Q: I am in love with a girl that is 22 and as far as I can tell has not been through the independent phase. I am 34 and am independent. I read your article on this. She is in love with me and we are talking about getting married, what do I need to do?

A: If your love is strong enough, what you need to do is just be yourself with her and wait until she catches up. By being close with someone who is in the independent phase she will more quickly get there herself.

Notice the irritants you’ll be feeling though, and the ones she’ll be feeling too. (Think they are mentioned in The Three Stages of Relationships.)

Also, double-check if you are really in the independent phase. In this culture a whole lot of people are still dependent at your age – and most of them think they are independent. I only mention this because if you met this woman when you were already independent, I wonder why you are attracted to her. (It could also be due to some problematic things like wanting someone to “look up to” you, or someone to take care of, etc.)

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