Think Carefully before Asking These 3 Questions

Posted on February 15, 2013 by


671418_28727110

HERE IS MY LIST OF THINGS THAT MIGHT BE BETTER NOT TO ASK:

  • Are you two dating?  –  That can be a lot of pressure on a new relationship and may be a source of friction already (especially for the girl).  It puts the guy and girl both in a very awkward position – and can create a lot of tension.  If he hasn’t said that you are an official “item” yet, it is not helpful for him to feel any pressure.  And parents and friends and family tend to ask these kinds of probing, potentially embarrassing questions.  They do it because they love you and want to see you happy, but sometimes it can feel frustrating to hear this question over and over before you are officially dating.  Maybe you could come up with something cute to say as a response like, “We are enjoying hanging out.”  “He’s a really great guy!”  But whatever you do – DO NOT joke at  your man’s expense in this situation.  Do not pressure him.  Do not embarrass him.  Do not give him the silent treatment the rest of the night.  Be a joy and delight to be around.  Don’t have expectations of him.  You may want to even tell him later, “I enjoy being with  you.  But I want you to know, I am putting no pressure on you or any expectations about the future.  I am just enjoying getting to know you and savoring the time we share.”
  • When are you two getting engaged?/ When are you ever going to give that girl a RING? –  That decision is really for the guy to make.  He needs to decide on his own, without external pressure, that he wants to marry this girl.  For someone to put him in this awkward position, especially in front of his girlfriend,  puts him on the spot.  If he actually IS planning to propose, he can’t talk about it.  He is planning and getting things ready to surprise her.  But she doesn’t know that, and the question may tempt her to resent him for not proposing yet or to feel unloved or left out when a lot of her friends are already married or engaged.   And if he isn’t sure yet, then it could create a lot of tension for the relationship.  But it is a good idea to have some kind of gracious response.  Maybe something funny?  Or just something sweet like, “I’m sure you’ll be one of the first we call if that happens down the road!”
  • When are you getting married? –  (for engaged couples) If you are engaged, but haven’t set a date, this can be a frustrating question.  Sometimes a guy will give a girl a ring to get her to stop asking to be engaged – and not set a date.  Some guys go for years without setting a date – so this can be a very sore issue for the bride-to-be.   Hopefully, the guy was not pressured to propose (by anyone, including his girlfriend), and ideally he is engaged because he WANTS to be engaged.  I think the girl can occasionally ask about a date, but it needs to be with a pleasant tone of voice, a smile, and probably only every few months or so.  For the most part, the guy probably needs to set the approximate time range and then they can decide as a couple about the exact date.  But if you have been engaged for many months or years and there is no major issue with planning a wedding, then, something may be wrong.   That issue is for another post.   If he is trying to finish college or medical school or there is a parent who is really sick or he lost a job or something, my opinion is for the girl to be patient and understanding about what he has going on.
  • When are you getting married? – (for women with no committed relationship)    “Hmmm…  Well, I have no boyfriend.  But I have decided that I am going to get married on October 12th, 2015.  I have the dress already.  And I have booked the church and the photographer.”  Actually, that might be a fun answer!  Keep that one tucked away if you want to steal it!  Or you could say, “Thanks for being concerned.  I appreciate that you love me so much and want to see me happy.  I trust God will take care of that at the right time.”  Or, “I plan to get married probably some time after a guy I really love proposes to me and I say, ‘yes!’.”

Now, being an almost 40 year old – I know that families and friends are trying to show love when they ask these things.  I truly couldn’t see that when I was younger.  Sometimes when you are the single person getting asked these questions constantly – it can feel kind of smothering.  So, hopefully the singles can keep in mind that the questions are because people love them, and they don’t mean to cause problems.  They are trying to show they are interested in your life and that they want to see the people they love happy.  And maybe we can come up with some strategies to answer these common questions graciously without getting too offended. And hopefully the family and friends can show some sensitivity if these are difficult questions for a particular couple.

Advertisements