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home : columns : dear harriette January 21, 2019

1/7/2019 8:22:00 AM
Live-in girlfriend ready to get married

DEAR HARRIETTE: I've been in a five-year-long relationship with my girlfriend, and we recently moved in together. A few nights ago, she expressed how upset she is that we aren't married. I keep telling her that I won't be ready to be married until I am at a certain financial level. I reminded her how far I've come to fulfill that goal over the past five years, which got her to calm down again.

My concern is that she's done this a few times already, and I have to keep reminding her why I am not ready yet. I feel like she's pressuring me into marriage due to the fact that her mother does not approve of us living together if we're not married. I think she feels guilty for disappointing her mother. I explained to her that living together before marriage is a great way to truly know each other and make sure we are ready for marriage.

My girlfriend told me that she's impatient and doesn't want to wait what she thinks will be years before I am at the financial level I wish to reach. We both love each other, and I don't want her to feel like I never want to marry her. What can I do to keep us both happy? -- Not Quite Ready for Marriage, Shreveport, Louisiana

DEAR NOT QUITE READY FOR MARRIAGE: Your desire to be financially sound before marriage makes sense, but it is not always a reason to delay. If you truly love your girlfriend and believe that you want to build a life with her, you should consider having faith and committing to this relationship. You can work together to reach your financial -- and other -- goals. Your girlfriend is right that putting her on hold is not the best solution. It makes her feel that she is not important enough.

I'm a bit old-school. While living together can give you a sense of whether you are suited to each other, it also can serve as a cop out for you not going all the way. Your girlfriend may be feeling the pressure of her mother, but chances are, she's feeling her own internal pressure. If you want to keep her in your life, make a decision. Either commit, or let her go.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I live in a close-knit neighborhood. In October, my neighbor's 16-year-old daughter ran over my family's cat. She was driving irresponsibly and texting, and she was horrified by what she'd done. I have tried not hating her, and I've tried telling myself that there's always a risk that a cat allowed outdoors will be hit by a car. However, I'm still angry, and the best thing for me now is to keep my distance from the girl and her family. The parents won't back off, though. Their daughter is traumatized, and they want me to comfort her. I don't have that in me. I think this girl is lucky she didn't strike and kill a person. Is it awful of me to not want to comfort her for her healing? -- Hard to Forgive, Reisterstown, Maryland

DEAR HARD TO FORGIVE: Be honest with your neighbors, telling them that you are still sad and upset by the loss of your cat. For this reason, you just don't have the capacity to help them with their daughter. You can be kind but distant, if that's what you need for now.

Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to askharriette@harriettecole.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.





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