Dear Rachel,

A week ago, I was on a great date, or so I thought. We dined at a romantic restaurant, we enjoyed some stimulating conversation back at his place, we shared a kiss on his couch, and then … he exposed himself! I don’t know if his fly was made of Velcro or what, but one moment he was clothed and the next moment he was blowing in the breeze. I was in such shock that I barely had time to say, “Would you look at the time?” before my feet swept me out the door faster than you can say, “full frontal.” The next day the guy called for what I thought was an apology, but instead he told me he didn’t see me in a “romantic way.” There’s a part of me that’s still in shock that he whipped it out, and another part of me that’s insulted that he had the nerve to dump me. I don’t know what to think of him. Can you shed some light on this case of overexposure?

Signed, Overexposed

Dear Overexposed,

First of all, don’t believe this guy’s bogus line about not seeing you in a “romantic way.” Obviously his nether regions found you attractive enough to make an early appearance. This guy obviously felt embarrassed and rejected that you hightailed it out of his apartment after he prematurely exposed himself, so his bruised ego tried to even the score by rejecting you the next day. His phone call was an attempt to save face by avoiding an apology and/or an awkward conversation regarding his crude behavior. I wouldn’t lose sleep over this guy, since he’s obviously not the right person for you. One day you’ll look back and laugh about him, and remember him as one of the frogs you had to kiss on your road to your ideal mate.

Dear Rachel,

My girlfriend of two-and-a-half years wants to get married, but I say, “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” We already live together and I’m loyal to her, so I don’t understand what’s missing on her end of the relationship. I see the high rate of divorce and I worry that marriage drives people apart. How can I talk my girlfriend into spending the rest of her life with me in non-matrimonial bliss?

Signed, Worried About Marriage

Dear Worried,

Marriage is often equated with the phrase, “… and they lived happily ever after.” However, as you’ve noticed, the high rate of divorce proves that marriage does not guarantee a happy ending. Marriage can be a beautiful thing if you’re with the right partner. If you marry the wrong person for the wrong reasons, of course your marriage will end in divorce. Don’t marry on the rebound or because you’re tired of waiting for your ideal mate. Listen to your gut feelings if they’re telling you that a partner is not compatible for a lifelong commitment. Hunches often prove correct.

If you’re still not sure, ask yourself this: Do you want to spend the rest of your life with your girlfriend? Many people think they have an aversion to the idea of marriage when, in reality, they only have an aversion to marrying their specific girlfriend or boyfriend. A man may swear to his girlfriend that he “never wants to get married,” and then dump her and marry the next woman he dates. Is it possible to love a woman too much to break up with her, yet not enough to marry her? Yes. If this is the case for you, don’t get married.

On the other hand, if you feel that your girlfriend is the right woman for you, and you’re not commitment-phobic, why the reluctance to tie the knot? Could it be that you have some preconceived ideas about marriage? Do you consider matrimony an archaic institution full of conventional rules that stifle one’s individuality? Once you wed, you don’t have to morph into Ozzie and Harriet of the 1950s. You and your girlfriend can customize your marriage to suit your individual needs and desires.

Marriage doesn’t have to be confining, constricting, boring or traditional. If you’re still not convinced, talk to your girlfriend about your concerns and she may surprise you by agreeing to a life of non-matrimonial bliss. If she still wants to get married, however, you may be able to come to an agreement by thinking outside the box and making up your own matrimonial rules. With clear communication, the only change marriage may bring is a closer bond between the two of you as a team in this thing called life.

Rachel Iverson is a freelance writer, dating coach and author who lives with her husband in Venice Beach. Her book, “Don’t Help A Man Be A Man: How To Avoid 12 Dating Time Bombs,” has been endorsed by Dr. John Gray, author of “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus.” For more information on Rachel or her book, visit www.rebelgirlpublishing.com. For dating advice, contact rachel@rebelgirlpublishing.com.

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