I’m 29, uncertain about my boyfriend of 18 months’ proposal while we were in Germany last month.
I waffled and said I had to think about it. He’d bought a lovely engagement ring that he still has in his possession.
We don’t live together. He’s 32, a very sweet guy who’d do anything for me. He’s certain he wants to spend his life with me.
However, I don’t want to marry him. I’m a professional with a graduate degree; he’s a tradesman with no money. Though he kisses the ground I walk on, I don't think I’d be happy long-term with him. I’d always wonder if I could’ve done better.
But I want to have children.
Should I settle for this man? Breaking up with him (as I did, before we got back together weeks later) would crush him. He has no hobbies and very little social life without me.
A man who kisses the ground beneath your feet is a pretty compelling partner… but only if you adore him in return.
You don’t value the work he does, nor whatever he earns. You want a family, but it seems obvious that you’d resent him if you have to carry the heavier financial load.
You have every right to these feelings, so why lead him on, travel with him, waffle instead of refusing his proposal?
Your biological clock has time. Set this decent guy free and date intelligently - through meeting people in your profession, and at gatherings/activities with men of similar interests.
I've always been a parent's dream - straight A's, wanting to be a doctor, polite, responsible, outgoing, overachieving.
But after coming to college this year, I realized I hate math and science, necessary pre-med courses.
I love literature and writing, but there are no jobs for those studies.
I love music and art and have talent, but not enough to make it. I could be a teacher, but I’m ambitious and competitive.
Should I continue on the pre-med path since that’s the hardest to come back to?
Also, I have no desire to do drugs or be promiscuous. I've always been the very polite, smart, kind girl.
Now I want to try being sexy, bad, and crazy, have some drama in my life. Yet I see my roommate smoking weed and sleeping around and I’m repulsed.
I still want to contribute to society, be a person with a strong ethics code, become great.
I tried going to frat parties, drinking a little. It was lame. Yet it made me want to try something more.
People say that college is about experimenting and discovering yourself, but if you take time to explore or change your path, it's hard to go back and compete with younger, more capable kids. College is about studying hard to create your future.
I tried to believe this is just my late-blooming teenage angst, but it's hard for me to focus or convince myself.
College is also for learning about yourself. You’ve been the “good girl” with an admirable goal, yet fear you’ve missed out on excitement.
But upending everything – your courses, social life, your personality – is excessively stressful and creates worse confusion.
Look to your strengths. Pre-med courses lead to learning about health and healing. If at one year’s end, that dream is less appealing, it won’t ruin your chances at something else.
Whether or not you drink, date, act sexy, you have to be true to your own sense of self-worth, for your choices to feel right.
FEEDBACK Regarding the daughter who wanted to have her aging mother come live with her and her husband (Nov. 8):
Reader – “I am a retirement/aging-in-place consultant and my job is to help people like the aging woman in this story. Actually, it’s to help all parties involved, including her worried daughter, too.
“As one option, the elderly woman could stay in her home longer with a few minor adjustments to her home and some help from technology.
“Or, to have her move in with the couple, and if they live in Ontario, they could benefit financially (in addition to the mother’s contribution) from the Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit.
“The husband’s inconsiderate to put additional pressure on his wife by refusing to consider this option - leaving her worrying about her mother.”
(Ellie - Other jurisdictions may provide financial or other help to people caring for elderly parents).
Tip of the day:
Marrying without love, to have a child, risks unhappiness for all.