Dear Sangita: I think my friend is getting married too fast

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Sangita Patel is Streets of Toronto’s new advice columnist and was previously an entertainment reporter with ET Canada. She lives in Toronto with her husband and two daughters. 


Dear Sangita: My friend is getting married and I think it’s too fast. They got engaged after six months, and I feel like she doesn’t know him well enough. I want to be supportive, but I also want her to take a moment to think about what she’s doing. Should I say anything? — Runaway bridesmaid

Dear Runaway: It does depend on how long the engagement is. It could be a two-year engagement, it could be longer. There’s also the grey area of figuring out how they are together. Do they look like they’re fully in love? Does it seem like she’s found her soulmate and is in love with this person? I don’t think there’s anything wrong with getting engaged early — if you know it’s the right person, you know. It’s possible, in her case, that she’s found her kindred spirit. I personally know someone who did get engaged after six months, and then they got married within the year. And now they’ve been happily married for 20 years. The question you might want to ask is did your friend get engaged because she felt the pressure that she needs to get married? I think instead of you telling her it’s too fast, it’s more helpful to ask those questions: Why did she want to get engaged early? Is she happy? What makes him so special that she knows he’s the one? This is all instead of outright saying: Why did you get engaged after only six months? You can ask her for her opinion instead and have that important conversation. She might say the reason is that she knows he’s the one for her. Or she may even say she just wants a wedding or just doesn’t want to be alone. If that’s what you hear, then that can lead to the question of whether she’s rushing into it too quickly. 

You can’t be the one to  judge whether she knows him well enough — you don’t know that! Maybe she doesn’t know his favourite colour, but that’s OK. That’s what she’s going to learn. 

Dear Sangita: I am in the process of rebuilding a relationship with a parent who really hurt me. They believe it’s better to leave everything in the past and just move forward and ignore everything. I still feel like an apology is necessary to heal. I just want everything to be OK. What do you think? — Searching for sorry

Dear Searching: A parent-child relationship is so complicated. Parents are growing and learning as they’re raising their child. There are going to be mistakes. But it depends what this mistake is. I don’t know how severe it is, but I’ll say that, for my parents, I don’t ask them for apologies because they speak their apologies in different ways. It’s more about showing up and giving me a hug. 

Most people who are asking someone to say sorry, they want them to take ownership of it. You might be holding onto the term “sorry,” rather than what you really need — for your parent to acknowledge what happened. Your parent showing that they acknowledge what happened to you is way more important than that “sorry.” If they apologize but they don’t mean it, what’s the point? 

If, as you say, you know your parent is not the type to apologize, then maybe you need to focus on that acknowledgement and ownership instead. Hopefully that will be what you need to help you heal.

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