Permanent Cold Feet?

Q: What is wrong with me??? I am currently going on 4 years with my present girlfriend, and she really wants to get married. Yet I have done and said nothing. I was in a previous 7-year relationship, where marriage was also just all talk and no action on my part. Is there something I should know about my inactions, or is this premature cold feet? I did and currently do love the people I am referring to. Looking for advice about my situation. -- Tony, 35

Dr. Susan: With two such lengthy relationships by the age of 35, you're right to wonder why you're so hesitant to commit to someone. You might want to look at the relationship models in your family of origin and see if they offer a clue. What is it you're afraid of? That you'll find a better love down the line and regret your choice, or that you'll be betrayed somehow if you trust someone enough to marry her, or that you're not capable of fidelity to one woman for the rest of your life? Or are you a perfectionist who can't decide if this woman is truly good enough to meet your standards?

Take some time and make lists of your girlfriend's good and bad points. Is there anything really missing or do you have an unrealistic picture of what a marriage partner should bring to a relationship? A few sessions with a marriage counselor might bring you (or both of you) some clarity. You owe it to your girlfriend to figure this out.

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