“Marry Me Or Else…” Are Ultimatums A Good Idea? We Ask Both The Ladies & Guys


Tired of waiting around, more women are telling their men to get down on their knee or get lost. Pro-active or bridezilla bullying? OnoBello.com reports on the last relationship taboo.


Beyonce & Tyra Banks doing the “Put A Ring On It”

When my friend Joke burst into tears midway through dinner and said she couldn’t wait any longer for her boyfriend to propose, we were sympathetic. After all, Joke had been with him for eight years. They had a bond and a cat. And Alice is a catch- beautiful, successful and smart. They’d talked about marriage a lot, but year after year she had to take a back seat and watch friends walk down the aisle. I don’t know what else to do” she wailed. Then one married friend piped up.”You could always give him an ultimatum that’s what I did.”Um what? A quick poll of the OnoBello.com office shows this is pretty common. We just don’t talk about it because it’s not exactly romantic. Is it?


You could ask why Joke didn’t pop the question herself, but in the age of equality, isn’t the proposal the last bastion of romance??? Well, it is as long as it happens-and that is the part that women are taking into their hands.


“When it comes to their careers and social lives, women are liberated and in control but that’s never really been the case when it comes to getting engaged” says an expert counseling psychologist and lecturer. More women are taking the attitude that if setting a time limit guarantees stability and safeguards their future, then so be it” But is an ultimatum really the way to go?


We speak to two women


“YES” says Lucy

An Ultimatum when properly given and that means not screaming “Marry me or else-is a significant message of self worth. It’s about being independent and putting your happiness first. It’s about having the courage to admit.


The half-baked commitment you’re giving me isn’t that fun. If you want to leave, you are free to go.


Ultimatums have gained an unfair reputation because they are usually seen as a threat. They are not rather, they are a negotiation to ensure you re with someone who wants you as much as you want them. But never tell him what you want too early. Saying “I want to be married within a year. “On the second date is relationship suicide. You’ve handed him commitment on a silver platter and who wants something they can have so easily. If he thinks you could go at any time, he’ll cherish the idea of securing a future. Deliver an ultimatum after a year or two of finding yourself in the same place as the year before. Say, You’re wonderful and I don’t regret what we’ve shared. But I can’t spend years in a relationship that doesn’t progress.


Then cut down your availability by 75%. Men don’t always understand words, but they understand zero contact. A friend of mine told her guy “It’s been five years, this isn’t going anywhere bye.


She pursued a new job moved into a new flat and focused on her life. It blew his mind that she could cope-well thrive without him. After six months he proposed. The key was that she was willing to move on and show she was just fine on her own. Her ultimatum made him look at her differently. And when a man can’t read a woman 100% of the time, he’ll want her the most.


“NO” says Lara

Ultimatums are bad. We should be discussing our hopes for the future and our desire for commitment throughout the relationship, not just as one final, frustrated desperate measure.


Delivering an ultimatum can have many outcomes. First, he can refuse to marry you, and you (or he) will leave.


Second, he can refuse to marry you and you take back your threat back-but feel incapable of ever asking for anything again. Fancy a summer holiday? Nope, me neither. Christmas at my parents’? Ok yours is fine. This usually leads to a break up-a long painful one. The third possibility is your boyfriend agrees to the terms of the ultimatum. Sounds great? Well yes except your relationship will be marred by the sense that his commitment came under duress.


When my friend Funmi told her boyfriend of five years that she’d leave if he didn’t ask her to marry him, he complied.” The proposal was quite sweet” Funmi says. But the wedding planning was a nightmare. Every time we argued, I blamed myself. Finally I said “Do you even really want to marry me”? And he said, “But you made me”.


While an ultimatum might seem like speaking out to save your future, it’s really an evidence of communication gap. You don’t have to do daily checking about your respective thoughts on marriage (“How do you feel about getting engaged today”? About 37% in favour, but that might change depending what I eat for lunch”) but discussing how both of you helps feel from time to time your relationship evolve. Decisions to commit should be collaborative ones.


Regular chats might make it clear that you want different things and need to go your separate ways. It’s a sad conclusion, but it’s much a less damaging than any of the possible results of an ultimatum.


We Ask The Guys

“My girlfriend of three years told me that if I saw a future with her, I had to propose by a certain time. Her telling me straight made me realise how much I love her and took the panic out of whether she’d say yes” – Wale 30


“No, it’s just blackmail. I get the idea behind it, but I’d rather have an honest conversation about our feelings. Being forced into it spoils the romance” – Chris 32


“No way! It totally takes the element of surprise out of it. I’d feel backed into a corner. If a girl felt she had to give me an ultimatum, it would make me seriously question our relationship” – Godwin 35


“To be honest, sometimes men just need a wake –up call. We‘re not mind readers! If we haven’t been picking up on hints maybe an ultimatum is the next logical step” – Charles 32


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