This is Katie Heeran’s new advice column. Need help? Dazed and confused? Stuck? Ask Katie. She’s good.
Hello. I’ve been in a relationship for almost five years. We’ve had our ups and downs, but she’s a great girl. I love her, but she wants to tie the knot and I’m not ready. It’s not like I’m going out all the time or messing around, I just don’t want to be married to her. I don’t know… I’ve heard from some of my married friends that you’re never 100% sure that she’s “the one” but that seems depressing to me. I want to be sure when I get married. I want to be ready. Frankly, as much as I love her, it’s more comfortable than inspiring. But maybe I’m being unreasonable. The grass is always greener, right? I don’t want to settle, and I don’t want to pass up a great girl because I’m not ready, because I don’t know if I will ever be. Don’t fuck me over, here! (i.e. please help.)
Don’t fuck you over, huh? Saucy. You mean don’t fuck you over the way you’re doing to both yourself and your lady with your massively unprocessed ambivalence? Well alrighty.
The first thing that strikes me is that you say you don’t want to be married “to her.” Then you go on about when you get married, wanting to be sure, etc. This implies that the problem isn’t with the institution of marriage itself, but with your feelings about your relationship. You mention she’s a “great girl” (twice) and that you “love her” (twice) but…so what? Talk about generic.
There’s a crap-ton of great girls and guys out there. Someone being great or nice or kind or cool is not a reason to get married. What is a reason to get married? Wanting to. And you don’t. She does. It sounds like decisions need to be made. If it weren’t at that point, you could dance around some more and keep frustrating yourself and your partner, but let’s face it: you’re asking me to help not fuck you over because you don’t know how to not fuck yourself over. Confused? Just re-read what I wrote, a little slower (hey, I had to, too).
You bring up the idea that the relationship is comfortable, but not inspiring. This wouldn’t be a problem if you valued comfort over inspiration. But it is apparent you don’t. There’s nothing wrong with either value, but you must live from yours. If you hear nothing else I say, hear that.
If your soul craves inspiration, leave the beautiful lady to a man or woman who would truly value what she has to offer—that lovely comfort, and I am certain many other qualities (which, outside of describing her as “great,” you don’t mention. This lack of description about her positives is also dicey, because a person in love can generally wax poetic about his or her mate’s awesomeness with somewhat annoying ease).
Lastly, you say you don’t know if you “ever will be (ready).” You can’t possibly know that, darling, until you Know it. Until the Knowing hits you like a ton of bricks and shouts with a voice you can’t possibly ignore, “don’t you dare let her get away!” You’ll Know when you think, “holy shit, my heart could be left in broken bits of cardiovascular meat chunks here!” And yet you give it to her anyway because you are willing to take the risk. You’ll Know when there is no greener grass—just different grass. Grass you can gaze at and appreciate while, it must be noted, staying firmly on your own grass, while you lovingly water it. (Am I really comparing a woman to grass? Oh, how far I’ve fallen.)
You’ll Know when you don’t have to write in to an advice columnist to give yourself permission not to settle—because it won’t be a question. So go now, my dear one, and find your inspiration. Start with developing it in yourself and in your life. Then just watch the magic happen….