DEAR AMY: My boyfriend and I have been together since we were 16. We are now 22 and have graduated in our professional fields and are both working.
We moved in together last June. The trouble is, I am ready to get engaged and married, and within three years I want to start to have children. He, on the other hand, does not feel ready for any of that because he feels as though he's still really young (and in reality we are). We recently went to a friend's wedding. Seeing this friend get married recently brought up the tension in our relationship. He felt very uncomfortable -- so did I. We got into a huge fight. He said some things that he immediately regretted. How do I speed up the process of getting that ring on my finger and carry on with our life together? Trouble in Paradise
DEAR TROUBLE: Please do not speed up the process. Your timetable matters, but mainly to you. His timetable matters the most to him. If he feels pushed to marry you before he is ready, it will likely come back to haunt both of you.
You must act on your own accord. It is reasonable for you to set a timetable for yourself, but what if your guy doesn't show an inclination toward marriage or children? You will have to move on. If you don't want to live together without being married, then move out of your shared home and live on your own. Couples counseling could bring some clarity for both of you.
DEAR AMY: My sister-in-law is an executive at a local company. She prides herself in letting everyone know her position. My husband and I hosted a small Super Bowl party, and during the party she was bored and started texting her co-worker/friend instead of conversing with the rest of us. Twenty minutes later, our doorbell rang, and her friend showed up at our house, stating this sister-in-law invited her over. Once inside our house, the two conversed about work as if no one else was in the room. (She also has done this on other occasions). My husband and I find this rude and inconsiderate. She's used to running the show at her workplace, so I think she feels she is running the show at our house, too. How can we stop her bad behavior before we just have to stop inviting her? Fed Up in the Midwest
DEAR FED UP: You might not be able to stop your sister-in-law's rude behavior. You can, however, let her know that this behavior bothers you. You or your husband should have a chat with her. All you need to say is: "On Super Bowl Sunday, you spent the majority of your time at our house texting. Then, you invited your friend to join us without asking. That's not OK."
She sounds smart and capable. Either she figures out how to be a better guest, or she will have to figure out why she is no longer invited to gatherings at your home.
DEAR AMY: "What To Do" describes what she sees as a flirtation from her college professor. If he is, they are both headed for disaster -- heartbreak and shame, at the least, and at worst, a blighted life and a destroyed career -- and a destroyed marriage (if he's married).
I've seen it confirmed among my more foolish colleagues in the course of more than 30 years of teaching. Student-teacher relationships almost never work out, especially at the undergraduate level. The power and experience disparity is just too great.
That said, if she still wants some clarity, here's a test: Did he close the door to his office when she visited? Nowadays, no male professor would close his office door during a female student's visit unless he was totally clueless or on the make.
The potential for charges of sexual harassment is just too great. If he's been leaving the door open, the "flirting" she perceived was probably all in her mind. In either case, she should get a grip and not go near that door again, open or closed.
DEAR PROFESSOR: Wise advice. Thank you.