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Dating Red Flag #6: Brings Up Marriage Too Early In The Relationship

By Alan Stafford

Dating should be a fun and happy time. You feel the excitement of meeting new people. And, as you meet each new person you wonder "could he be the one?" But, let's face it: of all the people you will date, you will end up marrying just one of them (well, for some of you, two or three of them). So, dating is also a screening process.

A very healthy way of dating is to assume that everyone has some characteristic that makes him incompatible with you. Your job during a date is to find out what that is, and then to end the relationship. That doesn't mean being negative or cynical during the courtship. It just means that the odds are high that any given date will not be your life partner.

Therefore, be a little skeptical. Don't be in such a hurry to fall in love. Remember, to find Mr. Right you will need to screen out a lot of Mr. Wrongs. Not wrong for being themselves. Just wrong for you.

For most of us, this is a completely different way of thinking. Typically, a man or woman will date someone a time or two. Then, that man or woman will try to make the relationship work by ignoring or minimizing the negatives aspects. Some months or years later-and after the wedding-the negatives build to the point where the couple has severe problems. Problems that become irreconcilable and lead to divorce.

Here is a fairly common example: the situation where your partner brings up marriage after only a few dates.

A Common Situation

Mary and John have been dating for a few weeks now. They've been on three wonderful dates and now they're having dinner in a restaurant. Just after the meal John looks deeply into Mary's eyes and says: "I love you. Will you marry me?" Mary takes a deep breath and...

Wow, a proposal of marriage! The chance to be Mrs. Somebody. Every woman's dream. What could be wrong with that? After all, that's why you're dating. Actually, that's a very big problem. In fact, it's a dating red flag. Some women would accept the proposal, even on the third date. Mary, however, quite sensibly feels that something strange is going on with the relationship, even if it seems that John is sincere in his proposal of marriage.

Mary's instincts are right - she's in a very dangerous situation. She needs to slow the relationship way down, or break it off altogether to find a less needy man.

"I Want To Marry You" - What'S Wrong With This Picture?

If someone starts saying things like "when we get married" or "I want to spend the rest of my life with you" after a few dates, should you be flattered? No, you should be scared. Run away. No one can possibly make an intelligent decision about a lifetime partner in a few dates, a few weeks, or even a few months.

There are only two possibilities: either your partner is being dishonest with you or he/she is desperate for a relationship - any relationship. He may be dishonest by telling you what he thinks you want to hear so you will give him what he knows he wants: money, sex, a place to stay. If he really wants you to be his lifetime partner after just three dates, you have just found yourself a handi-wrap husband-a clingy, needy man who will look to you more as a mother figure than as an adult lover. Either way, this is not the man for you.

About The Author
Dr. Alan Stafford, Relationship Results Coach

I help Singles and Couples build relationships that work.

©2006 Alan Stafford/Relationship Success Experts

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