I've never been a JW and so am not qualified to discuss that
aspect, but you have already had plenty of good advice. I'm approaching your dilemma from
a different angle, based on my own experience and observing other happy marriages,
as well as the problems of badly matched or unhappy couples.
If you talk to divorced people, they will often tell you
that one of the biggest mistakes they made in choosing their ex-partner was
going with their heart rather than their head.
The problem is that much of modern culture in films, on TV,
in novels and music lyrics encourages the ide that romance, emotions and physical
attraction are a good basis for a happy relationship. It may sound unromantic and clinical,
but my experience is that logic and rationality are invariably a far better
guide to successfully choosing a suitable partner.
If you can, figuratively step outside your current situation
and try to imagine a future you in say, 20 years’ time, when the first wrinkles and grey hairs are showing. Imagine you are looking back on your life. What would you like to have achieved during
those 20 years, how do you realistically envision your day to day life has been and what
would your relationship with your partner be like after living together all those years? Write it all down.
Now make another list.
Write down what personal qualities your future partner would need to
have in order that your vision for your relationship could be fulfilled. Be very careful to do this dispassionately,
and don’t allow yourself to be influenced by the characteristics of your
Your choices can be positives or negatives, (For example, Positives
- he must be good with children, he must be open minded, he must be honest; Negatives - he must not be a smoker, he must
not be controlling, he must not be moody).
Again being realistic, choose the top five to ten items on
your list which you know you would not compromise on, and highlight these. The other items will be regarded as ‘nice to
have’ but not absolutely essential attributes.
Remember no one is perfect, despite the portrayal of some Hollywood
films, and compromise on more superficial characteristics will be inevitable.
Now be absolutely honest and put a tick against the items on
your list that describe your JW guy. Does he fit with all your fundamental requirements?
From your posts, I picked out amongst other things that you
want someone who will be affectionate, someone who is able to discuss profound
topics and someone who will be there to support you with life’s ups and
Bear in mind that if your boyfriend is turning up the
romance and attention when he is concerned that you are about to end the
relationship, this probably means he is acting a role. If he was genuinely a caring and attentive
type, it would be an everyday part of his life, not just used as a tool when
needed to keep you keen. If you were to marry,
he would not have to try any more, and the affection and romantic attention
could very quickly disappear once the honeymoon was over. That is very common.
Enjoying deep conversations could last, but ask yourself,
does he carefully listen to your views and happily accept that you are entitled
to disagree with him, or does he get irritated and become dogmatic and arrogant if you take an opposing stance?
You already don’t agree on religion, but how about
ethics, politics, lifestyle, financial management, household management, gender
roles, and the best way to bring up children?
You need to be sure you can compromise on any points where you disagree.
You don’t seem at all sure whether he would be caring and
supportive of you in times of need. This
is a crucial factor to determine. Forget
about helping out with a tyre puncture, if he truly loves you, and is a genuine caring
person, he would stick by you and take responsibility if you were in a terrible
accident and left scarred and badly disabled.
Would he do this for you? (And conversely,
would you do it for him in those circumstances?)
The most important element of love is respect. Does he respect and admire the things about
you that you are most proud of about yourself?
Do you respect his best qualities?
If you take off the rose tinted glasses and work through
these kind of questions with complete honesty (no point kidding yourself – this
is a life-changing decision), you should be able to work out what is superficial and what matters to you. This may help you to
by-pass your unreliable emotional responses and make a more rational decision.
I won't wish you good luck as I don’t think your future is entirely down to
luck, but good judgement and a mature approach. But I sincerely wish you the best and hope whatever you decide, you won't regret
it in 20 years’ time!