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Dear Captain –

I know that I shouldn’t really care too much what other people think, but I’m bothered anyway. I’ve had some good friends over the years. I’ve fallen out of contact with some of them, only nebulously connected through Facebook or through friends of friends. Nonetheless, I hear from them every once and a while and on three separate accounts this weekend different people reached out to me to tell me they cared about me and they were worried for me because they didn’t approve of my fiancee.

I have been living with my girlfriend for three years. I feel like I know her pretty well and I think we’re very compatible, so I threw a party this weekend and I proposed in front of a few really good friends. I told people about it before the event. Here was the response from some of my buddies:

Nebulous Mom: “You don’t have enough life experience yet. It’s STUPID [all caps] to get married before you’ve spent some time out on your own…”
Nebulous Friend 1: “You don’t have enough relationship experience. Move out and start over with her, taking it slow. You should have a traditional dating experience with her before you decide to get married…”
Nebulous Friend 2: “It’s clear that you love her. What isn’t clear is that she loves you back. I hate to say this, buddy, because I know it’s hurtful; but I hope you’ll think hard about what I say…”

Is this common? Are people’s engagements usually contested by nebulous people who think they know better? What’s going on here? I get that my friends care about me, but I feel like they don’t trust me and they’re saying hurtful things about someone I love very deeply. These people don’t spend as much time with my fiancee as I do. My fiancee and I are very good friends and I don’t expect to change their minds about her being an awesome human being. I really think that’s something that they need to come to on their own, just like you can’t force people to be friends. I mean, I don’t expect everybody to like everything I do, but I feel like this is kind of ridiculous.

I’m somewhat impressionable. I guess the reason that I’m writing is because I feel like they’ve put some doubt in my mind that I’m ready for marriage. I’m upset and I am hoping for some guidance.

Thanks for always being there,
T.

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