Originally Published: July 26, 2016 5:55 a.m.
Dear Annie: My wife and I met this new couple at a function, and they seemed really nice, so we exchanged information in hopes of meeting up again. We like meeting new couples and thought we’d see whether we have more in common. We have hung out with them a handful of times now but don’t see any connection or really have much in common. They are always bringing up politics and their strong beliefs in a particular party, followed by negative comments about what the state of our country would be if the other party were to win the presidential election and all the doom and gloom we would be in for.
My husband and I have never been very political and don’t find much interest in discussing it. We have a decently fun time with them, but my wife and I often talk about what else we could’ve done that evening or that day. The woman of the other couple texts my wife almost every Friday now to invite us out. We’ve said no a few times, but now we don’t wish to meet up with them anymore because these political conversations are such a drag.
It feels as if we are trying to break up with this couple but they don’t know it yet. We don’t know what to do. – Politics-Free Household
Dear Politics-Free: Although these days it seems to be more of a faux pas to discuss “Game of Thrones” spoilers at the dinner table than politics and religion, there’s a reason that those loaded topics have traditionally been off-limits. They’re deeply personal, and talking about them tends to create hostile territory where friendship might have grown.
Politely tell the couple you respect that they are passionate about their beliefs but you don’t feel comfortable talking politics. If they can’t respect that, move on to new friends. You’re under no obligation to spend time with this couple. After all, “doomed” or not, it’s still a free country.
Dear Annie: I just want to get married. I’ve been dating my boyfriend for three years, but he hasn’t warmed up to the idea of marriage. He says things like, “It’s just a piece of paper. And besides, half of marriages end in divorce.” I was ecstatic when he recently expressed interest in moving in together. I think he sees this as the next step in determining whether we’re compatible before perhaps popping the question.
The only thing standing in the way right now is the fact that my parents disapprove. I care about their opinion, of course, but it is my life and a decision I’ve made carefully. My mom has kind of gotten over it, but my dad refuses to acknowledge it and doesn’t seem to care about how we’re doing as a couple. All he cares about is how I am doing and how my job is. He also disapproves of my boyfriend’s unemployment. It really makes my boyfriend uncomfortable, especially because those two have never really gotten along. What can I do to make my dad see that this man is my future husband? – Shacking Up
Dear Shacking: Reverse the U-Haul. Not because Dad disapproves but because moving in together wouldn’t change your boyfriend’s mind if he’s already said he’s indifferent about marriage. In fact, he’d have even less reason to take the next step.
Stay in your own places until the two of you make solid plans for your future. This will put the situation in the pressure cooker a bit, which it needs. Maybe he’s your future husband. Maybe not. All the better to find out sooner rather than later.
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