He Said/She Said
Should I Snoop If I Suspect An Affair?
By Sean McConnor and Winter Kelly
Feb 4, 2004 - 4:15:00 AM

LOS ANGELESDear He Said... She Said...

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I've been with my boyfriend for almost six years. We were so in love for the first five! I wanted to get married but we settled on living together first. We've been living together for the last two years. I'm letting out all the hints to get married, but he's not catching them. So, finally I sat down with him and told him that I want him to propose to me or I will move out. He said he didn't like ultimatums and that he would not propose until he was ready. We are both in our mid to late 20s. I feel it's the time for me to look elsewhere if he's not going to marry me.

Now, mutual friends tell me that he's been seeing another girl on the side. What can I do? Is it wrong for me to snoop in his e-mail to see if I can find anything? I feel like I've wasted all this time on nothing.

Unmarried Old Maid

HE SAID:

Dear Unmarried Old Maid,

You are a perfect example of why I frown on live-in relationships. Do not get me wrong, been there, done that. Living together without a formal commitment is easier, compared to a formal, legal one. It is like owning a business with someone and not having it on paper. If something happens, you just walk out of the door and move on.

I always believed that you do not get committed until you are really 100 percent certain. If you are sure that he or she is the ONE, then you get hitched and make it work. Sure, it will be hard and there will be problems, but if you do not want a long-lasting relationship, stay single.

In your case, Old Maid, it is time to hit the road. Your partner does not show any interest in marriage, so why be so dense about it? Go get your own place and cultivate friendships with guys who want to get married. There are plenty of them out there. You are going to find someone and then slap yourself in the head for waiting so long to fulfill your heart's desires.

SHE SAID:

Dear Unmarried,

What do you expect? If Bristol Farms is giving away free food, are you going to go to Ralphs to buy your groceries? No way! You will go where you can get free food without paying the bill. Get my hint?

I have friends who are "shacking up" and they swear by it. These same friends wonder why they do not receive roses, gifts and surprises like I do from my boyfriends. They often have to be the initiators of their relationships. Then, they complain when they do not get romantic proposals. 

OK, it is the new century, and we have to grow with the times. I agree! However, sacrificing your self-respect to cash in on some of the comforts of a marital relationship comes with a price. If you like living without the honeymoon, then do not complain when you do not get one.

Oh, and if you are having relations, which I imagine you are, you are creating a risk to have a baby (not to mention a sexually transmitted disease!). It is funny when my friends think I am weird for not having sex. I say, "How do you have safe sex?" They reply, "You can use a condom (I think: 82 percent protection), or you can use birth control pill (99 percent protection), or you can use a diaphragm (77 percent protection)." What happens to the 1 to 23 percent chance (which I happen to be: the 1 percent chance my parents risked!)? That's a baby! 

Now, should you stoop to his level and check his e-mail? This is probably where you think the answer will lie. Check his e-mail, only if you promise you will learn from what you find. I am certain you will not, though. 

As far as I am concerned, all is fair in love and war. If he KNEW you wanted to marry and settle down before he moved in with you, and he is now just playing the field, then he has already started the war with love. So, go through his e-mail and have a good time. Just promise me you will start looking for a new apartment (we have a great classified section on page 11!).



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