Now, here are my replies or thoughts to her list items:
- "Buy flowers for her twice a year." OK, I will grant that you should probably not be that predictable. However, I don't think the young lady should feel she is owed flowers either. A relationship is a lot more than whether you get them flowers or not. Over time I have learned what candies the better half likes, what wines, and what she likes to talk about other than work. While I get the point of not being predictable, remember that you can be unpredictable, or at least keep things interesting, if you take some time to do the little gestures. By the way, the better half likes flowers, preferably tiger lilies, usually any time not a holiday.
- "Send her calls to voicemail." We both work. If anything, my calls are the ones that often go to her voicemail. That is life. Get used to it. He is not going to drop anything for you no matter how good or hot you may be. If that is what you are expecting, then you may need to keep looking. You have a cellphone, I presume, that can tell you when you missed a call. Just be courteous to return the call. Simple. At the end of the day, it is a matter of knowing the boundaries and limits. Again, a matter of getting to know the other person, which does take time and effort.
- "Keep saying 'yes' to the guys." If he keeps saying "yes" to the guys, maybe the problem is not him. Maybe the problem is you, and you need to move on. But more basic, if you are expecting him to give up all your friends for you, you have a problem. You may need to seek professional help. Personally, the better half and I both have friends outside of the house. Granted, mostly work related, but neither expects us to drop them. Then again, we have a pretty healthy trust factor.
- "Leave the toilet seat up." This has to be the dumbest "way to lose your girlfriend" tip in the whole list. If this is really a deal breaker, and I was single, I would not want to be dating you. Grow up. I have news for you. You need the seat down. I need it up. You don't hear my whining when I find the seat down. I put it up and do my business. You can put it down and do yours. And if you are too stupid to check before you sit, and you fall in, you deserve it. I will grant that I do put the sit down; it's what I was taught to do since I was a child. But again, if this is a deal breaker for you, you have bigger issues.
- "Don't pop the question." She claims five years is a long time to be in a relationship without an engagement. Why don't you try six years, then come back and talk to us? We dated for six years (from '89 to 1995), and I pretty much did not pop the question until the last year. We have been married since, and we celebrated our 14 years of marriage this past June, which means we have been together for two decades, longer than many married couples who end up divorcing (maybe she got tired of him leaving the seat up?). For us, we were smart enough to know it would be forthcoming. Her point, which I think could have been said better, is not to lead someone along for a ride. But getting to know someone does take time. It is why various folks often advocate things like living together for a while, something we chose not to do even when our relatives were assuming we were "living in sin." I am not judging. For some people, that can and does work. And that is the other thing: if it is meant to be, it will work itself out. I did not have to pop the question. Everyone around us knew it was coming; we just had to find the right time. So, if you are the "I want to get married now," and you want a big rock to go with it, then odds are good the man will pretty much say sayonara babe. Why the hell would a guy want to be with such a high maintenance, needy person is beyond me. Then again, I am extremely easy going, and so is the better half.
I have offered my two cents. I think at the end of the day, things have worked out for us because we have been willing to work things out as needed. In a day when just throwing in the towel because of "incompatible differences" is so easy, we have lasted because we do love each other, we are honest with each other, and we are thoughtful. Like any marriage, we have our ups and downs, but then again, any relationship does as well. And I can tell you that leaving the seat up or down on the toilet is not something that will drive us apart. We worry about the important things.
Or in the words of Jerry Springer, we remember to "take care of yourselves and of each other."
Just a thought.