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Let go of expectations for proposal

Q: My boyfriend and I have been together for close to two years. We know we want to get married and speak about it often. I know he is going to ask me. He has told me he has it planned out to be very special. In August, we were talking about how nice it would be to get married in the fall. Of course, then I thought next fall would be perfect, and if he popped the question by January, we'd still have plenty of time to plan our wedding.

So, the last few weeks I have been very on edge and moody, because this window of time is closing quickly! I'm afraid if he doesn't ask at Christmas, I'm going to lose it emotionally. We want to get married outside, so the fall is perfect, and it works great with the timeline I prefer.

I don't want to, nor do I see a point, to wait until the fall of '13 to get married to my best friend! He suggested the spring of '13 when I brought up this issue to him today. I'm afraid an outdoor wedding in springtime won't be too lovely.

My other timeline issue is a baby. If we push this wedding back to the fall of '13, then that means pushing trying for a baby back even further. By then I will be almost 32. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

-- G.L., North Tonawanda

A: First, take a deep breath. I am hearing a lot of "me me me" in this situation. I understand you have a preferred timeline that you would like all of your life events to follow, but you aren't the only one in the relationship. It can't be all about what you want.

When you get married to the love of your life, the specifics of where, when and how become less important. (Thirty-two is not even close to being too old to have a child, so I wouldn't worry about that.)

Stop thinking about what you want for one second and take his concerns into consideration, because marriage itself is a compromise. If you bug him about proposing and get all worked up if he doesn't do it by Christmas, you risk pushing him away. The last thing you want is for him to resent you for pressuring him and to get cold feet altogether.

We all have this fantasy, especially when we are younger, about how our lives will pan out. First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby, and we want it all to happen on a schedule and according to plan.

Unfortunately, the reality is these things don't always happen on a schedule. It is nearly impossible to fulfill your life plan as perfectly as you would like. Timelines and schedules are for work, school and daily life, not matters of the heart or having children. You can alleviate a lot of your stress by letting go of these expectations.

You know for a fact that he would like to marry you. You know he will ask you at some point. Maybe right now isn't the best time for him; there could be some underlying issues he hasn't addressed with you yet.

Either way, let him open the pickle jar and be the man in this relationship. He probably wants to be romantic and spontaneous, and your moody behavior won't help. Instead, act lovingly toward him and look forward to that special moment, whenever it comes. As a man, he probably doesn't want you to be aware or expecting of when and how he proposes to you, so let go of your schedule and appreciate the fact that he wants it to be special.

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Patti Novak owns Buffalo Niagara Introductions (www.buffaloniagaraintro.com). Email questions to queencitymatchmaker@gmail.com and include your initials and hometown.