DEAR AMY: I have been with my boyfriend for seven years now. He is an excellent man and I feel lucky to be with him. That being said, it is becoming painful to continuously attend our friends' weddings (all of whom have been together much, much less time than we have). I know this is childish but I feel resentment toward him because I want to get married so badly (to him). Every time we get invited to a wedding I feel sick. It's always, "When are you two getting married?" and I want to lash out at him. Obviously I'm feeling insecure -- like I'm not good enough. I've talked and talked to him, and he claims that putting a title on our relationship isn't important -- at least to him. It's so tough, but should I throw away my life's wish and not get married because he doesn't feel like it, or should I break up with him, because -- let's face it -- if it hasn't happened by now I assume it never will. I'm almost 31, and I'm definitely NOT looking to be a 40-year-old bride. Do you have any words of wisdom for me?
Always a Bridesmaid
DEAR BRIDESMAID: The month of June is supposed to be all about committed couples saying "I do," but from where I sit, wedding season is also an emotional minefield planted with "I don't" bombs.
Trying to get through it is a delicate business, especially when you have 14 dried-out bridesmaids' bouquets in your bureau drawer, each of which holds an empty "promise" that you will be next.
If going to weddings makes you feel ill with dread, then imagine how your guy feels, knowing how unhappy you are and how likely you are to initiate "the talk" yet again? You know that he doesn't want to get married. Not wanting to get married doesn't make him a bad person. Wanting to get married doesn't make you a bad person either.
If you must get married, then you are going to have to find another groom to groom. When you're with the right person, this question can become surprisingly and seamlessly easy.
DEAR AMY: I have been working at a new job for a few weeks. I am 21, and a student. I have found myself strongly attracted to a man at work. He is 51 years old. I get nervous around him, my heart beats faster and I get butterflies in my stomach. I try to spark conversations with him whenever I can. He is the first person I look for at the beginning of the day. I think about him both at work and out of work, and can't seem to get him off of my mind. He is not married or in a relationship, and has no children. I want to get closer to him but I'm scared that he might not be interested due to the age difference. I don't know what to do.
DEAR HELP?: Strange as it might seem, 21-year-olds are not universally compelling and attractive to middle-aged people. But regardless of how he might react, do not pursue this.
This is the first of many relationship challenges you will face in your professional life; these relationships are important, and also fraught with potential negative ramifications -- both personal and professional.
It is extremely common to develop workplace crushes, and the burden on you now is to manage yours. If he is your supervisor, or in a supervisory position, he should not become involved with you. You can freely pursue this relationship -- from a distance, but only once this particular gig is over.
DEAR AMY: I was concerned about your advice to "Picked-apart Parent," whose 24-year-old daughter wanted to go on a cross-country camping trip alone. This is extremely dangerous. You should have suggested that the mother offer to go along with the daughter on her trip.
DEAR CAREFUL: But the mother didn't want to go cross-country camping, and I see no reason for her to accompany her adult daughter on an excursion she thought was ill-advised.