2225. Relationship Strategies: Engagement

Formally, he’s your fiancé. The ring pledges his devotion. You get fired up and recruit friend or mother to help with wedding plans. He becomes relatively unimportant, just a fixture in the drama. It’s not bad; men prefer it that way. They don’t do wedding planning; leave that to the women to whom it has much greater significance.

His pursuit to conquer continues as before but more intensely and more expectantly. His buddies were getting it long before giving a ring to their gals. He hopes they never find out about his incompetence. But maybe they won’t.

Hopefully he becomes convinced of your rightness in waiting. Your engagement continues with much talk about sex and living together, but you intend to avoid or restrict passionate events.

What brought him to the brink of marriage? What do you have that he’s so caught up with? First, and the most burning question, will you yield before the ceremony? Are you still intent on ‘preserving’ yourself? Hopefully, he’s patient and continues to think, what did I do to deserve her?

No doubt he hopes for conquest, but he must have accepted your determination to have gotten this deep into a relationship without it. Before proposing, he figures he knows all the answers to be highly favorable and promising about your performance as a couple.

A man’s proposal of marriage rests on six factors. He doesn’t worry much about the wedding or his marital future—that’s the female gig—but his proposal is another matter.

1) His loyalty to you, he’s free and independent and so he proves his loyalty with unique actions that mostly please him. It seems to work for you, and so it works for him.

2) Your loyalty to him, he expects it to show up as respect of, gratitude for, and dependence on him. You show it regularly, so it works for him.

3) He sees that you appreciate him as a highly likeable, enjoyable, and perhaps respectable person. You demo that each time you’re together, which means that it works for him.

4) You’re so likeable and respectable that he wants to spend time with you and enjoy your company. But he doesn’t reveal the whole story. He means share your company within limitations imposed by sense of duty to his job and ambitions for life. He thinks, you will understand when he explains it.

5) What’s the likelihood you will cheat on him? Not likely or he wouldn’t have proposed.

6) If you’re not a virgin, how far are you removed from it? Your purity isn’t the major concern; it only indicates what he really fears. How likely is he to encounter men who slept with you? Encountering ex husbands is always undesirable but surprise meeting up with other exes can disqualify you.

Any of his buds have you? Anyone he knows? Will it come out some day that he was deceived about your history? It’s what you may have done voluntarily outside of marriage rather than against your will as in rape.

It’s more a competitive issue with men than disappointment that you’re not virginal. And it’s not that others had you, it’s that he may encounter them with three bothersome concerns. a) Is the knowledge common between him and the other guy(s) or just one way? b) If only one way, he’s the innocent, and it’s worse if he learns of it at that encounter. Someone else got to you first but he didn’t know it until now. Some competitor beat him, and it’s his nature to resent it. c) Should he suspect every guy with whom you are friendly? d) Who’s the better lover in your eyes? Questions abound, satisfactions are few, and face saving is non-existent.

In any event, he has resolutely considered all six factors and has chosen to proceed against whatever may come up. You’re worth all the risks or no ring.

Now, the question everyone asks. How about doing it during engagement? Good question. What say you readers? Let’s get you involved. If you’ve gotten engaged before conquest, what effect on your resolve? Would or should you yield? Reasons for and against?


Filed under courtship, Dear daughter, How she wins

6 responses to “2225. Relationship Strategies: Engagement

  1. gonemaverick

    having come this far sans sex, i would think it would be wise to hold out until wedding night. by this stage, the raging hormones are used to resisting anyway.

    Your Highness Gonemaverick,
    I love it when pretty ranch hands/cowgirls show such good common sense.

  2. prettybeans

    Question Sir Guy,
    I’m struggling with VV on one hand and with full disclosure on the other with respect to the fact that with the way life works, it is always a possibility that a past lover can run into ‘Mr Good Enough’ at one point or the other.

    I don’t want to be deceptive but I also understand the limited value of being explicit about every detail of my past. In any event, I don’t actually mind doing so but it’s obviously not a source of pride. I’m more concerned about this information coming out from an external source because that automatically leads to erosion of trust and the firm implantation of seeds of doubt..

    Could you kindly offer some guidance as to how to go about this and at what stage? Currently Mr. Good Enough has asked for my father’s contact details with a view to ‘having a sit down and making his intentions known honorably’ (his words.
    Thank you

    Your Highness Prettybeans,

    Your last paragraph implies that he accepts you pretty much as he sees you now. If that’s good enough, why provide more except when pressured to do so?

    So, follow his lead. Don’t worry or mention stuff until he inquires directly. Have your standards and expectations clearly defined in your mind and follow them. Let your heart guide you otherwise.

    As to possibility of external source exposing you, it’s very slim and you will know how to handle it if it ever arises. In the meantime, quit thinking about “erosion of trust and the firm implantation of seeds of doubt.” Prevention isn’t possible anyway, so just be ready if it ever does come up.


  3. ari

    I just want to chime in here and answer your question too. I have personally seen engagements fall apart. Invitations were sent, flights booked, all arrangements ready and then…no wedding. Engagement is no guarantee that the marriage will happen unfortunately. So, it would be foolish to think there’s no harm in it..why risk the possibility of giving in only to not get married–even if that is not cited as the reason for the break up? Oh the heart break.

    I think I read read this from you :a man wins and a woman loses each timewhen there is pre martial conquest. I apologize if I misquoted that.

    Your Highness Ari,
    Well quoted. Their natures pit two conquerors against one another. His nature: conquer her for sex with least investment of self. Her nature: conquer him for permanent relationship by investing her total self except for yielding first sex together. To equalize their investments and thus more permanently glue their connectedness, instinct warns her to lure with her sexual assets as the best way of holding his interest long enough for mutual devotion to develop.

  4. Madeleine

    Hi Sir Guy

    Thank you once again for such insightful articles.

    Could you write about how a mans feeling might be affect by the loss of his mother to cancer when he was age 7? And whose father, left to raise him and his brothers was very strict and overbearing?

    How should I support him? He’s not very open emotionally but I sense he has the potential to be open after marriage.


    Your Highness Madeleine,

    You can figure out what to do if you can categorize him into one or more of these probabilities. Not sure things by any measure, just things to look for to guide you.

    • Father felt inadequate without their mother, and so he resorted to being strict and overbearing. Look to see if his heart is that hard or is it just his mind overruling a naturally softer heart? IOW, is he strict and overbearing to others than his sons?

    • It’s important for this reason. First son will duplicate the strict and overbearing side of father. Second son will tend to favor the softer heart side. Third son will likely follow the second and perhaps even better.

    • First son will most likely either copy father’s personality or totally reject father’s manner for himself. Second son has to and will likely do something different and most likely opposite of the first son, which could mean duplicate the father’s strict and overbearing manner.

    • Third son will likely turn out to be some mixture of what’s gone ahead of him. (Note: If ages of sons are 5 or more years different, they will tend to be more like the older than different; it’s a hero model of duplication.)

    • He’s unaware of what he might have learned had his mother lived longer. As soon as you all begin a relationship, he will become aware that he lacks an awful lot of learning to catch up.

    • In any event, it’s likely your man was not raised to appreciate or be kind, thoughtful, or respectful of women. Not for wanting to but for lack of info about how to do it with his natural masculine expectation for doing things right. He just doesn’t know how and so does little or nothing.

    Regardless of your man’s birth order, he’s likely to begin any relationship with you as strict and overbearing. Does that suit you? You can’t nurture him out of such behavior. Do not mother him or use smother love. Admire him highly for every bit of softness you can identify, ignore his unappealing habits, and use indirectness to maximize your influence.

    The greater his respect you earn, the greater your influence and vice versa. So, don’t focus on changing him or finding fault with his habits. Work on yourself to earn his respect and maximize your indirect influence. Men appreciate female softness and kindness but they can’t be that way until age catches up with them.

    He’s as good a man and husband as you can make him. He just starts out at considerable disadvantage for having been raised without a good woman’s influence.

    My advice: go slow, use virtual virginity to coach him into learning about intimacy, give him time to grow, and figure things out along the way. He just may not be Mr. Good Enough, but you won’t know until you try.


    • Madeleine

      Thank you sir guy
      I notice that his closest friends are strong headstrong women (who are now married) I believe he is drawn/attracted to strong women but his rational mind knows he could never handle one as a wife. I am much more passive.
      How does a man feel when you stand your ground very assertively (possibly slightly naggy) on an aspect and it eventuates that the outcome is a great sense of achievement on a job well done? In this case it was helping him to prepare for a speech to be delivered in public and urging him constantly to practice practice practice as he’s not a naturally confident speaker. When he did deliver the speech it was a great success and he feels great about it. Would it have been better for me to stay out of it? I think he would not have prepared at all and he would’ve stumbled his words out of ill preparedness, but is it still better to let him work it out himself?

      Your Highness Madeleine,

      “but is it still better to let him work it out himself?” No, you’re his helpmate until he declares your efforts off limits. If it takes slight nagging, he won’t see it as such if he’s successful at doing what you say.

      Be cautious this way: Measure your self-gratitude by his success rather than your success in helping him. You’re doing it right when (a) his satisfaction pleases you much more than (b) what you achieved on his behalf. You see, (a) is ‘us’ oriented. (b) is ‘me’ oriented. (a) is female nature. (b) is male nature.


  5. Madeleine

    Thanks sir guy, very appreciated

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