It's Not Fair to Try to Change Fiance's Personality Traits

Article excerpt

Q. I have been engaged for six months to a sweet, adoring, incredibly generous guy. We have not set a wedding date yet but will probably pick something soon, since this will be a second marriage for both of us.

My problem is that my fiance is overly nice! He is also overly sociable. This man strikes up conversations with anyone and everyone wherever we go! At first it didnt bother me, but lately I get embarrassed and angry. He will compliment strangers on their clothing, joke around with kids, retail clerks, waiters, basically any and everyone! I find his behavior odd and frankly quite irritating! Ive tried to nicely tell him he is "too nice" to people, and he just says its the way he was brought up. I want to resolve this before I commit to marriage. Please dont recommend counseling as he doesnt see anything wrong with his behavior.

K.

A. I find your use of exclamation points quite irritating, but I imagine when you just read that, you got angry or defensive. As you should have: Since Im not your English teacher, its not my place to tell you how to write.

So the problem isnt that he sees nothing wrong with his behavior. Its that neither of you sees anything wrong with your behavior in viewing your own opinion of proper socializing as the universal standard, and in believing its your place to tinker with your fiances personality traits to make them more to your liking.

Its actually a common problem. When youre just dating, you spruce up your differences with flowers and strategic lighting, but when you commit, you start thinking major renovations. Common, but deeply unfair. …