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Online Dating Magazine > Columns > Jennifer's Gems > The Wait...

by Jennifer Brown Banks

The Wait...
How Long Should it Last?

“Wise men say only fools rush in.”---Elvis

My big brother recently got married at the “tender” age of 55. Although he’s not to be categorized as a “perpetual bachelor” or even a player, he refused to follow the norms of tradition, or let anyone impose their agenda upon him.

He had lived a full life by most standards.  He had even had kids from previous relationships.  But, he refused to “surrender” his single status until he felt fully prepared for the awesome responsibilities and mindset of matrimony.

It didn’t matter that his lovely bride (with the patience of Job), had been his friend since they were teenagers.  Nor that they had been living together for almost a decade, and by the conventions of “common law marriage,” were already considered as tied.

He refused to make it “official” until he felt that he had dealt with his demons of the past, and had a strong foundation for him and his wife for the future.

So his significant other waited for a significant amount of time for him to close the deal. Despite pressure from friends and family members.  Truth be told, I wouldn’t wait that long for Denzel Washington.  But to each his own.

The good news is that she feels her waiting paid off.  The man she knows now, and is married to, is a much better version than he was years ago.

They are now new property owners, are more grounded, and have plans to travel in the future.

Sometimes the wait is worth it.

Sometimes it isn’t.  I know of some females that waited and waited, and then when there fellas were finally ready, they actually settled down with other women.

But this I know.  For each person it’s different.  And a lot depends on who you’re waiting for, and the reasons why you’re waiting. In other words being in a “pending” status could prove to be in your best interest.

However, proper discernment is crucial—otherwise you could end up rushing someone who’s just not ready.

The end result? Resentment and regret.

Like my cousin “Keisha”, whose lack of patience has placed her at the altar three times at the age of 39.  Her emotional immaturity, need to be validated, and poor judgment has her as a serious contender for another Elizabeth Burton.  I kid you not!

She’s convinced that she’ll do it until it finally sticks.

She doesn’t see it, but that’s a whole lot of wear and tear on the heart. Not to mention the many people that are affected by divorce, including family members and friends.

There’s a better way…

If you’re at the crossroads in your relationship, and don’t know whether you should wait or issue an ultimatum, here are some things to consider.

  1. DO SOME DETECTIVE WORK---You need to determine if the wait is reasonable and justified.  In other words, is it the result of your loved one dragging his feet because he’s commitment phobic?  Or contingent upon some financial or professional goals being achieved? Has he ever been married before?

  2. DOES HE TREAT YOU WELL AMIDST THE WAIT?--- Is he caring? Considerate? Does he acknowledge special occasions? If not, you’d be foolish to prolong poor treatment.

  3. IS HE GOOD MARRIAGE MATERIAL?—Does he keep his word? Keep your trust?

  4. WHAT’S YOUR AGENDA?---Are you merely seeking to be validated? To avoid being alone? Are you under pressure from family members or a ticking biological clock?

Keep these guiding questions in mind, and most of all remember “Good things come to those who wait (wisely)!” 


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Jennifer's Gems is a weekly column written by award-winning poet and writer, Jennifer Brown Banks. It is published every Wednesday. Click here to read her welcome letter.

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