I recently called my male friend to check his temperature about relationships and marriage. To my surprise, he was excited about the possibility of marriage. He even included the idea of having children, and I was pleased with our conversation. I made an informal proposition to him, saying if we are still single by the age of 43, we should become a couple. This is a risky move on my part: You do not know whom we may meet in the next two years. But I like him, and I hope it can happen. Should I wait for my prince, or should I keep my head in the clouds? -- Two Years and Counting, Chicago
DEAR TWO YEARS AND COUNTING: I like the idea of a deadline in the sense that it gets you to focus on attaining something that you want so much -- whether it manifests or not. I also like the idea of your childhood friend as a partner -- if the two of you actually like each other in that way.
What I do not like is the two of you thinking about this as a backup plan. Instead, why not start dating and see if you are compatible? Honor your friendship by figuring out if or how it will evolve.
(Lifestylist and author Harriette Cole is president and creative director of Harriette Cole Media. You can send questions to email@example.com or c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)