the future but I am still young and need to find out more about myself and I know there are many women older than me that still need some soul searching.

FlyyGurl said...

oh lady....where did you leanr all these lessons? You are the sensei at the top of the mountain, and i am the monk who must climb...PREACH!!!!!

Untouched Jewel said...

I honestly believe that if a guy asks a female what she is looking for from a guy, BE UP FRONT! If you want a relationship, say so. If you don't say so. But one thing all single women should do when seeing men, is do the same thing they do to us: KEEP YOUR OPTIONS VERY OPEN. Men do it all the time, why can't we? There are plenty of fine men out there that are single and datable. Date until you can't date no more. If a man gets his poor lil ego hurt, tough shit! They don't care when we get ourselves emotionally tied up in them, and they decide to move on to "greener grass". To hell with that madness. KEEP YOUR OPTIONS OPEN.

Jhendrie86 said...

ladies, dont settle for that bullshit. It time we women stop settling for a lot of shit, including our relationships and what we want out of life. we must decide today THAT WE WILL STOP SETTLING AND GET WHAT WE WANT AND DESERVE.

Anonymous said...

Well I was in one of these pseudo-relationships. We did everything together but when I asked him to put a title on it he wouldn't, I finally put it together. If he really wanted me he would make it official, but why make it official when I'm doing everything like I'm your girlfriend and you still get to go on dates with other women which by the way we both agreed we wouldn't date other people. He called the other women his good friends. One day someone close to him told me he never had plans on making a commitment because I have baggage(kids). All they did was tell me things I already knew. I felt really dumb because I ignored all the signs. Please don't fall for this!