SET A DATE

 HOW LONG Is too long to date before getting married?is that the real question or is there more to the story?

LET'S FACE IT WE'RE IN AN AGE WHERE "SHACKING" IS NO LONGER FROWNED UPON, AND WITH WOMEN'S RIGHTS PUSHING FORWARD THE IDEA THAT WE ARE ALL CREATED EQUAL,MARRYING WELL AS AN ART FORM ISN'T ON "TREND". IT USED TO BE THAT ALL WOMEN WERE BEING GROOMED TO BE GOOD WIVES & MOTHERS,BUT NOW BUSINESS MARKETING WEBINARS ARE WHAT YOUNG WOMEN ARE SIGNING UP FOR INSTEAD OF ETIQUETTE CLASSES. NOW I'M NOT PUTTING ANYONE IN A BOX. THERE ARE STILL WOMEN OUT THERE WHO WANT TO BE SIGNING UP FOR WEDDING REGISTRIES & EQUAL PAY VOTING BALLOTS,BUT THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER IS THAT MANY OF US ARE OUT HERE GRINDING IN OTHER WAYS. THIS NEW CAPITAL HUSTLER MINDSET HAS CAUSED A SHIFT IN PRIORITIES. WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT WE ARE SELF MADE AND NOT MADE BY OUR MEN. I MET A YOUNG WOMAN THE OTHER DAY WHO ASKED ME HOW LONG IS TOO LONG TO DATE SOMEONE,BEFORE YOU MARRY THEM?  I ASKED HER, HOW LONG HAVE THEY BEEN TOGETHER, AND SHE SAID 8 YEARS. I THEN WANTED TO KNOW HER REASONS FOR NOT MAKING THE TREK DOWN THE ISLE,AND AFTER A LONG CONVERSATION IT BOILED DOWN TO CAREER. SHE KNEW SHE LOVED HIM,AND FELT CONFIDENT THAT HE LOVED HER TOO,BUT THEY BOTH HAVE BIG DREAMS. SHE SAID THEY JUST WANTED TO FOCUS ON CAREERS FIRST AND MAKE SURE THAT IT WAS ALL "LINED UP" BEFORE GETTING MARRIED. AS I DROVE HOME AND GOT LOST IN MY THOUGHTS,I REALIZED THAT THE PROBLEM IN OUR DAY IN AGE ISN'T ABOUT IF WE'RE IN LOVE. THE PROBLEM IS THAT PEOPLE STILL THINK THAT MARRIAGE IS A LOOSING GAME. MARRIAGE TO PEOPLE MUST STILL SIGNIFY THE DEATH OF SOMETHING. 

THE DEATH OF FREEDOM,JOY,HAPPINESS,SUCCESS,AND A GREAT LOSS OF SELF. MARRIAGE IS ACTUALLY THE BEGINNING OF ALL OF THOSE THINGS BEING JOINED TOGETHER IN GREATER ABUNDANCE. JUST THINK ABOUT IT,IF YOU HAVE TO GET ALL THE SUCCESS BEFORE YOU GET MARRIED,WHAT WILL YOU STRIVE FOR TOGETHER, WHILE MARRIED?THE IDEA OF MARRIAGE IS TO JOIN FORCES THROUGH THE GREATEST FORCE THERE IS,LOVE! IF MEN AND WOMEN SPEND ALL OF THEIR TIME BUILDING UP THEIR LIVES AS INDIVIDUALS, THEN JOINING TOGETHER, WILL BE A CHALLENGE. ASK YOURSELF THIS QUESTION, IF YOU WORKED 10 YEARS TO GET SOMETHING,JUST THE WAY YOU LIKE IT,WOULD YOU BE OPEN TO ADJUSTING IT FOR SOMEONE? THE ANSWER,IS MOST LIKELY NOT, AND THAT'S WHERE THE PROBLEM BEGINS. LET'S SAY I'M A TOP LAWYER AT MY FIRM,AND I SPEND LONG NIGHTS COURTING CLIENTS,MY DAYS ARE SPENT AT MY COUNTRY CLUB BRUNCHING,AND I TRAVEL WHEN I WANT. THEN I FALL IN LOVE WITH SOMEONE WHO IS A  CREATIVE AND OWNS THEIR OWN COMPANY. THEY ALSO HAVE THE LEISURE TO WORK WHEN THEY WANT,TO TRAVEL,SPEND MONEY,AND ENTERTAIN THEMSELVES AT THE DROP OF A DIME,SO HOW DO WE MAKE A RELATIONSHIP MERGE? IN ORDER TO BE "TOGETHER" IT WOULD REQUIRE A SHIFT. THOSE SHIFTS OF TIME AND PLANS CAN START TO FEEL LIKE SACRIFICES THAT ARE MADE FOR THE SAKE OF THE OTHER PERSON. THE RELATIONSHIP BEGINS TO FEEL LIKE SOMETHING THAT'S ASKING YOU TO CHANGE. YOU THEN BEGIN TO RESENT THE RELATIONSHIP.

FOR A LONG TIME NOW,WE AS A CULTURE HAVE STARTED TO SHIFT THE ROLES THAT WOMEN HAVE IN SOCIETY. THE OPPORTUNITIES THAT WE HAVE ARE UNPRECEDENTED AND I FOR ONE,AM BEYOND EXCITED. WOMEN HAVE BEEN AT  THE FOREFRONT OF MANIFESTING OUR OWN FREEDOMS.THE ONLY CONCERN I HAVE NOW,IS THAT IT STILL "READS" AS ONE OR THE OTHER; MOM OR MONEY,WIFE OR CAREER,AND THAT HAS TO CHANGE. THE IDEA OF ONE OR THE OTHER,MAY NOT HAVE BEEN PERPETUATED BY US,BUT IT HAS TO BE DISMANTLED BY US. THIS ONE OR THE OTHER HAS LED US TO LIVE AS IF WE MUST MAKE A CHOICE,AND WE DON'T HAVE TO CHOOSE! WE'VE BEEN FIGHTING FOR FREEDOM,BUT ARE STILL LIVING IN OLD MENTAL BONDS. THIS IS CLEAR IN THE 72% OF WOMEN AND MEN LIVING TOGETHER AS UNMARRIED PARTNERS. PEOPLE LIKE THE STABILITY THAT A "LIVE IN PARTNER" BRINGS,BUT WANT THE ABILITY TO CALL IT QUITS IF NEED BE. IF PEOPLE DON'T GET MARRIED,THEY STILL FEEL LIKE THEY HAVE A "WAY OUT". SOME PEOPLE SAY THAT WHAT THEY HAVE FOUGHT FOR IS THE FREEDOM TO DO WHAT THEY WANT,AND THAT THEY DON'T WANT TO GET MARRIED. IF THAT IS TRUE THEN WHY LIVE IN A SITUATION THAT DISPLAYS ITSELF AS A MARRIAGE? (COOKING DINNER,LAUNDRY,MONOGAMY,SHARED BILLS,AND SO ON.) IT SOUNDS CONTRADICTORY TO ME. THERE IS CLEARLY A DESIRE THERE,FOR WHAT MARRIAGE OFFERS,BUT SOMETHING THAT IS HOLDING US BACK FROM MAKING THE COMMITMENT.

THE MAKE UP OF A WOMAN IS NATURALLY A CONGLOMERATE,WE DO IT ALL AND ALL AT THE SAME TIME. YOU CAN SEE IN TODAY'S CULTURE, THAT SOMETIMES UNLESS A WOMAN WANTS A CHILD,SHE MAY NOT FEEL LIKE SHE "NEEDS" TO BE MARRIED,BECAUSE SHE IS SO "SELF SUFFICIENT". MODERN MEDICINE HAS MADE EVEN HAVING A CHILD SOMETHING THAT CAN BE DONE "WITHOUT" A MAN.. 

MEN ARE ON THE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN,AND DON'T KNOW HOW THEY FIT INTO THE "NEW GRAND SCHEME" OF THINGS. THEY MET WOMEN WHO PRIDE THEMSELVES ON BEING INDEPENDENT, SO THEIR NATURAL NATURE OF BEING THE "PROVIDER" CAN GET LOST IN TRANSLATION. THEY DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO! MEN AND WOMEN HAVE TO SEE EACH OTHER AS FORMIDABLE  FORCES AND ALLIES. I BELIEVE THAT THE FIGHT WOMEN HAVE HAD TO HAVE, IN ORDER TO GAIN ACCESS TO THIS MOMENT IN TIME WE ARE HAVING NOW,HAS CAUSED SOME OF US TO VIEW MEN AS THE "ENEMY". WE HAVE TO READJUST THE VIEW. IN ORDER FOR WOMEN TO STOP FEELING LIKE THEY HAVE TO SECURE A FINANCIAL FUTURE FOR THEMSELVES BEFORE GETTING MARRIED, THEN MEN AND WOMEN HAVE TO STOP LOOKING AT THE MAN AS THE "FINANCIAL FUTURE". WE HAVE ALREADY SEEN HOW MEN AND WOMEN ARE BOTH CAPABLE OF BRINGING HOME THE BACON (OR TOFU). MEN ARE NATURAL PROVIDERS,BUT NOT JUST OF MONEY. IF MEN AND WOMEN SEEK OUT A PARTNER WHO WILL CHEER THEM ON IN THEIR UPWARD CLIMBS,THEN MARRIAGE BECOMES A BUILT IN CHEERING SECTION. IMAGINE HAVING ALL THE ACCOLADES AND NO ONE TO COME HOME AND SHARE IT WITH. MARRIAGE IS ABOUT BUILDING,AND IF EVERYONE IS ON THEIR OWN PATH THEN IT WILL FEEL LIKE A TEARING DOWN OF DREAMS IF "WE GET MARRIED". I WANT TO MAKE SURE THIS IS CLEAR,BECAUSE THERE IS ALWAYS SOMEONE WHO READS TO FIND THE WRONG. I AM NOT SAYING THAT A WOMAN OR MAN HAVING THEIR OWN GOALS AND SUCCESSES BEFORE MARRIAGE IS BAD,OR MISPLACED. I'M NOT SAYING THAT WOMEN ONLY WANT CAREERS BEFORE MARRIAGE SO THAT THEY CAN HAVE FINANCIAL FREEDOMS, WOMEN WANT TO BE SUCCESSFUL BECAUSE THEY WANT TO BE,POINT BLANK.

 WHAT I AM SAYING IS THAT THE IDEA THAT SUCCESS MUST COME BEFORE MARRIAGE,OR YOU WON'T GET A CHANCE AT IT'S FULL POTENTIAL, IS NOT TRUE! AS MUCH AS WE PUSH FORWARD FOR NEW IDEAS,SOMETIMES THE FEAR OF THE TRAPS OF THE OLD ONES,LEAD US TO CHOOSE FOR THE WRONG REASONS. SO NOW WHAT?

IF YOU MET SOMEONE AND YOU CAN SEE THAT THEY AREN'T JADED BY THE "OLD IDEAS", OR THAT THEY ARE WILLING TO UNLEARN THE " OLD IDEAS" THEN WHY WAIT? GET  MARRIED IF YOU'RE IN LOVE AND BUILD A LIFE TOGETHER. IF YOU RESPECT EACH OTHER THAN YOU CAN DECIDE TOGETHER WHERE YOUR LIVES WILL GO. WHEN YOU ARE READY TO HAVE CHILDREN,THEN YOU CAN PLAN FOR THAT. AS HUSBAND AND WIFE YOU CAN BUILD A LIFE THAT IS PERFECT FOR BOTH OF YOU, WHILE YOU ARE BOTH BEING FULFILLED. YOU WILL HAVE CHOSEN A PARTNER WHO DOESN'T HOLD YOU BACK,BUT INSTEAD HOLDS YOU UP AND VICE VERSA.. SUCCESS DOESN'T EXPIRE,BUT TIME DOES RUN OUT. OF COURSE,YOU WILL HAVE PEOPLE THAT SAY MARRIAGE IS JUST A PIECE OF PAPER,AND DOESN'T MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN HOW THEY FEEL ABOUT EACH OTHER,SO I SAY IF THAT'S TRUE, THEN JUST SET A DATE & DO IT WITH GUMPTION.