Dear Donna: Shy folks need space, quiet time

By: Donna Shugrue Special to The Gazette
November 26, 2013 Updated: November 26, 2013 at 8:05 am

Dear Donna,

My mother invited my new girlfriend to join our family for Thanksgiving dinner. She accepted the invitation but told me later that she did not feel comfortable sharing Thanksgiving dinner with people she does not know very well. She is very shy and said she has to get to know people before she can warm up to them. My family is excited to meet her and they will be disappointed if she does not go, but I do not want her to be uncomfortable. What do you think? - Mark

Dear Mark,

Having worked with many shy people in my 25 years in the match-making business, I have come to appreciate how different it is for shy people. They need their space and quiet time. They are not comfortable in big crowds and are very selective of the people with whom they spend their time. Good for your girlfriend that she told you how she feels, and good for you for listening. A nice compromise could be to go for dessert. Stay close to her and tell her you are ready to go whenever she is ready to go. Then do it.

Dear Donna,

I have been in a relationship with a man for two years, and he knows I want to get married. Last year, I thought he was going to give me an engagement ring for Christmas. This year, I do not have that expectation, and I feel myself pulling away from him. I love him and I believe he loves me, but I don't even bring up the subject anymore. I am not going to give him an ultimatum, but I am not going to stay in this relationship indefinitely without knowing we will be married soon. I am tired of waiting.

Dear Tired,

It is time to bring up the subject again. Not communicating about this issue will only make you more resentful. There is a difference between an ultimatum and a realistic expectation. He knows you want to be married and, after two years, he should know if he wants to marry you. I would wait until after the holidays and ask him to set a date. If he is unwilling, I think it is time for you to move on.


Shugrue owns Perfectly Matched. Her column runs biweekly in Family. Email questions to donnashugrue or visit

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