It’s a scenario I’m sure many women (and some men) can relate to. You’re with a man for X amount of years and for whatever the reason things just don’t work out but then he turns around and marries the next woman he meets.
The typical reaction I hear from women on the short end of that stick is, “I can’t believe I spent all those years molding him into the man he is for this b*tch to just swoop in and snatch him up.”
Maybe not those exact words, but definitely something along those lines.
Women in this scenario oftentimes feel slighted and want to know what they did wrong. They need to know what this man, who spent years with them without proposing or always dodging the question of marriage, saw in the next chick. They want to know what she did that they didn’t to lock down that man?
Well, I’m here to tell you the truth. The answer is extremely simple: you were not the one for him. Point blank.
Now that doesn’t mean you’re damaged goods or have some fatal flaw (although, in some cases, you might). The fact of the matter is that y’all just weren’t meant to be. Get over yourself and move on.
Don’t worry about why he chose her and not you.
Don’t worry about what she did differently.
Don’t compare yourself to her.
She ain’t thinking about you and clearly he ain’t either.
I had a female friend named Nicole that found herself in this scenario when her ex of several years proposed to another woman a year after they split. During their entire courtship he repeatedly said how he wasn’t ready for marriage and needed time to get his stuff together. So the fact that he was able to make that commitment to the next chick, who he knew for a fraction of the time he knew her, threw Nicole for a loop.
“He knew I wasn’t the one for him,” Nicole fumed. “Why did he waste my time?”
“He didn’t know,” I countered.
“Yes, he did,” she shot back. “A man always knows.”
At the time I argued that men in relationships rarely have a clear view of the happily ever after. Speaking for myself, I’ve always been too comfortable in the now to want to rock the boat with talk of further commitment. If things are fine how they are, I see no reason to go to the mythical next level just because a certain amount of time had passed.
Over the course of the past few years, though, I’ve been more reflective and I’ve come to the realization that Nicole was right: a man always knows. The problem is we don’t always realize it.
Looking back on relationships from my past, I can clearly see women I dealt with that deep down inside I knew I could never envision a forever-ever with. Maybe she was too argumentative. Maybe I didn’t like her eating habits. Maybe she emasculated me. Maybe she was too sensitive. Maybe she was too prissy. Maybe I realized that I really wasn’t her type.
Whatever the case, the magical feeling that makes a man want to wife a woman wasn’t there. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t happy in any of those relationships or that I didn’t love her/them. It’s just that our relationship existed on borrowed time. Eventually we would reach a crossroads where we’d have to decide to walk down a new path together or continue on our life’s journey separately. Most men need to be at that crossroads to come to that revelation, but someone that’s mature enough to recognize his own limitations can make that determination sooner.
As I’ve entered my 30s and continued my maturation process, I’ve taken note of what I require in a partner and what I believe will ultimately make me happy. Looking back on the women that have shared time with me romantically, there are those that were merely stopgaps along my journey and those that I truly loved.
Thing that I’ve come to realize most over the years is that love comes in many forms and just because it exists between two people of the opposite sex doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re your soul mate. It’s this tricky dynamic involving matters of the heart that confuses most men and women.
The reason a man can spend years with a woman he may or may not have intentions of marrying is because he’s actually in love with her—at least at some point. But as Tina Turner famously said, “What’s love got to do with it?”
I have plenty of exes that I love, have love for, and was in love with, but no matter which version of the L-word I applied it obviously didn’t translate to an exchange of vows. The overriding reason for that is timing.
I’m a firm believer that a man’s desire to marry has as much to do with the woman as where he is in this life. The fact that Nicole’s ex could spend years with her and then marry the next woman has very little to do with her or the new woman as it does with the man himself. I truly believe that every time he told Nicole that he wasn’t ready for marriage he was being 100-percent truthful.
So how could he just all of a sudden be ready for marriage a year later? Simple, it was just time.
It really has nothing to do with you or the woman he met but more so when he met her. Whether he always knew that Nicole was not his “one” or not is beside the point, his time with her served its purpose. See, every relationship is a learning experience. Some good, some bad, but they all help make us who we are.
Does a woman have a right to be upset if her longtime ex marries someone within a year of their breakup? Do you agree that men always know when a woman is the one? Do you agree that just because you love someone doesn’t necessarily mean you should marry them? Is it truly wasting a woman’s time when a man spends years with her happily but never proposes? How much of a role do you think timing plays in a man being ready for marriage? Do you feel that each relationship prepares you for your next partner? What’s the most important lesson you learned from an ex?
Speak your piece…