He’s having doubts about marrying his girlfriend.

March 11, 2014

Dear Wayne,

I am 24 years-old and I think I have a problem. I have been living with my girlfriend for about a year and we’re about to move into a new place with a lease. She totally wants to get married and start a family. She takes great care of me and we have fun together. But I am beginning to have doubts. She is not the spontaneous girl I really want to be with. I want to go on adventures—maybe live abroad for a while—and she has been very clear about not wanting to do anything like that. It feels horrible to say, but I just do not see her as part of my future. My biggest fear is about hurting her, plus my family thinks she is great. This is really hard. I am not sure what do.


Young and Stuck


Dear Young and Stuck,

You’re young, but you’re far from stuck, although I’m sure it feels that way.

I can imagine 40- to 50-year-old men reading this and shouting, “Dude, go travel, go on your adventures and see the world. There’s no need for you to settle down at age 24.” And I would have to agree with these wise men.

She does sound like a terrific young lady and it’s certainly a good sign when your family thinks highly of your choice in women. But for you, at this point, none of that is relevant.

It’s not horrible for you to be honest. It’s admirable. There are too many men—and women—who did not have the courage to be honest when they were in your position. Now they have children, regret, resentment, and, quite often, the pain that comes with divorce.

Your heart is aching for adventure and you deserve to seek it out. Assuming that you have worked out your finances, I would suggest that once you get perfectly clear about this choice, you let her know what you’ve decided. Yes, it’ll hurt. But I’m sure you’ll be as compassionate as possible when you tell her. That’s all you can do.

You’re in an enviable position. You’re young and you have the time, means and passion to go out and find what the world has to offer. Go do it. You’ve got plenty of time to find the right woman and to have kids. And when you do find her, she’ll be someone who is attracted to a man who knows what he wants and has the insight and courage to go get it. Bon voyage.