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James Douglas Barron offers humorous, practical advice for the guy who has trouble making commitment. Telling his one story of dating and engagement, he tackles the problems that plague millions of men: "Is She The One?" "No Other Woman for the Rest of My Life?" "Will We Love Each Other When We're Shriveled Up Old Raisins?" Barron gives the quick, invaluable tips on how to get over the hurdle of proposal, engagement, planning the wedding, and getting to the altar....
James Douglas Barron offers humorous, practical advice for the guy who has trouble making commitment. Telling his one story of dating and engagement, he tackles the problems that plague millions of men: "Is She The One?" "No Other Woman for the Rest of My Life?" "Will We Love Each Other When We're Shriveled Up Old Raisins?" Barron gives the quick, invaluable tips on how to get over the hurdle of proposal, engagement, planning the wedding, and getting to the altar.
1. You've fallen for her.
It's not just that women at work are saying, "What's happened to you?" and men are saying, "Wipe that silly grin off your face." Or even that you're calling her phone machine just so you can hear her voice or thinking about the scent of her wrists and neck or God knows where else. You've had all that before — only to discover weeks later that you can't stand the way she picks olives out of her salad.
This is different. You hear an incessant inner voice saying, "She's The One."
2. But she is way ahead of you. She keeps asking, "So, can we talk about our future?"
Gulp. She stares at your hand, and you know she's imagining a ring on it. She sees a baby and gets a look that says, "Get me one of those!" Meanwhile, you're freaking out. You're thinking, Get me out of this!
Right now, your idea of commitment is probably limited to not dating anyone else. Her idea of commitment is almost certainly the m-word — marriage.
3. Meanwhile, how do you know for sure if she's The One?
A guy thinks when he finds The One, lightening bolts will flash before his eyes, and fireworks will go off in his head.
Yes, it's a hugely romantic idea that of the billion women on our planet, there's only The One for you. But clearly (and this is Guy Think), there are many lives you could lead. "The One" sounds "out there." (Later, you understand that the woman you choose actually becomes The One over time.)
For now, memorize the ten questions below — so you don't drive your friends nuts with the same, ol' Is-She-The-One? songand dance.
The Ten Questions You Should Ask Yourself
1. Does she bring out the best in me?
2. Do I feel happier when I'm with her or am I merely anxious I'll lose her?
3. Are we best friends or lovers-or both?
4. Are sparks flying? (Enough to get me past the short skirts I'll encounter later?)
5. Am I trying to change her, or is she trying to change me?
6. Can we grow together?
7. Does she have gumption or does she lose it when things get rough?
8. Can I hear myself over everybody else's opinions?
9. Is sex obscuring my vision?
10. Did I get my ya-yas out?
4. She's got an internal compass, and you don't. (But is it the right compass?)
She's got True North. You don't. She knows when she's met the right mate. You don't. You feel you're at sea in a boat without a paddle while she stays on course, sailing through the water.
When my then-girlfriend/now-wife wanted to get married, I thought, what? Why would I want to screw up what we've got? (I was wrong; she was right.) Later, when she wanted to have a baby, I thought, Mat? My would we want to screw up what we've got? (I was wrong; she was right.) And this pattern has continued throughout my marriage with disturbing regularity.
So, how important is this whole internal-compass thing to a commitment-challenged man? "That's what this whole thing is about,"' one buddy said. "She's saying, 'I know where our lives are going. You've got to listen to me, honey."' But you have to do more than just listen; you have to decide if you like the course she's charted. One friend said, "When I couldn't decide on her, I began to focus on where she knew she was going. I decided I didn't want to travel there." Another guy said, I tried to place my girlfriend in a timeline of my life. Would she have fit in when I was ten? Will she when I'm forty? I decided I would have loved to know her at ten and wanted to see her-and be with her-at forty. I proposed."
Before you get all compass dizzy, remember this: The decision to get serious is a quirky blend of rationality and decision of the heart.
For a guy, the decision to get married is a series of educated guesses. (For some women — not all — it's intuition.) That's why it's so terrifying for you!
5. The question isn't "Who do you want to be with?" Rather, it's "Who the hell am I?"
Before you can get to the nitty-gritty of deciding if she's right or not, you've got to get your own act together. Otherwise, you'll spend time mentally ripping her to shreds when it's you that needs looking at. A classic example was the pompous boyfriend of my friend Judy. He treated her like a Volvo on a hydraulic lift, electrodes and computer hookups monitoring her performance. After several years of constant, unrelenting testing, Judy finally said, "Hey, what about you, Bub?" Not only was he floundering in his career, he was directionless in his life. No introspection. He had an I'm-Better-Than-Everyone-Else attitude. Finally, she dumped him.
If you don't know who you are, try describing yourself in one paragraph. Now try a page. Do you like the man you've summed up?
All this takes some weight off her shoulders and puts it right where it belongs: on yours.
6. Are you focusing on her "baggage"?
Never say, "She's OK, but she's got baggage." Women hate hearing about your dislike of their "baggage" not only because it implies that you, Your Lordliness, haveth no baggage, but because they seem to understand that love is, in the immortal baritone of Rocky, about fillin' in gaps....
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Posted May 28, 2003
I was given this book by a friend who knew I was in a relationship that was at that point where the big question comes up...'should I stay or should I go now...' Not so much for me as for my boyfriend. It was so funny and on the money on a number of fronts. I was willing to see if my boyfriend wanted to take a read and he did. He even was bummed when he left it at work one day and wanted to finish it. He was open to Mr. Barron's perceptions and thought they were quite funny. I am happy to report that since then he took the plunge and we are together.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.