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Ralph

Wilmington, IL

#1 Oct 10, 2012
DEAR AMY: I am in my mid-20s and recently decided that the next time I am in a relationship, I do not want that relationship to be sexual until I am either engaged or married (in other words, until I have a ring on my finger and we are seriously committed).

I have been in sexual relationships. Friends tell me that my choice is ridiculous because I've "already had sex!" and that no man in the 21st century is going to agree to these terms.

But Amy, I made this choice because in the past when my romances became sexual, I would find myself feeling vulnerable, used and insecure afterward, and then my partners would eventually leave anyway. But in these times, am I being ridiculous?-- Done with Premarital Sex

DEAR DONE: To answer your question, virginity does grow back. Figuratively, anyway.

The smartest thing to do when relationships proceed along predictable unpleasant patterns is to see what you can change, and I give you a lot of credit for recognizing this and for choosing to behave differently. But you should also examine your relationship history to see why being sexual with someone throws you off kilter.

If being sexual transforms you from a self-confident woman into someone who feels used, vulnerable and insecure, partners will want to flee. And if you choose the wrong partners, your vulnerabilities will surface. It's a cycle you are wise to want to break.

Basically, you need to start behaving like the person you want to attract. Men are not that different from women in that, when the time is right, they also want to have lasting and happy relationships. I don't know if your new chastity requires that you save yourself for marriage. This will be very much up to you and the man who loves you.

DEAR AMY: I have been in a relationship for several years with a wonderful gal. I love her madly. She has two daughters who are both grown and on their own. We get along well, and they refer to me as their "favorite dad."

Unfortunately, every few weeks, they have meltdowns during which they phone their mom and have marathon screaming sessions that culminate in their criticizing her about how their lives are miserable and how it's her fault. Their complaints go back years, to childhood slights and their parents' long-ago divorce.

Most recently one daughter called her mom to say she was a "terrible mother" for not reprimanding the other daughter for a behavior she disapproved of. It appears their sole intent is to degrade and demoralize. My gal is a loving person who tends to the grandchildren and supports her daughters' decisions. Except for these Jekyll and Hyde moments, all is well.

I have suggested that she should discontinue these conversations once the topic goes afoul, but she has too big a heart and continues to try to appease the girls. I want to protect her from this. Should I confront the girls?-- Sad Almost-Dad

DEAR SAD: I agree that you should speak up, but you should point your remarks toward your gal. When she tolerates this verbal abuse, she is perpetuating a dynamic that is toxic for her and also bad for her daughters. This dynamic will not change until she decides she will no longer tolerate being bullied. Because these issues seem to go back to childhood, the mother and daughters should see a family mediator together.

DEAR AMY: My fiance and I are discussing sending out "save the date" cards for our wedding in June. He wants to somehow word it to request that people let us know as soon as possible whether they can attend the wedding. I don't think we should. Isn't that what the invitation is for?-- Prospective Bride

DEAR BRIDE: I agree with you.
edog

Wilmington, IL

#2 Oct 10, 2012
1- Glad you finally learned not to jump in bed with every guy who bats eyes at you.

Since: Dec 07

DuPage County

#3 Oct 10, 2012
L1: Good luck with that.

L2: MYOB. They're not your kids.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#4 Oct 10, 2012
LW1: You are free to make whatever choice you want, but be prepared to find the pickins very slim. I doubt you're going to come across very many men willing to get engaged before having sex. Better join a church group. You're complaining now that sex makes you feel vulnerable and they leave anyway. I'm guessing moving forward, may of them will leave even faster when they find out they're not gettin any.

LW2: "I want to protect her from this."
You can't.

LW3: Fiance is a dum dum. If he wants them to RSVP to the save the date card, why not just send the invitation instead? Personally, I think sending 2 notices that serve the exact same purpose is just silly and a waste of money.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#5 Oct 10, 2012
L1: I'm rather impressed with Amy's response.

LW: Amy's right -- it's that you become a different person when you become sexually intimate. How does having a ring on your finger change that? It doesn't. also, you're ruling out a lot of nice, normal guys if you say you won't have sex until you're engaged. That works until about age 20, 21, but after that, you're severely limiting your dating world.

L2: The problem is your girlfriend, for tolerating these tirades.

L3: Your fiance is wrong. No RSVPs needed for "save the date" cards -- their purpose is to give people a chance to make flight arrangements, request time off from work, etc.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#6 Oct 10, 2012
Mister Tonka wrote:
LW3: Fiance is a dum dum. If he wants them to RSVP to the save the date card, why not just send the invitation instead? Personally, I think sending 2 notices that serve the exact same purpose is just silly and a waste of money.
You can't really send out invites a year ahead of the wedding. But save the date cards let out of town guests (who used to be the only people who got these notices, in-town guests did not, but now everybody gets them) make flight arrangements, hotel reservations, etc. That can take more than 2-3 months (especially if you're hunting for a good deal on flights).

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#7 Oct 10, 2012
LW1: Good luck with that. Iím sure oodles of guys are gonna wanna sign onto dating a woman who wants to act like she is in junior high and has fíd a bunch of dudes in the past, when she wasnít married to them, but is going to not allow them to have sex with her until she has a ring on her finger. <sarcasm>

Also, your past partners probably left you not because you had sex with them, but because you were acting vulnerable, used, and insecure, which is always a turn off, or perhaps just because things didnít work out for whatever reason.

LW2: Iíd let her deal with it. So long as she is okay with it, you should continue to encourage her to approach it from a different angle, however.

LW3: Guy sounds like an idiot.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#8 Oct 10, 2012
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
You can't really send out invites a year ahead of the wedding....make flight arrangements, hotel reservations... That can take more than 2-3 months
So send the invite out 4 months ahead. Problem solved.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

#9 Oct 10, 2012
1 I see lots of cats in your future.

2 Forget your gal, she's a gonner, save yourself

3 How about you ask for a rsvp at an email address?

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#10 Oct 10, 2012
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text> So send the invite out 4 months ahead. Problem solved.
General etiquette guidelines say invites should go out 3-6 weeks before the wedding.

But even four months may not be enough. I figure, if you have relatives/friends who need to fly/get a hotel to attend your wedding, you give them as much notice as possible.(although, I think a simple email would take the place of expensive STD cards being mailed out.)

Since: Mar 09

Miami, FL

#11 Oct 10, 2012
L1: It's totally fine to draw a new boundary for yourself. Yes, it will limit the dating pool, but as long as you understand that, go for it. Your friends who say you're making a "ridiculous" choice because you've already had sex can suck it, so to speak. Just because you've done something before doesn't mean you have to do it again. See the comments on teenage sex letter from last weekend.

L2: I got lost reading this and don't really care to go back and figure out what's going on. Sorry.

L3: Sounds like the guy has a B list and wants to start eliminating people from the A list. You can't pressure people to RSVP to a non-invitation.
pde

Homer Glen, IL

#12 Oct 10, 2012
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
LW: Amy's right -- it's that you become a different person when you become sexually intimate. How does having a ring on your finger change that? It doesn't. also, you're ruling out a lot of nice, normal guys if you say you won't have sex until you're engaged. That works until about age 20, 21, but after that, you're severely limiting your dating world.
I agree that it sounds like the bigger problem is that her hangups about being in a sexual relationship lead to a personality change. The thing is, neither an engagement ring or even a marriage license is a magic bullet to make her feel less insecure/vulnerable. She's likely to still turn into what is probably the jealous, clingy type and cause relationship issues.

She probably shouldn't get into any relationship until she's had some therapy to deal with why that happens.
Kuuipo

Salinas, CA

#13 Oct 10, 2012
j_m_w wrote:
L1: It's totally fine to draw a new boundary for yourself. Yes, it will limit the dating pool, but as long as you understand that, go for it. Your friends who say you're making a "ridiculous" choice because you've already had sex can suck it, so to speak. Just because you've done something before doesn't mean you have to do it again. See the comments on teenage sex letter from last weekend.
Best answer.
A young woman acquaintance of mine made this decision and she subsequently met and married a very handsome young man. They are both active in their church, so that might be a good place for LW to meet men with similar standards.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#14 Oct 10, 2012
LW1: You need to work on figuring out why you act "vulnerable, used and insecure" when you have sex before you date anyone else. A ring ain't gonna change that.

LW2: If you talk to the adult children about this, you will cease to be their "favorite dad." Just keep telling your gf that this is BS and she doesn't have to put up with it anymore.

And btw, I knew you were at least 50 when you used the word gal to describe your girlfriend. Just sayin'...

LW3: jmw's right on this one.
Sam I Am

Schaumburg, IL

#15 Oct 10, 2012
1. The solution is not to forego sex. The solution is to figure out why you feel vulnerable, used and insecure. Are you having sex at the wrong time? For the wrong reason? With the wrong person? Saying no sex until you have a ring is going to dramatically and unnecessarily narrow the field. Treat the cause, not the symptoms.

2. Men want to protect and solve, we know, but a lot of the time you can't or shouldn't. If you get in between mommy and her daughters, you will come out worse for wear. Either be willing to accept that the situation might not improve or move on.

And don't ever refer to her a your "gal" in public. Ick.

3. Duh.
Cass

Pomona, CA

#16 Oct 10, 2012
LW1 - Oh, fercryingoutloud, it's YOUR life. Live it the way you want. There is nothing wrong with changing your mind on how and when you get sexually involved with someone. Your decision not to get sexually intimate with a man until you are both intent on spending your lives with each other will put off some men, but not others. You may have "slim pickings," but they will not be automatically bad pickings (or automatically good either). As long as you are aware of and prepared for a smaller dating pool, you will be fine.

LW2 - Do not confront the "kids." They are going to blame their mother for dating you and being a bad mother for choosing you over them (even though she isn't doing so). Just be there for her, be supportive of her, tell her, "You know Jennie says is not true? She is just angry at something in her life, and she is taking it on you. It's not fair to you, but I understand you want to support your kids in every way, and I am here to support you."

LW3 - Ugh. I hate the "save the date" vs. invitation cards. There is no point of sending a "save the date" card to people you are not planning to invite, or people who may not eventually make it onto you guest list. Why bother to ask them save the date if they are going to be sitting at home cooling their heels if they do so? Send and invitation early. Plan accordingly. Never invite more people than you can accommodate.

I know the etiquette says 3-6 weeks for an invitation, but I bet that stems from the time when most people you invited lived right there in town or the next town over. When your prospective guests might live all over the country and beyond, they may need a lot more lead up in making arrangements than 6 weeks.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#17 Oct 10, 2012
But if you send me an invitation four months before your wedding, I will lose it.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#18 Oct 10, 2012
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
But if you send me an invitation four months before your wedding, I will lose it.
That's why you put it in your electroniuc calendar with pop-up and email reminders ahead of time.:)

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#19 Oct 10, 2012
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
But if you send me an invitation four months before your wedding, I will lose it.
We got a save-the-date magnet and I actually liked that.

Kept the wedding in my memory and held up kid art at the same time. And long after the wedding, it was still holding up kid art!
Stina

Saint Petersburg, FL

#20 Oct 10, 2012
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
<quoted text>
STD cards
STD cards - isn't that something that they use in brothels to prove they are clean?:-D

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