Cold Feet About Getting Married and When Breaking Up Over the Phone is OK

Free dating advice on getting over cold feet and when ending a relationship over the phone is ok.

Q: I have gotten myself into quite a dilemma and don’t know what to do. I read your column and like your frankness, so let me have it! For some background, my girlfriend and I have been together since we were seniors in high school, just over five years ago.

We attended colleges in different states, where we both went out with other people for the first couple of years. Then we became engaged and are now planning (or have planned) our wedding in a little more than two months.

My feelings for “Sandy” are not the same now that we are spending so much time together. I am in med school, and she goes back and forth from my place to our hometown, where she is living with her parents. It seems Sandy cannot do anything without her mother’s permission. Our wedding has gotten completely out of hand, and all the decisions are made by Sandy’s mom. She calls at least twice a day and wants to know of Sandy’s whereabouts at all times. I have tried to talk with Sandy about this, but she says her mom just wants the best for her. I have lost respect for Sandy because she cannot stand up to her mom. I don’t think I can deal with this situation on a long-term basis. Do you?—Cold Feet

A: No.

I could just leave it at that, Cold Feet, and you’d be the recipient of the frankest response—and quickest—I’ve ever written. But I’m a sucker for a compliment, and since you dished one out so nicely at the start of your letter, let’s dig in a little deeper, shall we?

First of all, have you considered that this might be a temporary situation stemming from Mommy Dearest’s wedding obsession? That she got a whopper sugar high from all the cake tastings? Plus, if Sandy’s parents are paying for the wedding, she might be feeling an extra sense of entitlement in the decision-making. If Mommy Dearest was relatively sane before the planning started, then maybe she’ll return to that baseline once the church bells stop ringing.

But you could be seeing the reality of this toxic mother-daughter relationship; that is, one based on control and guilt (“my mom just wants the best for me!”). When it comes to these all-too-common family struggles, for many of us it’s a matter of defining our limits with people—like a mom going wedding-planning wacko—without losing our self-respect, and then keeping those boundaries. Problem is, Sandy hasn’t set any—and she doesn’t seem to be nearly as bothered by Mommy Dearest’s busybody ways as you are. If she refuses to even have a conversation about the issue, I’m not sure what you could do anyway.

Which leads me to this theory: You’re using this Mommy Dearest issue as a front for much deeper angst. You make a point of saying that you’re in med school, while Sandy is still living at home. You admit you’ve lost respect for her. And that signoff name …

You want frankness, Cold Feet? Put off the wedding until you can feel more excited about walking down the aisle. Need more reasons? You’re both still very young, you’re in med school, and it sounds like Sandy would benefit from living on her own, outside the reach of Mommy Dearest.

Q: I’ve gone out with this girl about four times over the last month. I kept waiting for a spark to ignite ‘cause she’s a very cool chick, funny, smart and all of that. But the spark just never happened. So now I’m wondering how to end it. Can I get away with a phone call? Or an e-mail? I just don’t want her to get all sappy and upset in public.—Don’t Wanna Be An Ass

A: Yes, you can get away with a phone breakup because this relationship isn’t really a relationship yet, anyway. But you can’t get away with your line of thinking that this gal will automatically lose it. Yeah, we may be emotional creatures, but some of us do have some pride and self-control, even when we’re getting dumped.

Missing the Boat on Beaker

Several readers have said my response to the woman casually dating a guy who looks like Beaker from “The Muppet Show” was off. And, yep, you’re right, folks.

Reader MH does a bang-up job articulating what I missed: “Is it possible he’s not an idiot and knows he is her ‘rebound boy,’ so he’s not getting attached and sees what they are doing as a bit of fun? So he’s unattractive and not attentive enough for her highness, yet she’s terrified to lose him—until someone better comes along. Then she’ll kick Beaker to the curb quicker than you can say ‘on with the show.’ She’s just afraid to be alone. But after getting out of a long relationship she thought was going to last forever, maybe time alone is exactly what she needs to figure out what and who she really wants. She does need to stay away from his friends, though, unless she doesn’t care about screwing up his friendships and/or being talked about amongst them. But I get the feeling that this Miss Piggy only cares about herself.”

And with that, it’s curtains on this whole saga.

1 Comment »

  1. I have been looking looking around for this kind of information. Will you post some more in future? I’ll be grateful if you will.

    Comment by KM — July 7, 2009 @ 12:43 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment