Q: My girlfriend needs help. She is living with a man who won't marry her. He is afraid of commitment. But it could be something worse. She dated him for ten years before they started living together. How can I help get them down the aisle. His family is dysfunctional. Could this be the problem?
-- Wedding Bells Blues
Dear Wedding Bells Blues
Sounds like your friend's boyfriend is commitment phobic. He obviously cares a great deal about this woman, he's been with her a long time. And she seems to love him a lot, after all, she has waited years and years for him. She is either a very patient person or too passive to do anything about her situation.
As to his family being dysfunctional, well that's the luck of the draw. Family dysfunctionality is no excuse for adult behavior. It sounds like he's playing the victim, and quite well I may add. And he's getting help from his friends. He doesn't want to take responsibility for his actions so he doesn't take any action.. What to do? Be their friend. He needs a wake-up call. If his girlfriend wants to walk down the aisle, then she must be prepared to take a walk. Tell her not to give him an ultimatum, but, rather give him a deadline. After the deadline date, the offer expires.
Q: Any clever suggestions on how to get someone's attention that you are writing to without being too corny? How about a follow-up for someone that doesn't return the first letter? Or should I just move on?
Of course I have suggestions. I don't advocate following up because I believe men and women are like trains...another one will be along in a few moments. However if you feel compelled to follow up, then take a strong and self-confident manner. You don't want to beg. It skins your knees and you could just get frozen in that position. Besides groveling is such a turn off.
Write something to the effect that you didn't get the e-mail she sent you. It must have gotten lost in cyber-space OR that she's too special to pass up what could be an interesting opportunity for both of you. (This approach shows you have self-confidence and you're not groveling for her to respond) You want to intimate that she just may be passing up a good thing. Of course, no one wants to pass up a good thing or even think they're missing out on something. So pique her curiosity.
You want to know how to be catchy? How to troll and reel them in? Real them in is the way. Be honest! Pick out something extraordinary or special about her profile and highlight it in an interesting and fun or funny way. Be strong, self-confident, and alluring, but not arrogant or aloof. Be clever not corny.
Q: I have been dating this woman for almost a year. I am very much in love with her and thinking of marrying her, but there are some things about her that are driving me up a wall. She spends money like it's water. She has almost no appreciation for anything. She's always complaining or picking at something or someone. I know she's really a good person deep down. What can I do to change her and bring out the goodness in her?
--Hopelessly in Love
Dear Hopelessly in Love,
Are you looking for a wife or a project? It's not your job to change her nor are you responsible for how she behaves. Stop trying to change her. It doesn't work. And don't try to fix her, she's not broken. She's just not how you want her to be. So either accept her as she is or move on. You can't change her but you could help her. She sounds unhappy. It appears she doesn't see the good things in her life. Help her see some of the good that you see in her and in the world. You might want to get her the book Simple Abundance and a gratitude journal. It's amazing how one's perspective changes when some gratitude is added to their life.