Sunday, November 30, 2008

"The Rules"

Recently, A friend of mine asked me how to "make" a man commit.
IMPOSSIBLE! was the first thing that came to my mind. Not the commitment part of course, but the "make" part.
I believe the only thing that can make anyone fall in love with you, truly, is being yourself. Beauty and "brains" (wink wink) may capture a mans interest briefly, but if you have nothing else to offer you will quickly find yourself relegated to the discarded box of castoffs he has labeled "Not Girlfriend Material"

Now, men always come with a bag of problems, but for me, intent to commit has never been one of them. So it got me thinking...Can you make a man commit? I turned to The Oracle: Sex In The City!
"The Rules" and "He's Just Not That In To You" are 2 books forever ingrained in to the history of pop culture due to the massive success of Sex In The City.

We are probably all a bit more familiar with "He's Just Not That In To You". SATC had become infinitely more popular in its later seasons, and the writer Greg Behrehndt ultimately got his own (short lived) T.V. show, and now a movie with an all-star cast of the same name.

I know many people disagree with the entire notion of "He's Just Not That In To You". Of course all people are different, react differently to problems and scenarios, and want different things out of life and from their partners. However, the essence of the book rings true to me. If you and your partner want different things out of the relationship, and your needs are not being met, it may be time to seek greener pastures. Some may try to convince you that the grass is always greener on the other side, but if his grass is looking kinda dusty gray you probably don't have much to lose by stepping out on your own.

"The Rules" on the other hand is the uber strict doctrine that Charlotte followed in order to get Trey to propose. I find "The Rules" frightening in its rigidity, in my opinion anyone who was able to follow through with this would find that their entire relationship is based on lies and fallacy anyway.
Check out this synopsis of "The Rules":

Seal the Deal and Make Him Commit Don't Break These Rules
Following The Rules means letting him pursue you -- not seeing him more than two or three times a week, refusing to go away with him on weeklong vacations, and not moving in with him or crowding him in any way. If you've done all these things, you've actually helped him fall in love with you and want to marry you. He wants more of you, not less. And you will sense his desire to include you in his world. Within a year, if not sooner, he's figured out that he not only wants to marry you but has to marry you to see you more often, to really have you.
Your problem at this point is not if he's going to marry you but when. Men can happily date, commitment-free, for years! They are notorious for wanting to put off the actual engagement part until later. If he suggests living together first to see if you get along, tell him you're old-fashioned and want to wait until you're engaged or married.
If he hasn't asked you to marry him within a year -- or two at the most -- you might have to shake things up a little bit. Go away for a weekend with a girlfriend, cancel a Saturday-night date, get very busy at work, mention that you are renewing your apartment lease, or be mysterious about some of the things you do. All of the above should make him anxious to propose. A man who is wary of commitment is made less wary by a woman moving away from, not toward, commitment. This isn't trickery. You're just giving him the space he needs. And if this doesn't work?
Ask him what his intentions are. If he says he has no plans to marry you, say okay and then never see him again. Men don't lie about things like this. He's not scared of commitment -- he doesn't want to marry you.
If he says he does plan to marry you someday, but he's not ready yet, then it's up to you to close the deal. Ask him when -- and if it's more than a year away, see less of him and think about dating others. You've already spent more than a year waiting for him to propose. Do you have another year to wait?
If you are already living together and he says he doesn't want to become engaged, make plans to move out. But don't say, "I'm moving out because you won't commit." Just say that you need more space and you heard about a great apartment. When a man doesn't want to commit and you do, leave him alone. If he doesn't try to get you back with a proposal, don't waste your time. If he asks what's going on, nonchalantly answer, "I don't know if this relationship is for me." If he can live without you, you don't want him. Move on.
Here are five things not to do if he says he doesn't want to marry you, no matter how tempting.
1. Don't tell him you're hurt or mad, and don't reprimand him for leading you on. You stayed with him -- take responsibility for your actions. And if you've been living with him, you allowed him to be with you indefinitely without making a commitment.
2. Don't suggest going to couples therapy to discuss why he can't commit. Men can and do commit when they love you and when you maintain your identity and self-esteem in the relationship. But they can become commitment-phobic when a woman has pursued them, is too available, or they're just not in love with her.
3. Don't let your man brainwash you into thinking that marriage isn't important - "just a piece of paper." If he does not want to marry you, then he's not that in love with you -- he wants the option of meeting someone else!
4. Don't let a man convince you that because he's been married before, he can't marry you or that you should give him time to recover from wife No. 1 or 2.
5. Don't let a man you have been dating for years convince you to wait until "things slow down" at work or he's better off financially to make a commitment. There will always be work and money issues in life. They should have nothing to do with marrying you.
When a man loves you and wants to marry you, he gets down on bended knee and says something like, "Look, I know I'm not a millionaire, but I love you and I'd do anything for you."
You've seen it happen: A man will date a woman for five years, claiming he has commitment issues, but after breaking up with her, he marries someone else in six months. If a man truly is in love with you, and your actions (not your words) tell him that you won't wait around forever, his commitment issues will disappear and he will propose.
If you are involved with a man for several years who isn't proposing, how much longer are you willing to wait? When a man knows that you will accept less than marriage, he is not motivated to commit himself fully. You must be willing to walk away.
Assuming you are engaged, how do you actually motivate him to take the walk down the aisle? Becoming engaged is no guarantee of marriage, so don't get lax about The Rules. Don't talk to him on the phone for hours every night -- and it's still best not to move in together. Engagements can be broken and wedding dates never set. Better he should miss you and move up the wedding date than feel claustrophobic as you take over his closet space.
- The Rules: Time Tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right, Warner Books, 1995

Could you follow these rules? If you can, do you think they would make a man commit to you? Do you have your own set of rules? Or do you operate free of restrictions?

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