Tits and Ask: Are You Settling Down… or Just Settling?

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Hey Ken and Ariel: My girlfriend and I have been together for about 7 years. We’ve always assumed we’d get married, and she’s pretty much settled on me. But the past couple years have seen us falling into the same routines: the sex is boring, we do the same things on weekends and I get the uncomfortable feeling that I’m already a married guy in my fifties instead of a guy who just turned 32. I’ve thought about breaking up or at least saying something, but in the back of my mind, I always fear that if I lose her, I’ll live to regret it. So I’ve just figured the grass might not be greener and stay put. Am I doing the right thing?

KEN SAYS: First things first: way to sell yourself, buddy. Some guys might prefer to not think of themselves as “the one she settled on,” but it’s good to see you wearing that title like you’re serving fools with the fanciest motherfucking hat at the Kentucky Derby.

As for your problem, I think it all comes down to who you feel more indebted to: your girl or your own narrow ass. Because if the only reason you’re sticking around is because you’re afraid you won’t do any better, then you’re really not doing yourself any favors. In fact, if I was six beers deeper, I’d suggest you might be wasting your life.

I know there’s always fear that the grass isn’t greener. But you know what? SOMETIMES THE GRASS IS SUPER-FUCKING GREENER. And it’s filled with ample-bosomed women playing volleyball and Slash high-fiving you as he drops a killer riff and a couple sorority girls catfighting over who’s gonna use your face as her personal yoga mat.

Sure, that’s an exaggeration. But the point is if you somehow feel you’re missing out on a life of car chases and drinking tequila off a pyramid of hookers and flossing with a different woman’s pubes every night, that feeling’s only gonna intensify as you get older. And you’ll be regretful and bitter. In extreme cases, like my Uncle Murray, you might permanently move into the attic and spend your days wearing nothing but an Indian headdress and claiming Dick Van Patten is watching you from a secret base on the moon. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

Also, it might be time to actually ask your girlfriend what she’s thinking. For all you know, she may be making plans to run off with Bill from accounting or making weekly Craiglist hook-ups to satisfy her “anal sex with guys wearing chef’s hats” fetish.

Bottom line: Your situation will never change until you sack up and address it. Otherwise, let me be the first to wish you a happy fiftieth birthday, pops.

ARIEL SAYS: Let me pull some keywords out of your letter: settled, same, boring, same, uncomfortable, man in his fifties, breaking up, fear, lose her (loser?), regret, grass is greener. Stay put.

Dude. This is not a good situation. This is serving time. Are you putting x’s on the calendar days until your next parole hearing? Here’s the thing, babe: I don’t think she’s the ball and chain. I think you are. I don’t mean to sound way harsh, but you don’t sound happy, you sound miserable–and yet you choose to remain. This is a self-imposed prison sentence.

Look, I have no idea how she feels about you. But from your letter, it seems that you think you’re doing her a favor by sticking around, seeing as she “settled on” you. But your motives are more about fear of jumping off the cliff than that of altruistic couch-sitting, bed-warming, and dutiful +1’s on the weekends at IHOP. Fear of the unknown is currently dictating your relationship, not love. YOU are settling for a life not lived. That has very little to do with her.

The word I’m going to pull out of your letter now is the procrastinator’s ultimate go-to verb, ASSUMED. Makes an ass outta you and me, babe. Well, actually just YOU in this situation, since I can be the smug, superior advice-giver, sitting on my couch in a dirty t-shirt and scratching my pimply ass. You assume that you’ll get married. You assume she settled on you and she’s set for life, thanks. You assume she’s having a fucking blast sitting on the couch and doing the same goddamn thing, weekend after weekend. It’s time to start asking yourself, AND her: is that really the case? Just because you’re in a relationship doesn’t mean you’re attached at the hip, doomed to wander the aisles of Target from here to eternity.

So, in closing, may I suggest that you get off the ass you’ve made of yourself and start living the life you’ve always wanted to have but were too afraid to ask. Kiss her tenderly, fervently, like you did when you first met, and ask her if she’d like to join you. If the answer is yes, yes, OH MY GOD yes, then I better get invited to the wedding.

If not, bon voyage and enjoy the adventures of “Holy Shit! Now What?”

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