Marriage & Doubts

Dear Miss U,

I love my boyfriend Elijah so much. We have been together on and off for nine years now. We are in a long distance relationship, and although it’s challenging we still try to make it work. We try to talk on the phone, txt and video chat by ooVoo and Skype and that helps. Sometimes I wonder if our relationship will last since the distance is our only issue. I also wonder if we will ever get married. We have talked about marriage but I have doubts for some reason. PLEASE HELP ME!!!! I don’t want to lose him, but I don’t want to get hurt. Plus soon I will be going off to school. Should I stay or move on?

Troubled in Kannapols

Good morning, Kannapolis.

I didn’t realize it was possible to be in a romantic relationship at ten years old, kids are growing up fast if it’s true! That aside; if distance is your only issue you’re a step ahead of most of us. You’re at a time in your life where you could choose to make that distance less if you wanted to – before you commit to four or more years of higher education. You’re finally an adult, and you can choose to turn the last nine years into something solid, or to let it go.

I’m sure the thoughts have crossed both your minds that if you’ve only been with each other, you might not know what else, or who else, is out there. One or both of you might feel like you’re missing out or passing up experiences, so it might be worth talking that out. College seems to be just as much about the drinking and dating as it does the education (or this is what teen movies would have this foreigner assume), especially if you’re living on campus. I’m not an advocator of casual sex, partying, getting trashed or whatever, but if these are experiences you’re going to want, or he’s going to want, it needs to be discussed.

Now as to marriage, I personally can not fathom why any nineteen year old would want or need to be married. Are you focusing on the marriage itself, or the wedding? Look deep into your desires and find out what it is about marriage that appeals to you so much. Marriage is both a huge thing, and it’s nothing but a bit of paper. It’s huge because it is a legally binding contract and an oath before whatever God(s) you believe in. It’s a celebration, but also a sacrifice. When you say the words “For better or for worse” you need to understand what they mean – which is roughly “No matter how badly you treat me, or what other better prospects arise for me, I’ll stay with you”. Yes, divorce does exist – but divorce is not easy, nor is it inexpensive. Marriage is serious, and hard to get out of. Marriage is selfless, it is agreeing to put the needs of someone else before your own until the day you die.

But, it’s also nothing but a piece of paper in the way that your relationship will not change significantly when you go from being common law/ De Facto partners to being married. Yes, there’s extra security there, your rights change if the other person is seriously injured and it affects your tax – but the relationship itself does not magically change and become stronger or more fulfilling just because you’re married. There is no reason to rush into marriage.

For many guys, they will not ask for their partner’s hand in marriage until they feel they are financially able to provide for that partner and any subsequent children that may result. They may feel it’s necessary to be established in their careers before they focus on a home life. So it’s likely he does want to marry you, like he has said, but for him “soon” is not the time.

My advice would be, if you both decide to give this relationship your all, to live together a year or at the very least in the same town for a year before even thinking about getting engaged, because love is not all it takes to make a marriage succeed. Go find out if you are truly compatible. In everything you do there will be the risk of getting hurt, you can not let that hold you back.
Best of luck!

Dear Miss U,

I’m finally going to meet my best-friend and on/off boyfriend of two years. We’ve been planning the trip for a long time- we’re going to an amusement park. I’m really excited to finally meet him in person!

I keep over-thinking the trip, though. I think I’ll be too nervous to act like myself around him. Do you have any suggestions for how to get over these nerves…and just be myself around him? I don’t wanna mess this up!

Thanks. :]

Frozen at the Finish Line

Hello Frozen,

I notice people have creative names today, I like it!

Talk to him about how you think you will feel and how you think you’ll react in person. Explain these fears to him, it’s likely he feels similarly.

Then when the time comes, remember to breathe, and thing before you react. Respond to him the same way you would if you were online together. If you would usually *hug* or *hold hands*, then do those things in person. If you become overwhelmed, take a time out in the washroom to gather yourself.

But I think you’ll be fine. This is your best friend. He’s not judging you, and even if it all goes horribly wrong, you have a strong foundation for your friendship so it’s likely there would be a second chance.

Wishing you all the best.

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