Congratulations – I Thought It Would’ve Been Me

While riding down the street listening to XM Radio, I heard one of my favorite “old school” love songs, entitled “Congratulations” by Vesta Williams.  It came out in 1989 but the song’s lyrics caused me to think about one very relevant question that I get pretty often from women today, “Why didn’t he marry me?”  Below are just a few of the lyrics to the song:

“Saw an old friend on the street
She said today’s your wedding
My heart stopped
The tears dropped

I thought it would have been me
Standin’ here with you
I hope you’re happy”

Have you ever dated a guy and it was a very serious relationship (at least in your eyes) and you just knew that the intended outcome was marriage? You spent so much time and energy loving him, shaping the relationship into what you thought it should be and suddenly you break up with little to no explanation for what really went wrong.  You were probably pretty certain that you’d get back together because you talked pretty often, occasionally saw each other but just gave it a little time to recover from whatever happened.  One day you were going about your business, maybe even having lunch with a guy that you were using as a placeholder until your eventual husband could get it together and THEN IT HAPPENS; you get a phone call or a text message from a friend saying, “You know so and so is getting married.”  Your heart drops and maybe even the phone and you immediately go through a range of emotions and asking yourself a series of unanswered questions such as: “Why didn’t he tell me?” “Why wasn’t I good enough?” “Why her?” “How could he do this to me?”

This scenario has played out all too often with women.  As women we tend to get really invested emotionally in relationships and sometimes that is to our detriment.  We get caught up in the amount of “time” put into the relationship but not really the “quality” of the relationship.  You can spend years with a guy but it is a very surface relationship and never really got deep enough to be substantive.  What I mean by that is perhaps all you did was spend a lot of time together doing fun stuff, having sex and the occasional argument but you never really took the time to get to know each other on a deeper more intimate level.  On the flip side, you may have spent years arguing with a guy throughout the relationship and felt so emotionally invested and drained that you thought, “he better marry me after all that I put up with!”  In an attempt to answer some of those unanswered questions that you have been left with during that “he’s getting married” phone call, I’ve talked to a few men to get some of these answers.

Why Didn’t He Tell Me?
Many men move on without telling you because unfortunately, they know that they can string women along because of how emotionally connected we get.  They feel that they can always back track and keep having sex with you if you let them and they can tell you a few things that they know you want to hear to make you feel special meanwhile fostering an entirely new relationship with someone else that they feel that they are actually more “future oriented” with.  They will keep up this charade until they are CERTAIN that this new relationship is something that they actually want and then it’s time to cut you off completely.  Eventually you start to see their contact with you diminish and then dissipate all together. You’ll stop hearing from them completely and when you call them, they will be extremely short with you.  In an effort NOT to hurt your feelings and to AVOID potential drama they won’t tell you that they are planning to marry someone else, so you’ll have to hear it second-hand.

Why Wasn’t I Good Enough?
This is a tricky question because you were good enough to date, but just not to marry.  When you met him, you hit it off and became inseparable and what you did was fill a void that he had at the time.  Perhaps you met in college or right out of college and were very young.  They may have been attracted to you because of your looks, body type and the fact that they knew that other men were after you and they got you first but eventually this wears off and they don’t know how to get out.  Men don’t generally look for permanence in relationships until they are approaching 30.  They may love you while you’re dating at 25 but they haven’t quite figured out what they want in a wife and when they finally do discover it, you’re just not “it”.  Don’t take offense to that ladies because if we put the “time” you put into the relationship to the side, you’ll find that he probably wasn’t “it” for your either.  The time factor means a lot to women.  Face it, those are years that you spent on someone that you CAN NEVER get back and probably wish you could erase from your life.  If you’re like me, you’ll just pretend they never existed.  Family  is also a factor in choosing a mate as well.  If you find that you had a love hate relationship with his mother, sister or grandmother, you can rest assured that they’re telling him that you’re not good enough for him and advising him to seek another relationship outside of yours. Many men will tell you that they are free to make their own dating decisions but if they are they type to go to the women in their family on dating advice when it concerns your relationship, they are getting advised to leave.

Why Her?
The answers to this question are simple and something that you may not want to hear.  She is easier to deal with PERIOD.  There are few types of women who are SURE to be put aside for the next one:

  • The Nagger – always asking him questions and getting on his nerves about any and EVERYTHING
  • The Insecure – always accusing him of cheating no matter what he’s doing
  • The Sexual Stiff – has no excitement or adventure in bed and is unwilling to explore
  • The Non Domestic – can’t cook, clean or take care of the house
  • The Domineering – won’t let him be a man and trying to wear the pants in the relationship
  • Extra Ghetto – not lady-like, cursing and fighting constantly.
  • The Unkept – never fixes herself up or tries to look presentable in public

It is important to note that when a man is seeking a wife, he is looking for a women who he feels will be able to handle pressure, take care of the family household and be supportive of his career.  If you are the type of woman who  is self-absorbed, doesn’t compliment him as a mate, encourage him, trust him or motivate him, then you are NOT FOR HIM!  Men like to have their egos stroked from time to time and be made to feel special.  Women want the same things but we are less likely to leave a relationship when we do get it.  We’ve all seen movies and tv shows where a man cheats with a women who is telling him how wonderful he is, how supportive she would be if she were his wife etc.  Well art imitates life in this case.

Signs To Look Out For
Ladies there are a few signs to look for that you might not be the “one” if you are currently dating a man who you HOPE asks for YOUR hand in marriage:

  1. You never meet his family or have limited contact – If you’ve been dating a guy for more than a year and he never takes you to meet his family or he rarely takes you to family gatherings, he’s not intending on being serious with you beyond just dating.
  2. You never have future oriented conversations – Every time you bring up marriage, children or the future and he changes the subject or doesn’t engage in the conversation and possible gets mad, he’s probably not interested in a future with you.  Men who are willing to explore those topics gives SOME indication that he could be thinking about it but it doesn’t mean that it will happen. WARNING: Don’t go overboard bringing up marriage and kids CONSTANTLY because men get turned off to that as well and may shut down to it because it’s seen as nagging them about it.
  3. An ex-girlfriend or a prior love interest won’t go away – Many times WE are unknowingly the placeholders for a relationship a man WISHES he still had with an ex or longed to have with another woman out of his reach.  Listen for constant references or comparisons to an ex or another woman.  He may be in contact with her throughout your relationship and giving her an indication that his relationship with YOU is not that serious, which is why she’s sticking around waiting her turn.  I’ve seen many cases where someone’s boyfriend will marry their ex or a woman from his past. Keep your eye on that situation.

If you find yourself on the other end of a phone call, text message or email that says that your “future husband” is about to become some elses “actual husband”, let the tears fall and reflect for a minute on why this is happening but MOVE ON.  The worst thing that you want to do is let that situation steal your joy and future happiness.  While you may not have become HIS WIFE, you can go on to become someone else’s eventually if you cleanse yourself of all the heartache cause by him and go into the next relationship with a pure heart and open mind while remaining watchful of the signs.

Congratulations by Vesta Williams

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