On conquering uncertainty.

Your last post inspired me to ask my own question about relationships and the “M” word. My boyfriend and I are in what I suppose would be considered a “serious relationship.” I don’t date a lot, only had one other “real” relationship and it was a joke compared to what I have now. I have never felt better about myself, what I’m doing in my life, or where my life is headed. Even though I’m a college senior and about to jump into a life of uncertainty when I’m a person who hates change, I’m excited about what will happen to me and to us.

He told me that in his last relationship, he had gotten to the point where he was looking for a ring for the girl. I know he’s a commitment guy—he’s in it for the long haul and doesn’t bother himself with dating for the sake of dating. I’m the same way, so it works out fairly well; however, not even a month into the relationship he was using both “if” and “when” in reference to the big “M” word between the two of us.

At first it didn’t scare me. I like to know that this isn’t just a silly thing for him. But the more I think about it, the more I’m afraid that he’s still thinking about marriage because of his ex, and not because of me.

I feel like I can talk to him about anything, but the thought of asking him what’s going on and either requesting that he not talk about marriage, or just getting clarification on his intentions, scares me. Do I have the right to bring up how he considered proposing to his ex, or is that none of my business? Is it egotistical of me to think that after three months of a relationship he’s seriously considering our future together? After all, we talk about how we would raise kids and even looked at engagement rings (in what I thought was just a goofy moment).

I would never say yes to a proposal until I had dated for at least a year and a half, preferably longer; I want to be 100% sure. Is it too early to even discuss the possibility of an engagement with him, and what I need before anything serious commitment happens?

Thank you so much in advance! I really value your opinion 🙂

Okay, I need to read between the lines for a second. When you say “I’m a person who hates change,” what you really mean is “I’m a magnificent control freak.”

Also, when you say “I’m excited about what will happen to me,” what you really mean is “I’m terrified of the gigantic spinning fireball known as adulthood hurtling toward me at incredible speed.”

I point this out because it’s key to what’s going on here. You’re anxious about the future, and all of this silly flirtation with notions of marriage is merely is a coping mechanism for dealing with your crippling fear of uncertainty.

You and your boyfriend peeking at shopping mall engagement rings is the collegiate equivalent of kindergartners playing house. That’s fine. It’s fun to play dress-up, but don’t start calling shit serious just yet.

It’s been three months. Chill the fuck out.

I know I’m stepping outside the boundary of the question here, but this next bit of advice doesn’t just apply to your relationship: don’t be in such a rush to play it so damned safe.

I know you can’t wait to be a music teacher and a stay-at-home mom, but why not start a fucking band first? You’ve got your whole life to drive minivans and vote for Sarah Palin. Go do something wild before settling down.

Go conquer your fear of uncertainty. Go spend some time experimenting with the human condition. Go have your own personal rumspringa and only come back when you know you’re ready.

Come on, you’ve got the soul of an artist. I don’t want you to regret not having any crazy stories to tell your grandkids.


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