Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, a time when many people assess the state of their romantic life. One of the questions vexing many singles, especially women, is the prospect of getting a serious beau to commit. To help, “Today” invited Richard Kirshenbaum and Daniel Rosenberg, authors of the soon-to-be-released “Closing the Deal: Two Married Guys Take You from Single Miss to Wedded Bliss,” onto the show. Here is an excerpt from their book.
Is He Not The One?
Is he The One? This is the seminal question that always makes the act of dating both frustrating and fascinating. While this guessing game will always keep things interesting and mysterious, it may be more reasonable to tackle the other question first, the one that is far easier to answer: "Is he not The One?" While some of you would argue that you "know right away" whether someone isn't for you, sometimes it's not all that clear.
For those of you who want to get married, there actually is something worse than singledom: spending your life with someone who doesn't make you happy. Before we get started with your journey of self-discovery, let us emphasize that marriage isn't about entrapment. It's about taking something great and making it better. And as in fairy tales, the important part is as much about finding the right prince as it is about living happily ever after. Just because you think you have a prince now, doesn't mean he's your Prince Charming.
We 're going to help you figure out where you stand with your man and help you make an informed decision by presenting the tools that will help you correctly analyze the level of person whom you are with. Level doesn't refer to social standing or self-worth, it refers to your compatibility as a couple and his willingness to commit. Besides compatibility issues, we 're going to discuss reality issues, as well. Realities in relationships are sometimes difficult to see (especially when you don't want to face them), so we're going to spend a little time figuring out if you are being honest with yourself about your relationship.
Let's face it, though, there are endless reasons why your relationship could falter before your saunter to the altar. We want to say up front that no matter how great the advice is in this book, and no matter how closely you follow it, there are some guys who will never pull the trigger. These men have Commitia, a type of VD (vow disavowal) that makes the most eloquent of men flub their lines at the mere mention of the M word. These are the perennial bachelors, serial daters, and commitment-phobes who exist in every socioeconomic group, and their modus operandi is fairly consistent. They certainly will never be The One. These are the relationships that need to be cut short immediately or, better yet, ended before they've begun, or else time's a-wastin'.
Let's tackle the issue of whether your man is the marrying kind — you need to know that from the start. Since the goal of “Closing the Deal” isn't to get you married for marriage's sake but to help you make that step with your soul mate, we wouldn't be doing our job if we didn't address the very difficult issue of whether you're kidding yourself about your current relationship. This is where our big brother advice really kicks in, and it won't be fun. Although we promise to be as gentle as possible, be forewarned: You could discover some great and some not-so-great news over the next few pages.
Does your boyfriend fit into the "kind of, maybe" category? Does he lack the most basic qualities that being a husband will require? Let's take the all-important "What Kind of Man Is He?" test and find out before it's too late.
The "Gloom or Groom in June?" Quiz
1. How does he view the institution of marriage?
a: He compares marriage to a prison sentence and thinks being divorced like his parents is something to look forward to. b: He thinks marriage is for pushovers. c: When he talks about the benefits of marriage he uses phrases like "tax savings" and "combined net worth." d: He invites you to his grandparents' fiftieth wedding anniversary and tells you how he admires their mutual devotion.
2. What is his overall level of emotional maturity?
a: When something goes wrong he blames you. b: He throws a tantrum when you don't put him at the kids' table. c: He uses sock puppets to talk things through. d: When something goes wrong, he takes it in stride.
3. How do you fight?
a: He predictably starts with a few jabs and then goes for a weak-ass uppercut. b: He hits below the belt, emotionally. c: His mother and lawyer handle his affairs. d: It's strained, but civil.
4. How did he act when you got sick?
a: He told you to sleep on the couch since he doesn't want to catch what you have. b: He brought you a doggie bag from the strip club buffet. c: He told you to go to work anyway. Someone has to support him. d: He stayed by your bedside and brought you chicken soup.
5. How does he treat the waitstaff in the restaurant?
a: He barked at the sixty-five-year-old waiter, "Get me a cup of coffee, boy." b: How would you know? He never takes you to restaurants. c: He makes special requests for everything he orders, including explaining how he likes his water. d: He tips well and says "please" and "thank you."
If you didn't get all ds, then you may have to seriously consider throwing this fish back until it's grown up enough to eat. If he doesn't have the basics, he may not be worth any effort at all. Now that you've taken the quiz, though it's simple, you're now on your way to evaluating the type of man you're with.
Excerpted from “Closing the Deal: Two Married Guys Take You From Single Miss to Wedded Bliss” by Richard Kirshenbaum and Daniel Rosenberg. Copyright ©2005. Used by permission of . All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt can be used without the expressed written permission of the publisher.