Married matchmaker Paul Brunson dispels myths about men and marriage.

I received a message via Facebook recently (if you don’t “like” Black Bridal Bliss on FB already, please do so here) that I knew had to be addressed on the site. It went something like this:

I have been with my boyfriend for 2 years and everything is bliss but I need the ring. My strategy is on full blast. I bought the books, joined the Web sites…we girls wanna plan the wedding but need to get him on board. My boyfriend talked marriage from the beginning but won’t take the next step to engagement and I’m confused. I need ammo…thoughts?

– T.K., New York City

Well, well, well. I have plenty of “thoughts” but none worth mentioning. I’m not married and have never been hitched. When I was in the home-buying process, I consulted other people who were already homeowners…get my drift? After a little thought I came up with the perfect person to address this reader concern. Paul Carrick Brunson is a Washington, D.C.-based matchmaker married for nearly a decade and creator of an increasingly popular relationship Webisode series. (View this one to hear him break down how his girlfriend became his wife.) Read on to get Paul’s views on this age-old topic:

Paul on the marriage versus the wedding:
“The wedding seems to be important to her. How important is marriage to her? She has to be true to herself.

Paul on how long she should wait for “a ring”:
“She should give her boyfriend a timeline (not necessarily an ultimatum) and be clear about her goals for their relationship.”

Paul on why her dude might be holding back:
“Does this guy feel empowered by her? The reason that most men propose is because of acts of selflessness. In tough moments, the other person shows that they’re down for you. The number one reason for divorce is not infidelity as many people assume, it is when one [or both people] feel as though they are not emotionally supported.”

Paul on living together before saying “I Do”:
“I would really like to know if they are already living together. This plays a major role. Chances are if they have been living together for more than two years they won’t get married or stay married.”

Paul on men and biological clocks:
It is a false belief that men have no biological clocks! We wonder about our ability to raise a child after a certain age especially when Black men are dying seven to eight years before everyone else. But I will admit that a man’s biological clock starts ticking louder later in life than most women.”

Paul on the importance of values:
“This is one of the most underrated parts of a relationship. Are your values aligned? Is there emotional compatibility? For instance, does one person want to have kids and the other doesn’t?”

Paul on the hype that Black men don’t want to get married:
“I know a lot of men looking for Mrs. Right but they are not controversial or newsworthy. It is a stereotype that all men want to be players. Since the beginning of time, men have not changed — many men are moreso confused about what their roles are. In many ways, the feminist movement has made roles unclear.”

What do you think of Paul’s advice for T.K.? Leave me a comment with your thoughts and have a great weekend, everyone! (T.K., I hope this helped.)