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What? You’re Engaged?

  • April 9, 2013 at 11:30 am

Was on the phone with a friend a few weeks ago when the conversation turned to a guy I used to date. She said to me, “I saw him the other day. Did you know he’s engaged?” Stunned, I suppressed my feelings of dismay and confusion as I recently spoke to this now friend of mine about his current relationship, having even directly asked him a few days earlier, “Do you see this relationship getting serious?” His response to me was, “Yes, I could.” not “Yes, I have actually asked her to marry me and we’re planning the wedding.”

Several weeks later, I ran into one of my male neighbors. We often spoke about our personal lives when we would bump into each other in the lobby. We talked about his girlfriend and being the investigative person I am, I started asking him questions about the relationship. He told me him and his girlfriend had been dating for three years and had recently moved in together. Intrigued I asked him, “So are you thinking about marriage? Are you saving up for the ring?” to which unlike my friend above he responded, “Yes, we’re actually engaged. We’re clearing out our personal debt so we can be financially prepared for the wedding.” Again, I was astonished. I have had several conversations with this guy and never once did he call his lady his “fiancée” only his girlfriend. I had no idea the relationship was at that place.

There was even a time when I was speaking to an ex-boyfriend about the commitment level of his relationship when he referred to his fiancée as simply his “roommate.” How was I supposed to know he was engaged?

If that’s not enough, I have even started to notice that when my guy friends are engaged, they either will not display their relationship status on Facebook or it will simply only say “in a relationship.” Very few of my male friends change their Facebook relationship display or relationship status until they are actually married.

When a woman is engaged, it is a major deal. She usually has a physical symbol of her impending union to show and tell all of her friends and family and her Facebook relationship status seems to change almost immediately. However, from my observation, it seems to be the total opposite for men.

Guys- Why does it seem so difficult for you to reveal your relationship status as “engaged?” Is it because you still want to “have your cake and eat it too” before making the “ultimate commitment?” Is it you would like to continue enjoying the benefits of being single before you say your vows? And how is a single girl supposed to know if a guy is about be betrothed if he fails to mention it to her? Does she need to wait until after he’s said “I Do” to know the truth?

Photo: Lasana Smith

The Truth Is What We Decide It Is

  • January 29, 2013 at 4:52 pm

Normally I don’t watch court shows. However the other day I was flipping through television channels and came across this contentious married couple on Divorce court. The wife wanted a divorce as she was convinced her husband was cheating on her. Like a private investigator, she was relentless. She tracked down his movements looking for evidence to back her suspicion. Contrary to her claims the husband was adamant he never cheated, but was in fact still in love with her and wanted to make their marriage work. It was quite interesting watching the judge mediating between the two.  To uncover the truth behind the infidelity claims, the judge gave the husband a lie detector test. Before revealing the results, she asked the wife, “If it does indeed turn out that your husband was not cheating, are you willing to work on restoring this marriage?” “I don’t know,” was the wife’s answer.  I waited in anticipation for the verdict. It turned out the husband had been honest. The lie detector test proved he had been faithful to his wife. Undaunted by the test results, the wife was still convinced her husband had cheated. The trust in their marriage was broken and there was no space for reconciliation. It was unfortunate because this man was truly devoted to his wife but she was too blinded by her version of the truth to see the reality. As a result she was going to break a commitment, losing someone who deeply loved and cared about her.

This episode made me think about the many times in our lives and relationships where we believe our truth is the reality. Although signs may point to the contrary, we are blinded by our perception of the situation. Thus the popular motto, “perception is reality.” How many times have we caused friction or even sabotaged our relationships based on what we “thought” a situation was?  I like to call this “the story we create in our minds.” Beliefs are made and actions are taken based on these stories. But if these stories aren’t true, they can cause devastating effects in our lives and in the lives of others. It doesn’t have to be this way. Here are a few suggestions that will affirm that our truth is in line with reality:

1. Ask yourself: Is this true? Is this based on fact?

You would be surprised how many times we go off on tangents without even asking ourselves these simple questions. If the answers to these questions are, “No,” then you know a new determination should be made before accusing your loved one of something.

2. Communicate

Communication is always key in deciphering the reality of a situation. The story you created in your head will be altered or dissolved once you gain more background information or understanding of your loved one’s point of view.

3. Trust your intuition

Once you know the facts and have communicated with your loved one, then it’s time to trust your intuition. Take time out to listen to your inner guidance system. This is not based on a feeling or a story you made up in your head, but a knowingness within. Some may call this God or Spirit, but too many times we overlook our intuition which is there to protect us along life’s journey.

Integrating these strategies will ensure that your truth isn’t merely what you “decided it is” but based on reality which will lessen unnecessary loss of love in your life.

Photo: JaeYong, BAE’s/ Flickr