Consider the relationship between dating, boundaries, marriage. Realize the meaning you attach to “I love you.” I am assuming that both of you have exchanged this declaration prior to you wanting to talk about marriage. Consider the meaning to the words you use, and when you use them. Do you use this phrase lightly when you date? Only if the relationship is long term? Or only if marriage is the intention? Talk about it, do not make assumptions. Make sure your partner is using these words in the same way that you are.
Some people use the phrase very lightly, as they would for “I love frozen yogurt.” Other individuals will only say “I love you” if they consider their partner someone they would make a long term commitment to. My advice is to be clear about what you mean, and clear about what he means with “I love you” before your mind transitions to talking about marriage (if this was not mutually understood from the beginning). First things first. An earlier answer about boundaries is relevant in this conversation.
Many of my single, women clients never introduce the topic of marriage believing it is the role of the man to do so. Others make it clear by the time they become exclusive in the dating relationship that life goals include marriage. And others are comfortable taking the initiative to discuss intentions for the future from the beginning. Consider the role of these words in dating, boundaries, marriage.
Some women only date when a man approaches them and communicates that he wants to pursue a serious relationship, so they are more assured of his intent from the start.
I encourage you to clarify what “some day” and “in the future” mean. Then she can evaluate how the clarification does or does not fit in with her expectations. If he remains vague, evasive or nonchalant when you clarify what he means you need to move on.
1) Be clear about the meaning for each of you regarding “I love you.”
2) Practice personal boundaries, being true to yourself so guys who are unhealthy for you have already disqualified themselves.
3) Be honest about your life goals; marriage/family are major ones.
4) Be safe and accepting so he can honestly share his goals with you.
5) If your goals are different, not close enough, or he evades clear communication you need to consider your departure.
Considerations about dating, boundaries, marriage.
Copyright ©2013 Marta