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What makes a relationship healthy?
DEAR JANN: I’ve been dating a guy for a little over a year. We have a lot of shared values, past experiences and interests in common. Simply being with him eliminates my stress. We also have great sex! However, the relationship lacks the excitement that I crave. I love him very much, but I don’t know if he’s “the one.” We only disagree on a few things, but they are important issues. One is religion: he’s religious and I’m not. And second, he opposes abortion, so he has some difficulty accepting the fact that I have had one. Another concern is that he lacks self-confidence and ambition. I’m not sure I can respect a man who makes less money than I do. Are my expectations unrealistic, or do you think I’m settling for second best? PICKY
Dear Picky: Well, I’m not sure what you’re looking for in another person. Have you ever looked closely at yourself? Have you looked in the mirror lately and asked yourself what your good and bad qualities are? I bet you’d have a long list running in both directions. Nobody is perfect; nobody can fulfill every desire and need that we have. It starts and ends with us — as individual entities. I think perhaps a separation is in order. I don’t know if you live together or not, but I think you should take a break and really think about what you want. You may want to fill him in on your thoughts as well. He may have something to say that could sway your decision one way or the other. Love can grow with respect but, of course, both people need to want to be in the relationship. Our confidence grows with encouragement, not reprimands. Remember that. If you’re not happy, you’re not happy. Go forward. DEAR JANN: First, I just want to say you’re an amazing artist and I love all your songs! Your musical lyrics are so moving, and I have been able to relate to them. Thank you! So my dilemma: I have been married to my husband for three years. He is a good, caring man, but I don’t feel passionate about him anymore. I fell in love with his character but was never really physically attracted to him. SEXED OUT
Dear Sexed Out: You need to go get counselling. Honestly, it’s a place to start, and maybe you’ll be able to figure out where the problem lies. It’s very easy to get into a rut when it comes to intimacy. Lust is something that you have to work on. Falling in love with someone is involuntary. Staying in love, being in love and being in a relationship are voluntary. You’re going to have ups and downs for sure in any marriage, but don’t lose faith just yet. There could be some very simple solution to what is going on with you. I can’t believe you married someone you were not physically attracted to at all; I just can’t. If he is a good man, then let him be a good man and at least give him the benefit of the doubt. Try to find the catalyst to all of this. Please keep trying; it’ll be well worth it either way.
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Photo courtesy of Norbert Mayer