Monday, January 06, 2014

Dear Jenny...

Dear Bitter Amanda,

I am a bit worried that my boyfriend is moving...a bit too fast. I love him and I truly believe that he could (in the immortal words from Disney's Hercules) Go The Distance! We've met each other families and his parents really like me and my parents adore him. Even more importantly, my friends seem to like him and his friends like me. I really understand that he wants to start planning our future together. However, I don't think i am ready for this big of a move. I mean, a joint cell phone plan is a big deal.

I have had my cell number since the end of high school. I don't think I could just give it up, not even for a handsome face and really good sex. Also I think he wants to get us on a plan that would get him the newest iPhone and I, personally, am Android user. It's like we are two star-crossed operating systems. How do I tell my man that I am not ready for this kind of commitment?


Dear Jenny,

Don't change your number. It's in the song. 

Ok, it's more complicated than that. I get it. First of all, you have my sympathies for being an Android user dating an iMan. I've been in your shoes and I can only hope that your boyfriend doesn't constantly try to convince you to switch. Operating systems shouldn't make or break a relationship, but iUsers sometimes think it can. To hear about your choices time and time again would be awful. (Am I projecting? I think I'm projecting. Let's move on.) 

I do NOT understand the push to combine bills and checking accounts and other adult stuff. I can understand making space in the closet. I understand their sweatshirts slowly being adopted into your own wardrobe. I understand you drink Pepsi and I drink Coke but I bought you Pepsi for when you're at my place. But money? Money makes me nervous. I caution everyone to think long and hard before combining any financial part of your lives. I'm not saying your partner is going to wipe out your joint account* or that you'll get stuck paying the bills every month waiting for them to get their half to you.** It's not because of a fatalistic belief that all couples break up, either.*** It just makes everything so much more complicated. Finances are stressful and you're putting that stress on a relationship. Relationships are hard enough to navigate without arguing how much data you think you'll need. Don't do it. There's time for all that later. 

People don't write to me because they're in a perfect relationship. (Thank God.) You're here because you're not ready for this. And that's okay. There isn't a set relationship timeline you have to follow. The way I see it, you can handle this conversation one of two ways. The first way is to distract him with sex every time he mentions cell phones. On the plus side, you'd be having great sex. However, there is a small chance that his brain will start connecting talking about phones to sex, so you'll have to deal with the weird side effects of that. It might be awkward if he gets excited anytime a Verizon commercial comes on television. 
If you're a bit nervous about starting a Pavlovian response to AT&T stores, then you should probably (SIGH) have an honest conversation with your boyfriend. Gross, I know. But relationships are like dogs. You chose this. You have to pick up after them and feed them and take care of them, even when you don't want to. Serious Relationship Conversations are the dog shit in this scenario, obviously. If you ignore it, it will pile up until it's filling your yard and your friends feel awkward saying something about it. 

Just be honest. (UGH I KNOW I'M SORRY but that's just how adult relationships work, I'm told.) If he's as great as you say, you'll be ok.
Solitarily yours,
Bitter Amanda

*Except that does happen.
**That too. 
***I'm sure you guys will be fine.