Finding Mr. Right: Are You Ready for Commitment?

By Josie Brown

commitmentHow many men and women are looking for Ms. or Mr. Right, with the rose-covered cottage and the white picket fence thrown in for good measure?

A recent University of Chicago study reveals that 69 percent of adults between the ages of twenty-five and thirty-four are ready for that (hopefully) final relationship that leads to marriage.

Until then, so many things — his career or hers, his allergy to her cat (or hers to his mother) — can get in the way. And that doesn’t include anything that one might do, either knowingly or unwittingly, to sabotage the relationship. One of the most common mistakes is by jumping the gun on commitment.

When this happens, says, David Woodsfellow, Ph.D., director of the Center for Relationship Therapy in Atlanta, Georgia, the other partner may play along for a while, but eventually that person will head for the hills. “After all, the relationship has to move at a pace that works for both of you.”

To keep the relationship in sync, Woodsfellow suggests that partners visualize the various stages of commitment as beads on a necklace: “One bead may be ‘attraction.’ Another might be ‘sex,’ and other beads may be ‘engagement,’ ‘having a child,’ or ‘marriage.’ The order in which we ‘string’ these beads and our ability to work in tandem is what determines our chances of building a mutual lifelong commitment.”

For example, you may want your partner to like your family. Your partner should also be okay with dating for a year before considering marriage. Of course, you should share incredible sexual chemistry. And the top priority should be that your partner loves you and respects you. After all, you deserves it — and it makes for the happiest of endings.”


Josie Brown is’s Relationships Channel Editor. Her most recent novel, The Baby Planner, is in bookstores everywhere.

You can read an excerpt here…


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