Wondering if you’ve found your life partner, or if you ever will? You’re not alone.
Samantha is ready to settle down and has been dating Mark for a couple of years. He’s a nice guy and her parents really like it that he’s a doctor. Yet, she has a nagging feeling that something isn’t right, but she can’t quite put her finger on the problem. Sometimes when she’s upset, he seems to want to avoid talking about it. She wonders how big a deal that really is. She’s afraid of breaking up with him and being single again. When she was single, she didn’t date much and was even more self-conscious about the 10 pounds she’d like to lose. She’s afraid that she might not find another man who would want to be with her.
When Mark brings up the possibility of marriage, Samantha is on the fence. She tries to tell her parents about her concerns, but they don’t get it. They tell her that Mark is a catch and will make a great husband and that she’s probably just scared. They suggest she’s being too picky.
When Samantha’s friend hears her story, she tells Samantha how her parents encouraged her to ignore her doubts when she was about to marry her husband. They ended up in a bitter and complicated divorce several years later.
Samantha’s story of doubt and confusion probably sounds familiar. Our culture tells us to focus on our educations, careers, independence, and sexual experimentation, but the messages leave us chasing after multiple conflicting goals. We hear both “don’t settle” and “I can’t believe you aren’t married yet”. People often don’t realize how much we’re influenced by cultural pressures to conform. It can be hard to figure out what’s right for you as an individual when everyone has a different opinion about what’s best.
Choosing a partner is a very important decision. Women are more satisfied in their relationships when their partners make an effort to understand their negative feelings, even if their partners may not grasp them in their entirety. Make sure to avoid narcissistic men for this reason. Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook says, “The most important career choice you’ll make is who you marry.” Without the support of your partner, marriage is all but impossible.
What Would You Do in Samantha’s Shoes?
- Take a trip. Re-evaluate all your options.
- Marry him despite your hesitations- he looks good on paper.
- Break it off and disappear.
- Have a talk with Mark and tell him how you feel when he doesn’t want to hear you’re upset. Wait to decide on marriage until after this talk. If he’s sorry and wants to work on it with you, you can see if the situation improves and maybe get couples therapy. If he doesn’t want to hear how you feel or he won’t deal with the situation, you can end things realizing that you may have spared yourself years of an unhappy marriage.
Tell us your thoughts in the comments below. Ask Dr. Susan if you’d like more clarification on these options!
Could the guidelines of being your own Brand of Sexy help Samantha with her critical decision? Being your own Brand of Sexy is like having your handy GPS with you in the car. It helps to guide you to your destination so you don’t get lost.