5/12/2014 9:14:00 AM Strict guidelines may hurt future relationships
DEAR HARRIETTE: I am in my early 40s, and I plan to remarry in the next five years. I think I would like for my future wife and me to live in separate residences. I am very particular about how I plan to live the rest of my life, and I do not want to change for anyone. Do you think any woman would consider that as an option? -- My Way or the Highway, Brooklyn, N.Y.
DEAR MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY: Your plan sounds more theoretical than actual. Is there a woman in your life now whom you want to marry? Also, what went wrong in your previous marriage?
I suggest that you do a personal inventory to determine what worked and what didn't work in your previous marriage. Assess the view looking forward: What do you want in a marriage, and what are you willing to compromise in order to make a marriage work? This doesn't mean that you can't find a woman who will marry you and live separately. Some people do that. But you need to get to the bottom of what you actually want and need. Why do you want to get married? What does marriage mean to you if it doesn't include living under one roof?
Do some soul searching. Make a list of what you want in a partner, and then look around to see if you can meet someone who fits your heart's description. Even if you do, trust that you will have to make some adjustments in order to welcome someone into your life.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I think I'm feeling jealous of a friend of mine who is a whole lot closer to the man I have a crush on than I am. They hang out together way more -- strictly as friends. They do live nearer each other, but still. I feel like he enjoys spending time with her more than with me. It's not her fault, but I can't figure out what to do to make him see me or like me. We have known each other for a long time, and we are friends. I really want to make this more than a platonic relationship; I want him to be my man. How can I get him to see that? And how can I get my friend out of the way? -- Longing for Love, St. Louis
DEAR LONGING FOR LOVE: You say you have been friends with this man for years and that he chooses to spend time with your friend rather than you. Sounds like he is not trying to date you. If you have never let him know of your interest, you can tell him when you are face-to-face and ask him if he would like to try and see what might happen if you two became a couple.
If you have already let him know, it's time for you to accept that he doesn't like you in that way. Acceptance is key to happiness. You cannot force someone to want to be in a relationship with you.
(Lifestylist and author Harriette Cole is president and creative director of Harriette Cole Media. You can send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)