Although the tongue weighs very little, very few people are able to hold it. -Anonymous

Dear 100 Hour Board,

It's relationship question time! Being an avid Board reader, I'm convinced this one isn't in the archives, but I sincerely apologize if it is. Shall we proceed?

A Boy and I have been friends since we were eleven. We spent most of our time together as very good friends, and by nineteen, there were a few innocent kisses and some hand-holding. We liked each other, but were focused on keeping it simple before his mission.

I went on a couple dates with other guys before he left and planned on accepting dates while we was gone, but was convinced that nothing would get serious. There was mutual agreement that we would keep in contact and see each other when he got back (our families are close and get together often). So, assuming I would be single when he returned, and provided there was still mutual interest, we could start dating when he got back and see how things went.

To my surprise, since Boy's departure almost a year ago, I've discovered that our families have practically planned the wedding! Apparently, they consider it a done deal. I'm beginning to feel a lot of pressure from both families that I shouldn't be dating other guys, and that my future is set with this kid. I know I shouldn't worry about what other people think, but I'm starting to worry that maybe Boy also has a different idea of our relationship than I do.

Sorry about the long back story. Now for my question(s): What now? It was pretty easy for me to suspend things with this guy. Of course I miss my best friend, but I'm perfectly content to be about my own business right now. I am, however, terrified of hurting him. I don't want to write to him about our relationship, as I think it would be unnecessarily distracting. But what if someone else comes along and Boy (apparently like my family and his) thought that I was planning on waiting or something? Even if things don't get serious with another guy, I think I would seriously shortchange us both by avoiding the growing opportunities of being in other relationships.

How do I make it clear to both families and to him that I am not promised to anyone? I think it's pretty bold to assume that things will definitely work out between us.
What if I were to start dating someone else? How could I recover from this situation and make things sound normal without sounding like I'm cheating on some kind of arranged marriage?

Ok, this turned out WAY longer than it was supposed to. I'm just concerned. Oh, Omniscient Board, what am I to do?

-Single and allowed to Mingle


Dear SaatM,

Don't worry about what isn't, or what might even not be. That applies both ways.

Sure, you might date and marry another dude - but you haven't yet. Sure, you might date and marry Boy - but you haven't yet. Don't worry about things that have or have not happened yet.

As for your and his family, I think that a brief conversation would do the trick. "I'm not betrothed to this guy, and you putting pressure on our relationship doesn't help. If you really want to see us together, the best thing you can do is to leave the decision to us." However, if this doesn't produce the desired results, don't write off Boy altogether. Don't not date him just to spite your/his parents is what I'm saying.

Don't bring it up with Boy via letter. You're correct that he doesn't need to worry about this right now.

As for the meantime, just date other dudes. It'll all work out. You probably already thought all of these things, and none of them are very revolutionary, but perhaps you just wanted to hear it from another person. I hope this helps.

- Commander Keen