If you’ve been in a relationship and he won’t commit, give the ultimatum. Seriously. Tell him what you’re looking for and if he doesn’t want the same thing, move on. Why? Cause dating is like leasing a car. And if you lease longer than 2-3 years, it’s (usually) a money-losing proposition.
Here’s how the Lease works…
The Test Drive
The first couple of months of every relationship is the Test Drive. You see what they like. How they look. How they handle. Do they sound good? Are they high maintenance or low maintenance? Are they fuel-efficient? Do they excite you?
At the end of this 4-8 week period, the Test Drive is over. If you dig each other, you agree to be boyfriend-girlfriend and sign the Lease. You’re now exclusive, but haven’t committed to “Forever”.
If you don’t like each other enough to be exclusive, you move on and Test Drive another car. It’s unusual (or at least unproductive) to date someone longer than 2 months without committing to a monogamous relationship. By that point, one of you probably wants something more. And when that happens, it’s the beginning of the end of the current situation.
Once you sign the lease, you’re committed to each other for a period of time. In terms of timing, in general, as you get older, the lease gets shorter…
- If you’re in your upper 20’s, the lease is 2 years.
- 30’s, it’s a year and a half.
- If you’re 40 and above, it’s basically down to a year. (Though variables like divorce and kids can get in the way)
During this time, you’re together. You belong to each other. You travel together. You have pictures of each other. You’re intimate. You might even post pix to Instagram, letting the world know how you feel about each other.
That all said, you still know deep down inside, it’s only a lease and thus, only temporary. And like a car lease, a relationship is not always perfect. Sometimes you need time apart. Sometimes you feel like you can do better. Sometimes a sexier, younger model pulls up alongside you and you’d love to take that one for a spin. But you can’t. You’re committed, even if it’s temporary, to your current model.
And per the Lease terms, you’re not free to drive anything else.
Buy or Trade-in?
When the Lease is up, it’s the moment of truth: are you going to buy, i.e. get married, or trade in, i.e. break up and move onto the next Lease?
You might be able to fineagle a little more time, but the dynamic will start to change. Now, the end of the lease doesn’t mean you must get married. But if you don’t take a step closer to permanence, i.e., moving in together, chances are, you never will.
There are exceptions to the rule, (i.e., he has to move to London for an assignment), but again, that still reinforces my point. He’s not in a position to commit in the here and now.
That’s why, when the Lease is up, I advise to give the ultimatum. Either way, you’re better off…
- You get what you want right then and there.
- You don’t, but at least you move on with your life and give yourself a chance to find the happiness you’re looking for with someone else.
Life is too short to waste time. If he wants to be with you, he’ll be with you. If he needs more time, at least you’re not in a relationship that leaves you wanting. That’s when resentment starts to creep in.
Dating is often about playing the odds. Go for whom you love and what makes you happy. That said, don’t spend valuable years of your life on a long shot. The vast majority of times that a dude is not ready to commit by the above timelines, he’ll never commit. If he doesn’t know by then, he probably never will. The only way he will make a decision is if he has to make one.
More often than not, if a couple breaks up at the end of the Lease, and gets back together, they get married. They don’t return to the old Lease. They buy.
So dictate the relationship (and Lease) you want to live. Just don’t jump the timeline; it’s not realistic or fair. After three months, I don’t know anyone who can decide the rest of their life. And many who say they know early on are the ones that eventually bolt cause they give in easily to their urges.
So when that lease is up, let them know it’s time to Buy or Trade-in. Cause if they can’t sign on the dotted line, the odds are, they never will. And you deserve better.