Dear Feelings Doctor: My husband and I have different schedules with our lives and our emotions. During the day he barely has time to say hello or eat lunch, and when he comes home, he doesn’t kiss or hug me. BUT, he is always ready for sex.
After working at his office until 7:30 every night and not thinking about anything else but business, he comes home and is instantly “in the mood.” I am not! Whatever happened to romance? Please give me some advice.
— Charlotte in Los Angeles
Dear Charlotte: After couples have been together for more than a year or so, patterns and schedules will often dictate their lives. That’s not to say that having a safe, loving, secure home life is boring by any means.
If you want to G.E.T. you need to A.S.K. So, let your husband know how much you miss those spontaneous, romantic times. Schedule date night once a week — really! You take the lead a few times and surprise him with plans already made. As far as the romance part, show him exactly what you mean — he’ll get the message. Men are really good with a little direction.
It’s very important for couples to have this time just for them. Having a new, fresh outlook on your connection and taking the time to honor your relationship and the sacredness that brought you together will spark the romantic love angels, too. The bond that makes your life work will always need some T.L.C. Above all, have fun.
Dear Feelings Doctor: I wrote you a question back in January, and I really like what you said about not having sex so soon. Well, I waited to have sex with my boyfriend and we are still together. My best friend didn’t wait, had sex with her boyfriend and now he won’t even talk to her! It’s creepy and hurtful for this to happen when you care about someone so much.
What do I do now with these feelings I still have about going ahead and doing it? My boyfriend doesn’t want to wait any more. Thank you again for helping me.
— Stephanie in Santa Barbara
Dear Stephanie: I am so glad to hear that you did what you felt was right for you. At 14, there will be many things that you find challenging. Starting to experiment with your sexual emotions is right at the top of this list. Becoming sexually active before you are mature enough to protect yourself, you are at risk for more things other than the experience that seems so urgent: sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy and perhaps the feeling of, “Oh, man, why did I rush this?”
Being in a relationship in your teens can be tricky, so find the things that you have in common besides sex. Each day that you say yes to your feelings and no to what others want you to do will build your character and self-respect.
Remember, there is only one time that makes it the first time. Be really, really sure when that time should be. If you find that you cannot say no to sex, say yes to safe sex. Keep writing to me and I will always answer.
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Imagine This ...
Today is the day of No Complaining. It’s the 24-hour gratitude walk. Every time you feel like complaining or getting angry, stop and count to 10 with deep breaths. Turn things around in those 60 seconds and make that moment a positive one. You have just created permanent change. Congratulations.