I am a finance manager in a medium sized organisation. I am in a so-called open relationship with a guy who is a few years elder to me and doing very well in his career. He is a senior manager in a well known IT company. Both of us are professionally and financially stable. We have been seeing each other for the last 4 years. However, what began as a no-strings-attached relationship has now turned into what I call love. We are very fond of each other and do not see other people. However, he is not ready to make a commitment despite clear confessions of love. He has a slightly messy past which includes a broken relationship, and I feel this is holding him from committing to me. I have also had a few relationships in the past, but the feelings have not been so strong as in this situation. I have hinted about solemnising the relationship but he has ignored it. I am 30 and he is around 35. I am also worried about the ticking biological clock. But I don’t want to end it on this account. I am pretty confused and it is beginning to affect my work. What should I do in this situation?
We all have our definitions of the many splendoured thing called love. Or to quote the retro hit by the rock band Queen, sung by Freddy Mercury, crazy little thing called love! The unfortunate part is that we want our partners to also confirm to our definition of the emotion. It all then boils down to self gratification. We just can’t let it be. We have to ‘possess’ the person and brand it as a commitment. In my view, you were having a great time so far and suddenly realisation has dawned on you that your emotions have been redefined and now you feel LOVE has happened. The journey has been downhill since then and it will degenerate further if you keep on harping on the need for ‘commitment’. Till you reach the end of the journey with your current beau. Maybe he is commitment phobic due to his past experience (which was messy as you call it). And maybe, just maybe, he doesn’t have the same depth of emotion as you.
Though this might be difficult to accept, it is necessary to consider.
Now, if you are really concerned about your biological clock and your game plan is marriage followed by rearing your family, then the path forward is a no-brainer. Give an ultimatum to your beau with a time frame to ‘commit.’ If it doesn’t happen, dump him and start looking for a partner with the same goals in life. If his declarations of ‘love’ have any basis then he might just balk at the thought of loosing you and align his goals to yours. But in my view, any relationship based on ultimatums doesn’t really conform to the concept of love.
I’m a 25-year-old male, working in the hospitality industry. I see that keeping a beard is now ‘in’ among my generation. I am of average build and dark complexion. I am usually clean shaved but I want to also follow this trend. Please advise.
Correction, my young friend! The beard trend started sometime in 2007 and gathered steam in the last five years and is now petering off. I always advise my clients to never follow trends blindly. Check what suits your total look, your attitude and profession. But considering your complexion, build and the industry that you are employed in, a clean shaven look is the way to go.
(The writer is an image consultant and corporate trainer. If you have queries for him, send them to email@example.com)