Staff writer Stephany Salinas covers the topic of ultimatums in relationships. Have you experienced a relationship ultimatum either giving or receiving one?
As a girl, my patience in relationships has been tested in almost every single form. Whether it’s waiting for the guy to make the first move, waiting for him to make it official, or waiting on him to follow through with one of the 93473 promises he has made. I’ll admit, I’ve been a fool before and have stuck around when I shouldn’t have, and although back then I would have considered it a waste of time, I know now that none of it was. When you wait for someone and are willing to be patient and stick it out, it’s a sign that you genuinely care about him (not to say that giving up means you don’t care). There has been a few times where I have left someone behind, not for lack of interest on my part, but for lack of effort on his.
That being said, I’ve heard girls constantly talk about “ultimatums”. As in, “He needs to decide what he wants now or I’m out!”
Granted, at first, I understood where these girls were coming from. Hell, I was there a few years ago. The guy I had been dating for almost a year was at a point where he was unsure of what he wanted. So, I did what these girls were talking about and gave him an ultimatum. You either love me and want to be with me, or you don’t. I put him on the spot, and when he took too long to answer, I told him we were done. Granted, I was 18 and there’s a very good chance this wasn’t the guy I was meant to spend the rest of my life with, I will admit that it wasn’t the best way to go about things. I cared about him a lot. He was my first love, and I threw that away because he took a few seconds too long to answer my question. It was mainly out of anger and annoyance that I put him in that position in the first place. But the fact that I was able to so quickly throw that ultimatum out there made me question myself:
If I “loved” him so much, why would I risk throwing our relationship away?
When you’re a girl who is pursued often (and honestly..most girls are often pursued), it’s sometimes easy to want to call it quits on the guy who isn’t making a move or putting forth effort and go on to the next. However, that mentality is also a sign that you’re most likely not into this guy in the first place. If it’s that easy to give someone an ultimatum, that goes to show that you’re not as into him as you think you are. If you were, would you be willing to risk what you do have?
Trust me, if you’ve been seeing a guy for a while, and he shows no intentions of making it official, there’s a very good chance it’s not going to happen. A light bulb isn’t going to suddenly go off in his head, and he’s not going to all of a sudden realize he needs you to be his girlfriend. Here is when you decide whether you’re okay with that, or not. If not, then move on sweetheart. No ultimatum is needed. A man would move mountains to be with the girl he actually wants to be with. If he wants you to be his, he will make sure that happens. By giving a guy an ultimatum, you are A) forcing him into breaking it off with you (no one really wins), or B) forcing him into a relationship with you.
Honestly, would you really want to be in a relationship with a guy who you basically ordered to ask you out? I would hope not, because that’s already a rocky start to a relationship.
Ask yourself this: Do you want to be in a relationship with this guy, or do you want to be in A relationship…period? If it’s the latter, that’s the reason it’s so easy for you to give him an ultimatum. You’re chasing a relationship, a title, and whether or not it’s with this guy isn’t really that important to you. NOW, if you genuinely want to be in a relationship with HIM, then why are you in such a hurry for him to make a decision? Are you unhappy with the way things are going right now? Is the title the only thing that would change if he was indeed your “boyfriend”? Is it the title that you’re actually going after?
This is something I’ve been back and forth about myself. As much as I want to have the whole, “titles shouldn’t matter” attitude, I’m only a woman. Having that title means a guy wants you to be his, and is proud to have you as his, and that’s what most women want. I’ve been tempted myself to give men ultimatums and make them choose whether or not they want to be with me. It’s easy to fall into that type of mentality. HOWEVER, the reason I haven’t done it since age 18 is because I’m never willing to throw away what I do have with someone. I’m telling you right now that pressuring him into making a sudden decision is NOT the way to go about it. Personally, and this is just my preference, I would rather be with someone unofficially that I genuinely enjoy being around, than having a title with someone I don’t care about as much. As much as being someone’s girlfriend is great, I’ve been in some pretty terrible relationships where the “boyfriend” title has meant absolutely nothing. I’ve also been in “non-official relationships” that have been better than the “official” ones. The dating world is completely different nowadays. If the “title” was taken off the table completely, I bet more people would know exactly what they wanted, and whom they wanted.
That being said, instead of telling that guy you’ve been seeing that he needs to choose now or leave you alone, you should express what’s on your mind. Honesty and communication, darling. I can’t stress that enough. When and if you’ve reached the point where you think what you have is a waste of time and would like to have a chance to be with someone who would like to be official with you (and it’s not wrong of you to think that way. You deserve to be with someone who wants to call you his or hers), then communicate that to him. Tell him that you don’t feel like he’s as into it, and that you’re looking for more. A couple things will happen at this point. 1) He’ll realize you want more. He may have been waiting for you to say something this whole time. 2) He’ll know he can’t give you what you want, and will be relieved that you aren’t making him out to be an ass for not wanting to be in a relationship. This isn’t an ultimatum; this is you giving him a chance to think about what he wants without putting pressure on him.
At this point, if you’re still convinced you NEED to give him an ultimatum, consider this question before you do: Are you willing to risk throwing away whatever you do have just for a title change?