Matthew McConaughey revealed to GQ that Camila Alves gave him a marriage ultimatum. Is this good relationship advice?
Pressuring your man to propose is one of the big no-no's of modern womanhood—right? (Be patient, see where things go, and when he's ready, it will happen, we've been told.) Camila Alves, wife of Matthew McConaughey, must have missed this memo, though, because the famous former bachelor says she gave him an ultimatum to "either sh-t or get off the pot"—and it worked! The parents of three were married two years ago and McConaughey told GQ that he's never been happier. So have we all been told wrong?
We sure have, says Wendy Walsh, Ph.D., a relationship expert and author of The 30 Day Love Detox. "Women have been told that as long as we are sweet, compliant, and, most importantly, not needy, then we'll be the one he picks," she says. "But if marriage is your end goal, this is the worst idea."
Of course, no one wants to be the girl who brings her wedding vision board to the first date. So you have to be careful about just when (and how) to put on the pressure—and that starts with knowing what you want instead of anticipating what he wants. If you don't want to get married, that's fine, says Walsh, but if that is something you want—especially if you want children—you should be honest about it. And you shouldn't feel ashamed.
"We plan our education, our savings, and our careers, yet we're told it's not 'cool' to plan our relationships," she says. But this puts women at a serious disadvantage since our fertility is limited in ways that a man's isn't. Walsh says her research shows that one in five women who want to be mothers say they are being denied that because they can't find a man—a fact that isn't ameliorated by new technology in fertility. In vitro fertilization still only has a 16 percent success rate and costs an average of $13,700 per try.
Once you know what you want, Walsh recommends putting a one-year cap on the relationship (though the time frame you decide is up to you). But confidently relaying your time frame is "the sexiest thing a man can hear. It gives him the freedom to figure out what he wants, if he's ready, and if not, to let you move on," Walsh points out. “I had to get to the point where I saw it as more than just 'the thing to do,'” McConaughey told GQ. “I wanted to really want to. I didn’t want it to be a destination; the fun is that we’re on the adventure together. And look, some of it had to do with her putting it on me. It took her going, ‘C’mon, Big Boy, Mr. Easygoing-We’ll- Get-to-It-When-We-Get-to-It. Either s--t or get off the pot.’”
Alves has some serious cajones, but we gotta say we like her style! (And so does her husband, apparently!)