At #1437 Her Highness Sbaby inquired: “If a man expressly asks a woman to be his ‘Girlfriend’, what should the woman’s response and strategy be…especially if the man appears to expect exclusive dating and considers the woman to be a cheat if she dates someone else?” She said yes and now wonders how she can show a spirit less loyal than boyfriend expects. (Italicized words are my interpretation and not hers.)
(Your Highness Sbaby, you have to figure it out anyway, so I shall provide the bigger picture that others can also use.)
ASSUMPTIONS. These fundamentals shape the negotiating questions that follow below.
- A guy asks a woman to be his ‘girlfriend’. Its neither a compliment as women usually take it nor the devotion that women seek. It may be commitment but his real meaning is unknowable to her. In fact, he hopes to open her heart to conquest or to tie her to him exclusively.
- The way to win a man’s heart for lifetime loyalty is through negotiation before he conquers her. She either competes to get her way, or she slips into following his ever increasing dominance and self-justified independence.
- If boyfriend owes her nothing, he can be as independent as he wants. Negotiating before conquest that makes him indebted to her stifles his sense of independence. (Questions below help generate such indebtedness.)
- She can only put and keep him on the defensive before he conquers her for sex their first time together. After that, he’ll plead the fifth amendment or run more easily than answer.
- Solely in the interest of clearly defining their interests, I presume the guy to be more devious than admirable and the woman to be more logical, sensible, and brave than women usually are in a new love.
- The one that fears most losing the other will concede to the other’s wishes. So, show no fear of losing him. If he shows fear of losing her, don’t feel sorry for him. In fact, never feel sorry for him during these negotiations.
- A woman asked to become a girlfriend has gumption. She knows to explore more deeply when someone CAN take advantage of her. His intentions don’t matter because everyone has a hidden agenda. What’s he capable of doing if she joins him in his interpretation of their relationship?
- Finally, being a girlfriend incurs obligations. Each lady has to explain to herself just how much admirable and respectable character she has to see in a boyfriend to accept those obligations. As with her, just because he wants something doesn’t mean he should get it without a price.
How should she react when he asks? First and above all show no excitement. Ask for time to think about it. If not already well thought out, figure out how to negotiate the kind of relationship she hopes to build.
Negotiate by using questions that bring discussions over several days/dates. Figure out just what she’s willing to go along or put up with. Make sure he steps up to her conditions as much as she reciprocates his. They aren’t married yet, so she competes, competes, and competes to get his commitment to doing things her way as much as practicable according to his worth to her. She does that by bravely questioning who and what he is both to himself and potentially for her.
The following questions appear harsh or threatening to the readers’ eye. It’s by design. They reflect an attitude that a woman should have before she commits to being a girlfriend. Doing so strengthens the foundation upon which a marriage can be built. Remember? The foundation of a man’s love is respect for his wife. Negotiating from strength earns respect.
These questions can help the prospective girlfriend negotiate success into her relationship by putting him on defense:
- What does being your girlfriend mean to you? What must I give up? Nothing? Surely you expect something special out of me.
- How do you intend to honor my dedication to no sex before marriage? Give me some specifics.
- Who do you envy and why? Who are you jealous of and why? How inclined are you to jealousy?
- You mean I can’t show favoritism to other men? How about hugs? Encouragement? Smiles? Flirting? Letter writing? Card giving? Gift giving? How about family friends, business associates, boyfriends of my girlfriends?
- How tightly do you expect to tie me to your ego? What are the rules by which you expect me to participate in our relationship? What happens if I slap your face for going where you know better than to go?
- How much freedom will I have to associate with girlfriends? Family? Job requirements?
- What’s your opinion of my mother, father, family, brothers, sisters, and grandparents? Not how you like them but how their relationships match up with ours?
- Where did you get your work ethic? Who helped develop your character?
- How did your father treat your mother? And the reverse?
- Do you see marriage in our future? Describe the husband’s and wife’s roles as you envision it.
- Do you see babies in our future? How is father’s role in a child’s development as infant, toddler, pre-puberty, and teen? What do you envision as mother’s role?
- I shall marry only a gentleman. How far along do you think you are toward that goal? You even headed in that direction?
- Are you offended by my talking about marriage? I have neither hope nor intention to marry you. I just want to hear your opinions and judgments about it. What are your feelings about the institutions of marriage, home, family, and traditions?
- Do your habits or foul language offend the sensibilities of females? How do you know? Can you detect it? Do you care? You improving or ignoring it? Fading away? How soon?
- Does gentlemanly behavior appeal to you? Doing anything to improve it? Is it a goal or just a ‘maybe’?
- Will you go to church regularly with me? Why not? Do you believe in God? Would you raise our kids in the church, guessing for the moment that we marry?
- How do you rank these two subjects: Me and sex? (Don’t explain further; make him plead his case.)
- What do you give up in return? If he describes something outlandish but not outrageous.
He needs a complete grilling for two reasons: To expose what he’s really after, and to lay groundwork for marriage if it eventuates. The main purpose is to evaluate how he likely would respond to pressures that a wife may apply. (Different questions but same pressures.) Somewhere, somehow along the line of negotiating with those questions, his sincerity, character, and intentions will become far more obvious than when he asks the original question ‘Will you be my girlfriend’. Let his original question plant the seed from which grows a woman’s evaluation of the man she is currently involved with or should dump for lack of qualifications as Mr. GoodEnough. Then she can decide if she wants to be his girlfriend.