I’ve quite recently become engaged. My fiance and I are very much in love; we haven’t been dating long — just shy of a year — but in that time, we’ve come to learn much about each other, and find ourselves very evenly and happily matched, intellectually, emotionally, and physically. To use a more trite expression, I’m everything he’s been looking for, and vice-versa. As his friends and family can attest, he’s selfless, kind, and devoted to a fault. The way he behaves around me, toward me, is no different, except that it’s in a romantic context. He’s told his friends and family about me, they liked me immensely when we met, and he’s made it perfectly clear that he wants to spend the rest of his life with me. His friends tell me how crazy he is about me. He tells me how crazy he is about me. He is the most attentive and caring person I’ve ever known. Have you ever heard the phrase “if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is?” Well, that tiny phrase has been gnawing on my nerves for some time, Evan. It’s not a question of my not loving him reciprocally, and not wanting to be married to him. I just can’t help but feel a bit wary about the situation. Am I setting myself up for disaster, or have I hit the proverbial “jackpot”? I love him, but I don’t want my feelings to blind me in the event that I’ve wound up in a situation that will end up hurting us both in the end. What potential “motives” can a man have for being so incredibly enthusiastic about a woman / marriage so soon? Neither of us is terribly wealthy, and neither of us want children, so I think we can safely rule those two “motives” out. Thank you for your time and consideration. -Mary

Dear Mary,

I only wish that my clients who fall in love would have the same sense of wariness about relationships that you do.

Because, whether you want to hear it or not, there IS something that is too good to be true – the unexamined marriage.

I was on the phone the other day with a friend who is unhappily married. To be fair, he’d be a difficult guy to be in a relationship with, but his situation is sadly predictable.

Whether you want to hear it or not, there IS something that is too good to be true – the unexamined marriage.

I remember going out to lunch with him when I was engaged and he was first dating. He told me how the chemistry was electric, how the sparks flew, and how he just knew that she was the right one. Part of me felt jealous, because I never felt that intensity with my wife… the other part knew that it was precisely because of this that I was more clearly able to assess our long-term compatibility.

My friend was not.

He was caught up in the throes of passion, and, like most people who let their feelings override their intellect, ended up getting married and pregnant after 16 months together.

He’s now miserable because he didn’t contemplate a vast number of things – how they work as roommates, how often they want sex, how they’d raise a baby, and on and on and on. In a marriage, there are hundreds of things to fight about and they seem to be covering most of them. And why?

Because they thought that a “feeling” had anything to do with managing a marriage.

Scientific studies have shown that the honeymoon feeling tends to wear off of new couples after 18-24 months together.

It’s not until that time that you’ve truly gotten a glimpse of what married life may really look like.

After two years together, couples…

Scientific studies have shown that the honeymoon feeling tends to wear off of new couples after 18-24 months together.

-Have told all their stories so it’s a little harder to find new topics of conversation.
-Don’t necessarily have sex every time they see each other
-Have learned about their partner’s bad qualities
-Have often started to obsess about those bad qualities
-Don’t have the same spark or excitement each time they talk
-Have learned about differences in compatibility – early/late, warm/cold, thrifty/lavish, that weren’t obvious at the beginning.
-Have dealt with conflict, disagreement, illness or failure and seen their partner’s reaction.

If you have a boyfriend who seems too good to be true, that’s wonderful news. It definitely beats the alternative (men suck, there’s no one out there!)

Just don’t kid yourself into thinking you’ve seen the full picture.

If you’re in no rush to have kids, you don’t have a lot of assets, and you’re not getting up in years, I’ve got GREAT news for you!

You don’t have to get married right away.

You can live together, travel a bit, and enjoy the beginnings of a long, beautiful relationship. There’s no rush whatsoever.

The reason that the majority of couples under the age of 25 get divorced is because they move too fast. And if you’re moving too fast, you miss the signs – just like driving 100mph on the freeway.

Take your time, enjoy your guy, and you’ll know a lot better in two years if he is, in fact, “too good to be true”.