Last week, I shared an anonymous guest post titled She Was Just An Option. Here are the Red Flags which will help you identify if you are just an option. I used bolded text to emphasize the wisdom provided! Thank you Anonymous Angel!#theonewillbecertain #Youdontneedtofinaglemarriage #ultimatumsneverwork #heshouldbeproudofyou #youareworthcommittingto
……In both of these cases, there are many red flags that serve as signs that my friend and I were “options”, not priorities. Let’s go over them together:
1) These relationships are very long with comparably little development.
It took both my friend and I over five years to “finagle” a proposal from the men we loved. This is a bad sign. Quick engagements are not ideal, but when it takes many years for a man to decide he wants to marry you, it can really begin to erode your sense of self-confidence. It is also normally a sign of a high-degree of uncertainty on his part, and a lack of a sense of direction.
2) Both of our boyfriends were consistently involved with other women in ways that crossed emotional and perhaps physical boundaries.
Both men in these relationships consistently sought out the company of several other women for coffee dates, lunches and dinners, and trips to bars or parties while they were in relationships with us. It is not bad for your boyfriend to have female friends, but in both cases the men involved tried to hide their outings from their girlfriends, or to keep their girlfriends secret from the women they took out. This behavior did not change even during the engagement, and other women were the cited cause of both of our break ups.
3) The men in these relationships proposed marriage to us rather than lose us to another man.
In both cases, the men in question made proposals of marriage when it became theoretically possible that they would lose us to other men who would propose marriage. In my case, the arrival of other suitors had prompted action. In the case of my friend, an ultimatum prompted action. Both cases are bad. For the men we loved, marriage was not an outgrowth of a strong desire for love and commitment to last a lifetime; rather, it was a strategy to keep us with them and ensure we did not marry someone else. These men did not actually desire to enter into the institution of marriage with us because it was a positive and beautiful life choice, but to ensure that they would not lose us to someone who would marry us.
4) The women in these relationships worked hard to appease and convince their boyfriends to love them “enough” to make a proposal.
Both my friend and I spent significant amounts of time and energy trying to convince our boyfriends that we were worth committing to. We saw ourselves as competitors for the affections of the men we loved, and thought that by making ourselves beautiful, getting good jobs, and cooking and cleaning for them, we were giving them signs that we were worth it. It is good to try to make yourself the best that you can be, and it is also good to show love to your partner. It’s not good to do this for an instrumental reason. For example, it’s not good to do these things to try to prove to a man you are worth loving. If you have to prove that you are worth loving so desperately, you are an option and not a priority to this man; it also means that you most likely suffer from low self-worth.
5) Intimacy complicated the picture.
In my case, the intense emotional relationship I had with my boyfriend, filled with declarations of love and verbalized awe for the amazingness of the other person, made it difficult for me or for him to see clearly. I should have seen that his words did not match up with his actions, but I was on such a high from our emotional connection I didn’t even stop to look. In my friend’s case, sexual intimacy complicated her judgment and the judgment of her boyfriend. The problem in both cases is that we permitted very intense types of intimacy with men who had not initially given us a sure commitment of any kind.
After these experiences of devastation, my friend and I both moved on. Though she originally moved to the city she now lives in because of her ex-fiancé, she now has her dream job and is on the fast track to receiving great and well-deserved publicity for her work. I pray that from her experience, she has learned how to choose a man with more wisdom.
I also have been very fortunate. Three months after my break-up, I met an amazing man. I knew I was a priority and not an option to him because of big and little things he did to show me how much I meant to him. For example, because I went to church, on his own he began to go to church with me, without being asked. When I cooked for him, he was so grateful and praised me to all his friends. He also regularly cooked for me and pampered me as a way of showing he cared.
He changed around his work hours, which began late and ended late, to fit more of a nine to five schedule so that we could spend more time together. He helped me control my spending habits to pay back credit card debt and student loans by making a careful budget that was considerate of my needs and desires. I never doubted where I stood with him, and there was never any mention of women he took to lunch or coffee or parties.
After a year and a half of dating and getting to know one another well, we got engaged. We are married and expecting our first child. Everyday I give thanks to God for him; he really treats me like Christ treats his bride the church. In some ways, I think my experience with my previous boyfriend showed me so clearly what kind of man I should marry. I hope that by writing about my experience and the experience of my friend, it will help other women to avoid our mistakes, and to seek out the sort of man who will love and honor them for the rest of their life.
God love and bless you!
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