Love Letters: Time to Get It Together

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How long is too long to be in a relationship without the biggest commitment, marriage?

Time for commitment, KJ

Probably the most frequently asked relationship question I receive is “How long did it take you to realize Jai was The One?” How long did it take Laurence Fishburne to realize Keanu Reeves was The One? How long did it take Mary J. Blige to realize Drake was “The One?” Who knows, who cares. It’s the selection we remember, not the time frame.

I wish Mary J. took more time to consider her selection, though. That song was wack.

Anyway, there are no set expiration dates for relationships. I’ve mentioned before that I have a friend who met her future husband online and married very quickly. They’re still happily married today. Some of y’all have been together since high school and still can’t agree on which brand of toilet paper to use. It’s much more important to cultivate a healthy relationship than rush it to the next level.

And along those lines, why rush anyway? I’m a huge supporter of marriage but every single relationship is not destined for a trip down the aisle. Take time to assess what you and your partner want – no matter now long that takes. If you’re still happily dating 10 years from now, that’s better than being unhappily married in the next decade.

I do realize, however, that some partners tend to drag out things longer than you might like, which causes  questions like the one above to arise. You might be hearing wedding bells, he’s hearing doorbells, and after dating for 20 years, you’re ready for more. That’s not an issue with time, that’s an issue with commitment. If you’re not on the same page with your mate regarding marriage, pointing to a stopwatch and saying “time’s up, homey!” won’t suddenly make him ready to be a husband – or you to be a model wife, for that matter. Same goes for a relationship that’s thousands of years old but is stagnant and not progressing – ignore the length time involved, the relationship itself needs work.

Setting a time limit will do nothing but lead to hasty decisions. In this case, time ain’t nothing but a number. Commitment is key.



  1. Well said. I was really antsy in the beginning – we both knew we were “the one,” but both having been married before, I think we were pretty gunshy. I wanted the outward display of our love and relationship more than anything at that point. Then one day I just decided to not worry about it and let the relationship develop. By the time he proposed 4+ years later, I was floored. Totally shocked. It was kind of nice that way. And when we did say “I do,” we had been together long enough to know we both really did…

  2. That’s what I’m saying, Mariesa. Be it 4 months or 4 years, just wait until you KNOW it’s right. Not because the stopwatch says it’s time.

  3. If they wanna marry they’ll ask. If not then oh well. You either stay or you go. Simple as that!

  4. I agree. Don’t worry about the time so much. If you do have a time limit, let it be known from the beginning.

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