I have a favorite afternoon radio show. The guys are hilarious, silly and actually pretty smart. They pose very intriguing questions and conundrums... and then they have great discussions with their call-in listeners. It's a great venue to hear lots of different opinions.
More than once, they have tackled the question of the ultimatum. Would it work, does it ever work... for a woman to throw down the gaunlet on her man, "Propose to me by ____ or I'm gone."? Typically, they advise women to have the ultimatum in mind, but never speak of it. Stick to your decision though, if he doesn't meet your needs, move on. I agree. Proposing an ultimatum puts the man in an uncomfortable position. Would you really want to marry someone who came to the decision reluctantly?
One recent afternoon they addressed the situation from another angle. Their question, "If you are with the man you want to spend the rest of your life with... what is the breaking point that makes you walk? If you love him and want to marry him, why end the relationship just because he doesn't want to get married? Do you suddenly not love him?"
Interesting. Coming from two men, they theorized that a woman who does so never really loved the man.
For one thing, if it's a man who never intends to marry - he should state that upfront. That's only fair.
Callers offered several different thoughts. While I didn't call in, I did roll the concept around in my head and concluded: If he loves her... and we're talking about a scenario in which he would happily stay with her indefinitely... then the fact that he won't do this one thing to fulfill that desire for her speaks volumes. Doesn't it?
I think it's clear that if one person wants to get married and the other doesn't... then their goals aren't the same to begin with.
I'll take it a step further and suggest that if life goals don't match up from the start, a couple may have no business getting involved.
A couple should establish 1) a common faith, or an acceptance of their differences 2) common activities 3) support of one another's life goals.... loooonnnngg before they sleep together, live together or otherwise commit to one another. But in today's culture... most couples work the opposite direction, placing physical attraction and chemistry ahead of what they ever have in common.
That's how someone finds oneself in a position of being in love with someone who never wants to marry them.
How can one say forever, if the other is stuck on never?