By Dawn Bright
Recently, one of my friends told me there must be something wrong with me because I keep my inside Christmas decorations up until Valentine’s Day. So, is there?
– Diane S., Destin
Keeping decorations up does not mean there’s something wrong with you, and I’d question a “friend” who felt the need to tell you something like that. We decorate to make the occasion special and because it reminds us of that special occasion. If you want to be reminded of Christmas until Valentine’s Day, so what! Enjoy the decorations and the special feelings you get from them.
If your house is anything like mine, it takes a while to get all those lights and garland strung, so what’s the hurry in taking them down? By the way, mine are still up, too!
My girlfriend is always telling me—in detail—about the dreams she has every night, and most of the time I’m in the dreams. I feel bad because I don’t remember my dreams, and I can tell she wants me to. I love this girl, so should I make up a dream about her every once in a while to make her feel good?
– John H., Holt
I don’t think it’s ever a good idea to make anything up, John, especially when you’re dealing with someone who you sincerely care about. Not everyone remembers his or her dreams, and it’s not something you can force. If it were me, I’d just listen intently to her dream, ask a question or two to show that you really do care about what she’s telling you, and then tell her you wish you could remember your dreams. I’ll bet if you could, she would certainly be in them!
By the way, if you have a violent dream with her trying to kill you with some kind of sharp object, you really should keep that to yourself. My boyfriend told me about a dream like that recently, and it didn’t make me feel special at all. It just made me feel weird. I’d rather hear about sweet puppies or going on a cruise. You should have heard him groaning in his sleep while I supposedly tried to kill him. Thank your lucky stars your girlfriend is having sweet dreams about your loving life together rather than being murdered. I’d take that any day!
My boyfriend and I have been living together for 10 years. One Valentine’s Day, he gave me a ring with a small solitary diamond on it, and then another Valentine’s Day, he gave me a diamond band that kind of matched. Together they look like a wedding set. Does wearing this set make me a common law wife?
– Lou Ann W., Fairhope, Alabama
Lou Ann, wearing the two rings together—whether they look like a wedding set or not—does not make you a common law wife. And in Florida, neither does living together for seven years or more. In fact, a common law marriage is not a thing in Florida.
In some states, presenting yourself as a married couple (changing your name, for example) makes it a common law marriage, but not in Florida. So you won’t be splitting your property, taking each other’s assets or automatically inheriting everything if one of you were to die. And by the way, if you did decide to break up, you wouldn’t have to go through a common law divorce either!
But Lou Ann, if you’re asking this question because you want to be a married woman, you should probably have a conversation with your long-term boyfriend. And while you’re at it, have him increase the size of that small diamond he gave you. After 10 years, I’m sure you deserve it!
Dawn Bright is an eternal optimist. And that’s pretty much all you need to know about her. Email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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