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Each relationship has own pace, style

Wed., June 16, 2010

While I’m away, readers give the advice.

On the rush to marriage: I can’t help thinking that people who really care which party proposes and is proposed to are often a long way from being ready to marry. I have seen enough pomp and circumstance to believe that anniversaries are vastly more worthy of celebration than weddings. Tying the knot means almost nothing compared to making it work for decades.

If families want to gather for the sake of gathering, I’m all for it. I just don’t like it when people in serious relationships face outside pressure to marry. –D.

On figuring out what you want and sticking to it: Early in a relationship, both parties want to make it work and will do any number of things to please. Like new employees at work, they look good for a while, but slowly their true traits show up.

Once the line you’ve drawn in a relationship has been crossed, breaking it off quickly – as much as it hurts, and as annoying as it is to get back on the dating merry-go-round – is phenomenally better than driving it further down the road into a much larger wreck.

You can be called rude, callous and cold, but not wrong. I’ve been there. – JBT

On asking dates, “Why did you get divorced?”: Early on, I prefer, “What do you value about your ex-wife/husband?” It brings on positive reflection and allows me insight into whether we have shared values. The “why” questions can come later. – B.K.

On marrying young: I really struggled with that “Will I regret getting married so young?” thing. Until, by the grace of God, I flipped the question around and asked myself: “Will I regret it if I don’t marry him?”

That answer was loud and clear. Forty-two years later, I still like him best. – C.


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