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Baggage Check


Baggage Check: She loves the guy, but not the ring

By Andrea Bonior
Andrea Bonior
Andrea Bonior (that's BONN-yer!) is a licensed clinical psychologist, professor, and writer. She completed her M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology focusing on individual and group psychotherapy for young adults and specializing in the treatment of anxiety disorders and depression.

Q: I recently got engaged to a fantastic guy, and I couldn’t be happier. Which is why I feel terrible that I really don’t like my engagement ring, like REALLY don’t like it. I wanted to be surprised, but now I wish we had picked it out together. It’s just not my style at all. But I don’t want to crush my fiance. Am I stuck with this?

My guess is that over time your ring will bother you less. Before the bridezillas attack me, yes, if you’re going to be wearing this ring forever, you have the right to have it be something you love. But if your engagement is new, you may very well find that the ring will grow on you, and there’s a chance that you’ll eventually become attached enough to it that you wouldn’t dream of switching it up.

There’s also a chance it will get on your nerves every nanosecond you look at it. But since you’re worried about feelings, time makes the solution simpler. In a couple of years, suggest, “You know what I’d love for our anniversary? Let’s maybe look at resetting that amazing diamond you got me.” That will hurt less than lining up at the jewelry store now, before you’ve even finished telling people you’re getting married.

Feeling forgotten at college

Q: I’m a sophomore in college. My hometown is about two hours from here, but my parents seem so much less involved than other parents. They don’t send stuff, they don’t visit (even for parents’ weekend). I know most college students would say this is their dream. But it makes me feel lonely. I know my parents work hard and are busy raising my younger sisters. But I could use some attention once in a while.

There’s no reason to be ashamed here: You miss your parents. And as much as helicopter parenting appears to be contributing toward the downfall of Western civilization, parental attention is sometimes just what the doctor ordered.

Your parents, though, might have different visions of what it means to be away at college. Maybe they’re going off their own notions of what a college student might want or how a parent should behave. You’ve got to be more direct with them and urge them to come up for a visit if that’s what you want. Take the lead to initiate contact more often, and tell them that you appreciate the independence they afford you but you also miss them and would like to stay in closer touch.

Andrea Bonior is a clinical psychologist and the author of “The Friendship Fix.”
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