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Should I travel with his family?

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  July 17, 2009 10:10 AM

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I loved yesterday’s comments. Bravo.

For the record -- in case there was any confusion -- I enjoy it when significant others walk on the outside of the curb. That has nothing to do with feminism. It’s just sort of great when someone basically says, you’re curb-worthy. And I don't oppose ice cream on dates. I just want to make that clear.

This letter writer didn’t name herself so I came up with “22 in Boston.” Creative, right?

Q: I am in love with a fantastic guy I've been dating for 2 years and is amazing to me. I am crazy about him but realize that at 22, I'm young and have no clue where I'll be location wise, job wise and emotionally a year from now. Plus it's the first love for both of us so I'm unsure if that is why I am into him as much as I am, since I've never really had any prior experience. He really has become my best friend but it is getting more and more difficult to imagine my/our future.

He has invited me to join him on his family's annual thanksgiving vacation to someplace warm. His older brother brings his girlfriend every year, and they met about the same age we did. I haven't spent too much time with his family but they are a fun group although he has trouble getting along with them sometimes. I really want to go to the beach with him for a weekend but I feel that if I go on this vacation, I'll be a little out of place. Considering our age, and that we've only been dating two years, I feel this is too big of a commitment for his family to take me on their vacation. I just need a more experienced perspective really, am I over analyzing this too much? Should I spend a weekend in the sun or eating turkey with my family this thanksgiving?

-- 22 in Boston

A: 22, the issue here isn’t the vacation. I mean, people take vacations with other people’s families all the time, without the promise of marriage, without big commitments. You’ve known the guy for two years. It makes sense he’d want you along as a companion.

To me, the issue is that you have one foot out the door and you know it. You’ve basically told us that at some point sooner than later, you’re going to break-up with this fantastic guy to see what else is out there. That doesn’t make you a bad person.

What you may want to do is share this information with your fantastic guy. As you said, he’s been a great friend to you. You can return the favor by disclosing your concerns. Tell him you’d love to travel with his family but you wonder if it will give them the wrong idea. Tell him that while you fear losing him, you’re going to have to bolt at some point. Find out if he has similar plans for himself. Perhaps he does. Perhaps the holiday isn’t as meaningful to him as you think it is. Either way, it’s time for a talk about the inevitable.

I don’t think you’re over-analyzing. It just seems like you need to say the thing you don’t want to say, which is: We’re on borrowed, time, my love.

Good luck. This is why first loves are so heartbreaking.

Readers? Should she travel with him or eat her own family’s bird? Am I right to say she should put the real issue on the table? Share here. Twitter here.

-- Meredith

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156 comments so far...
  1. Mere got straight to the point on this one, "We're on borrowed, time, my love!"
    I guess there is nothing left to say.
    My advise has always been, "If you can't see yourself having kids with him or growing old with him...He is not the one!!!!"

    Posted by Lilshorty98 July 17, 09 10:26 AM
  1. This is a big difference between men and women. Men zero in when they want something and shut out other thoughts. Women recognize what they want but also simultaneously keep the peripherals in focus. I am not saying either one is bad or better - it is just how men and women work in many cases.

    That being said - I think your real dilemma is to realize that if you take Meridith's advice, the guy likely has no clue that you feel this way, or that you have a potential different future in your peripherals. It is going to likely hurt him to hear this from you. I think you really need to think about if you want to have this discussion now or not and focus solely on that. The discussion is going to hurt him whether you went on a vacation with his family or not. You mention how much you like him. I would personally cut to the chase and get the topic out there. Communication is the key to any sustainable relationship, and if nothing else, it will be good practice for future relationships.

    Posted by spaceman July 17, 09 10:30 AM
  1. Rico liked yesterdays letter too and can't understand why people ripped him for being a romantic? You all made him into a bad guy for telling his story. Rico opens doors, walks on the outside of the curb and takes his wife for ice cream and also buys the random card "just because". Rico has a soft spot for romance and hopes there are more men like him and the letter writer gave Rico hope that this is the case. And now for the current day's letter:

    Rico thinks that you probably need to see what is out there since you are already thinking about it, he also thinks there is more to this than meets the eye...so lets analyze:

    Rico wonders whether his not getting along with his family has anything to do with bringing you along on the trip? Maybe a distraction to keep him from having to deal with them? Thinking? Anyhow, you are 22 and been together 2 years, that is a long time and a short time but not short enough to say you can't travel for thanksgiving with him. If it were just turkey at the family house 30 miles from your own would that be ok? Probably. Which is why as Meredith says: You have one foot out the door.

    What are the real issues here? Are you worried you missed out on some dating? Think you just want to move away and try new things, live new places? Is he in your long term plans? Has he become just a friend and "you've lost that love and feeling"? What is really going on with you? Have you met another guy and think "wow, maybe there is something better for me"? Rico thinks your doubts are normal and that at 22 it is possible to be with the guy you could spend a life together with or he could be just a pit stop on your dating tour.

    Rico thinks if you are serious about being with him and want a life with him then you need to stop overanalyzing and figure here is a guy that wants to take your relationship to that next level. Or is he the one you want to go to that level with? Rico thinks you need to figure out who he is and who you are and decide whether you want this to go on long term or not. If not you need to end it sooner rather than later. "$hit or get off the pot". Or did you read yesterday's letter and think he sounds like a better option? :) Just kidding...Rico thinks you need to tell us more about what you see yourself as doing, what you want in life and where before we can really comment further. Does he talk future with you and you with him?

    Tell us the dynamics and what his faults are that make you question this relationship. Rico looks forward to your reply.

    Love always,

    Rico

    Gears not Gas, enjoy the weekend!!! It's gonna be a nice one...

    Posted by Rico July 17, 09 10:30 AM
  1. I think you are reading into the vacation way too much. I think you should definitely plan on going but make sure not to buy your tickets to far in advance, in case you guys split up between now and then. I think it's the kiss of death when couples plan vacations months in advance when their relationships are not exactly stable.

    His family recognizes that you are both young and that there is a chance you guys will break up in the near future. Although it is an honor to meet his family, they cannot be silly enough to hope for a summer 2010 wedding. So if you guys are still going strong in the fall then you should absolutely go with him on his Thanksgiving break vacation. If you are still nervous about interacting with his family, realize those are completely normal feelings and just let your boyfriend know to keep an eye on you to make sure you feel comfortable at all times. Bring him to your house for x-mas/hanukah.

    Posted by trueluv4eva July 17, 09 10:30 AM
  1. geez.... life is so hard. my boyfriend wants to take me on vacation and wants me to be with him on a holiday. would you like some cheese with your whine?

    anyway- two years is plenty long enough to be together to go on vacation with his family. sounds like you are trying to find a reason not to go because you dont see a future with this guy. cut him loose now if you dont see it going anywhere. some other girl will appreciate the fantastic guy.

    Posted by wake up and smell the whine July 17, 09 10:31 AM
  1. If you love this fantastic, amazing guy and he is your best friend then your future shouldnt be getting more difficult to imagine and the opposite should be happening. People always think the grass is greener and that they are missing out on something which is a falacy. You're a dummy and you need to let this fantastic, amazing guy move on while you find the lawyer douchebag from yesterdays letter.

    Posted by sexual chocolate July 17, 09 10:34 AM
  1. Meredith is right, you've got one foot out the door. You say you have a hard time seeing a future with him, so it might be overdue for a talk to figure out why you have a hard time seeing it, and if he shares the same feeling.

    I bet if you tell him that someday you'll bolt the relationship it will end at that moment, so if you really want out, just cut ties, say thank you for the good times and move on. However, if you do want to try and make it work, communicate your concerns over your relationship. then decide on the holiday.

    Posted by mike July 17, 09 10:35 AM
  1. I really like #2's explaination of men and women in relationships. Spot on.

    How much thought are you giving to the breakup? I am sure that he also doesn't know where he will be a year from now. He might be on the same page. However, thinking about your relationship in this manner will ensure you do not have a future. You never know what may happen. In a year, you could be sharing an apartment and engaged (exaggeration).

    If you love this guy as much as it sounds, relax. You don't have to picture marriage and a family just yet, (ahem, post #1) just go with the flow. Spend some time with his family. I have found that usually seeing a guy with his family makes you fall even further for him. It will be fun! I also agree that everyone involved understands the age issue and even if you do break up down the road, they will not regret bringing you with them for Thanksgiving. You really cannot predict the future, so why predict your relationship? And I must say I disagree with Rico, you do NOT need to decide if you want this for the long haul. You are only 22. Go with the flow, enjoy love, and if/when that future sneaks up on you, then decide whether he is Mr. Right.


    Posted by summa! baby bumma! July 17, 09 10:41 AM
  1. "He really has become my best friend but it is getting more and more difficult to imagine my/our future."---- That sentence pretty much says it all. You love him, as a friend. You cannot imagine your future with him because there isn't one. If he was the one for you, or you thought he was, the sentence would read "He really has become my best friend and it is getting more and more difficult to imagine my future WITHOUT him".. but you didn't say that.

    The tone of your letter suggests you know what needs to be done but don't know how to do it. My advice: gently and nicely let him go. I'm assuming he is close to your age. You both need to get out and spread your wings a bit... there is a lot neither of you have had the chance to see/experience. My mom, and probably everyone else's mom, always said that what is meant to be will always find a way. You both will find your way back to one another if it's supposed to be that way. In the mean time, live a little!

    Posted by Kathleen July 17, 09 10:42 AM
  1. I really like #2's explaination of men and women in relationships. Spot on.

    How much thought are you giving to the breakup? I am sure that he also doesn't know where he will be a year from now. He might be on the same page. However, thinking about your relationship in this manner will ensure you do not have a future. You never know what may happen. In a year, you could be sharing an apartment and engaged (exaggeration).

    If you love this guy as much as it sounds, relax. You don't have to picture marriage and a family just yet, (ahem, post #1) just go with the flow. Spend some time with his family. I have found that usually seeing a guy with his family makes you fall even further for him. It will be fun! I also agree that everyone involved understands the age issue and even if you do break up down the road, they will not regret bringing you with them for Thanksgiving. You really cannot predict the future, so why predict your relationship? And I must say I disagree with Rico, you do NOT need to decide if you want this for the long haul. You are only 22. Go with the flow, enjoy love, and if/when that future sneaks up on you, then decide whether he is Mr. Right.


    Posted by summa! baby bumma! July 17, 09 10:42 AM
  1. I really like #2's explaination of men and women in relationships. Spot on.

    How much thought are you giving to the breakup? I am sure that he also doesn't know where he will be a year from now. He might be on the same page. However, thinking about your relationship in this manner will ensure you do not have a future. You never know what may happen. In a year, you could be sharing an apartment and engaged (exaggeration).

    If you love this guy as much as it sounds, relax. You don't have to picture marriage and a family just yet, (ahem, post #1) just go with the flow. Spend some time with his family. I have found that usually seeing a guy with his family makes you fall even further for him. It will be fun! I also agree that everyone involved understands the age issue and even if you do break up down the road, they will not regret bringing you with them for Thanksgiving. You really cannot predict the future, so why predict your relationship? And I must say I disagree with Rico, you do NOT need to decide if you want this for the long haul. You are only 22. Go with the flow, enjoy love, and if/when that future sneaks up on you, then decide whether he is Mr. Right.


    Posted by summa! baby bumma! July 17, 09 10:47 AM
  1. "He really has become my best friend but it is getting more and more difficult to imagine my/our future."---- That sentence pretty much says it all. You love him, as a friend. You cannot imagine your future with him because there isn't one. If he was the one for you, or you thought he was, the sentence would read "He really has become my best friend and it is getting more and more difficult to imagine my future WITHOUT him".. but you didn't say that.

    The tone of your letter suggests you know what needs to be done but don't know how to do it. My advice: gently and nicely let him go. I'm assuming he is close to your age. You both need to get out and spread your wings a bit... there is a lot neither of you have had the chance to see/experience. My mom, and probably everyone else's mom, always said that what is meant to be will always find a way. You both will find your way back to one another if it's supposed to be that way. In the mean time, live a little!

    Posted by Kathleen July 17, 09 10:47 AM
  1. "He really has become my best friend but it is getting more and more difficult to imagine my/our future."---- That sentence pretty much says it all. You love him, as a friend. You cannot imagine your future with him because there isn't one. If he was the one for you, or you thought he was, the sentence would read "He really has become my best friend and it is getting more and more difficult to imagine my future WITHOUT him".. but you didn't say that.

    The tone of your letter suggests you know what needs to be done but don't know how to do it. My advice: gently and nicely let him go. I'm assuming he is close to your age. You both need to get out and spread your wings a bit... there is a lot neither of you have had the chance to see/experience. My mom, and probably everyone else's mom, always said that what is meant to be will always find a way. You both will find your way back to one another if it's supposed to be that way. In the mean time, live a little!

    Posted by Kathleen July 17, 09 10:48 AM
  1. I'm not sure I agree with Meredith. I was 20 when I met my husband and we moved in together after 4 years. Anything sooner than that would have been too soon. We were so young - I was sure that I loved him (and he was also my first love) but not sure about anything else in my life. I wasn't thinking in terms of permanent, long-term future - just living life and seeing what happened. To an outsider, two years sounds substantial, and I think it's reasonable for your boyfriend's family to consider you a permanent fixture at that point, but I understand why you might not see yourself that way.

    If you are in fact not sure about the relationship, you shouldn't go on the trip. But if it's just normal young-adult unsettledness, then I think you're overanalyzing. (Also, consider yourself lucky that you're invited on the trip! My family, including grandparents, cousins, etc., had annual family trips and non-married partners were not invited. My husband & I were together 12 years before we got married and everyone kept asking when we were going to get married so he could come on the trip; meanwhile, my cousin got married and divorced after only one trip with his wife! Obviously, being married or not married doesn't say anything about the strength of the relationship!)

    Posted by thosewerethedays July 17, 09 10:48 AM
  1. If you wanted to be with him, you'd be thrilled at the prospect of spending a holiday with him, the fact that it is a destination holiday is a bonus.

    To be honest, it sounds like he is good on paper and you recognize that, but nothing about your letter screams love to me. You're complaining that he wants to take you away, but that you don't want to go, that he's your first love, and maybe you are caught up on that fact, that after TWO YEARS, you feel out of place with his family and that you can't even picture your future together. So what exactly is redeeming about this relationship?

    After two years, if you don't want to spend time with his family and you not only don't see a future, but are unsure if you WANT to see a future, there are more problems than where to eat your turkey dinner.

    Sounds like you want out of the relationship, but you're contemplating waiting until he wastes more time and money taking you on a vacation. Gross.

    Posted by HBellz July 17, 09 10:48 AM
  1. The single most difficult task each of us has to face each and every day is being honest with ourselves. After reading the first paragraph of the letter, I realized that the LW is failing in this regard. She claims to be in love and crazy about a fantastic guy that is her best friend, then she drops this bomb: “it is getting more and more difficult to imagine my/our future”. WHY? That does not make any sense.

    You are either lying or withholding valuable information. Something about this guy (or better yet, how you really feel about him) is not right and you know it. Among the leading candidates to me are: 1) you don’t really “love” him in a romantic way (i.e. there’s no sexual spark / chemistry), 2) you are not comfortable with something about his physical appearance, 3) you are not comfortable with one or more of his personality flaws / quirks, 4) you are not comfortable with his family and / or friend relationships. There could be countless other possibilities, but whatever it is, you realize that there is no long term hope here. He is not the one.

    The fact that you would feel “a little out of place” on the vacation is the most telling line of your letter. You don’t feel that you are truly his girlfriend and therefore should not be brought along / hosted by his family on their Thanksgiving vacation.

    Meredith was right. Tell him that you think you are better off being friends for now. You need to get out and live your life, date other men, find yourself, etc., etc. Dragging this out any further, or going along on the family vacation as a “future wife”, will just make it that much harder and more hurtful to deal with the reality of your feelings later on.

    I validate your feelings. Your relationship / feelings for him do NOT justify you having a place at his family’s Thanksgiving table or even worse, Thanksgiving beach vacation. Cut him loose. Now.

    That’s all the time we have for today.

    - Hoss

    Posted by Hoss July 17, 09 10:51 AM
  1. Meredith I think cut right to it. As Rico was saying though...

    **it or get off the pot. If you are in this relationship, then you are in it. You go on the vacation together and you do the other things that people in a relationship do after 2 years together.

    Your problem is the thought of the vacation with his family has made you think about your future, and you've realized that you don't envision one together with him. You're likely going to break the guy's heart, but you need to tell him this.

    Posted by two sheds July 17, 09 10:51 AM
  1. 1. As Meredith said - you sound like you are ready to date other people.
    2. As such, I would not go on the family vacation and before it gets any harder to break up, I would ‘take some time off’ with your boyfriend so you can explore other dating options.
    3. My grandmother said: If you love something, set it free, if it doesn’t return, it was never meant to be, if it does…love it forever.

    Posted by LuLuLemon July 17, 09 10:53 AM
  1. Lucky #13, or HBellz, hit it on the head except for the last two sentences which were mean.

    You don't sound like a girlfriend in love at all. You sound like a woman who is dating a guy she needs to dump and try and be friends with only.

    Posted by Amazed July 17, 09 10:55 AM
  1. You've been "dating" for "only" two years? Two years is an eternity in your early 20s and it seems to be only natural that you would be an accepted and expected part of his extended family by this point. But Meredith pegged it when she said you already have one foot out the door. You're hanging on to him out of habit/security/safety blanket while you think about what your future might be (and it's apparently not with this guy. Straighten up your spine and tell him, in the words of Brad from Fast Times at Ridgemont High, that you're a single, successful woman...that you both owe it to yourselves to be free...

    Posted by urkiddinme July 17, 09 10:56 AM
  1. Typical female behavior yet again. Never satisfied. The joke about the husband store seems appropriate again for this letter. I hope that writer reposts it. I disagree with Mere though. I think it DOES make you a bad person that you have one foot out the door. You will dump this man, and then spend the rest of your life wishing you could find something like that again. Why are women never satisfied? Why do they ALWAYS want better? This man is perfect? What is wrong with you people?

    Posted by I Really Can't Stand these Selfish Broads July 17, 09 10:58 AM
  1. You have four months to Thanksgiving. If this is already distressing for you to imagine, please begin to pay attention and listen to your intuition and be honest with him. Let him go before you both hurt more by creating even more memories together. You need to do what's best for the both of you. You are envisioning more for yourself and it seems to be becoming increasingly more difficult seeing him by your side. It's painful but times fade and seasons bring love and lose love. Each time the heart breaks, the affect creates a stronger bond between yourself and survival..not to become numb but to realize all was not lost...You loved and learned and so will he. Find You.

    Posted by 22&ConfusedToo July 17, 09 10:58 AM
  1. Has anyone else noticed a pattern?

    Here we have someone who has met a great partner who is their "best friend", in their early 20s. In other Love Letters we've seen someone in their mid to late 30s saying "I got back in touch with my ex from my early 20s - he/she was like my best friend then, but I broke it up. I've always regretted this."

    Could it be that many letters come from the same person, just emailing at different stages of their life? :-)

    Posted by RozzieRat July 17, 09 11:03 AM
  1. Rico wants to add something after reading a comment saying she doesn't have to decide if this is for the long haul...AFTER 2 YEARS, YES SHE NEEDS TO DECIDE. Wasting 2 years is far too long to waste on a pit stop. If she wants to explore then go explore and let this poor guy meet a new girl that wants a lifelong commitment. Rico thinks it is only fair and the right thing to do since otherwise you will regret and always wonder what if and possibly cheat on this guy. You are already cheating him on some level by being with him for this long without thinking long term. At 22 you are young but you are not excused from doing the right thing.

    Rico thinks this man is extending this invite because he sees LONG TERM/MARRIAGE in your future so yes 2 years is a LONG TIME. Rico would hate to waste 2 years on anything, a girl, a job, etc...At 35 or 40 you will be saying things about how you only have a small timeframe left to have babies and then you'll have to look back at that 20-25 period of your life. Just read some previous letters here and think about your future, it comes fast. Rico will quote Ferris Bueller here: "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

    Rico suggests a break up/seperation from this guy till you figure out what you want with him or without him.

    Rico will be back for more in a bit, chew on that for now.

    Love always,

    Rico

    That Ferrari was Cool wasn't it?

    Rico can

    Posted by Rico July 17, 09 11:06 AM
  1. I don't think it's mean to assume she is caught up on the idea of spending a "weekend in the sun." As she would "really want to go to the beach with him for a weekend" but doesn't want to hang out with his family or think of a future together. She mentioned twice the allure of a vacation, but not once did she refer to how great it would be to spend a holiday with your boyfriend of two years.

    She says it's a committment for them to welcome her on "their vacation," no mention of them inviting her to a meal that is generally treated as a day to count your blessings and enjoy good food with those you love.

    I think (dare I say) Rico was right- Would she be so mystified if this was happening at his house down the road? Or is the allure of a little getaway making her bring that foot back over the threshold for a few more months?

    Posted by HBellz July 17, 09 11:06 AM
  1. Ahh, the naivete of youth.
    Plain and simple: life is short so live it without pretense and without too much thought. You're in love. You've been invited on an all-expenses paid vacation. Go! Just remember to bring a thank-you gift for his parents (i.e. wine and a card) and you'll be fine.

    I actually just got back from a vacation with my family and my girlfriend of less than year joined us. Does this mean that we're going to get married? Who knows. But we both had a great time, enjoyed the sun, laying together on the beach, and that is a memory that will last a lifetime even if we don't.

    Get out of your head and enjoy your life.

    Good luck!

    Posted by beachbum July 17, 09 11:07 AM
  1. Thanks for all the advice, some of it is a little hard to swallow though! I feel I need to clarify that I'm definitely certain about him in my future, the uncertainty comes from my career vs. his. We've discussed our future a lot lately and I believe we're going to end up in different states which freaks me out. I know its silly to whine about a vacation cause there are so many other important issues in the world, but its has been on my mind and I thought everyones comments would be very helpful. The main issue of the vacation is that his family is paying for it and I just feel like thats very generous since they already have lots of people to bring along. So a breakup is definitely not in my head, I definitely think we have all the right "sparks" that people look for in a relationship. Thanks again for all the help!

    Posted by "22" July 17, 09 11:07 AM
  1. When I was 22, after being with my SO for a year I was asked to go on a family vacation to Bermuda. It was a lot of fun.

    First, they need to know so they can address logistics (lodging and plane reservations). From that perspective, it's simple.

    If you have no plans to break up and there isn't anything else you haven't told us that would change the picture you've painted, then say "yes".

    If you're unsure (and you don't have to know why), want to back off a bit or think you want to end it, then say "no." If you change your mind later and there is space and it's affordable, then go. Or, say "yes", and buy your own plane ticket and make your own reservations and provide the deposit so only you experience financial loss if you don't go.

    Just be a grownup, and not be one of those tedious "former girlfriends" being sued on Judge Judy because they said yes, let the family pay for things, and then decided not to go and not restore any financial outlay by the family.

    Posted by yupokay July 17, 09 11:08 AM
  1. Two years is NOT too short a time for you to meet his family. I'm surprised you haven't met them sooner/spent more time with them. So, as far as that goes, vacationing with the family is fine.

    However, as for your future together... Exactly why are you having trouble imagining your future with him? Are you just stuck on logistics? Have you asked him if he'd be willing to move to a new city with you? Would you want him to go with you? I'm guessing you're both in college, in which case he's in the same boat. You need to talk about what happens next.

    Are you worried that if you two move in together in a new place, and thins don't work out, you'll be stuck? Well, that can always happen, and it's a risk couples take. But it isn't the end of the world if it happens. It's life.

    And maybe you just have a case of pre-graduation jitters (once again, assuming you're in college). College is a nice little, sheltered bubble where you knew what was going to happen next. Graduation means moving up to the big leagues, where the stakes are higher, or at least seem that way. It's forcing you to question, "Do I really want to move to the next level with him?" In which case, you need to think about it, but include him in the discussion. He might have the same concerns. Either way, you need to talk. If it were me, I'd be hesitant to bail on what sounds like a wonderful relationship. I'm not saying you should stay together, but you owe it him and yourself to see if you can work through your doubts.

    (A side note: Please don't think that just because you're 22 you HAVE to date other people. Generally, it's probably a good thing to have a few relationships under your belt before you get married, but breaking up with someone because you have a notion that it's something you're supposed to do based on your age seems lame. I'm not a big fan of such a rules driven approach to relationships. You really need to use both your head and your heart to decide what's best for you.)

    Posted by OK Cupid Fan July 17, 09 11:11 AM
  1. Great. Another letter writer that provides his / her own advice. "Gee, after two years together, I don't feel comfortable going on a Thanksgiving vacation with his family and I cannot even possibly imagine a future with him, what should I do?" Brilliant. What's next? "I no longer want to be in a relationship with my wife and I've gone ahead and hired a divorce attorney. What do the LL readers think I should I do now?"

    p.s. Based on yesterday's embarassing display of lonliness in the comments, I expect more pathetic, needy comments today, along the lines of "oh and by the way, when you do break up with him, can you give him my contact information..."

    Posted by Bob Dwyer July 17, 09 11:11 AM
  1. Meredith nailed it - right on. Next letter?

    p.s. Meredith, whatever happened to Cape Girl? Did she take the loser boyfriend back after he ditched her for Miss Texas? Inquiring minds want to know!

    Posted by J Bar July 17, 09 11:13 AM
  1. Umm, what? Give me a break, it's just a damned vacation. Go, or don't go. What's the big deal, people go to Spring break all the time with a bunch of people they hardly know from College. A lot of drama over NOTHING, does the LW get all flustered when trying to decide between Coke and Pepsi too???

    Posted by DudeGuyKidDudeGuy666 July 17, 09 11:15 AM
  1. I read this the other day.

    A man and his wife go to see their Rabbi. They say Rabbi you have to help us, we have 5 children and we all live in a one room house, its driving us crazy! What should we do? And the Rabbi says, here is what you do, go buy a chicken and move it in with you. So they do, and they came back and say Rabbi its even worse with the chicken! What should we do? And the Rabbi says go buy a goat, and have it move in with you. So they do, and they come back and say Rabbi it is awful, what should we do? and the Rabbi says go buy a horse and move it in with you. So they do and they come back, and say Rabbi it is the worst it has ever been, we are miserable please help us. And the Rabbi says are you ready for your solution? Move the animals out.

    If he really is as great as you say, it might be your perspective that needs to be changed and not your boyfriend.


    Posted by E July 17, 09 11:15 AM
  1. Go. Not because it's a "free" vacation, but because you honestly like this guy. You may end up being best friends in the years to come. Right now you are with him, and he wants to take you along and I say go. But... Thanksgiving is a long time from now, so if you think you may take off before then, don't string him along with hopes of being with him come Turkey Day. One thought about logistics if you do go....where did you plan to sleep? Did you guys talk about that? It could get very tacky not to mention embarrassing in front of his family. You're young. Enjoy the moment, and if you're still with him GO!!!

    Posted by vacationer July 17, 09 11:17 AM
  1. LW, I think the reason why you're so unsure about the vacation is because you consider him more of a best friend than a boyfriend at this point - you'd feel out of place because his older brother brings his GIRLFRIEND on the trip, not his best female friend.
    That being said, I agree with Meredith about disclosing your concerns - however, if you really do love him, you won't tell him "you're going to have to bolt at some point". Most people follow the cliche "you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone" - and if you do love him as much as you claim you do, you won't want to give him up so easily. Instead, since you mentioned that you're unsure about your future (both your own and yours with him), then talk to him about this uncertainty; see if he can offer any insight. Take a step back and re-examine why you're still with him; if you can think of all the reasons why you started dating him in the first place and that's why you love him, stay with him (and make sure to tell him all these reasons why you love him; it won't hurt). If it's because it's what's familiar and comfortable (and that's it), then maybe it's time for you to move on.

    Posted by Jenn July 17, 09 11:18 AM
  1. Hey 22 year old knucklehead - you're in love with him, you're crazy about him....

    You're only 22 fer crissakes. Go gorge yourself on turkey and lie on the beach for a few days. Enjoy yourself with your "best friend" and stop making up crap to worry about. My God.

    Posted by bohica July 17, 09 11:19 AM
  1. To quote Tom Petty... Good love is hard to find, you got lucky baby.

    Like Meghan says, you sound like you already know you are going to break up with him, despite the fact that you seem to know that he's great...

    ... you are going to regret this, probably for the rest of your life.

    Posted by monkeycaller July 17, 09 11:23 AM
  1. This has less to do with your relationship with your boyfriend than the fact that you are probably just a little shy and nervous about spending time away with his family.
    After two years together, don't worry. Go have fun and don't read so much into it.
    Besides, this is New England. Who wouldn't want to be someplace warm in November?

    DrK

    Posted by DrK July 17, 09 11:23 AM
  1. Rico "hopes there are more men like him"...

    Get a grip, dude. Taking time out of your eternal job search to write marginally-articulate observations on gossip columns doesn't make you a celebrity. In fact, you should ponder the difference between the person who enters a room and quietly COMMANDS attention, and the one who acts like an ass to GET attention.

    Posted by td July 17, 09 11:25 AM
  1. To # 19-- Bitter, party of one? Your table is ready!

    Posted by KitKat July 17, 09 11:27 AM
  1. Oh...and Rico,
    You have no idea what you are talking about. There is no make or break dilema here, just a nervous kid who needs to grow up a little. She's very lucky to have a nice relationship with a nice boy.

    DrK

    Posted by DrK July 17, 09 11:28 AM
  1. In regards to #28: sometimes, people don't trust their instincts, so they seek outside advice, even if it seems like their mind is already made up.
    Also, what's more EMBARRASSING than the comments displaying LONELINESS yesterday is your inability to spell. Crack open one of your books from the third grade, and then you can comment on what others say.

    Posted by bitter bob dwyer July 17, 09 11:29 AM
  1. Based on 22's follow up (Comment #25), I revise my advise:

    1. Say you'll go on the vacation, but insist that you will pay your own way.

    2.. Google the word 'Contradiction'. Read the definition. Ponder over it for 24 hours. You are a walking, talking contradiction.

    3. Don't post any more follow up comments. We've heard enough to know you are annoying and won't take advice anyway.

    - Hoss

    Posted by Hoss July 17, 09 11:30 AM
  1. Going by your last reply, just go and have fun. If you end up in different states next year due to careers, then so be it. You'll either make sacrifices to stay together when the time comes or you wont and you'll move on. Try not to let it affect your relationship and happiness now because the future is uncertain and the stronger your relationship is before being separated by distance, the better your chances of success are afterwards.

    Posted by sexual chocolate July 17, 09 11:30 AM
  1. I was on the other side of a similar situation. Many years ago, I knew my girlfriend wasn't sure about our future after 1 year of dating. She had the decency to tell me this but we continued dating. Predictably (in hindsight), she eventually met someone new and left the relationship. I can't say I wasn't warned and the break-up was tough to take. The good news is, it has now been 15 years, and we have maintained out separate ways but are each now in happy, long-term, relationships. Moral of the story? I have always respected my ex and we are good friends to this day. If you tell him now, there is a good chance that he too will respect you for your honesty. After all, respect is what counts in the end.

    Posted by Seen the other side July 17, 09 11:31 AM
  1. This isn’t a love matter, it’s a legal matter. 22iB, I think you’re ambivalent because his family is pressuring you to make up your mind so they can get the best deal on the flight. If you make your mind up to go, right now – like today – the amount they’ll end up bringing you to small claims court for when you back out is pretty negligible. Probably like $300, tops. But if you wait any longer, the price of the direct flight is going to rise to $980, and well, you’re 22. That’s a lot of money.

    I say cut your losses and stay home and enjoy your own dysfunctional family (this isn’t a reflection on you – everyone’s family is dysfunctional, and any holiday featuring turkey, wine and cranberry sauce brings out the best dysfunction in all of us). Or if you decide to go, insist on paying for the ticket yourself, and pay for it by check, not cash. Keep a copy of the check on hand, just in case.

    I know, the beach in November is tempting, especially considering the kind of summer we’ve had in New England. But I don’t think it’s worth a day in court and all the lost wages. You’ve got better things to do, like deciding between a move to Boulder or San Francisco. Or maybe Austin, which I hear is pretty nice all year round.

    One more word of advice: don’t write into LL if you aren’t prepared to swallow a lot of weird and wacky advice. There’s very little for us to do this time of year, and we need an outlet. Also, Meredith, where’s the audio link you promised?

    Posted by Sally July 17, 09 11:33 AM
  1. MAN..Are you in for a rude awakening!!! why does everyone think the grass is greener??....let me tell you...it isnt...if your in love with a great guy..and things are great....Good luck finding that after you dump him, so you can grow up...
    Just ridiculous!! I sure hope this guy does better than you next time!

    Posted by Realitycalling July 17, 09 11:33 AM
  1. You do have one foot out the door but I don't think it makes you a bad person either. You have to move on now and expand your horizons a bit. You have this desire to live a little and you need to do it because even if this guy is the guy for you I doubt you could "make it work" and try address these feelings while in the relationship. You have already told us that you don't plan on being with this guy even if you don't realize that is what you wrote. That said, even though this is likely the right choice for you it does not mean you won't regret it someday. You may live a little, mature a bit and realize this guy was what you wanted all along. He may have long moved on by then but that is the risk you have to take- I don't think it will work as is anyway. Be kind to him...try to stay friends..see what happens.

    Posted by take it or leave it July 17, 09 11:33 AM
  1. When you say you can't imagine your future, are you saying you do not see a future with him, or are you saying that you simply can't visualize it? If it is the latter, perhaps it is time for some open and honestly communication with your guy. "Try saying "I am not pushing for our future to be one way or another, and I am absolutely not looking for a commitment, but I thought we might want to talk and explore what we are looking for in the future. That discussion might be mighty enlightening!

    Posted by merilisa July 17, 09 11:35 AM
  1. RE: "22"'s update that she does indeed have all the "sparks" for a good relationship. Then why are you wasting our freaking time with this *wah*I don't want his parents to pay for me* bullcrap?!

    And another thing, LOVE is like anything in your life: careers come and go but if you LOVE someone then you or he will compromise and be able to live in the same place. YOU both WILL make it happen!

    Case closed. Next friggin' letter PUHLEEEASE!

    Posted by Amazed (and disgusted) July 17, 09 11:36 AM
  1. I got a different take than Meredith & I usually agree with her. I don’t get the impression you plan to break up w/ him b/c you say “my/our future”… more like you don’t know – and that’s fine!!! kudos to you for being aware, that while yes, everything seems great – you ARE only 22 & still have some growing/figuring out to do. I say, GO ON VACATION w/ them. Let him know, you feel a bit uneasy if that makes you feel better. Spending extended time with him/his family may help you realize one way or the other if you see yourself as part of his family in the future.

    Posted by polly July 17, 09 11:42 AM
  1. Rico just read yoru response and will just add this:

    Rico thinks you are foolish, stupid, annoying and a whiny lying waste of time.

    Rico thinks this because after reading the letter and yoru response you have no intention of being with this man for the long term. IF you thought so you would figure out a way that you can be together in the same state. What could you both do that takes you to different states to get jobs? They don't have finance and medicine in the same state? Or garbage collection and teaching? How about you start being realistic and realize love has no boundaries and if you are truly to be together you will find a way for it to work. All you have said is how it won't work. Rico suggests you don't bother writing back at this point unless you can be 100% honest with yourself and the readers. You are wasting our time and 2 minutes is too long to waste on someone like you. Write back at 39 when your clock is ticking loud and clear and the men are all bad and life has been bad to you.

    Rico can't stand cheaters but dislikes whiny liars even more.

    Rico is finished for today, way too upset to go on trying to help the helpless. Rico would rather be enjoying this great weather than wasting his time on you. Off to the bike!!!

    Love always,

    Rico

    A dumb letter got dumber with the response...go figure?

    Barefoot in the grass beats shoes in the cube

    Posted by Rico July 17, 09 11:43 AM
  1. "the uncertainty comes from my career vs. his. We've discussed our future a lot lately and I believe we're going to end up in different states which freaks me out. "

    Ok, I really need to know what jobs are confined to a specifc state in this global economy. State worker? Toll collector?

    You're telling me that there is no state in this country in which you both could find employment in the careers that you've chosen and so firmly established at the age of 22....

    Stop making excuses. You just don't see yourself with this guy long term.

    This is almost too inane to try to decipher even on a Friday. The end of the world is near.

    Posted by Hadie Nuff July 17, 09 11:45 AM
  1. basically you want to play the field of d*cks and will potentially sacrifice a great guy for this. No Harm No Foul....just be upfront with him before so he can find another great girl and take her on that awesome vaca.

    Posted by SoxSupporter July 17, 09 11:45 AM
  1. OK, so it just sounds like you're worried more about logistics than him. In which case: go on the family vacation. And try not to be hung up on who pays for it. His parents are offering - obviously they have no problem with it. If you feel uncomfortable, I would mention that to you boyfriend first. If he tells you it's ok and you shouldn't wory about it, don't! Just be sure to bring a thank you gift for the parents and write them a nice thank you note after the vacation.

    If you really want to pay your own way, I'd be careful in approaching it. I would tell them you'd be happy to pay your own way, but don't force the issue. Some people, and maybe not his parents, but some people actually get offended if you turn down an offer like this. If they insist on paying for you, accept it graciously.

    Posted by OK Cupid Fan July 17, 09 11:56 AM
  1. Only been together 2 years? Really, that's a short term relationship to you. Be honest with the guy, and as much as everyone hates it, definitely just let him know you're not mature enough to remain in the relationship, because everything in you letter states as much, I think you are making way to big a deal about a nice offer, though, but he's better off knowing you don't see a future with him in that way sooner rather than later.

    Posted by joe bob July 17, 09 11:56 AM
  1. Rico, nobody ripped yesterday's letter-writer for being a romantic. They ripped him for being insincere and indiscriminate. Pouring on the romance (and I mean romance, not common courtesy) with someone still getting to know you will most likely scare them off. I guarantee that if you make goo-goo eyes and try to hold hands and recite poetry to someone on a first date when you barely know each other, that person will, 99% of the time, feel really uncomfortable and turned off. First, confirm the person likes you and that you like them. Then, pour on the romance.

    Now, to today's LW. If you don't plan to break up with him, take the vacation and count your blessings.

    Posted by bostowyo July 17, 09 11:56 AM
  1. 22 Go on the vacation - on their dime - drink, eat, fart, and be merry - cast-off any and all regrets and insecurities you’re dragging w\you before you start splashing in the surf.
    Life will present meaningful trials and tribulations, if you get to live a long life - if not - hey, just genuinely smile and genuinely laugh as much as you can, while you can.
    There will come a time, perhaps, when you’ll be in a position to return the displayed gesture of kindness to him, them, some stranger or maybe not.
    t

    Posted by twocents July 17, 09 12:00 PM
  1. Don't go.

    You are just leading him on. There is never a right time to break up with someone. Do it now so he can move on and be with someone that loves him and wants a future with him. It took me 5 years to end my relationship like this. It was a waste of time for both of us. If you are giving this much thought to a vacation, you need to look at the underlying issues.

    Posted by T July 17, 09 12:02 PM
  1. People chill out - she's only 22 YEARS OLD!! She just graduated from college during the Great Depression, I would be freaking out about my future too. She doesn't need to break up with him because she's scared, that's throwing the baby out with the bath water as my dad used to say.

    Posted by trueluv4eva July 17, 09 12:04 PM
  1. #42 - Hoss. I typically don't agree with you, but you nailed it. I don't want to sound mean, but "22", you are totally confused. You don't know what you want, and you don't even know what advice you are looking for...

    Posted by LuLuLemon July 17, 09 12:05 PM
  1. Dear 22, if you want him in your future and you in his, career choices should and can be flexible. One of you can bend a bit if you really love each over. If you choose a job over love, you'll regret it in the future. A job pays the rent, but what about coming home to an empty apartment at the end of the day?
    If his family has some money, its' probably no big deal to them. They want to make their son happy. Just show your appreciation. Some sort of gift would be nice, maybe a bottle of good champagne!

    Posted by JohnB July 17, 09 12:08 PM
  1. Twenty-two years old AND NOT READY TO SETTLE DOWN WITH GREAT GUY?

    I can't imagine a 22-year-old who isn't ready to settle down. It boggles the mind.

    /sarcasm

    I'm with Meredith on this one. And no, I don't think there is anything wrong with a twenty-two-year-old who's never really been with anyone else or experience life to have second thoughts after being in a relationship for two years. Jeez. She sticks with him and marries him, she'll be ditching him in her mid-thirties or forties because she'll always wonder what could have been. And then he'll be on message boards posting about selfish broads and tagging young chicks (as. *if*.) and generally buying a ticket to the bittertrain.

    It's not the regency era--you don't have to get married or commit asap, and it's even OKAY to walk away. Even if you're a woman. Especially if you're all of twenty-two. Sheesh.

    Posted by PM July 17, 09 12:08 PM
  1. I remember my first love. At 22, I had so much to figure out about my life I didn't have space to develop something real and committed. And in my world (at that age), spending a holiday with someone else's family was a commitment to the relationship.

    Thanksgiving is my favorite family holiday. I really regretted spending it with my then-boyfriend's family - as nice as they were, they just were not MY family. Now that I am older (I am 40), each sibling has thankgiving with other side of the family so we don't get together as a group anymore.

    I would tell him 'not this year'.

    I don't think you need to have the heart to heart about one foot out the door just yet - that feel like a rejection to him and he might reject you right back. That could snowball into a breakup before either of you are ready to let go....first loves can end well, too.

    Posted by older and wiser July 17, 09 12:10 PM
  1. Meredith is on a streak of great advice. This breakup is going to hurt like nothing you have ever experienced but you'll bounce back in time. So stop wasting time stringing this along and avoiding the inevitable. The faster you get this over with the sooner you can start living the new you.

    Posted by Darwin July 17, 09 12:10 PM
  1. Go and have fun.

    You won't even be dating him a year from now...so what do you have to lose.

    Enjoy the moment

    Posted by Sarah July 17, 09 12:12 PM
  1. Is 22 too young to think of settling down?

    Posted by waitingfortheweekend July 17, 09 12:16 PM
  1. Ok - so you don't want to break up with him? You are only nervous about your careers?

    Oh my ... I change my previous advice now as well.

    GO ON THE VACATION - have a fabulous time - and stop over analyzing. They wouldn't invite you if they couldn't afford to take you.

    Posted by T July 17, 09 12:17 PM
  1. I remember my first love. At 22, I had so much to figure out about my life I didn't have space to develop something real and committed. And in my world (at that age), spending a holiday with someone else's family was a commitment to the relationship.

    Thanksgiving is my favorite family holiday. I really regretted spending it with my then-boyfriend's family - as nice as they were, they just were not MY family. Now that I am older (I am 40), each sibling has thankgiving with other side of the family so we don't get together as a group anymore.

    I would tell him 'not this year'.

    I don't think you need to have the heart to heart about one foot out the door just yet - that feel like a rejection to him and he might reject you right back. That could snowball into a breakup before either of you are ready to let go....first loves can end well, too.

    Posted by older and wiser July 17, 09 12:23 PM
  1. The letter writer's original question and the follow-up contradict each other. I will take the question as the truth - that you are not ready to settle down with this guy. You want to explore what's out there. You are also hoping to keep him around in some fashion in th future while your are exploring, just in case the other pasture turns out to be yellow.

    Do the right thing - cut him loose now.

    Posted by letHimGo July 17, 09 12:24 PM
  1. You already do not see yourself with this guy for the long term or you wouldn't be asking this question. You need to break up with him, it will hurt, your are going to break his heart. You will date some guys and in a few years you will probably be looking for someone just like him. You're just not at the point in your life yet. You can't stay with him because you will always be wondering what is out there and until you get out there and date a few guys you won't realize that you should have stayed with him. And if he is happily married at this point, stay away, don't ruin his life twice.

    Posted by pbr July 17, 09 12:32 PM
  1. @19. - No it is not about "Typical female behavior yet again. Never satisfied.". It is about TYPICAL AMERICAN BEHAVIOR. NEVER SATISFIED.

    Posted by indiglodoe July 17, 09 12:35 PM
  1. "I am crazy about him but realize that at 22, I'm young and have no clue where I'll be location wise, job wise and emotionally a year from now"

    First things first - GROW UP
    Second thing - you need to have a plan for your life. Both long term and short term. Shame on you for being 22 years old and not know where you are going to be a year from now?
    At 22 years old I was engaged to be married and preparing for the future.

    If the true problem is you do not want his parents footing the bill for the vacation, make it clear you would love to go, but you wish to pay your own way.
    If your problem is you don't think he is the one, let him know and move on.
    You only live once. You will only be in your twenties once.
    Stop complaining about nothing and start living.

    Posted by 42Giants July 17, 09 12:36 PM
  1. Please immediately remove post 30 "Joey from the Hood" comment. It's inappropriate and does not belong where children can read this. He sounds like a pervert predator.

    Posted by ConcernedParent July 17, 09 12:45 PM
  1. I absolutely agree with #49!!!

    Posted by Robin July 17, 09 12:47 PM
  1. I think the problem here is that this girl is trying to schedule out her entire life instead of living during the moment.

    She is planning the "next step", all while throwing aside the present. She has a great thing going with a great guy, and she wants to throw it away.

    Well, when she finally takes that "next step", she'll have another next step. And then another next step.

    Just go with him on vacation if you love him. What are you so afraid of? You're young, but so what? Love isn't practical.

    Posted by Mikey "Insane" Monkeypants July 17, 09 12:54 PM
  1. I've always been of the opinion that most people who ask for advice know the answer, but they don't want to hear it. I think if she reads her own letter and pays attention to all of the qualifications that she's put into it, she knows the answer. The relationship looks good on paper, but in reality it's not the one. It doesn't make you a bad person to be realizing this now. But now that you know, you need to do something about. Period.

    Posted by CJnBoston July 17, 09 12:55 PM
  1. Overall Comments for Meredith:

    Could we have letters from 30+ for a while? The ones from the kids <25 are sweet, but are not challenging. Is there a Junior Love Letters that can be created for them?

    Also, would it be possible to screen these? There are a lot of vicious, misogynistic respondents and vile porno like comments. Creative conflict and serious debate for a public site available to all is OK, but it appears as if some therapy group dealing with damaged men who have serious problems with women has suggested this as an outlet.

    Posted by ResponsibleAdultonHereNeeded July 17, 09 12:56 PM
  1. Number 22,

    Don't sweat the "career". Seriously, just enjoy who you are with and you'll make it work. Young people put too much emphasis on career. A career is nice, and most people have them, but as I've moved out of my early 20's to my late 20's, I've realized that you make your career fit who you are, not the other way around.

    If the career isn't fitting in with my way of life, maybe it's time for a career change. I'm sure whatever both of you are doing, you can find a way to make it work., Stop worrying so much about the future and just have a good time right now. Life is too short for this kind of petty stuff.


    Posted by Mikey "Insane" Monkeypants July 17, 09 01:04 PM
  1. When did Hoss become so bitter and hateful. Is it his style now to belittle and insult every person that posts? I used to enjoy your comments but now you just seem like a donkey.

    Posted by Tired of angry people July 17, 09 01:05 PM
  1. Go. If his family is paying, go with flying colors.

    You obviously care about him and will enjoy the trip, he will enjoy your company. You're young. Go.

    Posted by qwerty July 17, 09 01:05 PM
  1. Hoss hit it on the head again. Nice comeback after yesterday's mediocre performance.

    I'm at a loss for words - 22 needs to get her head straight, but at what cost? The one that could end up being her long, lost love if she doesn't stop reading fairy tale BS shenanigans that everyone else around her age gets caught up in.

    Lastly, GO on the vacation - there is nothing remotely significant about it. it's a time around November to relax with family. If someone else is paying - WHY THE F NOT? I thought so. Rico would approve.

    Until next time, good luck - God Bless us all.

    Posted by TheRevHortonHeat July 17, 09 01:06 PM
  1. I don't think going on vacation with his family implies impending marriage but it does imply that you two are "serious" about each other. My future husband and I went to a family reunion of his after dating one year in college, and we had no plans to marry at the time. I enjoyed meeting his family, and it gave me a fuller sense of who he was, too.
    So, think through what you want with him. If a long term future together seems possible (even if not immediate), then go and have a great time. Let things unfold, see where things go in this relationship. No pressure.
    But if you are certain that there is no long term future with him, then it's time to let him know about it soon--kindly and honestly.
    Good luck either way!

    Posted by 40 in Boston July 17, 09 01:09 PM
  1. I think Meredith knocked this one out of the park. After two years, you've probably (and should have!) met his family, and know them, and feel comfortable around them. You've probably also taken a weekend trip or two. Why would going on this trip be such an issue if you didn't have another feeling about your relationship.

    Your relationship has an expiration date.

    Posted by mz July 17, 09 01:10 PM
  1. DELETE NUMBER 32'S COMMENT! Joey from the hood - it's disgusting and inappropriate!

    Posted by YOU PIG! July 17, 09 01:15 PM
  1. Meredith hit it on the nose here as usual. It has nothing to do with the vacation, family, etc. It has to do with the fact that she's young and needs to explore, experience, sow her oats so to speak. She's using the vacation as an out imo.

    Posted by Flash July 17, 09 01:15 PM
  1. First and foremost you're 22 years old. Break up with him, travel the world and find out who you are. Otherwise you'll wind up in your mid-thirties wondering what the hell happened....like me. Take some time to get to know yourself and live dammit.

    Posted by Wally July 17, 09 01:19 PM
  1. 22, first congratulations on thinking ahead to the future and not completely living in the moment.. It sounds like you don't feel comfortable going on this family vacation because to you it signals a change in your current relationship status from 'just dating' to something more serious like 'pre-engagement'. Thank your boyfriend politely and decline. Spend the holidays with your own family. The fact is that you are young and don't see a future with him right now. That's OK. I suspect if you do go, you'll be stressed about the whole commitment thing. I came from a family where we didn't randomly invite our significant other du jour to holiday or family gatherings unless the relationship was very serious. In my entire life my parents only met 2 of my boyfriends. Now, I dated loads of guys in my 20s, I just never introduced them to the family, lest the family believe an engagement was imminent and start reserving the Knights of Columbus Hall in Charlestown for a June wedding with cold cuts and potato salad from Johnnie's and an evening of the chicken dance polka!
    ; < )
    Some people are raised differently and parade their squeeze of the week in and out of their parents' homes. We weren't raised that way. Just decide what your comfort level is with this. Enjoy your youth-it's fleeting. And on the fabulous holiday in the sun, there will be plenty of other opportuntities for beach blanket bingo in the future with "the One".
    BTW-I married BF#2 in an August wedding in a castle by the sea-no cold cuts or chicken dancing! Whew!


    Posted by Last one in is a rotten egg July 17, 09 01:21 PM
  1. You sound like a sweet girl. Don't over analyze this. Go and have fun and don't think about the commitments sides of things. I used to go on family vacations with my ex from college and vice versa. First loves are great but can be painful esp. when "up the ante" so to speak.. Good luck and just have fun.. OK.

    Posted by Paul from Wellesley July 17, 09 01:21 PM
  1. Honestly tell us what's wrong with this guy:

    He doesn't make you grilled cheese sandwiches?

    He works 40 hours a week and doesn't care who walks next to the curb?

    He can't handle you / didn't appreciate you testing the merchandise?

    He went on vacation on the Cape for three days last month with a girl from Texas?

    He wakes, he bakes?

    He stares at his co-workers all day long?

    He is afraid to go to Boston Common by himself with a blanket and a book and strike up conversations with others for fear of being rejected?

    Posted by the gHOSSt of love letter's past July 17, 09 01:23 PM
  1. Rico, again I respectfully disagree. I'm sorry. I don't think she would view this as a "pit stop" or "wasting time". It is a part of everyone's life to have a long-term relationship. Some work out and end in marriage, other don't. That doesn't mean that it was a waste. It was a valuable learning expericen and chance for growth To those who were engaged and/or married at 22, that IS young. She does NOT have to be decided about the future just yet! Yes, she can see herself with him but that doesn't mean she should be expecting a ring anytime soon. And by the same token, I doubt he is planning out their wedding just because he invited her on the vacation. Why so serious?!

    I agree with #77. Live in the moment and STOP worrying about EVERYTHING. Also Rico, I see that most of your advice is to just break it off the second there is any hint of a doubt about the relationship/person/pet that they own. Everyone has doubts about everything. It is normal and doesn't mean things need to be ended ASAP.


    Posted by summa! baby bumma! July 17, 09 01:24 PM
  1. Overall Comments for Meredith:

    Please totally IGNORE "ResponsibleAdultonHereNeeded"...

    YOU picked a good letter. The LW was a dipstick which you have no control over.

    Sheesh...

    In other words, keep up the good work M!


    Posted by Amazed July 17, 09 01:30 PM
  1. Rico was right! Waste of time and a waste of 2 years.

    #75 Children are reading this? yeah, a 22 year old child :)

    "Dude, if you're here and I'm here doesn't that make this our time?" Spiccoli

    Posted by Drk is an idiot and not a real Dr July 17, 09 01:34 PM
  1. you've got to be kidding me meredith. she's got a few vague feelings of unease because she's only been in love once, and you're telling her to throw in the towel?

    Posted by Gerry C July 17, 09 01:40 PM
  1. Personally, I think meredith's comments are a little off today, but of course worth considering.

    My perspective as a 40 year old guy

    you're overanalyzing this and overthinking it. And attributing too much meaning to the vacation. Going on vacation with your boyfriend of 2 years who you're "totally into" (your words I believe) does not imply that you are getting engaged or owe them anything. It's just a normal part of being human and having companionship to invite people you find fun on your vacations with you, which he has done.

    As to the theoretical problem of ending up in different states--you have no clear prospects that this is going to happen, yet you're ready to nix a good relationship based upon what theoretically might happen in the future? It doesn't sound like you have a standing job offer in California or whatever to me. And if you did, maybe he'd like to move there too. I'd say get clear on whether you actually want to be with him or not, and work out the logistics together if they are" work-outable." (not a word, I know!) and you aer really enjoying your relationship with him.

    And go on the vacation and enjoy it is my advice. To most more experienced adults, the vaca would not be a big deal and doesn't lock you in to anything whatsoever--it's just a vacation. And you've known each other for two years--that's a long time. Get comfortable spending time with your boyfriend's family (whichever boyfriend you have) because that's life and it's pretty normal.

    BTW, I've been on family vacation with women I've only been dating for a little over a month. She invited, I accepted, and we had a great (and interesting) time with her family. So really I think you're fine here, just enjoy the vaca and figure out the rest later.

    Posted by steve in w ma July 17, 09 01:41 PM
  1. Doesn't sound like you're truly in love. You should use this opportunity to see if you could handle a family gathering like this, especially since there will be an expectation every year of an extended visit / vaca with the in-laws. You sound young (which isn't a bad thing) and not ready for prime time (long term relationship). Don't lead kid on with solo trip .. got to tell him the truth.

    Posted by 1time July 17, 09 01:47 PM
  1. "I am crazy about him but realize that at 22, I'm young and have no clue where I'll be location wise, job wise and emotionally a year from now. Plus it's the first love for both of us so I'm unsure if that is why I am into him as much as I am, since I've never really had any prior experience."
    Hey, first love can be real love. We have a culture that has convinced us that we need lots of "experience" before picking a partner. Well look at all the good that does people! You've got something great right now and for some reason a part of you is trying to convince you that it's a good idea to throw it away, and for imaginary, nonexistent, and theoretical reasons instead of actual, present, and current reasons.

    Best thing would be to quiet those voices down and live more in what's happenig now instead of what "might" happen in 5 years.
    You've got something great but you don't want to believe it.

    You are making use your brain right now to convince yourself that what is real, your boyfriend that you are "crazy about", is not valid. That is not what I would consider a good or valid use of intellect. As to not knowing why you are into him as much as you are--FYI, *nobody* knows why they are into that special person, because it is not a rational process that makes you feel that way. You don't decide to like someone based on their attributes, you just like them, is my experience. If that feeling isn't there, your brain can't create it based upon a list of "qualities and attributes".

    Posted by steve in W MA July 17, 09 01:51 PM
  1. Rico, for heaven's sake. It's not you've lost that "love and feeling" it's "You've lost that loving feeling." If you're gonna quote an R&B classic, at least get it right. Lyric-checking is one reason God created Google.

    Posted by Kate's Nonna July 17, 09 01:52 PM
  1. Doesn't sound like you're truly in love. You should use this opportunity to see if you could handle a family gathering like this, especially since there will be an expectation every year of an extended visit / vaca with the in-laws. You sound young (which isn't a bad thing) and not ready for prime time (long term relationship). Don't lead kid on with solo trip .. got to tell him the truth.

    Posted by 1time July 17, 09 01:57 PM
  1. Lighten up #79!! That's what makes this fun.. I think people can distinguish between real comments and sarcasism

    Posted by Paul from Wellesley July 17, 09 02:01 PM
  1. Oddly enough, I immediately thought of the 'husband store' joke as well. The follow-up was also contradictory as well. The thing is this: 22, if you are unsure (as in the letter) do him a favor and cut him loose, now, and don't waste any more of hist time keeping him around until something better comes along. If, as in the follow-up, you think everything is there for a relationship, then stop freaking out about him being in 1 state and you being in another. A lot may happen b/w now and then.

    But whatever you do, don't dump Mr. Fantastic, go out and get used up by losers and wind up bitter and effed in the head, and them come back and fret about "what could have been?" B/C, at that point, it will have been All Your Fault.

    Posted by Anonymous July 17, 09 02:03 PM
  1. Relax!!!! Go and have fun. Bottom line. You are with him now and you are happy now. Who expects you know if you're going to be together forever at 22. If the parents couldn't afford to invite you to go along they would't. Graciously accept and go. You'll regret it if you don't. It's not everyday someone get this type of opportunity.

    Posted by bgcomreader July 17, 09 02:12 PM
  1. 22,

    Thanks for the follow-up. So, when you said you couldn't envision a future together you were talking purely about logistics?

    Unless you fairly certain you are about to break-up, just go on the vacation. Unless you have announced an engagement, what his parent's think isn't your responsibility. You can offer to pay if you want, but don't make a big deal about it.

    I still think the real issue still isn't the vacation, it's about your future together. Unlike other commentators, I know how hard it can be to find a job in the same location as someone else. This is such a common problem in my field, we even have a term for it: "the two-body problem." (It's a nerdy inside joke).

    Usually this problem can be solved through patience or through making a sacrifice. So, if you two want to stay together, why aren't you working on finding a solution? It sounds like at 22 neither of you are willing to make a sacrifice to stay together.

    You need to discuss with your boyfriend your future. If you want a future together, you need to discuss how you are going to have a future together. Realistically, you need to think about what sacrifices you and he would be willing to make. It can be tough, and it might not be exactly want either of you wants career-wise. If you really want to be together, though, you can make it work. If you aren't sure if you want to be together, then it is really easy to let this be the end of the relationship.

    You might need to be apart temporarily. I've seen that work, as long as the duration isn't too long, you are close enough for frequent visits, and there's a definite end in sight.

    Posted by two sheds July 17, 09 02:15 PM
  1. Why are so many people acting like, at 22, this girl has to be committed for life to this guy if she goes on a vacation with him and his family??? That's totally insane. She's 22, I presume he's about the same age; she can go with him as his girlfriend, it'll probably be a lot of fun and they'll always have good memories of it, whether they break up 3 months later or 10 years later or never. I think people underestimate and/or forget how young you are at 22, and how much growing you have left to do. As she says in her follow-up, she sees the possibility of their careers taking them in different directions in the future. If that happens down the road, I think she'll only be happier having been a part of his family during the time they had.

    p.s. No one HAS to get married! Ever!

    Posted by l'italiana July 17, 09 02:17 PM
  1. Double Deuces:
    So…you’re bangatating this guy for 2 years and you want to know if you should come away on Thanksgiving with his family after waxing his cannon. I think it’s their way of giving thanks for giving their son an advanced degree in stuffing the turkey. Let’s calm down a bit. You guys are 22. This is the time to make mistakes. And what better way to do it than in the sun? In 10 years you’re going to be stuck somewhere in Haverhill with a brood of 3 and a controlling husband just hating that you have to go to Auntie Cleo and Uncle Phil’s for Turkey Nuggets and Tater Tots. When you do, you can think back on the time you were free to hang the moon on a tropical beach instead of getting tied up like Pocahontas to a rock in New England in late No-freakin’-vember. I absolve you of all selfishness and grant you the strength to fly without guilt…. (Unless you’re Jewish like me and welcome the guilt).

    Posted by valentino July 17, 09 02:24 PM
  1. I want to also add, that this whole thing also sounds like standard relationship indecision. You know that all of this is the next step/level, and it's not something you are ready for. As soon as you start planning your careers around someone, it's serious. One step away from engagement, serious. If you don't plan your careers around each other, your relationship has an expiration date. This isn't a decision you want to make right now, but those are the cards you have been dealt. The vacation thing is just pointing this into focus.

    Posted by two sheds July 17, 09 02:26 PM
  1. Going to have fun with him and his family "someplace warm" doesn't mean you're obligated to have a future with him. Gheesh...you're in love with him NOW and this is what couples in love do....vacation, spend time with each other's families, etc. No one can predict the future...which is why he's not asking you to spend the next 10 Thanksgivings with him, but THIS Thanksgiving. Is it the length of time that worries you? Like, are they going for 2 weeks, or are we talking an extended weekend? I'm 39 and when I was in my early 20's, I was "in love" too and my boyfriend at the time flew out to CA with me a few times to spend holidays with my family, and I went to his family's many times and had holidays with them. We didn't end up getting married and went our separate ways, but we enjoyed our time together when we were in love and getting to spend time withour famiies is part of that. In fact, I'm still in touch with his family as they truly became like a 2nd familiy to me. Now, if you really don't feel comfortable (as it seems since you're writing this letter), then just don't go, but I hope you have a better reason than not knowing where you see yourself in the future because Newsflash...no one knows what their future looks like, all we have is TODAY and lessons learned from the past. So, either you want to spend time with this guy you claim you're "in love" with for the holidays, or you don't. Whichever you feel, own it, and be honest...with him and yourself.

    Posted by bklynmom July 17, 09 02:31 PM
  1. I was going to say, "quit whining and just go already," but then I read "older and wiser's" comments and they are just right. Perfect response, "not this year." Spend Thanksgiving with your own family, have a wonderful time, and keep doing what you are doing about the boyfriend. I applaud you for giving this so much thought and not just playing along with everything. This kind of thoughtfulness will serve you well as you mature into other relationships, or as this relationship evolves.

    (I also agree with the posters who are concerned about vile and/or offensive posts. By and large, I've been impressed with all of my fellow posters, even when we disagree. I think most are being sincere and I enjoy the dialogue, if you will. But the obviously offensive posts, with no real value except to shock and upset, should be screened. Just my thoughts.)

    Posted by Jetta July 17, 09 02:32 PM
  1. 79) Get over yourself.

    Posted by Darwin July 17, 09 02:43 PM
  1. I disagree with Meredith (I almost never do). Why throw away a good guy because he has the dumb luck to be your first love? Maybe you will never find better than this.
    Enjoy the relationship, plan a trip, go on vacation..if you break up, you break up. But don't break up NOW because you might break up later. If we all broke up with our loved ones now because life might break us up later, we wouldn't settle down until retirement.

    Posted by ninja45 July 17, 09 02:46 PM
  1. Comment #27 ("22"'s update)
    Girl get a grip! I know its hard and you dont want to be the bad guy and hurt this dude. But stop playing with his heart! The longer you wait to hash out these "CONCERNS", the worst it will be. These are issues you should be talking to your boyfriend about, not us! As for my comment earlier I still stick with it. If there are doubts of any kind and you dont see a future, you need to address these issues "NOW!"
    #79 I agree 25 & up only letters would be great!
    And Mere what did happen with Cape Girl"?

    Posted by Lilshorty98 July 17, 09 03:06 PM
  1. You could decline (with deep gratitude for the offer) the invite to spend Thanksgiving with his family because you'd rather spend time with your family. After all, this may be quality time you can have with your "tribe" that's just as important to you given that you may need to change your location soon. Holidays are a difficult time to be around unfamiliar family members and their dynamics, which you admit may be irksome.
    There's so much that you can't imagine right now about how your life is going to unfold in the months and years to come. This relationship is the least of it. This guy is great, another guy could be better, but you won't know if you close yourself off to dating others. If your current BF and you are likely to be in different states in the not too distant future, then give yourselves the freedom to explore the world that you will be living in without being tied to each other. If you two still want to get back together after being apart, then your relationship has stood the test of time. Otherwise you will be shortchanging yourselves and not being honest with yourselves that letting go may be the kindest thing you can do for one another.

    Posted by exvermonter July 17, 09 03:15 PM
  1. I agree with Mere that you need to put the real issue on the table.
    You're acting like you've been dating for a couple months and it would be so awkward to go away with him and his family. Two years is a long time!! If you don't want to get too attached to the whole family, that's a different problem that you need to face.

    Posted by fram July 17, 09 03:24 PM
  1. you're a little girl who is 5 years away from knowing which way is up...say -27 you should be just beginning your ascent..5 years.

    continue to go to the bell and hand and talk on your pink razor phone...about nothing.

    don't take 22 too seriously, because you won't even be dating this young stud in a few months ...

    Posted by sarah July 17, 09 04:01 PM
  1. Why is everybody getting on me? (#79)?

    I think they renumbered, and you actually are getting on #78.

    Posted by Mikey "Insane" Monkeypants July 17, 09 04:09 PM
  1. If this is the worst problem you have in your life, then you are lucky and need to stop complaining and count your blessings. If you love him, then go. If you don't love him, then don't go. Don't lead him or his family on if you aren't into him. Be mature and end it now.

    Posted by cathy July 17, 09 04:11 PM
  1. “Two-Two” Haiku

    I’m like, O-M-G
    And he’s all like, Thanksgiving
    I’m like, Coppertone

    Posted by valentino July 17, 09 04:17 PM
  1. Increase your fiber intake, "Tired of Angry People" (Comment #80). I call 'em like I see them. There are plenty of other touchy-feely, don't harsh my aura fruitcakes posting 'Up WIth People' comments or otherwise male bashing here. Read those if you can't handle the blunt force trauma I occasionally bring. Unlike Rico, I don't care what people think, what means of transportation they utilize, how much time they spend outside, etc. I don't come here for a fan club. Comment on the letter, not on my comments. Get it?

    Life is like a fishing boat. Either you bravely ride through the waves in search of your catch, or you float around aimlessly while flocks of seagulls dump all over your deck.

    - Hoss

    Posted by Hoss July 17, 09 04:18 PM
  1. I don't see any deeper issues at play in 22's letter. Remember back when you were 22? Were you ever indecisive? Did you ever sound slightly clueless? That's what’s going on here. Sometimes a drumstick is merely a drumstick.

    Hey 22 - you need to learn some decision making skills. Maybe ask yourself this question, "Do I want to go on this trip?" If an answer comes to you immediately, go with it and don't second guess. Or flip a coin.

    Posted by Greg Bardy July 17, 09 04:22 PM
  1. I rather enjoy Valentino's (non-reindeergirl gushing) contributions.

    There, I said it.

    - Hoss

    Posted by Hoss July 17, 09 04:25 PM
  1. "When you do, you can think back on the time you were free to hang the moon on a tropical beach instead of getting tied up like Pocahontas to a rock in New England in late No-freakin’-vember."

    Valentino for writer of the year. He gets to the point; gets to it poetically; gets to it metaphorically; always makes it sound sexy. Hey, I'd be tied to a rock for Valentino at any of my life! Please give Val a guest column when you go on vacation, Mere.

    Posted by reindeergirl July 17, 09 04:26 PM
  1. Does Rico have a job?

    Posted by Cecil July 17, 09 04:30 PM
  1. Don't bother with the Cleaver family annual get-together... it sounds like you'll be uncomfortable the whole time. Who needs that at 22 really? I recommend that you go to St. John instead and have some fun. Unlike some other LL writers, just be careful of beach bum losers who are trying to hide from their problems. But on the other hand... if you did hook up with said loser, that might give you the more "experienced perspective" you seek. We look forward to your next letter.

    Posted by JPeterman July 17, 09 04:37 PM
  1. I see the angry therapy group guys are responding. Keep letting us know who you are! Work through your insecurities guys, and maybe someday you will grow up into a mature responsible adult and be able to respond without sounding like a bunch of junior high misfits who think porno-like descriptions are the language of love and appropriate for a site that can be seen by anyone at any age. I get that you don't like to be reminded, but too bad for you. wah wah wah whine whine whine wah wah wha.

    Posted by SickofHavingtoBeaHallMonitorforIdiots July 17, 09 04:51 PM
  1. 22, you sound like a considerate woman. It is kind of you to worry about his parents taking on your expenses for the vacation. Have you expressed this concern directly to them? Have they extended the invite personally, or is the invite coming through your boyfriend? And do you have any reason to believe your boyfriend was out of line making the invitation? Also are you sure that his parents are footing the entire bill - and don't expect maybe you at least pick up your air fare or something?

    Assuming his parents are generous and are in position to pay the bill, then I might wonder if your discomfort is the thought that you might somehow "owe" his family something down the road? You know his family better than we do - are they the type that might expect you to owe them for this? (By something - I don't mean money per se, but perhaps your loyalty to their son and maybe even your consent to marry him?)

    Would you feel more comfortable offering to pay what you can pay? Even if it's a drop in the overall bucket?

    I do not think you are overthinking, nor do I think you would be out of line to politely decline on basis that you would simply feel out of place. You run the risk of your boyfriend and his parents insisting that they will do everything to make you feel comfortable, and that you are more than welcome. Also, have you considered that your boyfriend wants you along because HE feels left out on these vacations - since his mom has his dad, and his brother has his wife. He may feel like a 5th wheel. Should you break up between now and then, he could easily offer the 6th ticket to a friend.


    Posted by questions to ponder July 17, 09 04:57 PM
  1. #118, Hoss, I hear ya... even the Forest Gumpesque crap at the end...

    Posted by Amazed July 17, 09 04:58 PM
  1. Hoss, commenting on comments=metacomments. I live for people's comments on my comments, especially my second, third and fourth comments. Sometimes I comment on my own comments, just cuz. It's a comment mobius strip. An Escher of comments. The universe expanding and then imploding and then reliving itself.

    Reindeergirl, what did you say about Valentino's rocks?

    Posted by Sally July 17, 09 05:14 PM
  1. I'll let you into the "men's room" so that you have a better understanding of how we think. At 22, I was graduating from college and had dated a woman for three years. We were inseparable. And yet I knew, deep down, that at 22 and just finishing college, there was a whole new world awaiting me. Thay young woman apparently gets it as well. It's not that you don;t care for that other person or that you don't "love him/her." It is understanding that you don't understand everything about life, that relationships can and do change over time, and that the synergism you may have with someone at 22 may seem outdated and stale when you're 24, paying for an apartment, languishing in your first job, and handling all the pressures of young adulthood. Guys are more adventurous than women in wanting to experience others. Yes, it's a general statement, but most of the women that I dated after college and into my early 30's, whether they were 24 or 32, all wanted permanancy. Guys are uncomfortable with permanency until they're secure in their own mind. Women don;t have that hang-up. They all think "we'll get through it, good or bad, and make it work." Guys don;t want to have to "make" it work. They want it to work without all the extra effort and emotional give-and-take. We are what we are. In this case, the 22-year-old woman gets it. Her boyfriend doesn't. She should gently steer him to the curb and experience more of life. She'll find that much more reassuring and fulfilling --- whatever her ultimate decision may be.

    Posted by OneMan's Opinion July 17, 09 06:35 PM
  1. #118 (Hoss) - "Comment on the letter, not on my comments."

    Irony.

    Posted by reindeergirl July 17, 09 06:46 PM
  1. Hoss,
    "the most interesting man alive. His reputation is expanding faster than the universe. He lives vicariously thru himself. He once had an awkward moment (just to see how it feels). "

    Glad your here to upgrade the rest of us lonely sad pathetic losers on LL.

    I have a 22 yr old daughter. Still in college. Love my kids to death, but 22 yr olds are knuckleheads. God bless em.

    Posted by billy13 July 17, 09 07:51 PM
  1. Maybe there's really nothing to it, she want to go becuse she wants to see how fancy he lived that's all. I don't think she really want to go so she can do whatever with you. Don't get so excited about it. She was interest in you, but now maybe she
    really change and she doesn't. When you get rejected so many time. you learn.

    Posted by stephanie July 17, 09 08:06 PM
  1. OMG! OVER OVER OVER ANALYZING!!!!

    Posted by Lisa July 17, 09 08:16 PM
  1. You seem guilty about his parents paying for this when there's a possibility that you may break-up, because of careers or being young or whatever. But that's irrelevant. If his parents invited you along, invited to pay for it, full well knowing that you are young, unmarried, and unsettled in your careers, then they would have to be oblivious to think that they invited their future daughter in law versus their son's girlfriend. They probably just want their son to be happy, to have his girlfriend with him, and for everyone to have a good time. That's not a bad place to be. Go on the vacation, drink lots of rum runners, skinny dip at midnight, and don't forget a thank you card and small gift for his parents. I think they are doing this for their son, not because they have any expectations for the relationship in the long term.
    But you do need to discuss this with your boyfriend. It sounds like you guys have approached the subject of careers and not knowing where you'll be, so that's a great start. Keep communicating. And have fun. You never know. Life is full of so many surprises. I have gone of numerous family vacations with both my family and boyfriends' families, where the only expectation was that everyone had fun.

    So please, have a body shot of tequila off your boyfriend, let loose, and have some fun.

    Posted by Skyler July 17, 09 08:19 PM
  1. Oh my god, valentino, you are a riot! Wow. That was well said. I almost spit out the wine i'm drinking. You are so right. If someone invites you and offers to pay, then i hardly think they expect you to marry their son within a few years and settle down in Haverhill. After reading all this, I'm honestly considering grabbing my stuff, moving to a tropical island, and making sure I never have a controlling husband. Life is too short to not have fun, take advantage of great opportunities when they arise, and seizing the day. Who knows, your career may land you in Detriot where you'll want to slit your wrists every day on the way to work. Or maybe you'll be in Miami where hot men come free with every purchase of a medium soft drink....

    Posted by Pura Vida July 17, 09 08:31 PM
  1. I *heart* Hoss and Valentino!

    Posted by pkgreene July 17, 09 08:43 PM
  1. So you date this guy a couple of years, you have the sparks, then he invites you to the family soiree. But because you are 22 and there's this "career" thing, you'll put this guy out to pasture. Wake up and read some of the letters from the thirtysomething women with ticking clocks who wrote into this board recently. Plenty of people get married in their 20's and do absolutely fine.

    Whatever you (or he) do for a career, it's highly likely you can figure out a way to live in the same metro area. Stick with him, take it nice and slow. Get a partner to have on your journey through life. Whatever career you are working on, it's highly likely some faceless bureaucrat will end it when times are tough. A decent spouse will be right there for ya, through thick and thin.

    Posted by X July 17, 09 10:37 PM
  1. Hoss & Valentino- OUTSTANDING! Laughing my 6 off...brilliant. Meredith-total agreement with ya this week! Every-1 have a good weekend.

    Posted by JP July 17, 09 10:56 PM
  1. Hoss-
    reindeergirl is sitting on one shoulder, having carnal knowledge with my ego while playing the bagpipes. Sally is on the other shoulder, trying to get me to lick a metal pole in winter.

    Posted by valentino July 18, 09 01:21 AM
  1. Listen to Steve in W MA and two sheds. If you love him and want to make it work, you can. If you think this might not be right for you, then you need to decide how to handle this. I'm also (like two sheds) in a field where it's common for people to live apart for awhile to develop their careers. I met my husband in high school, we are now in the same field, and we've spent plenty of time apart--but not as much as others in this field (5 years apart is the longest I know of--they are now married with a baby boy). We made it work because we loved each other, even at a young age. You rack up the frequent flyer miles, use up all your "unlimited" cell phone minutes, it's not a big deal. It's not the most fun way to live, but it also provides an opportunity to get to know each other in a different way. I'm not saying you need to do this, I'm just saying plenty of professional people do it, and it has worked for many of us, so don't let the prospect of living apart scare you out of something that sounds pretty good. Good luck. And remember, all of life is making it up as you go along.

    Posted by cm July 18, 09 02:07 AM
  1. # 134 "hot men come free with the purchase of a medium soft drink' in Miami?

    I spent the first 31 years of my life in Miami, yes I was hot, the women were hot,
    so were the children, the dogs etc etc.

    Its always hot in Miami,

    Posted by mike in salem July 18, 09 05:24 AM
  1. Sally,

    I said I'd be tied to those rocks anytime :)

    Should Valentino have his last pre-marriage fling with one or both of us? I think so :)

    Posted by reindeergirl July 18, 09 10:07 AM
  1. As a final note from "Steve in W MA", even if you love him and *can't* (read *don't want to) stay together in the longer run because of career restrictions etc that you prioritize over your relationship with him, that is a bridge you will cross when it comes up, not for this vacation.

    Think about it: you've both already talked about the potential for you separating and moving to different areas, yet he and his family have invited you on vacation. If it's ok for them, ask yourself if it isn't ok for you. Are you applying a double standard to yourself?

    Posted by steve in W MA July 18, 09 11:57 AM
  1. Does anyone else fly right by people who refer to themselves in the third person? I have a brother who actually made up an adverb using his own name to describe his obnoxiously arrogant behavior. He makes Rico look like a fairy. Here's a tip for you Ric, try it out, "I was just acting Ricoly". Schmatta!

    Posted by hippydippy July 18, 09 08:13 PM
  1. Reindeergirl, go try to break up another marriage and then come here and post snickers about it. This is your life and you know it.

    BTW, I love it when needy, fat, 40ish women try so desperately to seem like they are still in The Game. You reap what you sow, Bertha.

    Posted by Bob Dwyer July 18, 09 09:16 PM
  1. Wow, valentino's a dude! get the F out

    You can do better reindeer girl!

    I'm so disappointed in you

    Posted by mike in salem July 19, 09 12:32 AM
  1. It really depends on the family - for some it's no bigger a deal than going to sleepover at a friends, for others it's "welcome to the family, when are you setting the date, when are you going to have your first baby, etc. etc."

    I would suggest holding off deciding until you know which and whether you feel comfortable with that.

    Posted by Bill July 19, 09 02:14 PM
  1. Drink lots of alcohol to take the edge off. Then suggest to his brother and GF that you all swap partners for one of the nights. Everyone wins with some new, exciting play. Plus, the hiding it from everyone else will make it even more exciting. Have fun!

    Posted by Don Juan Lynn July 19, 09 04:25 PM
  1. Good thing the l/w lives in beautiful Mass. It's much nicer than Nova Scotia, or possibly Hawaii, or wherever it is my lying, lonely, depressed stalker from another site, "Bob Dwyer," lives. Such a lonely, lying old man - or is it old woman?

    Now to the l/w - maybe you'd best go on that family vacation, otherwise your BF may end up like "Bob Dwyer" in the future - kicked out by the missus, pRoN found all over his computer.

    Posted by reindeergirl July 19, 09 07:51 PM
  1. You are 22 years old... he probably won't propose on the vacation, correct? Jeez... Just go and have some fun!

    Posted by RR Fields July 19, 09 10:12 PM
  1. Hehe, Rico is quite the persona and usually on target.

    Posted by Sergi.O. July 19, 09 10:22 PM
  1. she should make a clean break now. at 22, after 2 years, a guy is figuring this girl is the best thing since sliced bread and is probably already imagining marriage, maybe not directly, but definitely the commitment it entails. don't say "i really really really like you but don't love you and i'm probably not really going to be all that into you a year from now - let's have fun now and I'll let you know when i'm done with you". This demeans the past couple of years far too much for the unwitting guy who will be extremely hurt . So forget the "let's be friends" or "I still want you in my life" crap and just break it off completely if you're not as into him as he is into you.

    Posted by PF July 20, 09 08:02 AM
  1. rudolphgirl and barb wire,

    We don't care.

    Posted by General Public July 20, 09 10:27 AM
  1. My boyfriend and I want to know who Rico is. Rico, can we meet you? You crack us up and we talk about you and your posts pratically every day.

    Kristin

    Posted by Kristin July 20, 09 11:34 AM
  1. If the guy you've been dating for two years asks you to go on vacation with him and his family, and there is anything other in your heart than "YESSSS!", then this is not the guy for you. I would have been flattered to have been asked to visit any one of my past boyfriends' families even after only a few months, not because I was ever convinced yet that I would marry these guys, but because 1) it's a very kind gesture on the part of the family, and puts faith in their son's choosing you; and 2) I would have welcomed the opportunity to see if I would picture myself fitting in with this family for the long term.

    It's not just the age - I knew girls in college who were ridiculously excited just to meet their boyfriends' parents after a few months of dating. If the only thing you are coming up with is feeling like you are somehow being trapped or hurried along in some direction you are uncertain of, some warning bells are going off for me.

    Posted by SarahJane July 20, 09 04:29 PM
  1. If the guy you've been dating for two years asks you to go on vacation with him and his family, and there is anything other in your heart than "YESSSS!", then this is not the guy for you. I would have been flattered to have been asked to visit any one of my past boyfriends' families even after only a few months, not because I was ever convinced yet that I would marry these guys, but because 1) it's a very kind gesture on the part of the family, and puts faith in their son's choosing you; and 2) I would have welcomed the opportunity to see if I would picture myself fitting in with this family for the long term.

    It's not just the age - I knew girls in college who were ridiculously excited just to meet their boyfriends' parents after a few months of dating. If the only thing you are coming up with is feeling like you are somehow being trapped or hurried along in some direction you are uncertain of, some warning bells are going off for me.

    Posted by SarahJane July 20, 09 04:30 PM
  1. #155 SarahJane,
    If #4 trueluv4eva has invited you "Bring him to your house for x-mas/hanukah"
    why don't you go this time as a nice gesture ?
    probably next year she may come around to TG.

    Posted by X_MAS July 20, 09 04:51 PM
 
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Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.

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