When She Gives an Ultimatum, Fellas, Take It Seriously

There can be a lot more at stake than just your freedom.

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Yes, the doctor tried to explain that the chances of complications were extremely low, but at the time, the only words you hear are “birth defects,” “miscarriage,” “Down syndrome.” It’s terrifying.  And the older a woman gets, the more her chances of complications go up.

We all know couples or the stories of couples who have been together two, three, four, five or more years, and the woman wants to get married but the guy won’t propose. Every woman has her reasons for staying, and ultimately, we’re all responsible for our own decisions. But women sometimes base their decisions on bad information—e.g., false hope that men give:

* “I want to find the right ring.”

* “Let’s wait until next month/year/summer/spring.”

* “I have a lot going on in my career now.”

Yes, these can be legitimate reasons for not proposing yet, even if the man genuinely wants to marry the woman. And Lord knows, given the economy over the past several years, there are plenty of good reasons for delaying marriage. Plus, marriage today is becoming viewed as something you do after you get your ducks in a row.

But the reasons a guy gives for delaying a proposal can also be total BS meant to buy time. Often, the guy doesn’t want to lose the woman, but he also doesn’t want to have to walk down the aisle to keep her, either. (See “Buy cow, milk free.”)

While we get caught up in debating whether the man or the woman is the sympathetic figure in an ultimatum, I think we can agree that it’s not the way anyone wants to start a marriage. Jason Statham’s 26-year-old model girlfriend may or may not be thinking about kids and probably has her own reasons for wanting him to make a move. But they’re facing what many have faced at some point. How we choose to handle it can greatly impact lives forever—because there’s always more at stake than our bachelorhood.

T.J. Holmes is a journalist and TV personality. Formerly of CNN, he can currently be found at MSNBC, and his commentary can be found online. Follow him on Twitter.

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