DEAR ABBY: I am a divorcee in my 40s who is in a committed relationship with a man who is also divorced. Neither of our marriages were happy ones. We stayed in them for all the wrong reasons. We have been together for three years, live together, love each other unconditionally and have talked extensively about getting married.
My question is, am I wrong to expect a traditional proposal with an engagement ring? It is important to me that he would think enough of me to plan one. I feel if he did it for his first wife, he should do the same -- or more -- for me. Would it be in bad taste to mention this? -- ASKING TOO MUCH? IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR ASKING TOO MUCH?: Unless one of your companion's attributes is clairvoyance, express your feelings. He may not be aware that you would feel somehow cheated if he doesn't come forth with a gesture that is "equal or better" than what his ex received. Consider carefully what resulted from that first fancy proposal.
An essential ingredient in a successful relationship is the ability to express one's wants and needs to the other partner. I would only suggest that when you do, your thoughts are couched as a request and not a demand.