Friday, March 14, 2014

Try To Look At All Angles Before Deciding If Things Are Uneven

Dear Tazi:

I believe I have a quandary that you might be able to solve for me.  I have been with my boyfriend for two-and-a-half years.  After our one year anniversary I started hoping for an engagement ring, and decided that the best way to give my sweetie the hint was to plan a romantic getaway.  We drove to a cozy bed and breakfast in upstate New York, visited Niagara Falls, and did all sorts of romantic things for two.  My boyfriend had a great time, and suggested that we get away like that more often.  What I did not realize was that he expected me to continue to plan these getaways while he kicked back and enjoyed them.

To date, my boyfriend and I have gone away for week-long vacations and weekends away a half a dozen times - with me planning every detail every single time, from picking a location, researching it, vetting hotels, budgeting, and booking reservations.  This takes a lot of time and energy on my part, but I figure it is worth it if my boyfriend gets down on one knee and asks for my hand.  That's right, Tazi; after a year-and-a-half of waiting and cajoling and hinting he still has not asked me to marry him!

I am starting to wonder if he is the kind of man I would want to marry.  What kind of man expects the woman to do all of the planning for a vacation?  What else would I be expected to plan if we got married?  The entire wedding, from rehearsal dinner to honeymoon?  And after we were married, what other responsibilities would fall upon my shoulders?  Would I be the one to research life insurance plans and look for a house in a nice neighborhood that we can afford?  I tend to over-react sometimes, Tazi, and I think I might be over-reacting now, Tazi, but I am upset over constantly having to plan our vacations from start to finish.  Do you think this is a sign of things to come?

Polly Planner

Dear Polly Planner:

Your letter arrived to me just as Mommie and Daddy were explaining to me that they would be going away on vacation for several days and that my Co-Mommie would be left in charge.  Great, I cereal bowls are going to be empty and my litter-boxes full!  Why?  Because as much as you plan, you cannot control every factor of your plan - in my case, clean facilities; in your case an engagement ring.  Sometimes, we just need to suck it up and deal.

Could it be that your boyfriend lets you plan everything because you like to be in control of the planning?  After reading your letter (twice!) I get the impression that you have an entire life planned out for you and your boyfriend; including when, where, and possibly how he should propose to you.  I suggest you s-l-o-w d-o-w-n and give things a chance to develop naturally, and not at the speed you desire.

Since I travel no further than the front yard, I asked my Mommie about who does the planning when she and Daddy travel.  She explained it to me thus: "I do the planning, but I run everything by him to see if it is something he would like to do, too.  I book the reservations and plan out the itinerary, but he does all of the driving to and from our destination, and everywhere in between.  Oh, and he pumps gas, too!  He also carries all of the luggage (and I always over-pack!) and balances the checkbook at the end of the trip."

As far as I see it, Mommie does the pre-vacation work and Daddy does the rest, which amounts to an equitable split.  Does your boyfriend do any of this for you, or are you left to plan everything and hope he will like it; split the driving time; haul your own luggage; and balance the checkbook on your own?  If this is the case, you are right to question what kind of man you are dating.  If I were you, I would run as fast as possible up the nearest tree until he goes away; or whatever it is humans do to get away from someone who is bad news.

Did I ever mention my complete inability to climb tree?

If, however, your boyfriend is pulling his share of the load and you are just not noticing it than it is you who needs to open your eyes to the good thing you have.  Working on your own faults is the best way to improve a relationship; working to change your partner is the best way to ruin one.  I suggest that the next time you start to plan a romantic getaway ask your boyfriend to assist you, and ask his opinion of what you have planned.  In other words, make him feel involved in the planning of his own future - the short term, as well as the long term.  I cannot promise it will get you a ring any sooner, but it will make your boyfriend feel that he is a valued part of your life, and not simply a means to an end (of an alter).


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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