Dating Over 40: Should a Woman Bring Up the Topic of Marriage?

Pardon my fury, but I can’t help but get riled up when I read advice like this from another dating professional.

Matt of Matched in Manhattan (Lifetime network show) writes an advice column for a site called SassyBean. In this post, a woman states how in love she is with her boyfriend and that she’d like to bring up marriage. Matt advices strongly against it with the "bite your lip" philosophy of dating. He thinks women should never bring it up because men have a "birth defect" about commitment and they’ll run.

Oh come on!

Let’s get serious – If women didn’t bring up the future, how many would ever get married? I had to bring it up in month seven. We didn’t agree to get engaged until month 13, but what would have happened if I kept my desire to myself?

As one dating coach to another, I’ll cut Matt a little slack because the SassyBean web site appeals to younger women.  True, younger men are  less inclined to commit. On the other hand, some men will never commit regardless of how old they get.

For women 35+, I say BRING IT UP!  You are better served by letting your man know what you want or suffer the consequences of hanging in limbo from now until…

Of course, HOW and WHEN you bring this up is another story. As to the when, maybe not in the first three to six months. No one likes to feel rushed. And, you have to see if your romance has any  longevity before you start thinking about your MRS.

However, I’m a firm believer in bringing this up right at the start when you’re dating online . State your relationship goal right in your profile. Then there’s no confusion about what you are looking for. This is very different than speaking to your man about when the two of you might get hitched.

As to the how, foot stomping, demanding or crying will not help your cause. Find a way to ease into the conversation.  This way he’ll know what’s coming.  What’s so bad about asking, "Do you think about a future together?"  While there are some rare guys who will make a plan, buy a ring and propose without any prompting, my bet is that at least 75% of couples (or more) discuss marriage before the man is ready and before the ring is purchased.

Yes, you don’t want to chase the guy away. Unless he doesn’t want what you want and then you’d be better off knowing so you can make new plans accordingly. At some point, the vast majority of women bring this up.  Maybe Matt gives better advice to guys.

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