I'm 19, male, and I live in Kumasi in Ghana. I've never been in a relationship before this. But I've now found someone I really love. However, I can't move forward to propose to her.
Even if she's close by me in person, or if I call her on the phone, I turn the conversation the other way from proposing, as I feel very shy. What should I do?
She's probably shy too, if she's as young and inexperienced as you are. So grow your friendship and comfort level with each other, rather than rush her with a proposal that might be too soon for her to accept.
It's good to talk with her about many things, to learn what your common interests are, and also to find new interests which each of you can learn about from the other.
It's also a good idea to just go out together for a walk, a coffee, and a movie...it's a chance to just enjoy each other's company without the stress of having an agenda about what you have to say.
As you become more comfortable together, start talking about how each of you sees the future. Are you both pursuing further education, working at jobs you like, hoping to travel? Soon the subject of marriage will arise naturally, and that's when to propose if you still feel she's the right partner for you.
I'm a 69-year-old woman and have been looking for a man to spend time with, for company, sharing the occasional dinner out, and going for walks, etc.
Recently, I met a gentleman, who's over 70, whose wife of 33 years passed away less than two years ago. He said he was very lonely and also wanted someone to spend time with, and dine out with occasionally.
I'm very attracted to him and he feels the same about me. We've had many long conversations, but not spend much time face to face. After a recent coffee date, he called to say that he felt guilty about being with me, that he was falling in love with me, and that he was not ready for that.
He asked that I continue to call him. I suggested that he could call and come for coffee occasionally if he wanted, as I'd like to still be friends. He said that wouldn't work, as he'd fall in love with me.
I'm stumped. I'd like him in my life, yet I respect the conflict he feels. I don't know whether to continue to call him, to not call him, or wait for him to come to some conclusion.
The Next Move?
Before you work out a plan, decide where you want this relationship to go. If he were to eventually accept that he loves you, what do you want to do about it? Would you consider staying in separate homes or moving in together and dealing with his family who may still be grieving their mother's loss?
The point to this speculation: This man appears to know himself and what he can handle at this time. If you actively pursue him, you may end up disappointed and embarrassed if he backs away, or find yourself in a complicated situation.
Best to follow his lead: Call only periodically to show your interest, but don't press him to visit. Time will reveal where this is going.
FEEDBACK Regarding the man whose wife was threatening divorce if he didn't relax and be more fun (Oct. 6 column):
Reader - "I went through this exact thing long ago with my wife. She was demanding that I completely change my personality (which I was, and still am happy with). We saw counselors but nothing worked for her.
"She eventually left with our two youngsters while I was away on business. I tried to salvage our relationship until I realized nothing I did would ever satisfy her, so I ended it.
"Soon, my now ex-wife started exhibiting other odd behaviour, was sent to mental health wards by doctors and police, and I won total child custody.
"It's not easy for anyone, even spouses or parents, to learn the specifics of loved ones' mental health issues, so it was years before I discovered she suffers from paranoid schizophrenia. Your response in that column (..."probe what's really going on in your wife's mind...") and suggesting she get professional help, certainly resonates with me."
Tip of the day:
Early love needs to be developed through mutual comfort and communication.