Q: A bunch of friends just got engaged and now my boyfriend is thinking about marriage. I like being with him, but I’m nowhere near ready. He makes hints about weddings and I’m like “NOO!” Can I tell him to slow down without hurting our relationship?
A: It might hurt your relationship, but that doesn’t mean that the alternative – not speaking up at all – is any better. If there’s a fundamental mismatch in terms of timelines or commitment levels, he deserves to know (as begging back a DJ deposit on a canceled wedding reception is not fun).
Bring the issue up in a comfortable, contextual way as a first step. You might use humor (“I see you getting gaga over boutonnieres, but you know I’m not ready for wedding planning – how about I let you wear a tux to Noodles & Company instead?”) or a more serious sit-down (“I want to talk about us, because I feel sometimes you’re on a faster path than I am. What are your thoughts?”) He deserves honesty and a willingness for you to listen; you deserve the same from him.