You’ve thought it through and you’ve weighed the pros and cons. You have a pretty good feeling about it and so you pop the question and ask her to “take it to the next” level (whatever that is) and then she hits you with perhaps the worst possible reply a guy can get: “I’m not ready.”
You stand there in shock. First of all…what does “not ready” even mean?
Is that like “Hey, come back in 30 days and I’ll be ready to be with you then?”
Is that like I am not ready to be a girlfriend/fiancée to ANYONE or is that like I am not ready to be YOUR girlfriend/fiancée?
Here’s the truth: she may have given that answer because of legitimate concerns about you or questions she is still trying to figure out about you. It might even be that she is legitimately not sure she wants to be with anyone. That said, it all boils down to the fact that right now, she is not ready to be with you. Why? Because when a woman finds the guy she feels is the right guy, even a self-declared unready woman can become ready for that relationship.
There is no reason to be angry at her, it’s just a decision that she has made and has a right to make and, quite frankly, she may have just done you a favor.
I know that’s a bit hard but as my friend likes to say, I’d rather have you eat the frog first and then we can move on to how to deal with the situation.
Here are the first 5 ways of dealing with her saying, “No.”
1) Don’t act around her as though she may change her mind (even though she might):
Once she says she is not ready, you can’t act as if she is going to change her mind tomorrow (even though she might). Don’t be totally emotionally devoted to a person who is not sure they want to be with you in a committed relationship. (This goes for both men and women). If you do, two things will happen.
a) You will count the post-answer work you put in to change their mind as major points they should consider to change their mind and, when they don’t, not only will you be more devastated, you will resent them even more.
b) You will lose their respect.
In fact: Assume she will never be ready.
Again…sounds kind of harsh (especially for the ladies who may be reading this and thinking “Hold on…what if I really do change my mind!)
This is not so you can stop being a gentleman or treat her with scorn for refusing you as you will see as this article continues. But, if she will ever be ready, she NEEDS to get there ON HER OWN.
There are few things worse than being with a woman who is not sure she wants to be with you. She will have no spiritual, cultural or social obligation to meet ANY of your needs. (Unlike men who… even if they don’t feel sure they want to be with a woman, are still under some pressure spiritually, socially, and culturally to meet at least some of her needs)
So, if this is going to happen, she needs to be convinced and she needs to get there on her own.
2) Don’t tell her that you will be there if she changes her mind.
It is possible to get the “I am not ready” answer from a genuinely nice woman. A woman doesn’t have to be spiteful to not want to be with you. It’s a choice that she has a right to make.
Now, if you are a good man, and the answer is coming from a good woman, you will have the urge to tell her that you will be there waiting for her until she changes her mind. Be careful about that. That’s the stuff that Hollywood gets paid on and musicians sell records on. In reality, women don’t respond to men who are just there waiting. They respond to men who can be snatched up.
3) Don’t waste the opportunity to show maturity.
So, don’t be angry you were rejected. That’s for boys. Tell her why you thought being together would be a great idea and ask questions that may help you understand why she doesn’t think so.
Make her comfortable talking about those reasons why she is not ready. You are not so concerned about the details (because obviously you don’t want to get into a debate about being with you), you are just showing maturity…showing that you can take the emotional heat and that you are not emotionally running away at the first sign of rejection. Also, having a conversation about it helps her work out her own reasons.
4) Don’t start acting weird:
Don’t start ignoring her, changing your tone when speaking to her, being short or curt with her and stuff like that. This is a No-No. It will only help her confirm that she made the right decision to not move forward with you.
5) Quickly determine the meaning and scope of her answer as it relates to you:
In other words, give a meaning to her answer that will serve you. So, for example, know that she may be rejecting the “relationship” but that may not be because you are not worthy to be in a relationship with.
Or that just because one person isn’t ready for you, doesn’t mean that someone else won’t be.
This is really important for men because men deal with emotional hurt differently from women. Men typically take a lot longer to heal. So, do yourself a favor. Be easy on yourself.
Tobi Atte is a certified Neuro Linguistic Programming Practitioner, motivational speaker and the writer behind IJustMetMe, a lifestyle website for young adults who need a good dose of daily inspiration to tackle tough life issues. Tobi is also the author of the new book How to Make Sure Your Values are Aligned: A Guide to Avoiding Relationship Frustration. For more on relationships, motivation, fresh perspectives on faith, personal improvement and more, read/learn more at www.ijustmetme.com, watch him on YouTube HERE and download his free e-book HERE.