For all the guys that get dumped out of no where, and for all the girls that are just tired of waiting around for their man to finally get down on their knee and profess their desire to be together forever.  Why does this happen?  Perhaps this theory could explain…keep reading.

You’re a guy and you have been dating the same wonderful woman for what, three years now?  And for some strange reason when you walked in the door yesterday and all her stuff was missing?  “Someone has broken in…stolen everything!”  But something seems amiss.  Everything is gone, just nothing of yours; except maybe the BBQ you wanted and that 40” LCD Samsung TV you bought “together”.

You’re a girl and have been off the market for over three years dating the same guy, maybe even living with him.  But you’re at the point where you just cannot wait any longer for him to make the next move.  You only have so many eggs to fertilize and you just wasted 36 of them on this guy with no promise of a future together.

What in the world is going on you wonder.  Let me tell you.  You took to long and she waited, waited, waited and you just didn’t get on board with the “future”.  I had this conversation with my fiancé early in our relationship about who ends the relationship, when and why.  It was friendly banter about who knew what, or more, about relationships.  He believes it is typically the girl that ends the relationship if it survives past the first year, and the girl typically get’s over it quicker.  I believe I have the answer!

I put it out there pretty early on in our courting that I was not looking for someone to pass the time with, I was looking for the person I wanted to spend my life with.  Pretty brash of me I know, but I had done the waiting game back when I was younger and this is where I discovered the truth of my theory.  A “light goes off” kind of moment you could say, a little knowledge a little late.  And having experienced this once in my life was enough of a life lesson for me.

As many of us girls do, I dissected the relationship, what was good/bad and where I went wrong. Unfortunately I could not put my finger on one specific thing or event that could contribute to the end of my 5 ½ yr relationship.  It took the course it was meant to take but what I did discover was there tends to be a pattern in long term relationships.  And here is my theory.

Year one:

Together you decide the relationship is worth pursuing and you fall in love.  You are “together” and enjoying your time together.  You have been getting to know one another on a deeper level, and those butterflies that invade your tummy in the first months seem to have flown the coup.  But that’s okay because what you have after all this time is a solid foundation to build upon.  By the end of year one the girl is seriously sussing out if she can see you as “the” long term partner she has been searching for.  The guy in turn is just happy he found a girl to stick around for this long…maybe you will go the distance but no need to rush the situation, you are happy to see where it goes.

Year two:

Still together, maybe living together, maybe not.  Either way this relationship is travelling down the relationship road and you are both are in it for the long”er” haul.  This is the beginning of the end.  If you are still together than more than likely she has decided to pursue you as her life long mate and you better get ready for the bumpy road ahead; yes, I am referring to the pressure.

She drops hints about “marriage” and makes comments about your potential future together.  The guy thinks, “great, she does see a future with me, okay, this is good”.  But as a man you are naturally non-committal in your answers.  “Ya, things are great with “us” and I really do enjoy spending time with you”.  Ouch, that’s what we girls think…what in the world is he thinking???  How does that help me figure out if he feels the same as I do?  No point asking the question direct, he knows what I am getting at.

Men and women, we communicate differently.  Women seem to like to allude to things, also known as hinting.  Men, well they say it like it is.  If you do not spell it out for them then they can pretend to not understand.  Don’t let that fool you though.  I fully believe the guy knows what we girls are doing, but due to the belief that men occasionally think with their parts further south, we let them off the hook and continue dropping our hints hoping one day they will get the picture.  Seriously, do we really need to spell it out for you?  YES!!!!  The simple answer is YES.  If you want to know how/what he thinks, ask him.  Don’t beat around the bush, unless you like banging your head against a brick wall and are immune to head injury.

So what year are we at?  Right, year two.  If the hints are not addressed with concrete answers that satisfy the woman’s curiosity to explore the future together, year two become a road of distancing herself.  She slowly starts to convince herself that her man does not picture the two-story house with white picket fence and 2.5 children with “her”.  Off turn the emotions and wow, the pressure to answer the life long commitment end.

For the guy this path is experienced completely different.  While he ignores the hints and offers only what he needs to in order to make the relationship complacent and bearable, don’t be fooled!  He is aware that the pressure is mounting and guess what, he does NOT like it.  He is going to continue ignoring the hints so why bother dropping them.  But you do, now it is just lip service though.

Year Three:

Once she stops laying the pressure on, he realises that things are getting better, less tense.  With all this tension and stress it is difficult to know whether he is thinking of marriage with you because he loves you and wants to spend his life with you, or because he is being pressured to feel that way.  How could we expect a man to make such an important life decision under such a weight?  So the anxiety around the commitment has eased and he is now permitting himself to see his life with you, feeling like you are getting closer and loving you more.  But you (the woman) are feeling distant and the desire to marry him lessens every day.  Wow, how in the world did this happen?

Just as he is ready to begin ring shopping, or at least talk openly and honestly about your future together, this is when he comes home and the house is barren.  He is totally confused.  He was really starting to get used to the idea that he is going to ask you to be his wife, and oppss! There you go; you are busy building your new life, maybe single, maybe not.  And you seem to be just fine.  Either way he is dumbfounded and stupefied about what in the world happened.  He is heart broken and cannot for the life of him understands how you could walk away so calmly and easily from the life he was planning to have with you.  He is mourning the end and she is done.  She already did her mourning during the time that she had accepted the relationship was never going to flourish into the exchange of rings and “together forever” vows.

Simply said, she dropped too many hints and he took too long to make the decision!  Got it?!

Interesting food for thought, offered from my sister as a means of supporting my emotional crisis when my relationship ended.  People that date for 5 years or more and are not engaged, are 50% more likely to get divorced if they do end up getting married.  Not sure where she got this statistic from but when I stop to think of it I see the validity.

Have you ever seen the movie, “The Wedding Planner” (yep, using this cheesy movie to prove a point, sorry)?  Have you been in a long term relationship and find yourself engaged and then married and wondered how it happened?  Well, for me there was a very momentous scene where two of the main characters are about to marry and they have a little chat before the ceremony; they wonder, “how did we find ourselves here”.  And that is often a good question to ask.  Are you at this point because that person is the love of your life or because it just seems to be the next logical step in the relationship?  If you are getting married because it is the next natural step or because you’re not sure who else you will marry, run!

I believe that the person we marry should be someone we could live without but chose not to want to live without.  You may not always feel that way about the person, but apparently you have to just pray that you both don’t want a divorce at the same time.  This advice was dispensed by a couple that has been married for over 40 years, so I think there is a grain of truth in it.