My girlfriend’s expecting a proposal on her 30th birthday next month. She’s so obvious… choosing an expensive, romantic restaurant “just because it’s a special milestone!”
I do love her. But I’m in a new job and want to feel secure in the company before I make major plans.
I can’t afford an engagement ring right now, though I know a ring’s important to her.
I’d like to just carry on living together and budgeting conservatively for awhile.
But she’s going to be very disappointed and even think that I don’t love her or plan to marry her. How do I handle this birthday without losing her?
Do NOT wait for her planned event!
Find time very soon to talk with her. Tell her you love her and plan to spend your life together.
Explain that this is a tight-finance time for you both because you need to build job security to afford the dreams you share, including your wedding.
Give her something to look forward to that’s less problematic. Maybe a birthday gift of a weekend away in the country, where you both can relax and be romantic.
Maybe buy a “promise” ring that showcases your love and commitment but isn’t anywhere near the cost of a diamond engagement ring.
If she gets teary with disappointment during this talk, tell her it’s part of your love for her that you know she’s the life partner for you, and does understand the practical realities right now.
Then tell her that you, too, are hoping for the time when you can both start the search to find the engagement ring she wants and for starting to make your wedding plans.
I know that my boyfriend loves me, but I’m uncomfortable when he’s paying more attention to our friend’s date than to me.
He says he’s just getting to know her on behalf of his friend, but I recognized the close, quiet chatting and very personal questions, like they’re the only people in the room.
It looked like their lips would brush if he leaned the tiniest bit closer!
There’s a history of his having cheated on his ex-wife, and then with his next girlfriend of several years.
He did once suddenly say he had to go out of town for a weekend, when we were early in our dating.
I confronted him, but he swore it was a previous plan with that woman, and he used it to break up with her.
He swore it wouldn’t happen again because he already knew that he loved me. I forgave him because I wanted to give the relationship a chance.
We’ve been living together for two years now, talked of marriage and kids in a couple of years. He’s 33, I’m 28.
Should I confront him about this new woman or am I overreacting?
Not the First Time
Confront. You’d be overreacting if you just complained about his close, personal chat with another woman.
But it’s not overreacting when your guy has a crummy track record and a pattern of creating it.
Tell him you’re not hanging in for a life of heartache if you marry and have kids with a repeated cheater.
His friend doesn’t need him to interview his date. You’re all old enough to know behaviour that’s crossing the line.
Say that you’re “done,” unless he gets professional counselling regarding his cheating.
If he won’t go or leaves after a couple of sessions, move on.
My recently-widowed grandmother in Europe keeps phoning/emailing my mother and me to complain that I’ll never get married.
I’m 29, with the same partner for eight years. We’re trying hard to find an affordable place to live together.
But my grandmother doesn’t accept/understand that lifestyle in North America, and keeps winding us up (especially me), and gossiping in her village about my likelihood of being alone forever.
How can I stop her from talking about me as a failure?
When she calls/emails your mother about this, tell Mom you don’t want to hear about it.
When she reaches you, change the subject to ask how she’s managing on her own, how’s her health, is she getting out, etc.
She’s lonely, and focusing on her closest relatives and the huge distance from you and your mom.
If she persists, tell her you and your partner have a loving life together. Period.
Tip of the day:
Working together to achieve your mutual dreams is what love is about, far more than an engagement ring.