One of the best and most powerful parts of being in love is simply being around someone who gets you.
And it’s this simple truth that we lose sight of when we’re more focused on the destination with someone instead of the journey.
What do I mean?
The journey is enjoying the person you’re with in this moment, as your time with them unfolds.
It’s the mundane, day-to-day things like how you’re going to spend the next 1,560 Wednesday dinners.
It’s the part where you laugh, tease each other and connect.
When people focus on the destination, they worry about window dressing things like marriage.
Hold on. Wait up. I’m saying marriage is window dressing?
Yeah. I am.
Because focusing on marriage first is like focusing on the exterior packaging when the product inside isn’t fully formed.
The intention behind wanting to lock someone down into marriage is ownership.
If you’re saying to yourself, “whoa there, love coach. You’re shitting on everything I’m working toward with this ‘getting married and living happily ever after’ thing here, so STFU.” I don’t blame you.
But here’s the thing.
If you’re focused on the destination and not the journey, you won’t make it to your destination. Because the real joy of a relationship is in the journey. It’s in those everyday moments spent with someone.
Let’s zoom out and put this into perspective.
All relationships end.
All of them.
Even the one with who you feel is you and your fleshy appendages that currently house it.
So what are you focusing on when you focus on marriage as a goal?
You’re focused on ownership.
And when you focus on ownership first, you’ll crush what you really love about someone without meaning to.
Because no one really wants to be owned.
In fact, masculine energy in particular is all about freedom.
The other day a lovely reader emailed me to ask why men are afraid of commitment. It’s not that men are “afraid” of commitment— which is a myth.
Men are actually quite great at commitment– after all, you can’t go halfway when you’re committing to killing that wild boar for dinner. Or the modern version– acing that promotion to bring home more bacon.
What men aren’t excited about is the idea of making a bad deal. And you shouldn’t be either.
Let’s empathize with men for a minute.
Men don’t grow up getting happy family fantasies shoved down their throats. They aren’t brought up to believe that relationships are something to strive for, per se– even though men are the ultimate romantics.
One of the things I appreciate about men is how they are able to compartmentalize their relationships so that they can focus on other things.
Because masculine energy is also about focus.
That’s why, if a man commits to marriage, they’re going to focus on getting that done so they can go out and get other things done.
Marriage isn’t an “end” for men, it’s a means to an end.
And that “end” is securing their future with someone they love and want to keep around. It’s about preventing you from walking out and being vulnerable to someone else.
Because having you in his life will be better than losing you.
Men don’t get married because they feel like they should or they “owe” it to the woman.
You don’t add up enough girl scout merit badges and earn commitment because you were a great girlfriend and partner.
And that’s how lots of women approach commitment.
There’s an urgency, a toe-tapping “let’s not waste time here” hurry to getting a commitment.
And, I get it.
The clock is ticking on having healthy babies lots of the time (if babies are your idea of a good time).
That biological urgency is a real thing that men will never understand since they make sperm (maybe not great swimmers but still…) until they croak at 104.
Unfortunately, if you really want a commitment from a man, that’s the opposite position to put yourself in.
The best position to put yourself in is gone.
What do I mean by this?
Men make a commitment to prevent loss.
Either immediate loss, like “she’s walking out the door and that’s it.”
Or.. the loss a man knows he’ll face if he doesn’t meet your standards and this causes you to change your mind about him and the relationship.
So if you’re there, breathing down his neck, trying to get him to commit, you’re doing it wrong.
You will not coerce a commitment from a man using force.
You decree it with your standards.