Red Responds: She Knows What She Wants. Does He?

Kathleen in New York writes:

I am in a relationship with a wonderful man. I have a feeling he will not be ready to commit for some time, but I know I am ready to at least get engaged to him this coming year. He is everything I want, but I’m not sure if he’s shy or if he doesn’t feel the same way I feel about him. I don’t want to leave a great relationship, but I’m at a point in my life where I know what I want and I’m not sure that I can wait for years to get it. Is he the one?

Also, I am a teacher and I am up for review at the end of this school year. It is entirely possible my principal won’t want to keep me on. Will there be another teaching job in Manhattan for me in the fall of 2010? What will happen if I don’t get a teaching job? The job market is so terrible and there’s such competition that I fear what might happen. I’m very worried.
Dear Kathleen,

It looks as if your relationship is strong, and your man absolutely adores you. While I’m not going to say that he’s shy in the typical sense of the word, he does have a more thoughtful and reserved approach to handling the more important issues of life.

If you decide to continue to explore this relationship, discussions of engagement and marriage will happen. At his heart, he really is a traditionalist. But, your timing concerns are valid. Your boyfriend isn’t thinking along the lines of, ‘I need to be engaged by X date.’ His methodology is to continue to enjoy the relationship, permit it to grow, and should everything continue on as it has been, then consider the possibilities of marriage when it feels appropriate — rather than using time as a marker.

He absolutely is one of your “ones,” but to formalize this relationship, you would have to be willing to wait it out a bit longer than you have planned. This year holds the promise of marital discussions, but it looks as if the calendar must turn into 2011 before he will give you a ring.

As far as your career goes, you are a bit burdened and burned out by the politics and cliques at the school where you teach. Not having a shiny review and your contract renewed is actually looking like more of a blessing than a problem. Even with the chaotic job market, I don’t see you being unemployed.

Keep alert for openings at what appears to be a non-denominational private school, or something similar. Your commute is going to be more extreme than what you are used to, but I don’t see you relocating to take this position. I know that you won’t see this opportunity as your ideal venue, but have a little faith that the universe does know what she’s doing. You will be in a position that allows you to worry less about politics and business, which lightens your load and frees you to do what you are meant to do: teach.


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