I'm 24, and I was very late to "adult dating" (I took a break from dating as a teenager). But I soon got stuck with serial cheaters, and unfortunately, one abuser.
I quickly realized that I was only interested in being with someone permanently. I craved being married.
Recently, I wound up back with someone I knew years ago and I think he might genuinely be my soul-mate.
I'm wondering how I can remain calm about being positive that I’ve already met the person with whom I'm meant to spend my life?
I know that I love him, and I have for years. We lost contact and I'm more than happy to have him back.
We’re both working through weird parts in our lives and I'm wondering now how to just keep it cool, and build our relationship without pushing all my hopes for our future onto him prematurely.
Ready to be Wed
I’m worried about you, because you’re sending me clues about why I should be.
You stopped teenage dating, which means there’s a reason, which you haven’t disclosed.
Then you unfortunately experienced abuse, which is an assault on your whole being. It doesn’t heal easily, especially not emotionally.
You may truly be in love with this man, but you’re rushing to depend on him for long-term happiness and enduring love.
That’s not healthy for either of you, or your relationship.
You have to also be able to depend on your own strengths and self-image, in order to last as partners.
You won’t stay “calm” about him until you’re calm within yourself, and that requires counselling regarding your past abuse (and other deep hurts).
You have time to invest in yourself, without relying on a marriage to complete you.
Since you mention that you both have “weird parts” in your lives, he might benefit from counselling, too.
Reader’s Commentary Regarding the woman’s concerned husband when a former flame contacted her (Sept. 14):
“Thirty-five years ago I met and fell deeply in love. We were both divorced with similar-aged children. Our families easily blended, we became engaged, but each had our own homes and careers.
“We joined together as a family every weekend and holidays. Then things changed, and we decided to part. It was tough on both of us. My children called me selfish; hers sulked for months.
“No other person was involved in our split.
“Years past and I found another great love. But she dumped me and suddenly left. I was devastated.
“She called six years later. How was I doing? Did I find love again? She had! We spoke about careers, parents, past friends. It was great to hear from her. But neither of us indicated wanting to explore getting back together.
“Now, I’m married to a perfectly wonderful woman with grown children the same ages as mine.
“Our first Thanksgiving dinner, I invited her children’s father and his new wife, and my kids’ mother.
“My wife was mortified. This was unheard of. But I reminded her that he’d raised some pretty amazing kids, so family celebrations were time for us to come together.
“It worked out very well. At least four times a year the family gets together, with all parents, grandparents, children, new babies, from both sides. No one has ever refused.
“Is it so unusual to care about people you once loved?”
Ellie – A compelling, mature, family-based approach to post-divorce civility. Too bad more couples can’t/won’t try this.
FEEDBACK Regarding the “Worried Guy” who couldn’t afford the expensive engagement ring for his proposal (Sept. 18):
Reader – “We dated for years before he decided that we should get married. For every special occasion, I’d hoped the proposal would be my present.
“He gave me decent gifts, but nothing I wanted. It didn’t matter how much he spent. I wanted to throw it across the room.
“However, he never gave me anything in a little box, nor a “promise” ring, or anything that could be construed as an engagement ring.
“A promise ring would never have worked for me and would only cause an argument and plenty of hurt feelings.
“Worried Guy is already living with his girlfriend. It’s one thing if you’re both on the same page with living together.
But when one party wants something else, it could be a constant battleground. Maybe it’s not really the ring, maybe she just wants to get married.”
Tip of the day:
If you see marriage as completing your life, make sure that you already feel whole as a person.