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|Dear Miss Information,
I have somehow found myself in a relationship with a selectively religious man. He won’t have sex till marriage. I really like him, so what should I do? How can convince him to marry me? — Good God
Dear Good God,
I’m not particularly Jesusy, though I have had ecclesiastical experiences while listening to Stranglehold by Ted Nugent while stoned and eating German chocolate brownies.
You say "selectively religious" like it’s this big problem. I think it shows he’s intelligent, open-minded, and capable of sophisticated reason. You know who’s really good at being one-noted, Good God? Dolts and Nazis. We’re all hypocrites to some extent, just about different things. It’s only when someone disagrees with us (how dare they!) that we start getting uptight. Otherwise it’s inconsequential and endearing.
Number one on the agenda — way above convincing this guy to marry you — is making sure you can both show respect for and exhibit tolerance toward his beliefs. Genuine tolerance. Eye rolling, teeth sucking, and heavy sighing coupled with, "No really, it’s fine," just won’t do it.
Have you talked about how you’ll observe the holidays, what you’ll tell your families, and what you’d do in the event of an unplanned pregnancy? What if one or both of you decides to change your religion? Heavy stuff, yeah, but you need to get into it before you start talking marriage licenses and picking out a preacher. Speaking of, is it going to be Vegas Elvis or an old-school man of the cloth performing the ceremony?
With all this yapping, who has time for sexing? Don’t worry. For a lot of folks the ‘no sex before marriage’ rule is extremely bendy. It could mean nearly everything is fair game — even oral. Then again, it could mean no Frenching. I’d say make the absolute most of what he’ll let you do. Give the relationship a spoken or unspoken time limit after which you’ll make a decision to end it or move forward. Above all, don’t rush into something as huge as marriage just because you’re horny and impatient.
|Dear Miss Information,
My boyfriend found a masseuse through the online classifieds. She wanted to exchange professional services with someone who could help her with a business plan. I told him I wasn’t comfortable with this — he has a history of being deceitful. He’s never cheated on me while we were together, but he did some bad stuff while we were taking time apart. It’s been a major source of tension between us — mostly because I had to discover the bad behavior for myself. He will tolerate absolutely no reference to any of these past incidents, and if I do mention them at all, he accuses me of not being able to move on.
I shared my concerns about the masseuse with him, and he got very resentful, but agreed to drop the idea. But the other day, he sent me a note from his phone saying he was with the masseuse. I tried talking to him about it again — totally calm, no accusations, just telling him about my discomfort — only to have him blow up. If he wants a massage he can easily afford to go to any one of the three or four places he has frequented in the past — operations that have actual storefronts vs. being run out of a private home. I think he’s playing power games, but I’m at a loss what to do. — Rubbed Wrong
Dear Rubbed Wrong,
Separating out penis-pill spam from genuine penis-related inquiries is about 50% of my job. The other 50% involves inference. Coming to a conclusion when you’re only getting half the story from half the parties involved. Here’s what I’m going to infer about your behavior. Tell me if you think I’m wrong:
You had (and still have) a conflict-heavy relationship, with different ideas about what constitutes acceptable behavior during your time apart. For future reference, time apart means just that. The more rules you lay down, the more you share about each other’s sexual escapades, the more you get into each other’s business, the more you defeat the purpose of why you’re taking time apart in the first place. The idea is to back off from the drama and responsibility and be your own custodian. You can’t do that when you’re grilling each other about whom you had over last night and he’s still stopping by to give your cat her suppository.
With that in mind, this massage deal — I don’t like the way this sounds. Whether or not you were too hard on him in the past (and who knows), he wants to enter into a situation that, for any normal monogamous couple, would require a great deal of trust. Furthermore, it sounds like he’s not willing to make sacrifices for the sake of the relationship and/or alter his behavior. If this relationship is going to go anywhere, that’s a big problem. Maybe he feels like he’s always under the gun and this is where he wants to draw the line in the sand. Maybe he’s a big old skeezebucket.
You can’t dictate his behavior. You can decide whether this is a relationship-ender or if you can live with some form of concession — say, she gives you guys couples massages or he calls you to check in before and after. There’s no way to guarantee he won’t just bang her and then call you when it’s over. If someone really wants to, they’re going to find a way to cheat. What you need to get at is how realistic the possibility is based on the behavior you’ve observed.
Is this guy going for an innocent rubdown or is this relationship headed for an unhappy ending? Readers, what do you think?
©2008 Erin Bradley and Nerve.com