Is It Stupid To Date With Marriage On The Mind?
July 17, 2013 Dating

mindMaking a Down Payment
Tonight I participated in a Twitter chat about what a man expects when he takes a woman on a date.  Several years ago, a fifty something year old gentleman said, “Yvonne, every time a man takes you out, he’s making a down payment.” I didn’t know what he was talking about so I asked, “On what?” and he said, “Sex!”

We Control What He Gets
That conversation took me back to the scene in the movie Brown Sugar when Boris Kodjoe closed down the restaurant for his first date with Sanaa Lathan.  On the way home she said to him, “So you think you gettin’ some booty?” And he said, “Yes, well, not tonight but eventually.  That’s why we do what we do.”  A man is free to expect whatever he wants.  Doesn’t mean he’s going to get it. We don’t control what he expects. We control what he gets.

Disney TV Fantasy
As the chat continued, we discussed what to ask/not ask on the first date.  One gentleman in particular had a problem with a woman who said, “I only date with intent to marry. I don’t date just for the heck of it.” He went as far as saying, “Dating with marriage on the mind from jump is stupid!”  He called it a Disney TV fantasy.  Here’s some more of what he said;

  • First date you should never ask me about my thoughts on marriage unless you want to watch me sprint away.
  • You shouldn’t prioritize getting a ring, dress & cake. You should prioritize your relationship w/ your fella.
  • If marriage is on your mind first and foremost then your want is for a wedding. Its cut n paste as to who it’s too.
  • No man wants to marry you forever after the first date.

You can ask about whatever you want on the first date including marriage.  How you ask is the game changer.  If the guy sprints away from you, clearly he’s not the guy for you and that’s a win-win for both of you.

Whatever Happens, Happens
It’s funny how we prioritize everything else in our lives and we’re crystal clear about what we want and how we want it; jobs, living space, housing, cars etc yet when it comes to dating, relating and mating, we’re expected to show up with a “whatever happens, happens” attitude.

Marry Her After The First Date
Just because a woman is dating with marriage on the mind doesn’t mean she wants you to marry her after the first date.  Let me show you how it’s done.  After meeting at an event, my path crossed with a gentleman sitting at another table.  We introduced ourselves, made small talk and exchanged information.  The small talk was so good that we decided to continue it over a casual lunch.

Keep The Questions Coming
Stevie Wonder could see the mutual interest and attraction and the gentleman made it clear he was both interested and attracted.  At our second outing, we talked extensively about our mutual faith and how we live it and then we talked a lot about his last relationship which led to a great conversation about dating and marriage.  I asked a lot of questions that he was happy to answer as a matter of fact, he said, “Keep the questions coming.  I’m enjoying this. This is great!” It was great! We enjoyed a balanced exchange of give and take and had a lot of fun.

No Hard Feelings
Our third outing was where the rubber met the road.  In a very roundabout way, we both realized we were not on the same page about something very important to me that ought to be important to him too however, he was willing to negotiate it.  I’m not.  That was our third and final outing.  No hard feelings.  That’s how you date with marriage on the mind.  Did we have fun? Absolutely! It was a wonderful experience.  I would say we’re both better off for having known each other.  Did he feel pressured? Absolutely not! Did we go with the flow? We sure did. We flowed effortlessly from one outing to the next. We ate great meals, laughed out loud often and had really great conversations.  My experience with him is what I want for every single person going on dates.

Raised My Eyebrow
When you date with marriage on the mind, you hear things you need to hear that you’d probably miss if you didn’t have marriage on the mind.  At our third outing, he said something that raised my eyebrow.  I paid attention and followed it up with several questions for clarification and that is when I realized we were not on the same page, heck, we weren’t even in the same book! I probably wouldn’t have caught that if I wasn’t dating with marriage on the mind.

Its None Of His Business
Here’s the thing ladies, you are the only one who needs to know you’re dating with marriage on the mind.  You don’t have to make any formal announcements or introduce yourself with, “Hi, my name is (fill in the blank) and I’m dating with marriage on the mind.” No! Keep it to yourself, have a great time getting to know a new person and let it flow.  It’s none of his business until it needs to be his business.

When you know what you want, you will recognize it when you see it.  Bill Cosby

Something to think about…

What say you? Is it stupid to date with marriage on the mind? Is it okay to talk about marriage on the first date? Why? Why not? Is prioritizing marriage a good idea? Why? Why not?

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1.  Leave a comment below

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"23" Comments
  1. I want to start off by saying for both the record and any future readers of this post, yes it’s me, I’m the guy that Ms. Chase was talking to on twitter the other day. My name is Rex @RexinTX on twitter, and yes, I said all of those things she mentioned, from the Disney TV fantasy line to the whole thing about not prioritizing rings, cake and dresses and I stand by every word of it. That being said, let me cut right to the chase, dating with marriage on the mind is stupid. Now before you go and set your jaw, cross your arms and go “mmmm hmmm…” I want you to listen for a minute. This is some tough medicine to swallow but I’m telling you, if you’ll take it you just might get better.

    Let’s start at the beginning, the heart of the matter the point from which all this confusion about marriage and relationships begins. I’m talking about childhood. In the beginning we all grew up watching TV and hearing bedtime stories about beautiful princesses from far-away lands trapped in towers and knights in shining armor braving terrible obstacles and doing daring feats of heroism to set those aforementioned princesses free from whatever bonds that hold them. And ever since then, little girls have wanted to be that princess who gets rescued by that wonderful armor-clad hero. They obsess over it, they act it out with Barbie dolls and draw pictures of dresses and read bridal books, and make collages and while you may be sitting there saying, “Not me, I didn’t do EXACTLY that” just be honest with yourself, you did it a little bit. The point is that when you’re young, there is nothing wrong with these fantasies but the problem is that many women, and I dare say most, never grow out of it. They become adults and continue on with their lives with their ideas of what relationships should be still written in crayon. The idea that a relationship with a man could be anything other than what happened in the story with the prince and the poor woman with glass shoes is completely unacceptable to them. The most they do is modernize their situation, instead of a tall tower, it’s a job they hate or just an overall feeling of loneliness or vulnerability and instead of a prince on a white horse, it’s a man in a nice suit driving a BMW but still the spirit of the fantasy remains alive and well. The problem with that is it’s not reflective of real life at all. It’s a façade that real life non-fictional men have to bolster in order to get what we want. This brings me to my next point.

    Men want sex. When that sage gentleman said, “every time a man takes you out, he’s making a down payment [on sex]” it’s the truth. You see, men are simple creatures. We walk around this beautiful planet of ours and for the most part, we have three thoughts. Can I eat it? Can I break it? Can I have sex with it? Now, in the year one men figured out pretty quick that we don’t like breaking or eating women as much as we like having sex with them and we like sex a whole lot more than we like things like possessions like… rocks or whatever was valuable back in the early day, so men were willing to trade our stuff for it. Also, in the year one, women found out that what they had between their legs was valuable to men and they could use it to get what they want from a man (which I’m convinced that even then it was that he wear leather armor and ride in on a saber-toothed tiger with a club in one hand and a big bag of food in the other). And that’s pretty much as far as we’ve evolved. The technology and the education may have changed but the game is still the same. In order for me to get what I want, I have to give you what you want. So men put on suits and ties, lift weights, learn how to speak well and buy flashy cars because we know that all those things make us more “knight-like.” Just like Dave Chappelle said, “if a man could f*** a woman in a cardboard box, he wouldn’t buy a house.” I’m telling you, if you ask a man if he wants to get married the first thing in his mind is “well that would dramatically increase my odds of getting sandwiches and regular sex.” I say that to mean you’re right when you said, “We don’t control what he expects. We control what he gets.” But you’re wrong if you think we’re happy about it or we want the same things for the same reasons and any guy who tells you differently is either gay, sick or lying because I just blew up his spot.

    Now, dating with marriage in mind, let’s open up that can of worms. Dating with marriage in mind is all about the woman. Women generally know (and if they don’t they should) they have a certain amount of time to find a and lock down a man before old father time catches up to them and no guy will have them. Just like in nature, male animals want to pass on their seed as much as possible and it doesn’t server them to try to pass their seed to a female who is too old to bear healthy young. And men, for the most part, don’t have a biological clock, we can reproduce forever and we can get more “rocks” to trade for sex because what women want is not tied so much to how we look. So because of that, women have to try to get a man as quickly as possible and dating with marriage in mind is the best way to do that. When you do that the issue becomes less of a matter of really liking a guy and enjoying being with him and I having genuine feelings of love for him and more of a sprint to catch the first guy who is aight and hits most of the things on your first-grade pretty pretty princess list. The notion of getting married and the expected feelings of security and self-worth that come from having a ring on your left hand become your focus rather than the feelings you have with the guy you’re with without a ring on. An official marriage is like an insurance policy on your dream house, you still have the house with or without one (which should be the focus) it’s just that with the policy you feel more secure that if anything happens you’ll be protected somehow. In reality however, the piece of paper doesn’t protect your house. You shouldn’t put your focus on the insurance policy; you should put your focus on the house instead. Building a strong relationship based on honesty and openness is the key to a lasting partnership not a piece of paper and matching rings. I’m telling the truth, there are many couples out there that have never married but are still together regardless like Oprah and Steadman Graham or Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn or Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon. They focus on their mate not the title that they have because they ultimately know that the title is meaningless without a relationship backing it up. A marriage license between most people is strictly symbolic. There’s no love in the paper. The love comes from the strength of your relationship with your mate.

    I could go on and on about this but somehow I think what I’ve said should be sufficient. However, if you’d like clarification please feel free to email me.

    • Rex,

      I believe you get the award for leaving the longest comment at my blog. Your comment is 1200+ words. Another gentleman used to leave long comments too.

      I’m going to respond to all of it in a blog post. Stay tuned…

      But I have to address this now, how can you mention Oprah and Steadman in a conversation about marriage? Oprah has made it clear she never wants to get married even she and Steadman live their lives as if they are married. They’ve been together 26+ years. They’re married, they just didn’t have a formal ceremony. Formal ceremony or not, you better believe they have a lot of paperwork defining and outlining their relationship.

  2. My point is that just because all those celebrities aren’t married, it doesn’t mean that their relationship is any less meaningful. The paper doesn’t make the relationship, it just provides financial reasons not to separate and that’s not a love thing, that’s a money thing.

  3. Rex,

    I believe you missed my overall point in the original post. The post is about dating with marriage on the mind not about celebrity relationships that resemble marriage.

    A woman who dates with marriage on the mind actually wants to be married not live as if she is married. There is a big difference.

  4. I think Rex cannot speak for all men; he should preface everything he’s saying with “based on my experience….”
    Rex seems a tad cynical as he seems to have a very superficial view of marriage – its not just about having children or acquiring material things.
    Now back to the original question – I think its ok to know what you want (i.e. marriage) but that does not have to show up in every date encounter.
    Some women are quite content going along for the ride and some want more – the long term commitment and all it entails.

    • @Diann,

      I find it interesting that we go along for the ride in relationships yet we’re crystal clear and very focused in every other area of our lives.

      • well i don’t think everyone that’s dating is in it for a long term relationship that leads to marriage – some just want company or a companion.

        • Diann,

          In my estimation, dating doesn’t lead to marriage. You’re right…some want company, a companion, free meals, its an escape from their current miserable reality etc. I get it. I see it all the time.

  5. Don’t straw-man my argument. Celebrity marriages are far from the point of my 1200 word post. The point is, when you date with marriage in mind then that becomes the focus on the relationship. Marriage becomes the goal not the report and connection you have with your partner. I think you all need to evaluate the reason that you want marriage so badly. I still contend that marriage is entirely for women so they can feel secure in the relationship. Somehow a man saying, “I want to be with you” isn’t good enough and you need to get the law involved. That’s not trust in the relationship, that’s fear of being left and a distrust of the strength of yours and your man’s connection. Most women have this fear It’s not uncommon.

    • i think you meant rapport….
      marriage is not entirely for women, men have the same desires also but may express it differently….
      has this happen to you one time too often? btw I’m married; I wasnt dating with marriage in mind, but i enjoyed the relationship and marriage was the next logical step for both of us.

      • Diann,

        I don’t know what anyone else means when they say date w/marriage on the mind. For me, when a person dates with marriage on the mind, they want to be married. Marriage is important to them. That’s all it means…no more, no less.

        I don’t believe you would be married if you didn’t want to be married. I’m guessing it was somewhere on your mind? What do you mean by marriage was the next logical step?

      • See, that’s what I’m talking about. Y’all decided to get married together. You didn’t put pressure on the situation and it was a decision y’all made together based on the strength of y’all’s relationship. That’s the ideal marriage situation. Dating with marriage in mind is just that. Marriage is the focus of the dating. You’re trying to get to marriage. Marriage is the end goal. That’s the prize, that’s the brass ring as it were. It’s like hitch hiking your way to a city called marriage alongside some other guy. You’re dreaming of getting to marriage. That’s not right! You need to be focusing on who you’re with and the two of ya’lls relationship. Maybe if y’all talked you both might decide it may be more fun to go to Aruba or Paris instead of marriage. You see, it’s not the destination, it’s the journey and the company along the way. You may never get married but if you’re with a loving mate who takes care of you and loves you and shares their life with you, I don’t really think there’s much more you can ask for. Why do we REALLY need to put it on paper? Do we not trust each other soooooo much that we need to write contracts and get the law involved?

        • Rex,

          Again…you’re making assumptions. You don’t know what she means by the next logical step. Perhaps you should wait and find out.

          Like most people I’ve heard say that, maybe they’d been living together for awhile, had a kid or two and figured marriage was the next logical step since they were already living like they were married. That’s what the person meant the last time I heard that statement/reason for getting married. Did they really want to get married?

          To answer your question…why do we need to get married? Because shacking up is living in sin. Because having babies out of wedlock is not a part of Gods plan for us but you didn’t want to hear that did you?

          Marriage is the right thing to do and the only thing to do if you want to have sex and make babies but again you didn’t want to hear that right?

          • look at what i’ve walked in to…
            I used next logical step purposely – there came a point in time where he proposed and i said yes…i did not pressure or even suggest it…we weren’t living together or anything like that.
            to me you both are making valid points….i wouldn’t say it’s stupid to date with marriage in mind (I never did) but I don’t think the end goal for everyone is marriage.

  6. Rex,

    I’m not sure how you arrived at the assumption that when a woman dates with marriage in mind, that becomes the focus of the relationship. Where did you get that from by the way? Perhaps that has been your personal experience with the women you’ve dated?

    I can’t speak for anyone else. I can only speak for myself. As a born again Christian woman who honors God in every area of her life including her relationship life and lives her life in accordance to the Bible, marriage is my only option.

    Therefore, a relationship like the celebrities you mentioned would never work for me because it goes against Gods plan for my life. Shacking up and living in sin is not what he has for his daughters even if that’s the acceptable norm. Someone on the chat said marriage is not for everyone and my reply was, its for everyone who wants to have sex and make babies.

    • I’m a Christian too but if you’re only reason for wanting to get married in the face of EVERYTHING I’ve said is because God said so, I really have nothing else to say because at that point we’re not having a discussion, I’m talking to a brick wall.

      • Uh Rex, that is not the only reason for wanting to get married. I understand all of what you said even though much of what you’re saying is rooted in assumptions, cynicism and generalizations.

        Like I said in the post, just because a woman dates with marriage on the mind doesn’t mean she wants to marry every first date. Thinking that is ludicrous and doesn’t make one ounce of sense.

        In addition, having marriage on the mind simply means the person wants to be married and values marriage. No more no less. She knows what she wants and she’s keeping it in mind as she goes on dates and meets men.

        Of course its about the relationship and all it entails after all, no intelligent woman I know is going to marry a man she doesn’t like, doesn’t get along with or have anything in common with just because she wants to be married. Who does that?

        • Ok, other than the God angle and the obvious financial advantages, what is so important about being married? Is it the rings? The ceremony? The dresses and pictures? Is it that you get to invite all of your friends and say, “hey look what I’m doin”? The title of “wife” or “husband?” Why is it special? Other than the fact that society says that women need to get married by x amount of time, what is marriage and why is it that important to be married? Again, BESIDES the God angle.

  7. Rex,

    Let me tell you something about me that you don’t know; I hate weddings. I want nothing to do with a mini parade of bridesmaids, groomsmen, dresses, flower girls, ring bearers and all of that other jazz that goes along with a traditional wedding. That is not my cup of tea at all. I’d get married in the pastors office before I do any of that.

    I believe I’ve already answered the second part of your question in great detail.

  8. I once spoke with a woman over the phone from a dating site I was on and a question with in our first phone conversation was: “so what are you looking for?” She definitely had marriage on the mind and had just ran herself off a cliff in my view.

  9. @Diann…a woman dating with marriage on the mind never suggests marriage nor does she pressure a man into marriage. A woman dating with marriage on the mind would never find herself in a situation where she has to suggest or pressure a man into marriage.

    Like I said in the post, its her business until it needs to be his business. No formal announcements and no introductions with that statement.

    • You see what that looks like? Its like saying, “You don’t need to know the plans I have for our relationship.” That implies that your significant other is just along for the ride as you tear towards your pre-planned direction. That shouldn’t be. Its like you’re Captain Ahab out for the white whale of marriage and your boyfriend has no say in what happens. Its “get on the boat and grab a spear or get off” instead of “lets just sail and enjoy each other’s company. Full sail to wherever the wind may take us.” Its about the journey not the destination.

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