Every week, Prudie discusses a difficult letter with a colleague or pal, only for Slate Plus members. This week Jenée Desmond-Harris discusses her response to “Love or Cash” with fellow Slate author (and likewise her husband) Joel Anderson.
I’ve been seeing a person who is almost good for the previous few months. The issue is I don’t discover him engaging. On the similar time, I’ve dated many jerks and notice he’s a diamond. Other than being clever and type, he’s additionally well-off, and I’m an artist who’s part-time employed at greatest. I’m 39, and a husband like him would enable me to pursue my creative profession and have kids too, which I would like. I really feel affection for him however not romantic love—to be completely trustworthy, if he hadn’t pursued me for a date with such zeal, I might haven’t given him the time of day. I’ve saved issues informal however he desires to get extra severe, even get married. I do know my grandmother married for comfort, not love, and had a profitable marriage that lasted 50 years. I’ve been significantly contemplating marrying this man, however once I instructed my greatest pal that I don’t actually love him, she turned very upset and basically referred to as me a gold digger.
I’m torn. On the one hand, I feel we may very well be good companions and he would give me lots of the issues I crave, together with stability and a household. However my pal says I might be stopping him from discovering real love. I’ve been passionately in love earlier than and I don’t know if that sort of love must be extra vital than long-term friendship and assist. I additionally worry this chance received’t come up once more. However I additionally don’t need to harm him. Ought to I flat out refuse him if he brings up marriage once more? Ought to I be sensible and marry him?
—Love or Cash
Joel Anderson: Properly, that relies upon: Does he know any of this? If sure, nice. We are able to grapple with an actual dilemma right here. If not, you already know the explanation you’re not telling him any of this.
Jenée Desmond-Harris: “I worry this chance received’t come up once more” appears like a motive to purchase a house you possibly can afford, to not marry somebody you’re wishy-washy about!
Joel: Completely, there’s completely no ardour or heat on this letter. There’s additionally, “I’ve saved issues informal however he desires to get extra severe, even get married.” It looks like the LW had already made a selection about this relationship and the place it was going, however then she lately checked the stability in her checking account.
Jenée: You realize I haven’t actually instructed you as a result of I didn’t need you to suppose I used to be on this way of life, however one of many random rabbit holes I’ve gone down on TikTok has to do with ladies who train different ladies how one can discover rich males (who they admit they usually received’t be drawn to) to offer for them. So this sort of marriage (one rich individual, one lovely individual, every getting what they want from one another) is a factor and has been a factor all through historical past, however I feel the best way you recognize it’s best for you is that you simply really feel nice about it!
Joel: Properly I do know this way of life undoubtedly isn’t relevant to us as a result of you recognize I’m broke (heh, nicely I used to be once we first met) and that I come from a broke household.
However you’re proper. There’s nothing improper with a relationship constructed extra on a extra platonic-style partnership than romantic love. That’s been the mannequin for marriages and civil unions quite a bit longer than the latter. Actual cynics would possibly even say it’s probably the most dependable type of lasting relationship. Why muddle issues up with messy and fleeting issues like love and attraction? The distinction must be, nonetheless, that each companions perceive this association and enter into it overtly and actually.
Jenée: LW, simply give it some thought: Sure, in the event you married him you’ll be capable to pursue your artwork, however what’s the expression? “In the event you marry for cash, you pay for it”? You’d must be round him on a regular basis. I get that you simply don’t dislike him, however I simply suppose you want a stable degree of baseline enthusiasm to need to stick it out when your accomplice has a sinus an infection and has forgotten to make use of his nostril drops and is sniffing all night time or no matter. [The previous sentence is a work of fiction. Any similarities to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.]
Joel: Proper, you really need to have the ability to really feel love for somebody after hours of loud night breathing that basically cuts by way of the silence of the night time. However once more, any similarity to an precise individual is completely a coincidence.
Extra significantly, I completely perceive the LW’s fears about lacking out on discovering love and/or monetary assist at this level of their lives. All of that may actually really feel pressing, regardless of while you really feel it, however particularly as you strategy center age. The factor is, the LW doesn’t must miss out on any of this. I think “good man” is aware of about her reticence and lukewarm emotions towards him—and probably doesn’t care. He is perhaps hoping to ultimately win her affection. And this offers the LW a chance!
Jenée: A chance to what? Be received over and transfer from affection to one thing extra intense?
Joel: To inform the reality! The dialog may very well be like, “I do know you recognize that I care about you however I’m undecided if I like you sufficient to maintain a relationship. Are you OK with ready on me to get there sometime? Would you be OK with it if I by no means acquired there? I worth our relationship and am concerned about seeing the place it goes however I don’t need to provide you with false hope.” How about that poor try at a Prudie-style script?
Jenée: I give it a B+
Joel: Hey, don’t overlook that I used to be making an attempt to be concise!
Jenée: It was good however I don’t know if I agree with the message. Does she actually need to be with him if HE is okay along with her place? What if he goes “nice by me” after which she’s there residing her life feeling like she has a foot out the door any day.
Joel: Properly, like anybody else, in any type of relationship, she’ll both dwell along with her choice—or she’s going to change her thoughts. I suppose I’m taking her at her phrase that she’s severe about exploring different types of preparations. It’s not like being madly and passionately in love has helped her towards her goals and needs.
Jenée: Joel Anderson as Pricey Prudence: “Positive do no matter you need, you’ll both dwell with it or change your thoughts.” I imply, it’s truly broad however stable recommendation!
Joel: Positive, possibly we should always encourage her to attend for the love of her life. That’s a fantastic thought. However the chilly actuality is: that individual may not ever present up. Additionally, given that you simply’re somebody who’s an advocate for ladies buckling down about household planning earlier than it’s too late, I’m shocked you’re no more on board with this since she mentioned she’s 39 and needs children.
Jenée: Properly that’s a complete different chat, however level taken.