Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

My dreams are not coming true.

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  • #1083442 Reply

    I was hoping someone could give me some clarity on my situation and what to do..

    Last night I saw a friend had posted about her partner flying her off to Europe for a surprise engagement. And it was everything I had dreamed of for my engagement.

    My partner knew how I wanted to be proposed to and he still decided to propose to me at home whilst I was in my gown a couple of months ago.

    I feel like my dreams are never going to come true. I waited 10 years to have my first relationship (I’m 28 now and I met him when I was 27) and I wanted it all to be perfect.

    So far my first Valentine’s and the engagement did not go the way I had dreamed at all.

    Why can all my friends have the engagement that I dreamt of yet I get this?
    Am I with the wrong guy?

    Even if I break up with him now, the moment of my engagement is already gone.

    How can I deal with disappointments? I feel like I will be in for more disappointments. I regret not dating or being in a relationship when I was younger.

    Like why did I wait for anything if it was not going to turn out the way I wanted?

    How do I move on from these regrets?

    Looking forward to your advice!!

    #1084132 Reply

    Do you LOVE this person who proposed to you?? If you are dating, getting engaged, getting married, etc. in order to keep up with your friends, then — yes — you are always going to be disappointed. Comparing yourself to others never works, because there will always be someone out there who has X or Y thing better than you do.

    Put another way: Let’s say someone gets engaged in Paris and puts photos all over social media, but what if that person is now engaged to a cheater? or someone who criticizes a lot? or a Republican? None of that shows up on insta, but it would profoundly affect their ACTUAL life.

    It’d be a good idea to deepen your life. Do some volunteer work somewhere. Shut off the TV and read a (good, not trashy) book. Get off social media.

    #1084151 Reply

    Have you talked to your fiance about the importance of certain kinds of romantic gestures in your life?* Not just hints and whatnot, but really discussed with him that these things are important needs to you and see if he can meet you halfway. If you are going to be married you need to have some ability to address problems and concerns productively.

    People often have different “love languages” and place different emphases on romantic events. Are you otherwise happy with your relationship? Is he considerate of your wants and needs?

    I have to say that the overwhelming emphasis on having a romantic engagement seems kind of juvenile to me. You’re going to be spending the rest of your life with this person. But if you guys are not seeing eye to eye on things that are important to you that may be a sign of other problems.

    I would also say that your expectation that things be “perfect” because you waited to date is extremely unfair to your fiance. He didn’t force you to wait and no relationship is “perfect.” I worry that because you didn’t date you have unrealistic expectations of how things will work out even when you’re in love. Even happy marriages are always an ongoing negotiation. I love my wife very much, but what she and I each need at 44 is not what we needed at 29.

    *If you literally expected to be proposed to in Europe that’s not realistic but presumably there is something else he could have done.

    #1084179 Reply

    I was tempted to say that you are, even at 28, too shallow and immature to marry, but the truth is that you have been brain-washed by our society and a lot of companies who profit from convincing you that what matters in life is the narcissistic social media record of your life, which is as perfect, or at least perfectly curated, as a mere human and corporate America can make it seem.
    You wanted your relationship, engagement, marriage to be perfect. Life isn’t perfect. If your expectation is perfection, then there is nobody to whom you can be happily married and content, because totally perfect marriages don’t exist. Even if a couple is perfectly matched, tries their best to always be kind to each other, the world will throw a lot of problems and imperfection in your path. If you aren’t prepared for these problems and deviations from perfection, then you are destined to become one of life’s unhappy losers.

    So, simple advice: stop dreaming your way through life and actually live your real life. It sounds like you’re living with this guy. Do you love him? Do you want to spend the rest of your life with him? Do you believe that he loves you and wants to spend the rest of his life with you, that’s all that matters, especially since you seem to feel you are compatible, apart from differences in thinking of the value of a ‘perfect engagement’.

    I’m not a believer in surprise engagements. An engagement should arise out of enough good communication between a couple that it is the mutually agreed next step in your relationship. Marriage should be the closest of partnerships. Big surprises aren’t a good thing. They’re a measure of inadequate communication and cooperation.

    If you want to curate your engagement, you can always stage a repeat, wearing whatever you prefer to be seen wearing, with whatever quality of photography you desire. You’d hardly be the first person to do this.

    #1084191 Reply

    @FYI – Or a Republican – heh.

    Look Jo, I’m not going to tell you that you have to feel things a different way. That’s how you feel. But … you’re questioning whether you’re dating the right guy for a bunch of reasons that to me, sound a bit off. For example, you outlined how you wanted your boyfriend to propose. But what did he want? I mean, it’s his proposal too right?

    Do you love him, or do you love the idea of being in a relationship?

    You’ve only been with him a year. That’s a pretty short time in the grand scheme. Are you guys on the same page with what the rest of your life looks like? What if he wants a small wedding and you want a big party? What if he wants 2 kids and you want 5 kids? Do you have compatibility about keeping house? About finances? Or has your entire relationship been about a timeline and reaching milestones?

    If he’s the man of your dreams, then you’ll be happy that he wants to commit and have a life together. If you’re just in it for the dream – then you will never be happy. You will always believe that you settled. You will always be wondering why someone else has it better.

    #1084232 Reply

    What. Ron. Said.

    #1084236 Reply

    You’re whining about your engagement? Hah. Wait till you realize that none of your dreams will ever come true.

    #1084261 Reply

    I think you’d be doing this guy and yourself a disservice to get married. It’s so so so unlikely that the first guy you’ve ever been in a relationship with, and known for about a year, and having these kinds of feelings about, is the guy you’re going to have a long, happy, nurturing marriage with. Just don’t. Get more relationship experience. Get some therapy to help you sort out social media fantasy from reality.

    #1085701 Reply

    Hi @Fyodor!

    You are right about that. I’ve had these dreams as teenager and I feel like because I never had a relationship at all or even as a teenager, I am still holding onto those child like views and wanting those cutesy first relationship things that you normally do as a teenager.

    My partner is in his late 30s so of course he won’t be so interested in that but he still tries sometimes for me.

    I realise now that it was wrong of me to wait for a relationship and I missed out on so many important lessons. I find it hard to live with that regret now, after hearing my partner talk about his past relationships and all the things he has done, I start wishing that I had not stopped myself from dating. The only way to get over that regret is to start dating now, but I am with him and I would rather stay with him than date others.

    how do I get rid of my unrealistic expectations?

    #1085732 Reply

    Avoid romantic comedies and social media. Given you have little real world experience, your expectations are driven by what people whose goal is to paint an over-the-top picture of reality for you and sell it as possible. On social media, the people who post most often about ‘perfect’ romances or experiences are often the most unhappy, seeking external validation from their smoke and mirrors portrayals of happiness. Truly happy people don’t need to brag and sell others on how great things are for them. Mostly, they keep their good fortune to themselves.

    I know people who’ve had the grand-gesture proposals and huge, showy weddings. They’re not all still married, so that’s no guarantee. My husband also proposed while I was in PJs. We were having a mundane conversation and out came the ring. It wasn’t earth-shattering but we’ve been married for 20 years now and I’d take that over a Paris proposal any day. He brings me coffee in bed most days. I prefer that to some movie-style show of affection too.

    If you feel like you are missing out, break up and date around. But expecting someone to dramatically chase you down at the airport, ring in hand while the music swells, well, that kind of expectation is a recipe for disappointment.

    #1085780 Reply

    @CanadaGoose yeh my partner isn’t one for dramatic grand gestures instead he does things like bring me tea in bed which I guess I prefer to the grand gestures and he bought me a teddy bear I liked when we were shopping the other day. I think sometimes, I have the tendency to focus on one thing that went wrong/the negative stuff and then my brain automatically discards all the other positive interactions I’ve had with him.

    And that is something i’m trying to work on.

    yeh a lot of people said as it is my first relationship it wouldn’t last. But you get into that thinking where if you leave the relationship, what if you don’t find someone better? I don’t want to regret it if I ever wanted to leave him. I think I’m quite childish and bratty and need to become more mature. And I think once I grow as an individual I’ll have more of a perspective and understanding on things, if that makes sense. I think the whole covid situation hasn’t helped us in some ways either.

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