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  1. Hey, OP. I do think it is important to empathize with your partner's awful situation. I have family members taking care of loved ones with dementia: it is an emotionally taxing time-commitment to say the least. Dementia is a progressively degenerative disease from which people may suffer for years on end. If your partner is his mother's primary caregiver, he may be indisposed and unable to see you for a large amount of time. Definitely give it a few weeks before doing anything - and see if you can adapt to this. Offer to be there for your partner. Check in and see how he is doing often. See if there is a way you can visit and support him instead of him visiting you. My last note is that if none of that works, you do have basic relationship needs, OP. Given these circumstances (long-distance, time commitments, his inability to visit you), you could be stuck/trapped in a relationship that will not work for you for an indeterminate amount of time. If you feel miserable and you are unable to make it work (see above), you two might consider splitting for now in a way that is not cruel or heartless. E.g., you could offer to be there for him if he needs a friend for support/to talk (and mean it). That way, he would be able to focus on his poor mom without the pressure of being in a long-distance relationship with you. -- Hope this helps. Sending virtual hugs to you and your S/O.
  2. Hey, OP. Sorry you are dealing with this. Being together with him without a committed relationship as you are right now is causing you to suffer. If you are confident that you two would not run into the same problems in a committed relationship, then make that you want a relationship known. Otherwise, if you think that you would fall into the same patterns, then you should ask for space from him and go no contact, so you can heal. You could tell him that you are open to reconciliation down the road, but only after you both have worked on the habits that led to the relationship's downfall. How was the relationship difficult? Have you worked on the ways you contributed to that difficulty? Has he? -- Hope this helps.
  3. Hey OP. I think @LootieTootie nailed it right on the head in that last reply. I am not sure if Australia is different, but I find it odd that you are invited to the church ceremony but not the wedding reception. Provided, however, that this set-up would not be weird if R was only having a few close friends/family at her reception. This situation you have found yourself in vicariously causes me dissonance/discomfort, lol. You have barely kept in touch with R; you were then a guest at the ceremony (ok fine); then a guest at the bachelorette party (seems kind of strange considering you are not close but ok); and now you are actively planning the bachelorette party (eek!). Talk about scope-creep! You have a couple of options: You could come up with an excuse for not attending, such as the aforementioned "work trip." You could explain to R / the bachelorette group that you did not expect to be contributing this much financially and so you can only bring items XYZ You could just buy some cheap items (but be opposed to needing to buy more) and just have fun at the bachelorette party. Oh, and buy the penis straws if you want. It is pretty clear that Viv is wrong - considering what Cat and R themselves have told you. You could let Viv know that this is what Cat and R have said if you do not want to trigger Viv. Other than that penis straw annoyance, I do not think the situation with Viv is that alarming, without more. You said she "had a go" at you in her (public) reply to your light-hearted penis straws comment. What did she say in her reply? The message that she sent to you was looking out for you, albeit in a blunt or candid way. Viv is probably under a lot of stress as she is planning a lot. She is probably indeed a bit of a "duck" too (my preferred animal insult lol), but she did try to give you a heads-up about one of R's triggers. Wouldn't it suck to intend to do something nice for R but then you send R into a panicky spiral lol. Viv's comments probably should not hold as much weight here - people can be rude (read: can be ducks!) sometimes. Whatever. As other posters have said, though, you should feel disconcerted about the awkwardness of being so involved (now financially) in a wedding for an acquaintance who has not even invited you to the whole event.
  4. Oh, that is awful. I am sorry OP. You not only had to deal with the loss but also the guilt of causing it. But, it is over. The situation happened (past tense). Your pet is at peace. You should forgive yourself. This is a very "human" scenario that could happen to anyone. Additionally, you can take active steps so that this awful experience will not happen again. For example, you could resolve to avoid letting small pets out when you are upset. Or, you could resolve to let them out using those hamster ball tools. Or, you could plan to take some other precaution. If you continue to experience these ruminations, you could look into EMDR therapy. EMDR very effectively took the power and pain away from the trauma that one of my family members was experiencing.
  5. Anxiety / Brain Fog The Fruit Fly Menace III: Revenge of the PDN5 I called the landlord this afternoon and asked to speak to A, as she has taken care of me since the start of my tenancy. I explained the following, near verbatim except said more casually: Hi , A, I am dealing with a problem in my apartment and I think I need management’s help. I am a well-behaved tenant. I am clean and organized: I am very "type A," as you know, and keep the apartment in tip-top shape –- as the lease requires. I clean pretty regularly. Not too long ago fruit flies entered my apartment through no fault of my own. I have taken reasonable steps to deal with the nuisance (traps, deep clean of apartment) but they persist. I fear they may be coming in through a hole in the apartment or via an adjoining tenant (as our ventilation is stacked in the bathroom -- maybe they could be entering this way). Are there ways that management can help me resolve this issue without charging me $500? I did not consent to the fruit flies entering my apartment and I do not think they entered by my fault. She said she understood that it was not my fault. She is a tenant here too and had fruit flies one year - and it was not her fault either. She said that fruit flies are tricky. But, if I heard her correctly, she said that management would not charge me. (If I misheard, oh well, not like I can stop it anyway at this point). So much for my anxious "legal rights and duties"-centric brain. Lol. A will call the exterminator that the management company uses and see what options are available, then she will call me back. Exercise. I was right about needing a "destination." Something about having a gym to go to which is two miles away has increased my motivation. Since I had been sporadically working out over the past few months, my initial few workouts did not put me out of commission for a few days this time (that usually happens when I go back to the gym for the first time in a while: I typically default to my intense cross country / track-and-field workouts. Then, I overexert myself the first week. I am glad that did not happen this time). I have gone to the gym in the evenings consistently since 7/25. I have done cardio for an average of 1.5 miles per visit. I did chest/triceps, back/biceps, abs, and shoulders/some triceps over the last few days. I feel so sore, but it is satisfying. I can feel some of my analytical brain coming back. The clearer I feel, the more I seem to respond in "active" voice (subject-verb-object) and succinct sentences. And, my posts become more outlined and organized.
  6. Awesome! Dancing is so fun. If I come across any videos I will have to share. I do very much enjoy that couple I linked who dances bachata sensual. I have picked up bachata, salsa, merengue, and parts of cumbia from social dancing over the last few years - unfortunately in my ballroom club we rarely focused on these dances, since they were not tested in competitions. I really would like to learn more moves / techniques in those types of dances: they are the dances most commonly played at Latin social dancing clubs. -- I live in a temperate climate. It is summer here now; they seem to be at their worst in the summer months. I think I have had enough of these fruit flies. I am doing legal work for my university's legal office. My supervising attorney there (without giving me actual legal advice) recommended I just call the landlord. She said I would be surprised at how reasonable landlords can be when they are dealing with nice and reasonable tenants. I would like to think that that is me. Either way, if they charge me $500, I think I am willing to live with that - it hurts since I am living off of money I have saved up over the last few years, but it does not break the bank. I cannot live like this anymore - and I feel like I have taken all reasonable steps on my own to deal with the pests. I think my strategy is that I will not give too many details. I will mention that I am clean and organized and keep the apartment in tip-top shape. I will mention that not too long ago (this stretches the truth but I cannot say I have been dealing with them for months based on my lease) fruit flies entered my apartment through no fault of my own. I have taken reasonable steps to deal with the nuisance (traps, deep clean of apartment) but they persist. I fear they may be coming in through a defect in the apartment or via an adjoining tenant (as our ventilation is stacked in the bathroom - they could enter this way). I plan to do this over the phone with my favorite management person, A (she looks out for me), and take note of the important details of the conversation.
  7. Yeah. 😕 The moment that sticks out most in my mind is this one: Maybe she was worried about me going in for a kiss (like I said, I was not going to do that - but maybe I was too affectionate). Either way, I think that is most revealing of her interest level in me. She may just be trying to "get back out there" after her relationship had ended. I am a fun guy to go dancing with, and we were able to be flirty. My overall feeling is that she does have interest in me (making a future a possibility) but the interest level is not high enough at this time.
  8. Oh my goodness! Their footwork is awesome. Someday, I will be this good. I might steal a move or two from this couple. I did not know you danced! Bachata is so fun. Thank you. Yes, they must be clinging to the tiniest crumb or food source. I cannot for the life of me figure out (1) how they are getting in, or (2) on what they are sustaining themselves. I do not have fruit in my apartment at the moment - but I have read that in a pinch they will find any organic food source, even mold/mildew. So, I have tried to deep clean the apartment. I have seen a reduction in fruit fly activity, but they are far from gone. They are centered around three places in my apartment. the kitchen (possible attractions are the drain, coffeemaker, and miscellaneous crumbs) the bathroom (possible attractions are mold/mildew), and my bedroom (possible attractions include a sporadic crumb or two - this one is most baffling). For (1), I have repeatedly cleaned (bleach, baking soda and vinegar, and boiling water treatments) and blocked entry to the drain/garbage disposal, cleaned the counters, sink, coffeemaker, toaster, etc. and set out five traps. For (2), I have at least twice deep cleaned the entire bathroom with bleach and warm water treatments. I eradicated hidden mold in my shower, toiled, and even some light pink mold on the ceiling I had not seen before. I have one trap in the bathroom. For (3), I have vacuumed everywhere, including under the bed and behind a bookshelf, kept food items out of the bedroom trash can, thrown out an old tempurpedic mattress pad. I have three traps in my bedroom. This one, as I said, still baffles me.
  9. I appreciated those stats (and other U.K. solicitor advice you cited earlier, too)! I agree that the decision is OP's to make and that he should not go against his strong inner convictions just to stay in a relationship. When you put it like that - good point. However, if OP has met the woman of his dreams -- he has said in this thread that he wants to be with his partner forever -- and there are mental blocks which keep OP from being logically ok with marriage, then I think it is good to show that the worries / blocks can be resolved. OP has identified three main worries/principles with regard to why he is worried about marriage. Conclusion: I do not want to marry. Supporting Principle 1: I do not want the legal or financial risks associated with marriage. Supporting Principle 2: I am libertarian; I do not like government involvement in my life. Supporting Principle 3: People do not need to marry to be together; it is not much different than living together in a relationship. (1) is solved with a prenup (in a way similar to the cohabitation agreement - also, people have pointed out that being co mortgagors presents similar legal and financial risks, so OP is applying this worry inconsistently). (2) is inconsistently applied by the OP. A mortgage agreement, though the bank is the mortgagee, will be legally enforceable in a U.K. court sitting in equity (i.e., the government). (3) is true, but could also be used to support the conclusion that "I should marry because my partner wants it and it will not change much." @greendots pointed this out. So if there are ways around the worries, it comes down to this: -- I'll end with agreeing that if this is not logical (most people are not vulcans) but rather a deep internal conviction, then no logic of mine would or should change OP's mind. In that case, he should stand firm on those convictions and not marry to appease - this would probably lead to resentment/a failed relationship down the line. I appreciate the productive back and forth. 🙂
  10. This is true, LaHermes. But the government's courts will give teeth to the agreement, just as they would to marriage. [I made a slight edit to the wording of my last post to more aptly capture what I meant]. I recognize the OP has views against the institution of marriage, but I also do not want to see OP's relationship fail. If OP's partner wants marriage, the OP is at a crossroads: one of those two items (relationship or intention to marry) will have to budge. So, I am trying to persuade OP that there are ways to alleviate his worries without casting away the institution of marriage entirely. My attempt is similar in my mind to that I do not want children for reasons that I think it is morally wrong to bring a being to life when I know that it will suffer. Someone could point out that adopting, fostering, or becoming a stepfather would alleviate my worry without casting away the concept of children entirely.
  11. I recognize there are different viewpoints on this... But if you're totally willing to sign a cohabitation agreement to mitigate the risks of splitting up during the course of the mortgage, why would you not consider a prenuptial agreement to mitigate the risks of splitting up during the course of a marriage? It just doesn't make sense to me why that has not crossed your mind. As people pointed out, cosigning a mortgage is legally binding in U.K. courts, just as a marriage would be. To try to downplay the magnitude of one of these two commitments would be to grasp at straws. There is value in questioning societal customs. No, people do not have to marry just because everyone else does it. Marriage is not necessarily the final stage of a relationship. People do not have to have children, either (I do not want children). But, here, your perspective may result in the end of a fulfilling relationship, and thus immense loss. You should know that before deciding. In other words, "being a libertarian" is fine and not wanting to marry is fine. Not wanting to marry while your partner wants to marry means she leaves you. If she wants to marry, speaking candidly, you will have to decide between her and being contrarian/libertarian. -- Hope this helps.
  12. I respectfully disagree - strongly - with this sentiment. The unfortunate reality is that one could be "all in" to a marriage - and then it does not work out. That is true of marriages in the U.S., about half of which end in divorce; in the U.K. the divorce rate is lower but still staggeringly high. A prenuptial agreement is therefore a prudent safeguard even if one thinks they are prepared to be with their partner for the rest of their life. Not every jurisdiction follows a marital property doctrine: I do not think the U.K. recognizes marital or community property. That would be bad, but that is a generalization that prenuptial agreements are to be avoided based on one prenuptial scheme in a set of circumstances that probably do not apply here. If OP's partner thinks that what-if is plausible then she probably should not sign a prenup with that scheme. -- I mean no disrespect to you - I am just challenging your rebuttal of my advice.
  13. Hey, OP. I think you made the right decision, OP, after failing at moderation the first time. Some science shows that quitting addictions or habits cold turkey is more effective than trying to partake in moderation. The study pertains to smoking, but it may be applicable in your case too. Accordingly, any drink you have moving forward would be a step in the wrong direction. Stay the course; keep it up. I am glad to hear you are seeing a therapist and recently started antidepressant medication. Hopefully, that helps. I too struggle with anxiety. My physician put me on the medication buspirone as a long-term anti-anxiety medication. It has made a world of difference. -- Hope this helps.
  14. Hey, OP. Myriad people share your financial concerns. A wedding that is tens of thousands of dollars is not the only option. Have a small wedding (with or without a reception), or just go get married at the courthouse. Find a way to determine what type of wedding your partner would be okay with and go from there. Look into prenuptial agreements. Essentially you can agree beforehand what happens in the case of divorce or separation. I think you probably could find a way to ensure that in the event you two split, all financials are restored to status quo ante, property is partitioned fairly, that sort of thing. The difference is she does not leave you. You might have to choose what is more important: her or your contrarianism. Maybe this is not the hill to die on. -- Hope this helps.
  15. Hey, OP. Sorry you are having relationship doubts and struggling with the decision of whether to break up with your partner. I think this is problematic - and you bear some culpability for this. In a healthy relationship, partners tell one another when they have an issue. How is your partner going to have the opportunity to fix what she does not know bothers you? I think you should try communicating before you decide to break up. Your heart is still in this relationship - your brain says, "no," but - logically speaking - you have not taken actions which might make you feel better. I recommend you: Explain politely but directly to her that her plan to move without consulting you hurt you, and you wish she would tell you about major life decisions. Tell her what needs of yours are not being met. Then, you two can discuss what could help. Tell her also that you are concerned that she is off her medication/treatment plan, because [examples of mania/depression here] - if you can find a way to do so tactfully. I am surprised her doctor told her to discontinue couples counseling. That is not a doctor-like recommendation. Sorry, OP. This is unlikely. No matter how kindly you break up, you will not likely be friends down the road. -- Hope this helps.
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