Second Marriage: Unrealistic?

Q: My female best friend keeps talking about getting married. It's like everything she does revolves around finding a husband, and she believes I should think that way too. We are both older and divorced, so we've done the marriage thing before. Whenever I start dating a new guy, she says maybe I've found "the one." I'm not sure I believe in "the one" anymore. It seems like all the guys my age are scared of relationships and of getting stuck in a bad one. They just want to play around with the youngest girls they can find and have no strings.

Well, I'm starting to realize that I might not want to get married again either. I'm not sure there are any guys out there who are worth that kind of commitment. How do I get my friend to stop the marriage talk and stop pushing her unrealistic dreams on me? — Shauna, 45

Dr. Susan: Two issues are intertwined here. One is that your friend is pushy and becoming annoying to you with her constant harping on men and marriage. The other is the deeper issue, which is that while at this point you might like to find someone to love, you're losing hope that it's going to happen and don't want to talk about it all the time. It would be nice, I hear you saying, if someone great comes along, but you don't want to spend your life feeling disappointed if no one does.

Tell your friend frankly, "I don't want to keep talking about men and marriage. Let's take a break from the topic." And every time she brings it up, say, "No more marriage talk. I'm finding it boring." Then switch the subject, as she may have a hard time doing that.

For the larger issue, take your time. Whatever your impression of guys your age, there are still some good ones looking for equally good women. It's not easy, but bitterness and lumping all guys together in your mind won't help.

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