So you are Aunt Julie and your favorite niece Sharon just let you know that her boyfriend Rick has popped the question. As she bubbles over describing all of Rick’s wonderful qualities and idiosyncrasies all of a sudden she pauses, gets a serious look in her eyes, and with a very serious tone says “Aunt Julie, I’m scared. I don’t know much about relationships, can you help me?”
If you’re like most people you do what comes natural and make stuff up drawing from your own experiences. There is nothing wrong with that. What you have learned from your own experiences is very valuable especially when you don’t have to follow the advice yourself. But there are some practical foundational suggestions you could make that will be perennially helpful. So even though it’s too late for Julie and Rick try to keep these suggestions in mind for the next time you’re put on the spot.
Now that you’re engaged both of you will adjust. To a large degree the pressure has come off and the part of each of you that has been trying to impress will slip somewhat. And although this is not 100% the case 100% of the time it is still a good time to take note of your future spouse’s “other” traits. Remember it isn’t too late to get out of the situation that you decide you don’t want to be in for the rest of your life.
Don’t be the one who slips. Don’t think now that we’re committed its OK to be” yourself.” The person who fell in love with you also fell in love with the sweetness and the consideration you expressed. Remember to keep behaving the way you have, not just until you are married, but for the rest of your life.
The best way to feel love is by giving it. Don’t let expectations of receiving love ever derail your own best efforts for giving love.