Wanted: A man with a plan

by Dating Goddess on June 17, 2009

In Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, Steve Harvey says if a man doesn’t have a plan you should not fall for him.

A “plan” means a vision for his future and how he will get there. That plan needs to include a woman in it. I’ve been surprised that some men have a plan for themselves, but it doesn’t seem to include a woman. For example, a wealthy man I dated several times had already planned his retirement by buying a small, 2-bedroom condo hundreds of miles away to which he will move when he retires in a few years. He remodeled and furnished it how he likes it.

I admired that he was so proactive and had a clear plan. But what would he do about integrating a woman into this plan? I envisioned that if it worked out between us I’d have to buy the condo next door for me and my stuff! Or sell all my belongings, I guess. In our many hours of phone conversations, there was never any mention of, “This is my plan if I’m alone. If and when I am partnered again, we’d figure out a new plan together.”

At the other end of the spectrum are the men (yes, more than one) who have fully integrated me into their lives — often before even meeting me. They have pictured me moving into their home and accompanying them through the lives they’ve  established. I even had one ask if I’d take his last name after we were married! It always astonished me that these men wanted me to slide into their lives and activities without any mention of how they would integrate into my life. It was as if they were acquiring a new pet.

All in all, though, I appreciate a man with a plan for his life — one that includes the possibility of a woman helping to determine some parts of that future together. It is important to know if a man’s plan is to retire to some remote area to fish and watch sports. That holds no interest for me, so no matter how much I like him, if that is all he envisions, he’s not the one for me.

Of course, it’s important for you to have a vision and plan for your future, otherwise you could be swept up in whatever plan your man had for himself, and that may or may not make you happy. Some women without a plan awaken after a few years to discover they are unhappy with their life because they didn’t give much thought to their own plan.

The man’s plan has to include how he plans to court you, if he decides he wants you. He can’t just be “kickin’” with you, unless that’s what you want, too. If you want someone to build a future with in a committed relationship, you could “kick” with him for years then find out he has no interest in being committed to anyone. So best to find out his plans about his life and relationships near the beginning.

A man has come back into my life after a year abroad. He admitted to me that while he has dreams, he takes one day at a time. Unfortunately, that means he isn’t taking the steps needed to make his dreams become reality. Because of this lackadaisical attitude, I have no long-term interest in him.

How do you feel about a man with vs. without a plan? Would you date someone for long who didn’t have a plan for his life and how you might fit in it?
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In Search of King CharmingWhat are you looking for in a man? In Search of King Charming: Who Do I Want to Share My Throne? will help you determine what you want.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Samantha June 17, 2009 at 9:40 pm

I asked my never-been-married BF a while back what he thinks about marriage – not marriage to me, just in general….He replied that he can see himself marrying someone he loves. I told him my expectation after dating someone for 2 or 3 years, if we had a good relationship blah blah etc (dont remember exact wording) that I expect to get married. I said I’ve been married before, I liked it and want to do it again.

All I can do is put it out there what I would like, and ask that he consider my feelings and not lead me on if he knows in his heart he really wouldn’t marry me. Since that conversation didnt make him flinch, and he’s open to see where we go together, I’m OK.

Some guys don’t have a plan, but if he’s responsible, wants and needs a woman, he is probably willing to make a life plan along with her. I think each guy should be evaluated individually.

Mitsy June 18, 2009 at 6:54 am

That “me” attitude is also what I found among most of the guys I met or dated from online. Their vision was pretty self-centered and with little leeway or consideration for a woman to remain in the picture for the long-term. When you get to be my age (48), you are thinking more about retirement and where you’ll be living.

The more I think about it, the less I think that marriage will ever happen for me. I bought my own home almost 6 years ago and don’t have any plans to relocate. If I had to move in order to find someone, I’d just stay alone. I have worked much too hard for the things I have to give it all up for a man or anyone else. In other words, I would not be that woman selling all her belongings in order to fit in a man’s two-bedroom condo. If I wasn’t mad at the thought to begin with, I’d surely grow to resent it (as well as him) if I actually followed through with such a request.

Richard June 18, 2009 at 8:47 am

I feel sooo inadequate. Then I thought: A “vision” is different from a “plan”. How can you “plan” for someone you don’t even know? I can plan my summer by buying tickets to baseball games, but how would I know that you prefer auto racing if we haven’t met yet?

I have planned for a comfortable retirement, but at this point, I haven’t thought much about where. I have a vision of retiring in a warmer low tax state, and doing things I enjoy that can be done almost anywhere. I don’t know where the kids are going to be living. I figure planning the details can wait until the time is closer (although buying a place in Florida at today’s pennies on the dollar prices is really enticing), and I can take into account the Vision of my Lady.

Is having a vision, but not a plan, so bad?

Dating Goddess June 18, 2009 at 9:32 am

Richard: Having a vision is fine. You have an idea of what you want and some thoughts on where you might fulfill that vision. That’s more than a lot of people! And you’ve planned by making sure you’re financially secure. You’re good! No need to feel inadequate about anything. :-)

Aclear June 18, 2009 at 9:08 pm

This is a watershed concern for me as I contemplate what will make me happy in my next relationship. I assume my beloved will have different, but similar dreams, or we don’t have compatible goals. My goal, and that of many of the many men dating online out there, is to really bond. If a person isn’t motivated to share their life with a beloved, they will not have that as a part of their life plan. They may not even be conscious of it, but if they have not accounted for it in their vision, they aren’t really ready for it. And if they aren’t ready for it, I can’t make it so for them. I am self sufficient and content in my own home and life. However, my vision includes ways to blend my life with a man I can love, and I will do that without question when the time is right. And if a man I consider doesn’t have that ability, if he doesn’t have the vision to share their life, with me, it will not work out. Go, Goddess, go! You are so on the right track, again!

Mark June 19, 2009 at 2:45 am

I would think that anyone’s plan, male or female, at middle-age, wouldn’t include relying on a partner for financial support.

In other words, you should be able to stand on your own feet and not need a partner to support you financially. And likewise, you won’t have to support him or her.

That’s the only plan I have. The rest is chemistry, bonding, liking the other person, and being able to live with that person. I don’t know how you plan for all that stuff. I think it’s trial and error.

Samantha June 20, 2009 at 2:14 am

I would ask him if he’s interested in building a life with someone, or if he’s a committed bachelor. You might be pleasantly surprised to hear his response. It’s better to interact and ask instead of drawing one’s own conclusion.

Calia Roze June 20, 2009 at 10:07 am

I have never been attracted to a man who doesn’t have some sort of drive or ambition. A man without a plan is usually a man who is a little too lazy in my eyes. The trouble is that the men with “plans” usually are so wrapped up in their plan that it doesn’t include me. In addition to that, they definitely aren’t interested in an overachieving girl who has a plan too! I think we need to consider each person on their own merits and if we have a connection with them or not. You’d be surprised what you will remove from your “wants list” when you meet someone you actually like without overthinking it! Good luck!

Samantha June 21, 2009 at 9:12 pm

I like what Calia said! Consider each person on their own merits and if we have a connection or not. Some people do go on with their lives as if they will always be alone, and may give the impression at first that they might not have room or the desire to fit someone in to their lives. It’s not always obvious at first what’s going on and they may need time and the situation may need time to unfold and reveal itself.

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