It's Complicated Advice Q&A: "How Do I Know if This Guy Is the One?"


I am currently with a wonderful man. We dated years ago but broke up because I was ready to take the next step in our relationship and he wasn't. Last year, we got back together. Now he wants to get married, but I feel like I need to decide where I want to go with my career and what sort of relationship I want, if any. I am not sure I ever want to have children, and I know, deep down, that my boyfriend does. We have been to couples counseling, and I have also been seeing a counselor on my own. But is it unreasonable to ask for a break so I can look at the big picture? I know I can't force him to stick around while I soul-search, but I don't want to end up back in this same place in a few years - or resenting him. - J.P., 27, Boise, ID

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The easy answer is this: Continue seeing your counselor, step back, search your soul, and trust that if you do decide this man is The One, he'll still be around and available.

Related: How to Have a Better Relationship

Be honest with your guy about where you are, and tell him that he's not alone in wanting you to come to a decision. You're eager to sort out your mixed feelings too. There's no reason to break up, unless he feels he needs to. In the meantime, take heart: The fact that you're asking a lot of tough questions instead of throwing yourself into the delirious festival of fantasy and spending known as planning a wedding speaks to a levelheadedness that will serve you well in life.

Related: The 18 Most Annoying Male Habits Explained

Karen Karbo is an award-winning writer and author of The Gospel According to Coco Chanel: Life Lessons from the World's Most Elegant Woman. She's also a mom, a writing teacher, and a horse owner. Check out more advice from Karen.

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Whatever's bugging or perplexing you - about your friends, brother, sister, parents, in-laws, husband, you name it - REDBOOK's Karen Karbo has the smart advice you need. Email your questions, rants, and worries to her at karenkarbo@redbookmag.com and please include your initials, age, city and state. Letters may be edited for clarity and length.

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