Right girl or right time?

I was really shocked to read that after dating Terri Seymour for years and breaking up due to his lack of commitment that Simon Cowell has proposed to new love Mezghan Hussainy and has even suggested that he is ready to have little Simons. Who’d have thought!

This lead me to wondering whether it’s really down to the women or down to timing with the male species. So I did a little bit of research.

As a woman I assumed that a man will commit when he finds a woman that blows him away, but according to clinical psychologist Alon Gratch, PhD, author of If Men Could Talk, it’s all about timing. Gratch has 25 years of working with men as a relationship therapist and he says it’s only 49% the woman and 51% the guy’s readiness for marriage. And a survey by the National marriage Project showed that 81% of men chose to get married because it was time to settle down.

I feel slightly deflated by this as I was brought up to believe that love conquers all but with statistics like this it seems that finding the right woman is secondary. So, if I have to accept this fact, how do you identify if a man is ready?

Men can fall in love which is the ability to ignore imperfections and see the relationship as special and idealistic. Loving on the other hand is different. It involves understanding your partner and loving her for who she is and not who you want her to be. If a man really loves you, he will stay after the intial spark has gone.

If a man isn’t ready he will sub-consciously find imperfections to create distance and push his partner away. It takes maturity and life experience to realise that there is no such thing as a perfect relationship and it may only be when a man is ‘ready’ that he is willing to overlook these imperfections or when he has experienced enough relationships to appreciate that what he has is good. Hence, why a man may be with a partner for years and not marry her only to marry the one after. It’s simply about timing and realising there is no such thing as a perfect relationship.

Does your man make sacrifices for you? Does he put you first? Loving is more about giving than taking. Though this is a good sign, apparently you only really know if a man is in it for the long haul when you hit the hard times. Not to say that he may not have thoughts about leaving when things get tough but the proof is in the pudding and if he decides that staying is worth the battle.

The National Marriage Project also showed that 47 percent of men agree that they wouldn’t want to get married until they could afford to own a home, and 40 percent would want to be able to afford a nice wedding. This shows that financial security is also very important for a man to achieve before choosing to settle down. Although women are more and more becoming the breadwinners, due to ego or fear of not meeting his partner’s expectations, a man may want to put romance on the back burner until he is financially stable. If he has things he needs to achieve, goal or career wise he will simply have nothing left to give a partner.

A man is also influenced by his friends and people around him. So if your partner’s friends are all settling down, your man may also feel that it’s time for him to do the same. A large proportion of men that said they were in the ‘ready’ zone also claimed to feel out of place at bars and clubs. So, if your man is staying in more and going out less this may also be a sign. Along with looking at children with a soppy look on his face and talking about your future rather than his.

So now I’m a little more in enlightened and I know how to spot if a guy is ready or not, it made me wonder what to do if I ever found a man that I felt was ‘the one’ but who was simply not ready. Should I stick it out and wait or up do a Terri and leave only to see the love of my life settle with someone else a year later?

If your guy is not afraid of committing to you but he’s just scared of commitment you need to identify why. If you can’t overcome his fears together and he is not prepared to commit to a future with you, move on. You don’t want to live a life of uncertainty.

If he’s not sure that you are ‘the one’ for him, leave. You are more likely to have lasting happiness with somebody that does not need convincing.

If your partner simply has things he needs to achieve first, this does not mean that he will never be ready to commit to you. Simply be supportive and bide your time. However, it may be wise to put a timeline in place.

And who said women were complicated!

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