Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sometimes you just have to talk it out (with a little help)


Dr. Jayme, our resident relationship expert, counselor, life coach, counselor and all-around Wonder Woman sometimes allows counseling sessions via video conference. She prefers face-to-face so she can feel the tension level in the room but finds that in some situations (emergencies); Skype works just fine. Well, she had a special request from two of BougieLand's faithful. They have been together for close to a year and all of a sudden things that used to easy seem hard. They both feel like they have found what they are looking for in the other but want to talk through issues before it gets completely out of hand. 

Summary of relationship: They met online in BougieLand. The gent approached the lady and they decided to meet. Six dates later they were a couple. A little after the six month time frame they considered moving in together. The lady asked in the comments section of BnB what we thought about the moving in. Apparently we were vehemently against it. Too much, too fast we said. Fast forward to the past month or so and they are hung up on the "what next" question. 

I wasn't trying to be in it but they asked if I would blog about it. Curious to see what BougieLand had to say. I warned them that Bougienista/os shoot straight and will get all knee-deep up in their business once invited in. They said they were cool with it. Personally, I'm so glad not to be blogging about my own yada-blah that I decided, sure why not? So here's highlights of the session between Amy and Rob with Jayme.

Jayme started out by having them talk about what it was like when they met, what they like (or love) about each other. It's nice. It sets a warm happy tone for when she stops smiling and says, "So what's the problem?"

Amy wants a timeline, she believes Rob is "The One" and she wants assurance from Rob. Rob hears Amy say timeline and interprets that as "ring". 

Jayme asked Amy, "Do you want a ring?" Amy said of course she wants a ring but she'll take the promise of a ring and a timeline in the meantime. Rob said that still makes him feel like he's on a countdown to a marriage and doesn't want that kind of pressure.

While they talked around the issue, I went out to Disqus and pulled up all of Rob's comments (yes, Disqus has ALL y'alls stuff). About 6 months ago, I wrote during Question for the Fellas Week: What are you waiting for? Rob had the following answer about relationship timelines: "Year One - Hot stuff, Year Two - Learning Stuff, Year Three- Real Stuff. If you can't pull the trigger after year three, you never will. IMHO"

When I read that back to him, he nodded saying that's what he believes. Amy asked if that meant he wasn't going to be ready until year three. He said he wasn't sure and why couldn't they just go on as is for now. He had "no plans to go anywhere."

She said they could for a while but she was hearing the tick-tock of her bio clock and didn't want to look back in three years when he still wasn't ready to find that the time was wasted. He was insulted by the term "wasted time." She was irritated that he was "being deliberately sensitive." And silence descended upon the room.

Jayme asked, "What do you think I'm going to tell you to do?" Rob answered, "Talk it out." Amy answered, "Make pros and cons about the relationship?" This irritated Rob again and there was slight swirl. For the record, Amy and Rob love the banter swirly vibe. It works for them. For all the sniping, they sat darn near on top each other, finished each other's sentences and stopped to apologize if one thought they had hurt the other one's feelings. 

Jayme said no. "I'm going to ask you to stop blaming each other for wanting what they want." More silence and they exchanged a confused look. Jayme said, "Amy wants security and an idea that loving you is not going to come back in bite her in the ass. Rob wants to keep Amy without being tied to a specific timeline. Stop being mad at each other for that." Light bulb moment.

"Now spend one month apart. No contact. No phone calls. No texts. Get a glimpse of what life will be like if you just walk away now because your schedules aren't meshing. One rule - when you get back together, no questions about what either of you did while you were apart."

Not that I'm laughing at the two of them but their faces when she said no contact for a month were comical. They looked like kids who had their lollipops taken away. They were not feeling it and they definitely didn't want to agree to the non-disclosure clause. They started arguing vehemently with Jayme on why they hated the idea. She let them swirl for a while longer.

Finally Rob blurted out, "A month is a lifetime. I don't want other men thinking she's available. The whole point of dating one woman is that I don't want to date anyone else. It's not like I wasn't planning on marrying her anyway." Amy froze, I froze, Rob looked like he couldn't believe what just flew out of his mouth. 

Jayme had a huge smile on her face. "You guys don't want to spend a month apart. Rob doesn't want anyone else getting Amy. I think Amy just got her answer."

Rob looked from Jayme to me to Amy... "What just happened?" Amy said, "I'll wait until you're ready." He started grinning, "It'll be sooner than later, I swear."

Jayme said, "I'm still billing you for the full hour."

Amy is moving in with Rob this weekend. I don't really believe in the shacking but if it works for them, I say go to it.

This had me thinking... what if I'd had a Jayme ten years and four relationships ago? How much of what makes relationships work is just a "leap of faith" that needs to be talked out? It made me go hmmm. She said so many times couples get caught up blaming each other for things that aren't really changeable (like feelings, insecurities and thoughts) that they never get around to a solution, they just call it quits. So what say you BougieLand? Do we give up too easily? Should we all have Jayme on standby? Do we play the blame game too often? Thoughts, comments, insights? Good luck shout outs to Amy and Rob? Advice? The floor is yours.

148 comments:

MotownMs said...

"...I have learned that men do what they really want to do with little to no pressure." This. Right. Here.

Only the Tall said...

Rob, if you like and love who you have, then stake your claim brother, STAKE YOUR CLAIM.

Only the Tall said...

AMEN AND AMEN. I'm not even religious and I know that was from the soul, therefore true.
My brother met his wife, liked her, loved her, asked for her hand in marriage and that was that. No living together. He wasn't looking for a girlfriend, he was looking for a wife. Nuff' said.

CorettaJG said...

"The way you show other men that the woman you love is unavailable is to make a commitment before God and make her your wife; honor, respect, protect, provide & love her and she should do the same in return. Shacking up, having sex, having children together (speaking in general, not specifically to Rob & Amy) are not commitments." <----- THIS.RIGHT.HERE. I co-sign CC and blackprofessor below.

yourgirlC said...

Bravo to Jayme. Amy, Rob, I'm very happy for you and applaud you for seeking professional help in this stage of your relationship instead of assuming what the other is "really" thinking and walking out on a potentially great thing.

Now, as for living together ... if you both believe that this relationship could very likely be lifelong, I believe you should. You really get to know another person when you're sharing a household. I know, I know, folks in bougieland will probably say "why buy the cow when you're getting the milk for free?" but, frankly, if you're in a committed, monogamous relationship, sleeping together and doing just about everything else that married folks do, I don't see what the deal is. I see two upsides to living together first: 1) you have a better idea of who you're marrying and 2) if it doesn't work out, you avoid a costly divorce. The downside?: There is an argument that one party won't take the next step because they have all the benes of a marriage without the paper. To me, that's bull. If someone isn't marrying, it's probably not because of that -- there is something deeper going on.

Michele said...

That story has me feeling all kind of squishy and hopeful. I think we do give up too easy and we are definitely too quick to blame the other. Relationships are hard but if we are serious about having a real one, we should be willing to do whatever it takes. Good luck to them.

Only the Tall said...

"You're on the clock", Love this!!!

Only the Tall said...

I'm with you on this, I'm in total agreement. I, too wish them all the best but living together is a huge mistake. I just don't understand why women especially agree to this. The man is getting all the benefits and the woman is still in an unstable relationship, only now it's a 24-7 , waiting to see what he going to do. I don't wait for anybody. Why walk on eggshells? I will tell any child that I have this: when you think that you're ready to live with someone, you need to start talking about marriage, because "marriage-lite" is not a marriage and certainly not a way to start a marriage. To me, living with someone is "playing house", when a man or woman is marriage minded they are ready to commit themselves to making a home. The choice is yours.

Lady4Real said...

My husband told me, "I liked the milk so much I had to buy the cow". It may sound crazy but I understood what he was saying. A man will buy the cow, the farm, the house and the county when he has found what he wants. The milk isn't always sexual either, but whatever the milk is, when a man sees what he wants, taste what he likes, smells something that makes his senses go crazy, touches something comforting, and hears what is music to his ears he makes sure that he doesn't lose it. Only Rob knows if Amy has the milk he likes and when he is ready to buy the cow he will and Amy will know if she wants to graze at other pastures or likes the farmer she has now.
(Can we tell from the crazy analogy that Chele is my blood, lol.)

enlighten me said...

I love how Jayme flipped it on 'em. "What do you think I'm gonna tell you to do?" The only person who would ask a question like that is somebody who knows they're about to tell you something that's gon' blow yo mind... Big ups to Jayme. I'm planning on becoming a counselor. May I just say that you've provided me with some inspiration. :)

maureen palmer said...

Thanks for sharing, this is truly a teaching moment. It has a celebrity feeling to it huh; folks always dissecting their lives. Wishing both of you nothing short of happiness, joy and peace.

maureen palmer said...

Thanks for sharing with us. you know sometimes it takes stepping out of the circle to look in with a much better view.

maureen palmer said...

It made want to skip work today.

NYCDiva said...

I thought that this was an excellent post. Unfortunately I must also chime in against the living together thing. As many folks have said, either you're married or you're single. Living together is not marriage-lite. You get to know someone by dating them and experiencing life w/them. That doesn't require that couples share a home.

If Rob still has reservations about being married, that's cool but then he should stay in his own place. As for Amy, if she wants to be married and hears her bio clock, living together isn't necessarily going to move anything forward. Actually it may slow it the time table down. Even if Rob's a good dude, getting all of the perks of marriage w/o the legal obligations (easy exit option) may make him drag his feet even more. Amy needs to really decide how long she's willing to be the girlfriend, rather than financee or wife.

In this day and age I'm astounded at people thinking that living together is a prelude to a happy marriage. Given the divorce rate there seems to be no corelation. Grown folks can remain in a relationship and maintain their own homes until they mutually choose to marry (or at least set a date).

All that said I wish them all of the best.

maureen palmer said...

My grandfather used to tell us "it will feel right by you".

nubianqueenbeez said...

I wish Rob and Amy all the best, and I applaud them for seeking assistance with their relationship. If more couples sought out premarital counseling and then marriage counseling after the fact, I think more relationships could weather the storms that inevitably will blow through a relationship. My experience has been that there is usually one partner who wants to go, and the other doesn't, then after things get really bad the one who didn't want to go wants to go, and the other is like, nope, I'm done.

As for moving in together, I really don't recommend it. I say the ring and the ceremony first.

Lady4Real said...

"couples get caught up blaming each other for things that aren't really changeable (like feelings, insecurities and thoughts) that they never get around to a solution, they just call it quits. "
A few years back there was a really popular song called "Walk It Out", it was my theme song for quite sometime, but now with my hubby it has changed to "Talk It Out". It is a lot of hard work A LOT of hard hard work talking it out. Talking seems to have a cycle, there initial shock that there is a problem, anger, frustration, irratation, negotiation, apologies, acceptance and progression. At least this is my cycle. Sometimes my husband and I can go at it for 5 hours (mostly because I am an emotional, stubborn, spoiled brat) He has to get past my anger, I have to get past his frustration, we eventually get to negotiating, apologizing, accepting each other and progressing to making a change. Talking is hard, no one likes to hear about their faults, face insecurities or bend when they feel like standing strong, but relationships are compromise and when you really love someone you are willing to give whatever you have. Two people coming together are always going to disagree on something but the relationship is where they learn to work with one another. I appauld Amy and Rob for noticing an issue, seeking help and talking it out, they are laying the groundwork for an awesome foundation and a fantastic relationship and I wish them all the best!

maureen palmer said...

Yes, I have always suspected that about him, he is a pinneaple; rough on the outside but sweet on the inside.

maureen palmer said...

Can't follow JaymeC, she is the best. I can only say, I think you two have a good thing going on. Sometimes you have to let some of these things happen on universe time.



Another great writing by Chele, I peeped at the blog during lunch hour and over suddenly wanted to leave work and get home; something very cuddly about the topic today.
Amy & Rob thanks for sharing this moment with us, definitely a teaching moment, or as Oprah calls them "Aha moment".

GammasWorld said...

I need to know Jayme's rates and if she gives a Bougieland Discount.

Christine Cave said...

Kudos to Amy an Rob for putting their business out there! This has made me look into my own relationship...

Jayme...you work wonders!

CaliGirlED said...

I agree with you about #4. If you want to marry someone, as Amy does with Rob, there are no other options. You either wait or move on. Keeping your options open means giving some of your time and attention to someone else, which means you are not 100% committed. If Amy wants to do #4, then the committed relationship that she and Rob have defined needs to become open or do Jayme's one month of separation. I'm not saying she HAS to wait, I'm just saying that if she's going to wait, then she should not open the door to anyone else.

And for #1, while I believe in women's intuition (our gut) because it is very powerful, and usually right. But sometimes we confuse societal pressures, the ticking clock and what we want RIGHT NOW with what our gut is telling us. "Amy wants a timeline, she believes Rob is "The One" and she wants assurance from Rob." Gut or pressure? Only Amy can answer that one.

diamond life said...

I like the idea of getting some insight in the pre-engagement stage. Makes so much sense now that you mention it. Especially if you're starting to think seriously about a long-term relationship with someone. Thanks for sharing Chele, Amy and Rob.
p.s. I need Jayme's Skype info.

CaliGirlED said...

Yeah I know it's an eye catcher! LOL

CaliGirlED said...

Amen to that!!!

rozb said...

Is there a "Pocket Jayme" guide available or something? :D

JaymeC said...

Jayme doesn't have time to write a blog but I've agreed to let Chele host some chats that I'll be happy to participate in and answer questions.

JaymeC said...

So what all of you are saying is - I should charge more and you all should have me on retainer?! Ha! Amy and Rob are sweet. If I didn't truly believe that they have a good enough foundation to go the distance, I'd scold them for the pre-marital cohab but based on both of their family and relationship histories, this is what they need right now. Also, I'm making them come back in six months for a relationship check-up. :-)

Mykeia said...

"I put a ring on it and we empire building" spoken like my guy.
Riley, you keep it ALLLLLLL THE WAY REAL and I love it.

SingLikeSassy said...

I guess I think all the trying out is not a good idea because, well, you don't try out marriage. You make a decision to do it and then you stay with it, work at it, love each other to make it work. IMO

My grandma says there are some things you don't need to find out until after you are married and I translated that to mean that I might drop a boyfriend who leaves his drawers in the floor, but I will work to find a solution with my husband. If that makes sense.

FreeBlackMan said...

Bruhs (for the most part) don't like a schedule. One of the reasons my marriage failed was because we rushed into that shiggity based on old girl's timeline. Something happens at the one year point with chicks over 30 and they just start freaking the eff out. I say a year is not long enough to fully vet somebody, their family, their friends, their spending habits, their crazy. But that's just one man's opinion, I guess.

OneChele said...

Le Sigh, Cocoa. I don't believe in The One. I think there's more than one lid that fits each pot. Did I see myself walking down the aisle with DFKasN? I wasn't there yet.

Gods_Man said...

When my bride and I were first dating, I think around the 5/6 date, she let it drop casually that we weren't going to go beyond 2 years without a serious commitment. Less than 2 years later we were engaged but it wasn't until we were in premarital counseling that I told her I knew we would get married on our 3 date. ;)

AppleBerryMIA said...

Hey it's Amy - thanks for all the well wishes and advice.
BTW, when Chele warned us that sharing on BougieLand makes you feel naked and exposed - she wasn't joking. Whew - Having other people look at your life and make commentary is nerve-racking.
But I appreciate that everyone is coming from a place of support.

CaliGirlED said...

Gotta wait til the representative leaves and the real person shows up. And if you're dealing with a real true slickster (man or woman), there may not be enough time in the world.

Like you said Lady, a ticking clock is annoying. So if your clock is ticking fast and loud, then it may be time to move on.

CaliGirlED said...

Wow, great comment!

"My husband told me, "I liked the milk so much I had to buy the cow". And that's it right there! (When you're dealing with a real man who knows what he wants).

AppleBerryMIA said...

Thanks so much!

AppleBerryMIA said...

What he said.

GrownAzzMan said...

I was with you up until the last line.
" 4) keep her options in case she encounters another man who is sure that he wants to commit to her."
This is often communicated to us and it makes a man feel like he is nothing but a place holder. It isn't about us or a special chemistry or anything else. It is only about the end-game and if we won't she will look for one who will.

CorettaJG said...

"The problem was that he wanted us to do everything that married folks do (i.e., moving across the country for his job, living together) without a commitment. I strongly considered doing that but my BROTHERS stepped in and let me know that a real man does not ask a woman that he loves to do any of those things without a ring or defined wedding date." <------ PRECISELY.

CorettaJG said...

I think it's wonderful that this couple is communicating and seeking counseling. I'm all about the communication (maybe too much, I've been told -- supposedly there is a point where you can talk things to death ;-) But, I too strongly caution on the shacking up. Even if you don't have religious views that give you a pause on the premarital cohabitation, the secular statistics (as recently as 2009) make it clear that couples who live together before marriage are more likely to get divorced. The recent studies were published in the Journal of Family Psychology and the Journal of Family Issues last February.

blackprofessor said...

I think it depends on how you define "wasted time". I feel that wasted time is when a man knows he doesn't intend to wife someone but dates her indefinitely for whatever reason. I think that is a waste of time because both parties could resume dating to meet someone that is more compatible or desirable.

GrownAzzMan said...

"He was insulted by the term "wasted time."
That was soooo me back in the day. I think that most men believe that any time spent together has value and we hate to hear that it is all about the end-game. Kudos to Amy and Rob for recognizing that they needed help and to Dr. Jayme for getting them to see things from the other person's perspective.

GrownAzzMan said...

At this risk of the wrath of Bougieland this is why men date younger women sometimes. We do recognize that there is a clock and it is much less pronounced with a woman in her 20's the one in her 30's. Of course there are downsides to this as well but IJS.

blackprofessor said...

I may be a bit cynical, but I don't do the waiting game. In my 20s, I dated a guy that I thought I was going to marry. He was full of the "I am not ready" talk and I waited. The problem was that he wanted us to do everything that married folks do (i.e., moving across the country for his job, living together) without a commitment. I strongly considered doing that but my BROTHERS stepped in and let me know that a real man does not ask a woman that he loves to do any of those things without a ring or defined wedding date. I listened to them and we broke up but not after wasting 2 years of my time. That relationship hurt like hell because I did all the things I thought I was supposed to do to become a wife, which included waiting, only to have the relationship end.

Today, have little time for the "Let's just wait and see" because I have learned that men do what they really want to do with little to no pressure. I would tell Amy to 1) get clear about what her gut is saying and listen to her gut on this issue), 2) not to shack up, 3) keep the lines of communication with Rob and 4) keep her options in case she encounters another man who is sure that he wants to commit to her.

Angela Deruise Roby said...

Dr. Jayme IS AWESOME!

CaliGirlED said...

Jayme is awesome! Rob and Amy are smart for seeking help early. I wish you guys many happy years to come!!!

I sure wish I had a "Jayme " in the past years. I don't give up easy enough! Always hangin on to "what if he, maybe he will, perhaps he could get it together". SMH...But I do take some blame for not being an open communicator, sweeping things under the rug and allowing build up. (And there she BLOWS!!!) Definitely could have used Jayme back then.
*raises hand, "Jayme when is your next open appointment?*

MelaninEnriched said...

Awww! I loved this post! Kudos to Dr. J for keeping another couple together!

CaliGirlED said...

Very well put!

Aisha said...

loving Dr. J right now that was awesome, sometimes it is the prospect of losing something to make you appreciate it more, and they sound like a solid couple, who just hit a small bump, the fact that they were willing to fight the month thing is awesome!!! Congrats and good luck Rob and Amy (if thats really ya'll names :P) and yeah wish i had sessions with Dr J sometimes too, this was awesome light bulb moment!!

Crystal said...

Dr. Jayme is GOOD!!!!!!!!!

Pretty Primadonna said...

*applause* I'm 29 and I definitely do not have time to be playing around for years on end.

Sarah said...

What a sweet story. Good luck you two! And bravo to JaymeC who clearly knows her stuff.

Sarah said...

I agree with your aside. When I passed the 35 yr point, I decided the time had passed. It isn't just having a baby which makes your body work hard. It is caring for a new born when you are passed the point in your life when you can go without sleep and having the energy to run around after them when they learn to walk. Not to be discouraging or anything, but life in the 40s can be difficult for women. I didn't feel old when I turned 40, but by 45 I could tell the energy was taking a decided downturn and it takes a lot of being healthy effort now to maintain a reasonable energy level. Good luck with starting your family. You seem like you'd make a great Mom.

Shondriette D Kelley said...

Wow... I don't know anything about Rob and Amy but I wish them the best. As for Jayme I think every couple needs her services once if not a hundred times within the course of a relationship. Folks can get so caught up in their own feelings that communication screeches to a halt. In those instances a 3rd party can be really helpful in clearing away the bull and get to the root of the drama. Sometimes that makes for a happy ending, sometimes that makes for an amicable break-up, either way there is resolution and that's the point.

tiffanyinhouston said...

Therapy/counseling is a wonderful thing. Good luch to Rob and Amy!

As an aside: I don't really understand why men don't get that after age 30 or so, that women cannot waste all their pretty dating some dood for 3,5, 7 years, in particular in she wants children. I'm not saying get married after 3 months but come on fellas, there is some biology involved in all of this. I'm 37 and I really have to start trying to have kids almost immediately because I got married later. It's almost unrealistic to assume that at our age that I could have dated my husband for YEARS or that I would have because I did want kid(s)

BrendaKay said...

I'm such a hopeless romantic, that I teared up reading this... :-)

Congratulations to Amy and Rob; and Jayme needs her own talk show.

Mr. Skyywalker said...

Ouch Ms. Sarah - he didn't have to come at you sideways like that. If you want, some of the BnB brotherhood can ride out and bestow a beatdown. We've been making a list of some ninjas that need ass-kickings on behalf of the BougieLand Babes. We can add him, no problem.

Mr. Skyywalker said...

This right here is the bottom line. If men and women knew their own minds (and stayed true to them) - half of the drama is gone.

Sarah said...

Thanks for the offer, but it's not necessary :-) I've bounced back. Woke up one morning this summer and realized I was feeling cheerful and happy like my old self. I wouldn't have minded a few large friends back when I was extracting myself from the situation a couple of years ago, but live and learn.

CaliGirlED said...

Ooh I have one I'd like to add!

LikeLena said...

He may say it all "shock and awe" but he has a point.

Leon X said...

Great advice JaymeC.

Mr. Skyywalker said...

The future Mrs Skyy told me flat out on date #3 "You're on the clock"
I was like - damn! Let me get my ish together, she is not playing.
But I already knew unless she just went all the way left, she was it.

Mykeia said...

Agree with you here...my husband is not a sports fan but he knows that I turn into a different woman during the finals. He just leaves the issue alone.

Mykeia said...

"I say a year is not long enough to fully vet somebody, their family, their friends, their spending habits, their crazy." <---REAL TALK.
Getting to know someone's family, and the family secrets and issues takes time. Spending habits and/or lack of saving habits, this takes a while to observe.
I fully co-sign with your post today, FBM.
"Their crazy" <---dead.

CCDreamz said...

I needed/need her clone walking side by side with me through all my relationships. Yikes! Best wishes to the happy couple. I couldn't stop smiling at the lightbulb moment.

OneChele said...

Dude - you read the post on Five Things never to say to ex-so ?(http://www.blacknbougie.com/2010/10/five-things-not-to-say-to-your-ex-so.html)
Make the apology "I effed up" text number 6.
Not helpful. She's already knowing.

JaymeC said...

Hmmm "Pocket Jayme" - I like it! :-)

Lady4Real said...

I totally agree with you. I know I may be the baby of the room (27) but I just don't think people should set a timer and see how fast someone is going to move for them. I believe in Carpe Diem, seize the day, seize your own day don't tell someone what time to seize their day. One year to one is not the same to the other but for the most part it takes longer than a year to know if you can spend a lifetime with someone. It takes a year to get past the shiggity and really act like yourself so..... give it time, no one likes a ticking clock, its just annoying.

The_A said...

you forgot poetry writing, heartfelt love song singing, chic flick loving, hopeless romantic -of course ONLY when nobody else is around & would die slowly and painfully before admitting it publicly.

Umm hmm, we peep you Riley!

The_A said...

It occurred to me to seek counseling when Mr. Wonderful & I started having the exact same fight over and over and over again. Being in a similar field myself, I knew we needed an objective opinion when he started accusing me of analyzing him. It was becoming a can't live with or without you situation & I don't do miserable.

I was actually surprised to find most relationship counselors/coaches/therapists focus on married or engaged couples or single individuals. I did not find a "dating couple" counselor. We used a premarital counselor recommended by our happily newlywed friends. He was great except he continues to refer to Mr. Wonderful as my fiancee.

Amy & Rob. Thank you so much for sharing. All the best to you. My friends just called it quits with each other a few months ago. Same timeline issue. He said something profound that helped me articulate where I was with my own relationship. He said, there is a difference between "I love you and I want to marry you" and "I love you and I want to marry you NOW".

JaymeC - Yes, please raise your rates & hang a specialized shingle for counseling committed dating couples! There are so many couples (perhaps like my friends or David & ex) that might have made it down the aisle and many others that should never have entertained the idea. Men and women need a resource for learning how to sustain happiness in a relationship before they can talk about being happy in a marriage.

Jennifer said...

thanks for letting us in on a private lightbulb moment, awesome. best wishes to the couple :-)

Has Jayme considered writing a relationship blog? I know she does guest entries for BnB, but why not share the wealth?

yourgirlC said...

So true. Age/real life experience plus plenty of self-reflection make a big difference.

rozb said...

Jayme - you are awesome. I appreciate your professional opinions. Thanks for sharing - it would honestly cut out a lot of the drama and nutty buddy behavior if we communicate our needs in the beginning, and be open about our true goals.

"I'm going to ask you to stop blaming each other for wanting what they want." Truer words were never spoken...

OneChele said...

We be grown though and have the luxury of knowing our own minds. :-) Not everybody has that.

yourgirlC said...

My thoughts exactly! A long engagement for what? To see if you should really be married? Presumably one should know that when the question is popped and the response is yes.

David Chase said...

Applause for putting it out there.

David Chase said...

Until I read this, it never occurred to me to go to a counselor while dating. The whole topic gives me pause and if pressed, I would have to admit there's at least one good relationship I gave up on too early. I don't she'll appreciate an apology text?

yourgirlC said...

Umm hmm. Riley comes across all hard but I suspect he's a door-opening, foot-massaging, goo-goo talkin boyfriend.

yourgirlC said...

Oh, that is too funny! I love men!

yourgirlC said...

Thanks Steve.

JaymeC said...

One other thing since I can't got through and reply to all the timeline points and counterpoints. Men are genetically and socially pre-disposed to believe they have all the time in the world. Women the opposite. Mere anatomy tells a woman if she's going to create life, there's a clock.
Men know it, women know it but men don't want to hear it. They HATE thinking they're on the clock. Best thing a woman can do is state her expectations and then see what happens. If she gets tired of waiting, that's definitely her prerogative to bail with the understanding that she'll have to start all over with someone new and the clock starts again.
Long story short - communication and follow through negates the entire timeline issue.

MidWestDominicana said...

And the church said "amen"! #thankyouJesusforZumba

JaymeC said...

Girl! Rob went all "Bet not nobody try and take my woman" - Brother's voice got all bass and he was giving me the stink eye for real.

JaymeC said...

And underneath it all, I suspect Riley is a teddy bear with a heart of gold. ;-)
You don't have to pay me to say that!

JaymeC said...

The determination and willingness to make it work no matter what is THE key and the one thing I can't coach people on. Either they want it to work or they've given up. Prayer works, sanity works and for me, a kickboxing class to let it all go ;-)

blackprofessor said...

Riley,
I like how you think because that is how I feel!

CaliGirlED said...

"...he calls or texts just to say hi and tell me I smell like sunshine." Awww how sweet!

"He says that he never wants to know everything there is to know about me so that he can have a new discovery everyday." This.right.here. BEAUTIFUL!!!!

MidWestDominicana said...

I got all goosebumpy reading this! I pray God's divine best for Amy and Rob and all those others out there seeking a happy, long-lasting relationship.
While I side with the non-shacking group, I understand combining households. My hubby and I lived together for about 3-4 months before our wedding and it was enlightening, to say the least. Granted, we had been dating for about 8 years (JesusHoldMyMule!) there were still things that I learned about him because of our close quarters. There are benefits and downsides to either situation.
Part of the wonderful experience of marriage IS learning more about your partner and growing as two individuals who love each other and are creating a unified life together, not to mention the excitement of getting to "know" each other (yes, I mean in the biblical sense).
We are approaching year six of our marriage and are still actually "in love". I miss him when we don't speak for a few hours, he calls or texts just to say hi and tell me I smell like sunshine. We are friends and we like each other as people because we know and understand that beyond the "new-new" and the passion, we've got to figure out how to be together for the next 80 years.
He says that he never wants to know everything there is to know about me so that he can have a new discovery everyday. I think he knows me better than I know myself sometimes.
We've faced some super tough situations, but didn't bolt for the door. Ish gets horrrd sometimes, but having a willing desire to keep the relationship successful must come from both sides. I think that's a key ingredient besides prayer and sanity from both parties.

MidWestDominicana said...

At 17/18, I KNEW that my hubby was "the one" I wanted. It took that ninja almost 9 years to ask, but I was sure. He said he was 18/19 when he knew.

GrownAzzMan said...

Cali,
Those right there would be some of the downsides. Lot to be said for perkiness though...LOL

GrownAzzMan said...

"Either you mine and I put a ring on it and we empire building or you somebody I smash until I meet Mrs. Riley.
Just sayin"
That right there is why there is only one Riley...LOL

thinklikeRiley said...

Ummkay - good on ya and alladatness but...
Riley don't do timelines
Riley don't do ultimatums
Riley don't do shackin'
Riley don't pay folks to tell him what he already know
No shade.
Either you mine and I put a ring on it and we empire building or you somebody I smash until I meet Mrs. Riley.
Just sayin'
Good luck and ish.

nubianqueenbeez said...

I agree with the prior posters regarding the advice against living together before marriage. Proponents usually point to getting to know someone more before marriage, but there are stages in life-early marriage, birth (and unfortunately death) of children, careers (and lack of), caring for and the death of elderly parents, etc. that couples go through that are not part of that early living together process. What people should be looking for is: How does my potential mate handle adversity? Do they have good communication skills? View on child discipline and raising children? I'm sure there are some others I haven't thought of.

CC said...

"Either you mine and I put a ring on it and we empire building or you somebody I smash until I meet Mrs. Riley." <----------Riley has spoken.

GrownAzzMan said...

Sueb,

Men are like Republicans...we hate timelines...LOL

cocoaeyecandy said...

Like someone said below, I know instantly if it's a "Hell naw!" And I'd be in a good head space after six months. But Chele, not to be up in your biz (okay I am) - did you think Former New Dude was the one? You were approaching the six month point.

CaliGirlED said...

I know GAM, and trust me I have not wanted to marry every guy I dated. But there were a couple in particular who claimed to want it, but just couldn't get it right (for many reasons). And I HUNG on for dear life, until I.just.couldn't.anymore. I started calling myself the Lady of Many Chances, interpretation...STUPID!

AppleBerryMIA said...

Thank you so much!

AppleBerryMIA said...

Awww!

MonP said...

I know I used to give up too easily. It wasn't until my early 20s where I saw a rerun of "Friends" where Monica told Chandler that all couples argue and that you don't just break up because of an argument. After that scene a lightbulb went off because I always broke up with guys over small fights.

I somewhat blame it on my folks because they never let us see them fight and make up so I didn't think that couples fought. I think it would've been extremely valuable for my brother and I to see my parents' minor disagreements and how they compromised to come to a solution. They've been together for 37 years so they must be doing something right.

BluAssassin said...

Sometimes you need an objective third party to look at the whole picture. I'm glad JaymeC was there to assist. I wish Amy and Rob all the best.

tiffanyinhouston said...

No wrath from me on that GAM. That's the truth. But if a man is dating a woman in her 30's, he shouldn't be acting all brand new and shit about that factor, then get pissy if she decides that she needs to move around because he's dragging his feet about a commitment.

CC said...

The way you show other men that the woman you love is unavailable is to make a commitment before God and make her your wife; honor, respect, protect, provide & love her and she should do the same in return. Shacking up, having sex, having children together (speaking in general, not specifically to Rob & Amy) are not commitments. What man would want his daughter giving up the goods and waiting around for a ring?

It doesn't take three years to figure out if you want to spend the rest of your life with someone. If "a month is a lifetime" and you cannot see yourself being away from her for a month, what is the holdup, Dude? Do you feel that you don't know her well enough? Is there something about her that alarms you? Is she the one you can't live without or not? Doesn't she deserve to be honored, protected and loved by a great guy like you? ;-)

P.S. Men should not feel pressured to do anything they do not want to do. Women have to determine how much waiting around they will put up with.

GrownAzzMan said...

You are saying the same thing that I am. It just doesn't feel good to a man to hear that time spent with him is 'wasted'. Relationships work best when two people have shared goals. Unfortunately this is often not the case. I like what Jayme did by getting both to see that the other we entitled to their own feeling about the situation.

GrownAzzMan said...

Cali, sometimes we are NOT dating with intent to marry. Hell probably most of the time we are not. I don't even pretend. That way everyone knows why they are there.

blackprofessor said...

Agreed!

Rob said...

It's a little surreal to see myself talked about in the third person like this. I believe I'll just hang back in the cut and read these comments.

Rob said...

Thank you! You spoke my thoughts about living together better than I could.

Rob said...

Ouch, a little bit.

Rob said...

That's tough to read. It was never (is not ever?) my intention to string Amy along. I just wanted a little more time for the relationship to grow before breaking out rings and wedding planners. I am 100% positive in my heart that Amy is who I want to be with. I needed a little time for my brain to turn the corner.

Rob said...

She is. She just does not allow you to play games. You are emotional bare and she will shine a spotlight on anything that's not genuine. I recommend every couple (dating seriously or married) get someone like that to ease through the rough patches.

Rob said...

Thanks!

Rob said...

Thanks for that insight. And congrats on your marriage!

GrownAzzMan said...

Bruh, you are a better man then me because I couldn't be all out on front-street like this. That said I hope it helps and things work out the way you both want them to.

SingLikeSassy said...

I am personally anti-living together, though I know plenty of folks who do this and it works out.

But I do wonder why the wait if everybody wants the same thing? Seems like there is a timeline even though the mention of a timeline pissed some folks in the discussion off.

ETA: Good luck and great love to both of you.

William Martin said...

If you don't mind - why did you decide to share. Without this post I wouldn't have had a clue from your or Amy's comments that you were together.

Rob said...

Bruh - you feel me? I was like - what is that wasted time? I have ego enough to think time spent with me is all quality.

Grace said...

Folks did get snippy about a timeline!

AppleBerryMIA said...

Seems to rub men the wrong way.

AppleBerryMIA said...

I was reluctant because of the milk/cow thing. I didn't (and don't) want to find myself 3+ years in wondering if he's ever going to put a ring on it. But I think it was insecurity about whether he was as all in as I was. The sessions (we did three) with Jayme helped. No man puts himself out there like that if he's not in it for the long haul.

GrownAzzMan said...

It depends. For the most part I need at least four seasons for all the reasons FreeBlackMan stated. Family, friends, holidays, weather changes. Will she freak out when I forget she exists during the NBA finals? Things like that...LOL Now that I am of a certain age I am glad that the bio-clock issue is out of the way and we can do things on our own schedule.

Grace said...

I think it depends on age, maturity and experience. At 25, I didn't know. Now at 32, I've seen and done enough to know right off the bat what WON'T work. I'd feel good about someone that I had spent a lot of time with after 9 - 12 months.

blackprofessor said...

If we have defined chemistry and the relationship is great, and you still don't want to commit, that communicates that the woman is a place holder until something better comes along. What else is going on? I know of situations where the man wanted to work through some issues so they could commit and that is different. In that scenario, the couple went to counseling to work through some issues before marrying, which is fine. The man made it clear that he intended to marry said woman but had some stuff to work out.

Yet, this scenario doesn't sound like that to me. It sounds like he isn't ready or unsure so why should she risk being strung along? Women being strung along happens a lot of times so I suggest avoid that altogether by keeping her options open.

Suebhoney1125 said...

Good job Jayme! I laughed when Rob went all "You my WOMAN!" on Amy LOL!!. I do feel however if you know that she was/is the ONE for you, what is the problem with a timeline? if there were other issues that needed to be worked out, I'm sure the timeline could have been amended by just talking it out. Best of Luck to you both. (P.S. don't forget our invitations.:P)

AppleBerryMIA said...

We thought it would be interesting. And we also admired the way Chele puts herself out there. Big admiration points for her. I couldn't do it regularly.

CaliGirlED said...

Yeah you just have to decide if the perkiness and slow clock out weighs the immaturity and cluelessness. LOL ;-)

AppleBerryMIA said...

This is the cruz of why we went to Jayme. I was ready to walk without some sort of reassurance.

Rob said...

Ha! We're really Rob and Amy.

AppleBerryMIA said...

LOL @ Waste the pretty!

Iced_Coffee_Sweet_Tea_Diva said...

That ticking clock can be the cause of some of the most epic disasters in relation-building. Don't carry that mega-ton of pressure around because it can make you crazy and anxious about every syllable, sneeze and step. Really wish Amy and Rob well, but would keep separate space for the time being. Now before leaving just want to say that I hope that everyone in BougieLand has either voted early, is going to vote early or plans to be at their polling location early in the day on November 2nd!!

Sarah said...

Well. Just to offer the other side, it was the last boyfriend who told me that if the relationship didn't work out he felt like it was "wasted time." My eyes went big when he said that since I didn't quite like the idea that somebody would think spending time with me was wasted time. I'm 46 and was 44 then and life is altogether too precious to spend with somebody who is not enjoying my company. And it was one of the conversations that started the crack that became the divide that precipitated the end.

GrownAzzMan said...

I would not say I am pro-living together but I have done it and it has the value of allowing each party to know exactly what life together looks like. No representatives. As for why wait I will just say the two words I know all too well, divorce court!

CaliGirlED said...

Like that voting plug!

Steve said...

Chele - your girl C is on point. I think it's cool how many of your IRL friends chime in. You have have the coolest peeps.

Steve said...

It takes what it takes. No timeline needed.

tiffanyinhouston said...

Amy,

I got engaged in December 09, he moved in March 10, got married September 10. I don't believe in long engagements if you can afford it, plus I'm old. What we waiting for? LMAO!!!

CaliGirlED said...

The one and only! LOL

Mykeia said...

I am not sure how long is long enough to know...I have been married for 14 years now and everyday he still makes me believe that he is the one...I did not live with "the spouse" prior to being married due to my own issues; in addition his mother told him: To guarantee problems in your marriage live together first. Didn't live together, little problems. We have excellent communication which is why we have small problems. His communication is the number one on my list of how I know that he is the only one.
Good luck to Amy & Rob! Do you!

CaliGirlED said...

Would buy it!

diamond life said...

When you get a definitive answer, tell me. I no longer trust my judgment to determine this. Le Sigh as you say.

maureen palmer said...

This right here ..... love her!

GrownAzzMan said...

Sassy,
That makes perfect sense. If only more women (and men) had your grandma...

William Martin said...

Living together, even if it's just for the time between the ring and the wedding is a prerequisite for me. I need to see what I'm working with 24/7/365.

William Martin said...

I'm a believer in that "you know when you know" if that's instantly or 2 years in.

OneChele said...

So we're going ALL in today? How long is long enough to know if someone is "THE ONE"?

aishao1122 said...

LOL Nice!! Well congrats on working it out BB

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