Quick engagement, Happy marriage

Have you heard that dating rule about not revealing too much information, too soon? Not to talk about wanting marriage and babies… especially when you’re in your 30’s. “You’ll seem desperate,” they say. “He’ll run away,” they warn you…

Well, I call bullshit. You want to know my number one dating rule? I got engaged to a guy six weeks after I broke that old rule, and used my own dating rule…

Speak your truth.

It’s true, talking about marriage and babies might scare him off… and if so, arrivaderci. You want to scare off the wrong guys, don’t you? If you’re ready to get married and have kids, don’t waste your time with guys who aren’t ready. You could wait years. You could wait forever. And you know what will happen? He’ll break up with you and marry the next girl he goes out with. It’s all a matter of timing… and that’s the truth.

I once had this fabulous French teacher, from my evening adult learning class. Let’s call her Francoise (that’s not her real name, but it’s pretty much the French-est name I could think of). Francoise was funny, loud, smart, sarcastic, blunt, and fabulous as hell. She took the class out to dinner one night and complained to us that she had been seeing this awesome guy for two months, and then out of nowhere, he dumped her. As she revealed more of the story, I realised why.

“Well, it started out really great,” she said, drunkenly slurping her Malbec. “We met at a party and had this really great evening. At the end of the night, he asked for my number and offered me his. I didn’t kiss him. I shook his hand and said goodbye at the door of the party. I didn’t call him. He called me, of course, and we went out again a few days later… I went out with him three times before I kissed him, five times before I slept with him. (This is a tactic I agree with – in fact, wait even longer if possible, but I’ll cover that in another post) And of course, I didn’t call him at all. I know the rules, ladies. Men are supposed to pursue you. If you’re calling and asking them out, you just look desperate… Anyway, so after a couple of months of seeing each other, I did finally call him a few times, because I was glad to finally relax and be myself. Except he always sounded a bit ‘off’ when I did. I planned a fun night out–I invited some friends for dinner and drinks, and we all had a great time. Except him. The next day he broke up with me. He said that I had changed, and become this loud, desperate, pushy woman.”

“Fuck him,” one girl said. Everyone else at the table pretty much shared the sentiment. They all looked a surprised. Except me.

“Francoise,” I said. “He broke up with you because you had been pretending to be someone you’re not. You’re not this demure, wait-for-him-to-call kind of girl. You’re loud and direct and you know what you want. He must have been wondering what the hell hit him, and where this crazy girl suddenly came from. If you just speak your truth, this shit doesn’t happen.”

She nodded, looking at me like I was a genius. (I mean, I kind of am, but you know…) SPEAK YOUR TRUTH, ladies. If you go out with a guy and want to call him on your way home, DO IT. If you want to ask him out, DO IT. If you want to talk about marriage and babies on the first date, DO IT.

I met my husband when I was 34 and he was 23. We worked together in a hell-hole holiday park in the UK (there’s a previous blog post if you’re interested in reading about the place we called ‘the concentration camp’). Apart from passing conversations, we never really spoke until this particular day where I cooked too much chicken curry and offered him and his roommate some of it. We ended up speaking for four hours non-stop. We spoke about family, religion, life, career, beliefs, morals, world peace… and marriage and babies. As I felt the connection building throughout this really great conversation, I straight out said… “Yeah, so since I’m 34, I’ll want to have kids pretty soon after I meet someone. My biological clock is ticking, big time.” (It wasn’t completely out of nowhere. It was relevant in the moment, haha.)

He just nodded and said, “Would you like to be married first?”

I shrugged and said, “Yeah, I think so.”

O.M.G. I broke ALL the dating rules!!! I know, I’m crazy like that!!! But guess what, six weeks later, he proposed. He said I was everything he was ever looking for in a woman, and like me, he didn’t see the point in wasting time. After I accepted, he said, “So let’s have some kids then.” Ten months later we were married, a year after that I fell pregnant (It can take some time once you’re in your 30s), and five years after that, here we are, happily married with a beautiful, cheeky, four year old son. I spoke my truth. I didn’t pussy foot around and pretend I didn’t care and that children weren’t in my near future, just so I didn’t scare him off. Turns out he’s a family guy, and he wanted kids too.

Don’t be afraid to be honest. The right person for you won’t be scared, they’ll think your honesty is a beautiful thing. Because it is.


Do you have a dating rule?

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Cathryn Chapman

Author of SEX, LIES, AND CRUISING, a fictional sexy, sassy romp on a Caribbean cruise ship.

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2 thoughts on “I did the opposite of what people told me, and was engaged in six weeks.”

  1. My reaction is perhaps inexplicable to people who had happy childhoods. I know those childhoods exist, and I have friends who speak fondly of their upbringings and their mothers, but they are as mythical to me as the rainbow unicorns my daughters play with now. My childhood was good, I used to say, I just had a lot of bad things happen to me.

    1. You’re right – everyone has such different childhood experiences, and that definitely affects how we behave as adults. Lots of people just want to please others and to be loved, and it doesn’t always mean they’re being honest about what they really want!

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