June 29, 2012 in Features

Proposing as test juvenile and cruel

Washington Post
 

Hi, Carolyn: My fiance’s close friend always complains that his girlfriend picks ridiculous fights and escalates everyday issues into big dramatic episodes. This is supposedly because she’s insecure about the relationship, but I find her a very cool, interesting person and him nice but neurotic.

Fiance’s theory is she’s erratic and craves drama and his friend is just inexperienced; my theory is they’re not compatible and need to break up, end of story.

Now Fiance tells me he advised his friend to propose as a way to “test” whether she’s truly insecure or just crazy (and then break off the engagement if it’s established that she’s just crazy). I told him I think the idea is absurd and will end badly … they will probably get married regardless.

I genuinely like this girl, and I’ve seen no signs of her alleged “crazy” behavior. Obviously I can’t tell her what they’re planning, but do I have some obligation here, or do I just wait for the impending disaster? – Meddling

You’ve got an impending disaster of your own to wait for, since it’s generally not advisable to marry the cutest guy you meet in a middle school cafeteria.

Propose to her? As a test? And if he retracts the proposal, what’s he planning to say – “Psych!”?

OK, you called the idea “absurd.” But that’s hardly strong enough. It’s not just a juvenile thing he suggested, but also breathtaking in its cruelty.

And, pardon my pragmatism at a time like this, it won’t even work. No matter what her emotional failing, be it insecurity, instability or just lousy taste in men, it won’t be magically erased by a proposal. So. Here’s one way to look at this nasty bit of business: The only one of this quartet mature enough to get married is the one who says, “Wow, anyone who could seriously entertain that idea is so not ready for marriage.”

(Do the math – no one here gets married. Psych!)


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