Stringing someone along is never okay. But there’s a special brand of cruelty reserved for those who dangle the prospect of marriage like a glittering carrot on a stick, all while knowing they have no intention of ever reaching for the ring.
Marriage, for many, represents a culmination of love, commitment, and a shared vision for the future. So, to string someone along with the “maybe someday” of marriage is to essentially toy with their deepest desires and life goals. It’s like building a beautiful sandcastle on the beach, knowing full well the tide will come crashing in and wash it all away.
Here’s why stringing someone along when it comes to marriage is particularly damaging:
- It preys on vulnerability. The desire for marriage often stems from a deep longing for stability, partnership, and a shared future. To exploit that vulnerability by offering empty promises is emotionally manipulative and deeply hurtful.
- It wastes precious time. Years spent waiting for a proposal that may never come are years stolen from someone’s life. It delays their opportunity to find someone who truly shares their vision for the future, someone who doesn’t hesitate to commit.
- It breeds resentment and anger. The longer someone is strung along, the more the hope turns into frustration, then resentment, and finally, anger. This can damage the relationship beyond repair and leave lasting emotional scars.
But why do people do it? Sometimes, it’s fear. Fear of commitment, fear of losing out on better options, or fear of hurting the other person. Yet, as mentioned earlier, the pain of delayed rejection is far worse than the initial sting of honesty.
If you find yourself tempted to string someone along with the promise of marriage, remember this:
- Honesty is always the best policy. If you’re not sure about marriage, or simply don’t see them in your long-term future, have an open and honest conversation. It might be difficult, but it’s the respectful and compassionate thing to do.
- Clarity is key. Don’t offer vague pronouncements like “I’m not ready yet” or “Maybe someday.” Be clear about your timeline, your intentions, and whether you ever see marriage being part of your future with them.
- Remember, love doesn’t equal marriage. Not everyone wants to get married, and that’s perfectly okay. But don’t lead someone on with the promise of marriage if you know that’s not your goal. Be upfront about your desires and respect their needs as well.
Ultimately, stringing someone along, regardless of marriage being involved, is a betrayal of trust and a sign of emotional immaturity. Choose honesty, choose respect, and choose to build genuine connections based on open communication and shared values. By doing so, you create a foundation for healthy relationships and pave the way for a love that truly deserves the “forever” you might so hesitantly dangle in front of others.