Looking for a bridge over troubled water? Krithvi Shyam, our young psychologist, addresses your worst anxieties.

I am 21 years old. I loved a girl in college, but didn’t propose to her because I lacked self-confidence. She was a topper in my department and found a good placement while I didn't even have a proper career plan. After college, I started preparing for civil services examination and at that time I decided to propose to her during graduation day. But I couldn't because I lacked the confidence that I could settle down well, as I had not prepared for the exams seriously. If I keep wasting time, she might get married to someone else. What should I do? Do I focus on my career first or on my feeling for this girl? Is my love for her real?

MR.INSECURE

Which “proposal” do you mean? The dictionary definition kind, with wedding and prospective in-laws? Or the ‘Tanglish’ kind, where “girl who is a friend” becomes “girlfriend”?

In any case, you’ve pretty much answered your own questions. Your insecurity with not having a career is negatively affecting your self-confidence. So try focusing on building a career and see if that improves your confidence before embarking on any relationships.

As for whether your love is sincere or not, you wouldn’t be asking that if you hadn’t had doubts yourself. You are not ready to contemplate marriage with someone if (a) you find yourself attracted to others at the same time and (b) you’re trying to race against an imaginary clock where if you “waste time”, your crush will “marry someone else”.

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