AdviceHey, Bonita!

Advice on Rushing Into Marriage and Finding Out About Protests

Let me take a moment to expand a bit on last week’s question from a 31-year-old woman who wanted to put a ring on her total pigpen of a boyfriend. I realized later that I didn’t say some things that I really wanted to point out. 

Lots of us can relate to loving a person beyond their disgusting personal habits, and I do think the love she feels is real, and that this guy loves her, too. But I just don’t believe that love conquers all, or that it’s enough to make two people compatible roommates. Unfortunately, marriage is so much more than just bunking up with a person you love, and sharing a home is equally complicated. I must admit that I’ve never been married, and I’m a highly independent person in general, plus I’m also a neat person who has fallen hard for some wonderful slobs. I just can’t imagine asking a person who leaves loogies in the sink to share a bathroom with me, no matter how good our relationship is.  

Our thirties can be seen as a milestone age, a time when we should be racking up life achievements and such, and I got the sinking feeling that our lady felt like she needed to be married by now, pure and simple. I thought the same thing at 30, and even more so at 31 when I hadn’t locked down a fiancé. She seemed to be convincing herself that her feelings for this guy would override any negatives of getting more serious with him, and she even went so far as to attempt to invalidate her own needs around the issue. 

If you’re reading: Grrl, you are not crazy, and you are not getting in the way of yourself. You shared private things that show me that you are whip-smart, talented as hell and a hard worker who deserves to keep the things she’s fought for. I would bet my right eye that this dude is a wonderful boyfriend to you, but a boyfriend and a husband are more different than you’d think. I know you want to be married, but I suspect that you can’t picture yourself with this man for the rest of your life. That feeling matters, your needs matter, and you should not sideline them to hit the marriage milestone.  

Hey Bonita,

I was hoping you would have some advice for how to know about the protests going on in Athens beforehand. They are so important, and I really want to participate, but I always seem to find out about them after the fact.

Thanks for everything,


Hi Jade,

Social media is the name of the game, so you need to be following local activist organizations on all the apps. I recommend the Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement, Athens For Everyone and United Campus Workers of Georgia, at UGA, to start. Create a network of activists and organizations that trust you to show up and will reach out to you when there are upcoming demonstrations. I also recommend that you make friends with individual activists and build affinity and trust with them. You should definitely be following Athens-Clarke County Commissioner Mariah Parker on social media, as she’s very much involved in local activism and politics (no surprise there).

There are demonstrations and events that don’t get advertised on social media, and that’s where your network of activist friends will come in. It will take a moment to build that trust and affinity I mentioned, and it may take a while for you to be ushered into the loop. Local activists in other areas have been targeted by militias, Nazis and worse, so I would expect people to be cautious about sharing logistical information with new faces. But if you are sincere about your desire to participate and be a positive presence, that will show, and people will respond accordingly.

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