Relationship Advice

10 August 2011

How my boyfriend went from unsure to proposing in two weeks

by eHarmony

If you’re on pins and needles waiting for a man to make up his mind about you, then it’s time to learn how to make him see you as the one woman he can’t be without. I should know – here’s what I did to get my husband from “not ready” to “will you marry me?”

By Rori Raye
Author of best-selling eBook Have The Relationship You Want and free newsletter

I’ve been married for over twenty years, and since most of my coaching focuses on inspiring a man to commitment, my clients always want to know how my husband proposed to me.

When I tell them, they’re both surprised and relieved to hear that it wasn’t an easy journey – he was stalling and “not ready,” and I was feeling very uncertain. And then, without realizing it, I did something completely counterintuitive that changed the situation around completely. In doing so, I showed him my worth and was able to change his behavior very quickly. If you’re ever faced with a man who’s “not sure,” here’s how you can do it, too.

Moving in…and waiting for the ring
My husband wooed me. He courted me and won me over. I was so confident that our relationship would lead to marriage, that I agreed to move in with him. I thought we were on track to a proposal, and I figured it was imminent. After all, my husband had been chasing me since the moment we met! He was the one talking about forever. He was the one who kept saying I was “The One.”

And so, on New Year’s Eve, when he sat me down and looked me in the eye, I was certain a ring would appear. But what he said instead broke my heart…

He told me that he needed more time, and that his therapist said that if I loved him, I’d understand and give it to him! I was shocked, saddened, and didn’t know what to do.

A revelation…and an ultimate proposal
After I caught my breath and got my bearings together, something dawned on me – something I’d never considered before. I didn’t want to lose him, but I needed to let him know that this wasn’t just about him and that he could lose me, too. I also realized that I could end up wasting months living with a man – and being exclusive with him – while essentially cutting myself off from other opportunities and the commitment I needed.

So I told him this: “I love you, and I want you to take as much time as you need. But while you’re deciding what to do, you can’t have me all to yourself.” It wasn’t manipulation or an ultimatum – it was a way of taking care of myself and doing for myself what I needed to do. That weekend, I packed my bags and treated myself to some alone time. I needed to reconnect with myself and remind myself that I had a life outside of him.

As soon as I did that, and I put the focus back on myself, so did my then boyfriend. So much so, that two weeks later – he proposed.

Erecting boundaries…and making him fall in love again
So what does this mean for you? Lots of things. First, it’s a hopeful lesson that everything can be turned around. I wouldn’t normally coach my clients to move in with their boyfriends. Instead, I often advise women that they should keep dating different men until they have the commitment they want from the man they want. But women often cringe at the idea of continuing to date other men.

When my then boyfriend told me he wasn’t sure if he wanted to marry me, I didn’t go and line up a bunch of dates. But what I did do is “date myself” – I made plans by myself to do things that pleased me. And, in doing that, I reminded him of the woman he fell in love with.

I shook him up so that he saw that his life was much better with me in it than it was without me. It scared him a little – by reminding him how great I was, it woke him up to the fact that other men might rush in to claim me before he did. When a man realizes what he has with you – and that he could lose it – he’ll feel naturally motivated to make a lifelong commitment to you.

Commitment is a different emotional process for men than it is for women. To learn how men decide whether or not a woman is “the one”, subscribe to Rori’s free e-newsletter. Rori will teach you specific words and body language you can use that will inspire a man to want to create a lasting relationship with you.

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21 September 2011 05:37

the key with your approach was the focus: when you said what you did, you were looking forward to a positive that YOU wanted. This is always a positive thing. Problems will arise for a girl if she follows your advice with a negative focus; that of trying to manipulate the guy. Manipulating anyone is always a bad idea; it will always backfire, and there’s no quicker way to erode trust and respect. We can sense this, even if we don’t know what to say or do about it at the time. Trying to manipulate someone will backfire. It only makes you look emotionally immature, dishonest, and prattish. This is the case regardless of sex.

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9 July 2012 23:33

I know it worked for you Rori, but what if it only makes a man jump into proposing because he fears to lose you not because he really is ready. Could that cause issues in the future when he realises why he was not ready to begin with and that he should not have proposed when he did. Does this leave him with questions in his head or will he grow to love you more and understand he did the right thing.

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26 September 2012 14:28

I did the same thing when my man said he wanted to “see what she had to offer” – unfortunately he learnt my worth & that i was who he wanted after she wasn’t interested. But by then, i knew i didn’t want to wake up each day knowing i was his second choice. To this day he regrets his actions, and sometimes i do too – but i had to look after me.

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2 October 2012 23:06

You sound full of yourself (confidence is fine, “how great I am” wat?) and manipulative.

I like how you say you ‘didnt go back to dating other guys’ like that was some sort of huge win when you go on to suggest other women do exactly that.

As another poster said, you likely forced his hand. Let things happen or not in their own way instead of forcing someone in to a decision.

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19 July 2013 06:29

Would this really work? I dont want to loose my boyfriend but I want to be married… Im worried he will just say fine go dont come back

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