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Lust in Translation

Dear Lust,

My girlfriend’s parents are starting to pressure her to get married because she’s already 26 and we’re both done with university and beginning our careers.We get along great; we never fight. She makes me very happy, so getting engaged doesn’t scare me. I’d love to spend my life this happy. It feels like the right thing to do. But how do I know for sure?


Put a Ring on It


Wouldn't it be great if you could go on a reality TV show with your sweetheart before getting hitched? You two could get matching shorts and t-shirts and name yourselves something like "The Snuggle Factor". More importantly, you'd undergo some high-stress scenarios together and find out whether your beloved is loving under pressure.

We all look at reality TV and think: I would never [fill in the blank]: get so nervous, panic, lose my temper yell at my spouse and call him/her a dipsh*t. But maybe you would. Maybe she would.

When "dating" is just hanging out, watching movies, going to brunches together and joking about dipping various body parts in the chocolate fountain... it’s pretty easy! Your marriage might be easy too. What you need to do is be honest and up-front about your own expectations and habits, and find out hers, too.

TV shows and quizzes will ask how well you know your honey based on trivia: favourite food, favourite colour. Useless! The questions you really need to ask are more like this: “Sugar, will you kill me if I sign a three year lease on sports car?” and “How many kids do you want?” There are general topics that every couple must address: money, activity level, social habits, chores, kids. Basically, you’re trying to figure out what your partner’s priorities will be over the next… hmm… 30 to 40 years.

You need to discuss money. Who makes time to pay the bills, file taxes, deal with the landlord or bank? How much do you (together) want to spend on accommodation, transportation, electronics? What about (it pains me to even think this)... retirement? How about the shoe-budget? How many pairs of shoes is too many if she loses her job and is relying on you to pay for them? Likewise, will she hate you if you put all your money into car payments or gigantic-ass subwoofers?

Activity level is important. Whether or not you want a gym buddy, it is good to look honestly at your partner and yourself, and say: what will this bod be in 20 years? All those axioms like “You reap what you sow” – they’re true. Do you want: yummy food in the kitchen, an able body in the bedroom and someone to spoon-feed you your congee when you're old? Discuss and set healthy habits now. Pick someone who's willing to put in the same effort as you, whatever level of effort suits you and your other priorities.

Speaking of priorities, compulsive behaviours and socially accepted addictions are a big topic nobody wants to touch, but it’s important. Any compulsion can be a relationship-killer: shopping, drinking, dieting, caffeine-dependence, smoking, flirting (need for approval) – all of these are insidious things that seem small when you only see one instance, but they build into bigger problems over time, especially when responsibilities are shared. Living together, you share temporal, emotional and financial drains. How healthy is she? How healthy are you? Are you ready to take care of her?

There is no point when we’re ever fully “ready” for most of life’s challenges, but if you talk through these topics with your lady love, you can at least figure out what your marriage is likely to be like. This may not be the most fun conversation ever, but it’s a lot easier than the “Honey, I love you but I can’t do this anymore” talk. She’ll appreciate your honesty and think you’re a big man, responsible and smart. Besides, the worst case scenario is that it doesn’t work, she doesn’t say what you hope she says and you find yourself back on the loose, surrounded by single ladies. That’s not so bad, now, is it?

Go get ‘em, tiger.



Have you got a question for Natasha? To have your relationship conundrums solved, email [email protected]


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