Q: Hi Meredith,
I've been dating a wonderful guy for only a few months now. We have so much -- almost too much -- in common, and are compatible on so many levels. I'm truly head over heels. I know he feels the same way because he treats me the way every single woman on this planet deserves to be treated. He does the little things, like put smiley faces in my cappuccino, but then the big things, like surprising me at my apartment after a bad day. Everything should be perfect, right?
Not so much. My sister was just married this past summer, and my brother will be getting married this coming spring. My brother is my best friend -- I talk to him almost daily, and we have a truly wonderful relationship. But he met my boyfriend not soon after we started dating -- as did my sister and parents. And when my boyfriend and I decided to take a short weekend trip recently, all hell broke loose.
In a nutshell, my mother gave me "the talk" (I'm 25 years old. A little late for that one, Ma ...) over e-mail, and since she can be so ridiculous sometimes, I told my brother. Rather than getting a good chuckle, he came back and very seriously stated that everyone thinks I'm rushing into this just because my siblings are getting married. I was obviously mad and didn't want to talk to him for days. Things have since been normal, but it's always in the back of my mind. I went on the trip because, frankly, I'm young enough to do spontaneous things like this, but old enough to calculate any negative repercussions. What it came down to was this: If we broke up, would I regret visiting this cool place where I've never been before? The answer, quite simply, was "no." So off we went.
I know myself enough to know that I'm not rushing into this just to get married. I've been on dates with guys -- some great, some not so great -- so I wouldn’t be dating my current boyfriend if I didn't want to. At the end of the day (I hate to say this in fear of sounding naive), I think I love him -- and we just told each other that.
I've communicated my thoughts briefly in conversations, but is it worth bringing it up in full force with my brother and family? My game plan was just to continue dating him and have them realize that he's a significant part of my life now. But do I need to do what I fear and grab the bull by the horns? Or is it true -- am I rushing into things?
– Wishing for Approval, MA
A: You're rushing a bit, WFA, but who cares? As long as you don't make any big decisions right now, I'm fine with all of the love. You're smitten. Things are going well. You're allowed to be happy.
My advice is to tell your family (if they ask) that you're not going to make big decisions without knowing more. You can say, "I do care for this person very much, but I'm not going to marry him tomorrow. I acknowledge that I'm still getting to know him, but I'm very happy right now." That's probably all they need to hear.
You had the right idea about the trip, by the way. It was just a weekend. You considered how you might feel if the relationship ended after you returned home. You kept yourself safe.
There's no need to "grab the bull by the horns" (whatever that means) or scream to your family about this guy's role in your life. Just keep dating him, and tell your family that you're happy. Enjoy this time and reevaluate how everyone feels (including yourself) in another six to eight months. Or maybe nine. Let's make it nine.
Readers? Should her family be concerned? Is this about the weddings? Should she sit them down and talk this out? Is she rushing? Is it possible that they just don't like this guy? What should she do? Advise.
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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.