Dear Devil’s Advocate,
About five months ago, my girlfriend of over 2 years break-up with me and I was devastated. I couldn’t sleep at night or function in everyday life. We got back together a couple weeks ago and I was ecstatic. However, I just met this breathtaking girl who I immediately fell for. I know I am in love with my girlfriend, but I just can’t get this other girl out of my head. Part of me wants to go after this other girl because my girlfriend might just break-up with me again and I will have missed my chance. I don’t know what to do. Can you help me?
As Joe Strummer once queried, “Should I stay or should I go now?” This is one of life’s most difficult questions and it has a very complicated answer. You see, it cannot be answered by a simple yes or no. The answer to this question is contingent upon several things.Just how breathtaking is this new girl? Has she shown any interest in you? What would you say the odds are of your current girlfriend breaking up with you again? How much love do you have for your girlfriend? How many times per week do you get in an argument with your girlfriend? How many times a week do you find yourself missing your girlfriend?Once you have answered these questions, there is a simple mathematical formula you can use to answer Joe Strummer’s question. Multiply the breathtaking factor by the amount of interest she has shown in you. Factor in the amount of love you have for your girlfriend and the odds she will break-up with you. Think about the amount of fights you get into measured up with how many times a day you find yourself missing your girlfriend. You also need to think about the possibility that you may simply love the ideal version of this new girl. You only see her when she looks her best. You don’t see her stripped of her makeup and in her ratty old clothes. Chances are that if you did, then you wouldn’t like her as much.
Sincerely, Devil’s Advocate
Dear Devil’s Advocate,
I’m am a graduating senior with a boyfriend of almost four years. A couple days ago, he took me out on a very fancy date. The restaurant was very crowded and towards the end of the dinner, he got down on one knee and proposed to me. I couldn’t say no and embarrass him in front of all those people. So, I said yes. But, I don’t want to marry him. At least, not yet anyway. I don’t know how to tell him that I don’t want to be engaged. There are a lot of opportunities I want to explore and I don’t feel I can do that as a married woman, at this point. I don’t want to hurt him and I still love him, but I’m not ready to be married. What should I do?
You have nothing to be worried about. As far as I can see, you have two main options to your dilemma. I am sure there are thousands, nay millions, of women in the exact same situation you are in. So, don’t worry too much.
Option 1: Get married anyway and put up with an unhappy relationship for life.
This option sounds a lot worse than it is. People say marriage is a ball-and-chain, but that’s not really true. If you get married now, then you don’t have to worry about relationships and impressing guys ever again. This frees you up to do other things, like making your own potpourri, going for long walks on the beach, and writing that novel you’ve always been talking about. On the other, more realistic hand, you may be holding yourself back from extraordinary experiences and meeting compelling people from all different walks of life. Marriage ties you down and prevents you from things like relocating for career opportunities, which could make or break your financial future, or dedicating more hours to a project in order to show your commitment. Despite the fact that unmarried life can sometimes be lonely and exhausting, being able to say you didn’t settle and wouldn’t sacrifice your ambitions is ultimately the most commendable, and gratifying.
Option 2: Explain to the guy how you feel and why, but let him know you still love him. If he truly loves you, he’ll be willing to wait.
This option may come as a surprise because it’s not that obvious, but in very rare situations, it is a good thing to tell the people you love the truth. I know that sounds crazy, but it works out for the best most of the time.
Choose wisely!Devil’s Advocate