Dear Hot Stuff,
My girlfriend of three and a half years has just asked
me to marry her. It was really romantic. The whole shebang: down on
one knee, flowers and champagne. I love her so much and can't
imagine anything making me happier than spending forever with her,
but in replying I hesitated! Something which she saw.
She refused an answer then and there and has left me a
week to think it through. I know why I stuttered, I'm only 22 and
she is almost 30. She's the only girl I've ever slept with. I don't
want to be with anyone else now, but I don't want to shut the door
entirely... I'm so very confused.
Dear Bridesmaid from Brighouse,
I'm about to start giving you advice, but before I begin I'm
going to say one thing for you to reflect on before anything else
pollutes your train of thought.
You know what you want to do.
Take that sentence, twist it around in your mind and you'll see
that I'm right. Marriage, well, civil partnership, isn't something
to be taken lightly. It's a very serious 'I do' indeed. So either
you do or you don't, but deep down, I reckon you know if you want
to do it or not.
Three and a half years is a decent run of time and a perfectly
acceptable moment to begin thinking about making a long-term
commitment to one another. But it can't be something that is done
for anyone or anything else, you must only say I do, if deep down
it is absolutely and unequivocally the absolutely right thing to do
for you. The fact that you hesitated says a lot.
I also tend to think that the days of sweeping gestures and
massive 'weddings' are over, or at least should be, with the rate
of divorce as it is. Moving towards a permanent union should be
discussed, terms and conditions agreed. I know it's not romantic,
but heck, it's better than a messy break-up six months down the
line à la Ross Gellar from Friends...
Had the topic been raised before? If not, giving you time to
think about it was the right thing to do and you should definitely
sit down and have a long conversation about it all. I know it's not
what we dreamed of when we were little but, heck, we're lesbunums!
We probably didn't dream of white weddings anyway...
As for the question of only being with one person for the rest
of your life, I think it's rather sweet in an old-fashioned sort of
way. Promiscuity is overrated; if you've found everything you need
in one person, then grasp that person! But if that person makes you
hesitate, then well, it's like a big white wedding isn't it? A nice
idea, but boredom kicks in somewhere around the 'as long as you
both shall live' mark.
Though I'd be happy to be proved wrong.
In the end, fewer and fewer of us end up mating for life, but
what surely makes the difference, ishopingto andbelievingin an
almost mythical longevity. If something along the lines of 'oh
well, we'll be separated in another three years' has crossed your
mind, then my answer would be 'I don't'.
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