by Dan Savage
on Fri, Aug 31, 2012 at 11:12 AM
I'm on hiatus while working on a manuscript for a new book. In the meantime, please enjoy these classic Savage Love letters pulled from previous columns. I will be back October 1st, when the book is finished. —Dan
I am a 31-year-old gay male and have been with my 27-year-old boyfriend for a year. It's been absolutely amazing. He's everything I've ever wanted. We've had some issues concerning trust because our previous relationships failed due to infidelity and being lied to, but we've been working on that in therapy.
Where it gets complicated is that he proposed on our one-year anniversary. I told him that I thought it was too soon and that I wanted to resolve any and all trust issues before committing to marriage. Needless to say he was hurt, but he said that he would get over it and would ask me again in a year. My question: Is it possible that I have done irreparable damage to this relationship? Should I have said yes (as I do see myself marrying him someday)?
Did I Make A Mistake
My response after the jump...
Seeing as how something as trivial as an ill-considered comment or an unexpected facial can do irreparable harm to a relationship, DIMAM, it stands to reason that something as major as a declined marriage proposal can do lasting harm.
I'm not saying that you necessarily fucked things up irreparably—it's a good thing that you take marriage seriously enough not to want to rush into it—but if you do see yourself marrying this man one day, you might want to go back and say yes.
Accepting a marriage proposal, DIMAM (and all the other gays and lesbians confronting this issue now, thanks to California), only means you're engaged. An engagement doesn't obligate you to follow through with the wedding; it's going steady on steroids. It does obligate you to move toward marriage in good faith, and to work on "any and all" issues that can be resolved and keep your eyes peeled for deal-breaking issues that can't. But that's all.