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Carolyn Hax / Life Advice

To Commit, or Not to Commit?

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My boyfriend of three years proposed to me 10 months ago. I wasn't ready; he's been patient. He's now eager to know one way or the other and neither of us wants to waste more time (early 30s), but I am completely torn.

I feel like he is my soul mate and we connect on an otherworldly level. In a vacuum, this would be bliss.

But I hesitate to commit fully because I am religious and he does not want to participate, even for my sake. I am also very spiritual and have a hard time saying yes to a life where I know I will not grow and connect spiritually/religiously with my spouse.

I've tried therapy, we've tried giving each other space, and we've tried living our lives together until I arrive at an eventual conclusion, none of which has worked. This is tearing us apart, as individuals and as a couple. What now?

-- To Commit, or Not to Commit?

Since you've tried everything else, the only remaining choice is to leave for good -- not "give each other space," but exit decisively enough for you both to start healing and building new lives without each other.

For the sake of argument, though: You say, "we connect on an otherworldly level" -- and then, "I know I will not grow and connect spiritually/religiously with my spouse." Which is it?

"On an otherworldly level" and "spiritually" sound like the same connection to me. That would mean your sole disconnection is organized religion -- and while that's clearly no small thing to you, it's also not fair to assume spiritual growth with him is a nonstarter. But then, I don't believe people need religion to be spiritual; if you believe otherwise, then we're back to Paragraph 1.

...continued

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