It is a very good thing that this is so; and the girl or man who looks the matter straight in the face is really glad to have the opportunity of knowing thoroughly the character of the person he or she hopes to take "for better or for worse." The Sulky Lover
There are such things as sulky lovers, and a man of this type is one of the most difficult in the world to deal with.
When she is first engaged, and not used to his ways, the girl is apt to think he has toothache, but she soon finds out that it is much worse than that; something has annoyed him, and he is sulky, and likely to remain so for perhaps a week.
And it is really hard work to make it up with a man of this kind, because, somehow, just when his lady-love has by much thinking brought herself to believe that perhaps she really was in the wrong, and has made up her mind to apologise, she will often find it is no use, because he has not brought himself to the same happy state of mind.
He wants to know what ever she is "making all this fuss about," or pretends he does not hear what she is saying; and the "tiff " begins all over again.
Now, the wise girl does not burst into tears, or make matters worse by losing her own temper. She just leaves him alone, and goes her own cheerful, happy way, because she realises that sulkiness is a kind of measles, and must run its course.
But the girl who is not prepared to treat a sulky lover like this had better break off her engagement at once, because, sad to say, the sulky person seldom is really cured; and there can be no real happiness in prospect for the married life if she, as wife, cannot make up her mind to allow her husband to be sulky now and again in peace.
The man who is engaged to a girl who wants every scrap of his time and attention, and is jealous to boot, has hardly a happy time; but if he realises this fact, and is prepared to marry a very exigent woman, he has more chance of happiness than the man who blindly shuts his eyes to faults.
Tearful girls are perhaps the most difficult for a man to deal with.
I know one man who was constantly finding his fiancee weeping bitterly because she thought that he either did not love her enough in the present, or would love her less or not at all in the future.
Kissing is the only cure for this kind of thing; but the man who marries a girl of this type must be prepared for the fact that his married life will in all probability be a series of little "squalls" all through. Yet, given a knowledge and understanding of her ways, he will be able to live at peace and in happiness with a wife of this description.
The lover who is an inveterate tease is a very difficult person to deal with; and many a sensitive girl has had her life made miserable by a lover who could not resist the temptation to tease her, in season and out of season.
Of course, he never means to be "unkind," and fond and frequent are the "makings up," but a girl who is highly strung should pause and consider if she has sufficient fortitude to stand a husband of this description.
To the girl who looks at things in a sensible light, and is ready to take the trouble to cure her lover of his ungraceful habit, the tease will most probably make a very good husband indeed, as in most cases men of this description are generally very good at heart, and only require a little lesson or two to show them how really unkind are their thoughtless ways when carried to excess.
The girl who is able to steel herself to appear not to mind his chaff, and learns to pass things off as a joke, though she may be longing to cry with vexation, will have the ultimate reward of finding that the teasing habit will die a natural death for want of fuel.
There are many men who think being engaged is so nice that they are in no hurry to marry; they are content to drift and drift, wasting the best years of their own and their fiancee's life, putting the idea of marriage, with its responsibilities, further and further into the future.
No girl likes this kind of treatment; and a fiancee who has any sense of the fitness of things will rather break an unsatisfactory engagement of this kind than be tied to a man who, when her youth has gone, will very probably break it gently (or not, as the case may be) to her that after all he thinks that "they are not suited to each other."
She is well rid of such a man, of course; but this makes it none the less hard for her to realise that for his sake she has discarded other suitors, only to find herself jilted by a man who will most probably become engaged to the next pretty and young girl he meets, while she is left "on the shelf."
Of course, there are occasions when a lengthy engagement is imperative for money or family reasons, but these are on an entirely different plane from those which are lengthened simply because the man often will not take the trouble to make a home for the girl he is supposed to love.
I say "supposed," because "true love" does not do this kind of thing. No man who really loves a girl and is able to marry her will allow her to spend years of waiting, till her beauty and her nerves are frayed.
Some girls don't seem to realise that once they are engaged to a man their powers of flirting should be curtailed; and a great deal of misery is often caused between lovers by the quite harmless flirtations that the lady carries on, in her spare moments, so to speak.
She has been used to a great deal of attention probably, and it is naturally rather difficult for her to give it all up, love she never so dearly.
Very few men realise that it is quite possible for a girl to be pleasant to her men acquaintances, and yet not love them.
And the wise girl does not try her lover's patience too far. She expects him to give all his time and attention to her, very naturally, and so she gives up her butterfly amusements if they annoy him. Though, of course, the jealous lover who scowls at every man who speaks to his beloved should be gently reasoned with, and not allowed to make a laughing-stock of both himself and his fiancee. But within reason the girl who wants to be happy in her marriage will not give her lover the smallest cause for jealousy.
If a girl cannot give up flirting, and thus makes things difficult between herself and her fiance, she had better realise at once that if things are tiresome at that stage, life for them as married people will be too difficult altogether for them to have any happiness.
"Bear and Forbear"
But engaged people should remember that everyone, even those who dwell in the outer land where lovers are not, is "difficult" at times, and it is only to be expected that sometimes the flower path should have a thorn or two.
An old lady of my acquaintance once gave some very sound advice to a girl who was about to be married. "My dear," she said, "if you want to be happy when you are married you must always keep two bears in the house: bear and forbear." And this is very excellent counsel.
If you feel you want to quarrel, pause and remember that however nice the making up, there remains always the sting of hard words.