Don’t put a ring on it

Joey Garcia

I really want my boyfriend to propose to me this Christmas. We’ve dated for four years, and I still don’t have a ring. I think a proposal would be the best gift ever. I am tired of waiting to be a bride. He never seems to get anything done unless I force a deadline. Do you think I should give him an ultimatum?

Not unless you are prepared to lose your boyfriend forever. A marriage proposal should never include coercion. By giving your man an ultimatum, you are essentially threatening him. Is that the best path into a lifelong commitment? Of course not! So, if love is patient, be love. You know that your boyfriend loves you, right? Have you both expressed a desire to create a shared future? If yes, then give him the time he needs. If not, begin that conversation so you can make an informed decision about your future. But before you have that chat, shake the anxiety out of your head. Feeling like you need to be married is no reason to get married. Marriage is not the solution to a problem. It’s a lifestyle choice.

So, take the pressure off the holidays. It’s bad enough that friends and relatives will ask whether you’ve set a wedding date. Don’t add to the drama by demanding a ring just to appease your ego. There is nothing you can do to keep family and friends quiet. But you can quiet your mind when others project opinions about how they think you should live your life.

I also noticed that you didn’t say you can’t wait to share your life with this man. You said you can’t wait to be a bride. A wedding is a one-day party. Marriage is intended to last a lifetime. Plan accordingly. Yes, that means stop obsessing over vows, dresses, rings and cake. Be grateful for the privilege of having a wonderful man in your life.

I wear a wig because my baby-fine hair won’t hold a set. It looks great and makes me look 20 years younger. But I am appalled that complete strangers ask why I wear a wig. If I explain, they say things like, “Why do you have such low self-esteem and feel so poorly about your appearance?” Other than lying and saying my hair fell out from chemotherapy, how can I get them to mind their own business? If I claim chemo they would probably ask about my cancer diagnosis. I’m not a defensive person, but I object to busybodies who have no boundaries. Advice?

How do you define family? If family includes all of us on the planet, then your brothers and sisters are just inquiring about you. Accepting this perspective allows you to relax when fielding personal questions. But if you believe family includes only those who are closely related to you by birth, marriage or legal adoption, then the rest of us are irritating busybodies. Honestly, that view feels like too much of a burden on the heart. Why not answer as if everyone is family? Like this: “Can we talk another time? I’m not ready to chat with you about this.” Or, if you’re feeling sassy: “I wear a wig because it’s a conversation starter. Look, it’s working!” You can even add: “OK, conversation over. Ciao!”

Honestly, if I had a wig perched on my head and someone approached me assuming my wig symbolized low self-esteem, I would probably laugh. I mean, hey, how the heck does a brain make a leap like that? But that’s my goofy personality.

If you want freedom from annoying questions, think less about boundaries and more about letting go of caring about what others think.

Meditation of the week

“Love is the foundation from which your decisions about your life should be made,” says Darren L. Johnson, a New Mexico-based business coach. What kind of love is your life built on? Eros? Philia? Agape?

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