This and That
Pieces of String

Advice to my Grandson Redux

As I mentioned before, I am writing a book of advice for my grandson, in case I’m not around to provide it in person. I have shared this with some friends, who’ve provided some smart modifications.

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First, let me note that a feminist friend of mine told me, “Don’t teach your grandson that he’s the one who has to propose, to ask for a woman’s hand in marriage. Women have an equal right to propose.” She’s right of course, but even as recently as when your mom (2016) got married, it was the man who asked.

One thing for sure, based on my extremely painful experience: when a woman says “I’m not ready to get married,” no matter what else she says, no matter how wonderful she is, if you’re looking for a permanent relationship, don’t walk away: RUN AWAY.

My advice in this regard is:

  • Don’t propose unless you’re sure you know the answer.
  • In my experience the longer the proposal is considered, the better. My first fiancée said yes immediately. That was my shortest engagement. My second took a day to say yes, and that didn’t work out either. Your grandmother took a month between my proposal and her affirmative response. You know how that worked out.
  • Promise me, whether I am dead or alive when you read this, that you will NEVER say “This is it!” about a relationship that is any less than nine months old. The amount of pain you may prevent is unfathomable.

WARNING WARNING

If you are in a committed relationship (not a fling, but a relationship you think might last), and you find yourself regularly having secret (from your significant other) meetings with a woman and talking—just talking—to her seriously about anything, IT IS A WARNING SIGN. I did this once, and I had it done to me once. One or two meetings are one thing. Meet for weeks and it is a warning sign you should not ignore: you are not ready for a serious monogamous commitment. I hope to all that is holy that you never do this and never have it done to you. The deceived partner’s pain is beyond description. At least mine was.

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