Dear Amy: My boyfriend and I have been together since we were 16. We are now 22 and have graduated in our professional fields and are both working.
We moved in together last June. The trouble is, I am ready to get engaged and married. Within three years, I want to start to have children. He, on the other hand, does not feel ready for any of that because he feels as though he's still really young (and in reality, we are).
We recently went to a friend's wedding. Seeing this friend get married brought up the tension in our relationship. We got into a huge fight.
How do I speed up the process of getting that ring on my finger and carry on with our life together?
— Trouble in paradise
Dear Trouble: Please do not speed up the process. Your timetable matters, but mainly to you. His timetable matters the most to him. If he feels pushed to marry you before he is ready, this will likely come back to haunt both of you.
You must act on your own accord. It is reasonable for you to set a timetable for yourself, where if your guy doesn't show an inclination toward marriage or children, then you will have to move on. If you don't want to live together without being married, then move out of your shared home and live on your own. Couples counseling could bring some clarity.
"What To Do" describes what she sees as a flirtation from her college professor. If he is, they are both headed for disaster — heartbreak and shame, at the least, and at worst, a blighted life and a destroyed career — and a destroyed marriage (if he's married).
I've seen it confirmed among my more foolish colleagues in the course of more than 30 years of teaching. Student-teacher relationships almost never work out.
If she still wants some clarity, here's a test: Did he close the door to his office when she visited? Nowadays, no male professor would close his office door during a female student's visit unless he was totally clueless or on the make. If he's been leaving the door open, the "flirting" she perceived was probably all in her mind. In either case, she should not go near that door again.
— Boston professor
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