What the Heck is Holding Me Back?

Q Dear Miss Abigail:

I was introduced to this gorgeous Vietnamese girl by a friend of mine. While she was here for a training course, we went out a lot and had a really good time. We had a few very passionate times together, especially on her last day in my country. We still keep in touch by mail and loooong distance calls.

Gosh, do I miss her. I’ve promised to visit her at the end of this year, 1997, but something is bothering me . . . I don’t know what it is???? I love her very much and am thinking I might pop the question, but I don’t know how and I don’t know what the heck is holding me back. You might say I’m lacking confidence in myself . . . but then . . . arrrrggghh!!!! Please shed me some lights . . . please . . . please . . . pleassssssssssee . . . .

Going Goo Goo

A Dear Goo Goo:

Whew! Take a deep breath there, buddy. S-l-o-w down. Sounds like you are having a bit of anxiety about marriage. Listen to these words of advice from Sex and the Single Man. I think they might help.

1963: Rational and Irrational Fears of Marriage

Let us not rashly assume that all fears of getting married are irrational or neurotic; for some aren’t. As we have pointed out in the last two chapters, there are many real disadvantages of the marital state, and there is also a good chance that if you do wed you may easily pick the wrong girl. Consequently, there are some very good reasons for seriously considering, if not completely avoiding, marriage; and you do have some cause for fear in this connection.

You may, for example, truly be unable to afford marriage; and may logically have to put aside any idea of getting hitched for one or more years from now, when you may be in a much better financial condition. Or you may be too emotionally unbalanced, at the moment, to live together with any normal woman; and you may wish to go for therapeutic help, or otherwise to work out some of your emotional problems, before you attempt to do so. Or you may live in a small community where there is very little chance of your obtaining the kind of intelligent, cultured, stable girl whom you would like to marry; and you may decide to put off marrying for a time, until you go to reside in a larger community, where the marital choices might be much better.

Since, in general, marriage is a serious affair, and since it may be most inconvenient (and expensive!) for you to make a poor choice in the marriage you are contemplating, you should certainly, to say the least, be cautious about marrying, and should not precipitately jump into the first fairly good relationship that presents itself. Live with the girl, if you wish, if you think that there is only a fair chance of your affair with her working out; or court her for a long period of time until you think that the chances of a good mating are improved. But don’t marry anyone, normally, until you are reasonably sure that she is for you ~ unless (and this is rare) you are equally sure that you can easily get out of the marriage, later, without undue costs.

Source: Ellis, Albert. Sex and the Single Man. New York: Lyle Stuart, 1963.
~ pp. 210-11 ~