“You’re Mine for Life” – Romantic or Selfish?

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Hey Wendy

My fiancé and I are having “life talks” before we get married. We hit on a problem. He wants me to promise that if he dies before me, I won’t go find someone else to love. He wants me to “remain loyal” to him and honor his memory. I’m not sure if this is romantic or selfish.

Shannon N.


Hey Shannon,

I’m glad you’re doing some soul searching together before you get married. Good job!

Here’s the flaw in his request: We don’t know when he’s going to die. Or you, for that matter.

If you two are close in age, and you die of natural causes, statistically speaking, he’ll go first. So, he’s setting you up to be alone when most of us do better in partnered relationships.

There is not a single good reason to hold someone hostage from living and having love, pleasure, and connection — both physical and emotional.

He may consider himself a hopeless romantic (emphasis on the “hopeless”) for feeling this way, but what this sentiment shows me is that he cares more about what he wants and how he feels than what you need and what would be potentially the best thing for you.

This is a huge red flag.

Please think long and hard before you walk down that aisle.

I suggest that you only marry someone who can make you happy and who has a profound interest in your happiness.

Right now, he’s demonstrating ownership over you, which is not healthy. I mean, he might as well be peeing on your leg. He’s literally saying, “I own you in this lifetime, and even after I’m gone.”

  • I won’t be around to touch you, but no one else can, either.
  • I won’t be around to hold you, but no one else can, either.
  • I won’t be around to comfort you, but no one else can, either.
  • I won’t be around to make sure you’re not lonely, but no one else can, either.
  • I won’t be around to make love to you, but no one else can, either.
  • I won’t be around to care for you when you’re ailing in health, but no one else can, either.

If he goes first, whether you’re 40 or 97, it’s none of his Goddamned business what you do in your personal life after his passing. You are not unfaithful to his memory by continuing to live your life.

Just in case I didn’t make this clear, I believe that what he’s suggesting is not romantic — it’s a dick move, and it shows me that he’s not mature enough for a healthy partnership. He’s way too selfish.

Please hand him this column to read. If he feels the exact same way about this literal do-or-die pact of his after reading, then I’d rethink this relationship.

Good luck!

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Wendy Newman is the author of 121 First Dates. She’s a dating, sex, and relationship expert who’s led hundreds of workshops and revolutionized the lives of over 70,000+ women internationally.

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