By Keith Ablow, M.D.
Rekindling Passion For The Husband You Still Love
People sometimes tell me they know a couple married 20 years whose sex life is still as good as it ever was. Here's what I tell them in return: "There are only three possibilities. One: This couple is lying. Two: They are telling the truth, because they didn't have good sex to begin with. Or three: Sex is all they really have together. They never connected emotionally."
I've drawn that conclusion by listening to...
I'm a 36-year-old straight woman, reasonably successful in my career, with lots of friends of both genders. My love life, however, has been an unbroken series of disasters. I meet a lot of guys and date a lot, but after a while interest flags on either his side or mine. In the past two months, I've been through both experiences. One was a great guy with whom I seemed to have everything in common, but who just stopped calling; later I heard he'd found a new, younger girlfriend. The other started out as a wonderful romantic, cooking me candlelight dinners and sending me sweet notes, but then told me he "didn't want a romance, just a sexual friendship," which didn't interest me.
I haven't had a serious relationship in five years now, and I'm starting to think there must be something on my end to create such a constant pattern of disappointment. I went to a therapist, who said I seemed pretty emotionally healthy to her. I've asked my friends to tell me straight on if there's something I'm doing wrong, and they say no, that I'm a kind and warm and likeable person and that I've just had bad luck, that the guys I've met have just been turkeys.
Still, the only constant in this long, long string of losses is me -- the guys are from all different backgrounds, age groups and professions, and all of them seemed like reasonable people when I met them. And I've met them in all different ways -- everything from eyes across a crowded room to trying to turn an old friend into a lover, from work colleagues to the Internet. Nothing has worked out.
What the hell is wrong with me, Dan? I'm so tired of being single. I just want a guy to call my own.
Here is Dan's response:
I'm not sure what's wrong with you, nor can I offer much advice beyond the conventional wisdom that floats around out there for single people who want partners: Keep your spirits up, don't wallow in self-pity, there's a guy out there for you, do things and go places you're interested in and you're bound to meet him. That's the advice Ann and Abby have been giving both men and women suffering from your particular problem for, well, for ages and ages. And, as is often the case, conventional wisdom became conventional for one very good reason, i.e., it's true.