The guy I’m dating is fantastic. I feel like this is one of the most partnership-based relationships I've ever had. He’s calm and encourages me to express myself, and I feel a tremendous amount of growth with him.
So what’s the problem? He's in the entertainment industry and he’s broke, but very talented. He’s also younger than me and is not likely to have the things a man needs in order to be ready for marriage any time soon. But we want to be together. It's tough because I also want marriage with a man who is financially stable.
Traci V. — Vancouver B.C.
He’s young, he’s talented, just like Richard Gere said to Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman “We think you got a lot of potential, Kit De Luca.” But is potential enough?
You want to be with him. And you want a financially stable husband. Which one is more important? And what does enough stability look like to you? Some of us have a dollar amount we’d like to see at the closing of each year on a W-2, while others have a set of circumstances that must meet minimum requirements. As you become clearer about what is acceptable, and what your “enough” looks like, your choice will become clearer too. Knowing what you need in a partnership before you commit to it will give your relationship the best chance of succeeding.
That said, while I appreciate and understand the importance of feeling safe, each of us (including me) needs to remember that safety is an illusion. What if you’d met your financially successful husband in 2007 and he worked in investments for Lehman Brothers? Even with good intentions and well-laid plans, nothing in life is certain other than change.
The question I offer you is the same one I used in sorting for my mate as I went on 121 first dates: “Would I rather be with this guy as he is right now, or would I rather be alone?” Often the answer was “Alone.”
Since we can’t change people and respect them after they’d let us do that to them, we may as well pick a partner we like and respect just as they are. Then when circumstances change in life, for better or worse, you can face the change with a well-suited partner you like, admire and respect.