Shayne on You: Is she the right one for me?

Dear Maggie,

My fiance and I are so completely different! I like dogs, and she likes cats. I’m outgoing and she’s an introvert. I’m into sports, biking, kayaking. She’s into movies and music and yoga. Her family are all laid back and frankly, fairly poor and apparently content that way, while mine are extremely well to do and concerned about keeping it that way. I’m politically active, adamantly so. She won’t even register to vote. I like dogs, she likes cats.

All right, so we’ve been dating for five years, and six months ago we got engaged and now she’s pushing to pick a wedding date. And suddenly I’m in a panic. What the heck was I thinking? How can we ever be happy together? What if we drive each other crazy? Maybe we should live together first, just to be sure.

What do you think?


Groom on the Edge

Dear Edgy Groom,

Look, you’re contemplating a big step here, and it’s natural to be nervous, but I’m going to tell you a secret not many people know. There’s plenty for you to love and admire about in this person you’ve chosen. (No matter who she is.) See that’s the key. We’re all connected anyway. There’s always something to love about everyone you meet. Always.

In your case, it sounds to me like the perfect match. You’ll balance each other out so nicely this way. You’ll learn the appeal of felines, and she’ll learn to play fetch with canines. You’ll learn how to veg out and relax in front of the TV, and she’ll learn how fun it can be to be an active outdoor type. Beyond learning to enjoy each other’s favorite things, you’ll also get very good at giving each other space. If she doesn’t want to go kayaking, she’ll be fine letting you go with friends while she entertains herself at home. That’s important—that space.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again—choose to focus on the things you love in her, ignore the rest, and soon the things you love are all you’ll see. Choose to focus on tiny irritants and they’ll get bigger and bigger until they are all you can see. It’s up to you. Happiness isn’t a random happenstance, it’s a choice you make. Choose to be happy and nothing can mess you up.

The better you get at being happy no matter what other people do or say, the more successful you’ll be. The better you get at letting your partner be who she really is, (and that’s who you fell in love with, after all) the happier you two will be together.

So live together first if you want. Or don’t. But don’t be nervous. If you’ve been happy with this person all this time, you’re not going to suddenly find out you hate her. Five years is long enough to know.

I hope this helps.

Have a wonderful holiday and a happy life together!


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