I won’t say yes unless it’s a million-dollar ring

I won’t say yes unless it’s a million-dollar ring
I won’t say yes unless it’s a million-dollar ring

DEAR HARRIETTE: I’ve always had a clear picture in my mind of what I want in a partner and for my future. A recent conversation with a friend has left me questioning whether my standards are perhaps too high, especially considering my age.

First, I’ve always imagined my engagement ring as a symbol of not just love but also financial security. I expect my future husband to propose with a ring that falls within the range of $800,000 to $1,000,000. To me, this isn’t just about materialism, but about the commitment and stability I desire in a lifelong partnership.

Second, I’ve always been clear that I plan to work for a maximum of five years after marriage. After that, I want to dedicate myself fully to raising our children.

While my current partner seems to be on board with these plans, my friend has pointed out that expecting such commitments from a 21-year-old might be unrealistic and could potentially put undue pressure on them.

Obviously, I don’t expect the ring now, but I will within the next four to five years.

Now I’m torn between sticking to my convictions and wondering if I’m asking for too much, too soon. What do you think?

—High Expectations

DEAR HIGH EXPECTATIONS: I think you are being wildly materialistic and naive.

Why? If you want your future spouse to be able to afford something that costs a million dollars, talk to them about investments, earnings and savings. Ask them about their vision of the future. Don’t try to force them to spend so much on a ring.

I recommend that you be able to take care of yourself, no matter what. The dream of having a spouse provide for you and your children for life does exist for some families, but most families need income from both partners in the marriage.

Furthermore, in lifetime commitments, roles often evolve and change over time based on circumstances.

It’s time for you to think more flexibly and talk to your partner in detail about whatever you are thinking — long before you marry.

DEAR HARRIETTE: Navigating a relationship with my older brother has always been challenging because he tends to be overwhelming, demanding and self-centered. However, our current circumstances require daily communication as our jobs are now interconnected.

I am faced with the daunting task of addressing his narcissistic, inconsiderate and unprofessional behavior without sparking a heated argument, knowing that our previous discussions have ended in conflict. Finding a delicate balance between expressing my concerns and maintaining a professional relationship is crucial.

I am searching for the right words and approaches to convey my feelings effectively, hoping to improve our communication and collaboration without causing unnecessary tension or strife.

— Older Brother Problem DEAR OLDER BROTHER PROBLEM: Do your best not to attack your brother directly about the things that bother you.

Speak in the third person about issues that concern you. Describe the behavior that you find offensive, and say how it makes you feel. Talk about what you need in order to do a good job, and ask for his advice on how to handle challenging situations.

Do your best to get your brother to try to help you. By engaging his empathy and wisdom, you may be able to corral him into being less obnoxious and more professional.

Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to [email protected] or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

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