DEAR ABBY: I have a close friend who is in her mid-30s. She's a wonderful, divorced, hardworking Christian mother of four who has finally ventured back to the dating scene. She's currently seeing a guy who in all respects is perfect for her, she says. Unfortunately, when it comes to romance, for some reason she can't seem to get aroused, and it's now at a point where she avoids his kiss if possible.
She really likes him and would love for this to work and feels conflicted because she doesn't know how to "light her fire" and find him intimately attractive. She's afraid she'll eventually push him away even though she wants the exact opposite. Any advice I can pass along?
- Needing a friend in the Southwest
DEAR NEEDING: Your friend needs to understand why she's having a problem "getting her fire lit." Could it be related to her divorce? Her feelings about premarital intimacy? Has she seen her doctor to rule out a physical cause? Or could it be that although he looks good on paper, there's simply no chemistry?
Because intimacy is an important part of marriage, she needs to be honest with herself about why she's reacting the way she is. If this isn't the only man this has happened with, and she can't find the answers within herself, some sessions with a licensed mental health professional may be in order.
Inconsiderate house guest
DEAR ABBY: My husband invited his good friend (an artist) to stay with us for two nights because he is coming to our city to give a speech. He accepted.
We tried to contact him two weeks ago, one week ago, three days ago, yesterday and this morning to find out what time he'll arrive so we can plan our schedule and prepare the food. He still hasn't gotten back to us. I had planned to go to church and a concert afterward. My husband doesn't want me to leave.
I am very frustrated about the man's lack of consideration. My husband considers him a good friend, but after the way we are being treated, I'm not convinced.
- Still waiting in California
DEAR STILL WAITING: I don't blame you for being miffed. Good friends don't treat each other so rudely. They answer their messages and show up when they're expected. Unless the man was in the hospital, solitary confinement, or dead, there's no excuse for his poor manners. Because your husband considers him a good friend, he should have stayed home to welcome "the artist" and let you off the hook.
Kids need to learn correct terms
DEAR ABBY: My son and daughter-in-law are "horrified" that we refer to our 3-year-old grandson's penis using the correct terminology. Should we relent and refer to that part of his body as something else?
- Unsure in the South
DEAR UNSURE: Not in my opinion. Children should be taught the correct terms for their body parts as soon as they are aware enough to identify - and pronounce - them. To do this will prevent confusion and possibly embarrassment later.