Rumor has it that Jennifer Aniston is going to leave Justin Theroux at the end of the year if they're not engaged or married. Apparently, she told a friend who told a tabloid that she's not waiting past 2012. Aside from whether or not it's true, it does raise an interesting point about ultimatums. Are they ever a good idea?
I think there are two types of ultimatums when it comes to matters of the heart -- one that's external and one that's internal. The first is when you tell your boyfriend that he better propose this year or you're gonna leave/burn his clothes/expose his weird fetishes/etc. The second is when you set your own timeline for when you'll be ready to leave/burn his clothes/expose his weird fetishes/etc. if things don't turn out as you hoped. The first kind is totally destructive, the second one is totally empowering.
Forcing someone to be with you is a bad idea. We all know that there isn't a happy marriage on Earth that started with a threat. If you want to get married, there are better ways to broach the subject than "marry me or else!"
Obviously this goes without saying, but having a straightforward conversation about your future is never a bad idea. It's hard, but it's worth it. Also, drunk rants about "where this is going" never really move things forward, no matter how clearly you think you're coming across, so make sure to communicate while sober.
Once you've laid out your wants, needs, desires, hopes, and dreams, then I think it's fair to set an end date that you won't wait past. After you've had the talk, maybe give it six months, or a year, or however long you want, but giving yourself your own ultimatum will help keep your eye on the prize. Otherwise, you may be waiting for someone or something that will never come.
What do you think about ultimatums?
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