Dear Annie: I’m a college student and only get to see my long-distance boyfriend once every four or five weeks. We’ve been dating for more than 18 months. Assuming we stay together through grad school, we will have dated longer than six years before we have the chance to live together.
Since I haven’t spent all that much time with him, my biggest fear is that we won’t get along once we settle down. So far, the longest stretch of time we’ve spent in each other’s company is six days. What if, by the time graduation rolls around, I discover that I’ve fallen in love with the idea of my boyfriend instead of the real deal? – Undergrad
Dear Undergrad: Believe it or not, some couples don’t live together before marriage and still manage to have happy, compatible lives. But you do have a legitimate concern about how little time you’ve spent in each other’s company, and your articulation about “falling in love with love” might be accurate. So don’t make any sudden plans. If you find yourself seriously attracted to someone else, it means you aren’t ready to commit to your boyfriend. If you still want to be with him when you are no longer separated by distance, take the time to determine whether it’s the real deal. No one should feel rushed into marriage.
Dear Annie: “Uncertain and Afraid” said her husband flirts aggressively with the waitresses at the bars they frequent.
I was married for 23 years to my first husband. He was a good man, but he drank too much. We divorced. I married a second time to another drinker, but I put my foot down, saying I would leave him unless he quit. I never had a problem with my own alcohol consumption, but when he agreed to quit, I quit with him.
I would advise “Uncertain” to stop aiding and abetting her husband’s drinking problem by drinking with him, because that’s what she’s doing. – Been There