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Parallax - Advice

January 21, 2002

Marriage isn't a word

Dear Conversely,

Ask us a Question!I'm engaged to be married next March and the wedding plans are in full swing. My fiancée has been studying in France for the last few months, and she will be there until a week or two before the big day. We knew this separation was going to affect us but we decided to brave the separation and still get married. After the honeymoon I plan to spend two months in France while she finishes school and then we'll return home together. I guess I've started having some doubts about us, and being far apart has made me consider whether I am ready to be with someone forever. On several occasions when I've gone out, I hear myself telling other girls about us and the wedding, but almost wishing it wasn't true. Almost. I haven't done anything wrong. Half the time I want to jump on a plane and visit her, and half the time I dread seeing her again and maybe realizing I'm not really in love with her. I don't know if these are just wedding jitters or something more serious. Am I going mad or just going through a normal phase? Email to a Friend

Her view:

Dear Jitters,

Pretty normal, I'd say. The problem is that she is out of your routine. Thus, it has become easy to imagine life without her. As soon as you are together again, things will swing back to normal and you'll be dying to be with her. Separation is a risk and not a relationship-helper. Anything you can do to be with her at an earlier date is advisable.

My guess is you still love her quite a bit - she is just out of your system. By the way, you are probably out of hers a bit too with all this living apart; she may be having the same thought meeting all those French guys. You may just want to jump on that plane and spend more time with her.

By the way, if you think you might be onto a decision switch you should get over there and spend some time with her to figure it out. Much better to find out now than to flip out on your wedding day...

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His view:

Dear Jitters,

Going mad is probably considered a normal phase.

The next time you find yourself wishing you were on a plane to France, get on it and go see her. Find out for yourself whether it's jitters or more. There are no rules saying you can't fly over. No one is stopping you, and fares to Paris are cheap these days. I know that's not exactly 'braving the separation' but come on, this isn't a cheesy romance novel.

Also, the next time you hear yourself telling girls 'all about you and her and the wedding,' don't be fooled by their seeming adoration and flirting. They may be thinking you're the good catch that got away, but they're more likely standing there talking to you because you're perceived as harmless. Besides, thirty years from now you'll still be talking to women and maybe wishing you weren't married. It's one thing to think it and another to act on it.

Look at it this way: At least you're not having violent nightmares and respiratory problems.

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