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A very close friend of mine just filed for divorce after a seven-year marriage.  The reason?  She’s 35, wants a baby (which her husband promised, but now reneged) and now feels her ovaries shriveling up like raisins with every passing day.

Of course there are other problems, but the point of this conversation is that my friend is no longer tolerating putting off her dream to be a mother–married with family–with someone who just doesn’t see things the same way.  Smart girl.  Get out.  Get ALL the way out.

I’ve seen women wait 10 years for a man to commit, and have given their best reproductive years and the prime of their beauty to boyfriends who keep dangling the marriage carrot (or in this case, karat) just to appease their mates and keep them around for as long as possible.

But then again, we Mesdames have to own our part.  Some of us treat our relationships like a marriage rehersal: cooking, cleaning, sexing, having babies and acting like a wife without the benefits.  If you’re doing all that, what the hay-ell is the motivation for your mate to put a ring on it?

“Women waste years of their lives with men that have no real plan for a future with them, and are just enjoying the companionship and sex offered by what they perceive to be a casual relationship,” says Deborrah Cooper, a dating and relationship expert and blogger for Surviving Dating.

“When a man is firmly entrenched in a relationship, he will not only “mention” a future, his thoughts will be backed up by solid, clearly identifiable action. He will use words like “next year when we get married” or “I was thinking about the real estate market and getting a fair price for our current homes when we buy our new house together after we’re married.” See the difference? Factual statements followed by action items.”

Bottom line: The next time you go to the mall with your man and walk by a Zales and mention how pretty that canary diamond ring looks and he rushes to the nearest Foot Locker for some sneakers, you might want to consider who REALLY needs to do some running.

Christelyn D. Karazin founder and organizer of “No Wedding, No Womb,” an initiative to find solutions to the 70 percent out-of-wedlock rate in the black community.  She is the co-author of Swirling: How to Date, Mate and Relate Mixing Race Culture and Creed and runs a blog,, dedicated to women of color who are interested and or involved in interracial and intercultural relationships.

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