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Dear Abby: Dating experience suffers in sex-obsessed culture
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Dear Abby

Dear Abby: Dating experience suffers in sex-obsessed culture

DEAR ABBY: I am a 48-year-old woman, divorced for 10 years. During that time, I have been in two serious relationships. I'm no prude, but it seems like everyone I date, and who my friends and I talk to, and articles I see are all about sex, having sex, rushing to sex. It's like there's no emphasis on actually getting to know a person anymore.

I'd like to believe that sex is something people who are already emotionally intimate can share. But by the third date, sex is not only expected but considered "normal." When I say that it's too soon for me, I'm not called back for another date. If I do go forward with sex, I feel compromised and cheapened when the "relationship" ends. These men didn't take the time to actually know ME.

Please understand. I'm mature enough to handle this, but I'm deterred from dating because of it. Are there any men out there who want a connection that isn't just physical? -- NOT CONNECTING IN MISSOURI

DEAR NOT CONNECTING: Yes, there are. But in our hookup culture, it may take time to find them. I agree that we live in a sex-obsessed society, as we are constantly reminded in print, television, film and online media. Many men in your age group avoid emotional intimacy because they have been divorced and don't want to quickly jump back into a committed relationship.

It's possible you might have better luck if you join activity groups in which the members have common interests besides running right off to the bedroom. You should never allow yourself to be coerced into doing anything you don't feel ready for. Unlike what some people may believe, sex does not automatically go with the dinner.

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been together for 10 years and were legally married a year ago. Our wedding was last-minute because my mother asked us to move the date up and make it happen fast. We obliged because she was very sick at the time, and we put the wedding together in nine days. The ceremony was beautiful. My mother passed away days later. It is obvious to me now that she knew she was terminal; however, I did not.

Since the date of her death is so close to our anniversary, it's a very emotional and hard time for me. I would prefer to celebrate on a different day, perhaps the anniversary of our first date. My husband tells me that while he understands it's hard for me, the date of our legal ceremony is important to him and worthy of celebration. I just don't feel much like celebrating. Although I know it's not fair to him, all I want to do is mourn the loss of my mother. How should I handle this? -- BITTERSWEET MEMORIES IN FLORIDA

DEAR BITTERSWEET: A compromise is in order. Explain again to your husband that because you lost your mother only a year ago, and this will be the first anniversary after her death, you would prefer to either forgo a celebration this year or celebrate on a different date. Assure him that your sadness will lessen eventually, and when it does, you will be fine celebrating your wedding anniversary with him in the future.

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DEAR ABBY: My daughter received her tax refund recently. It amounted to $8,700. Approximately $5,000 is for overpaying on taxes. Approximately $3,000 is the child tax credit she receives for her two children. Her boyfriend, the father of the two boys, thinks he's entitled to some of her money.

DEAR ABBY: I just got engaged, and I couldn't be happier. But my fiance is referred to by the entire town as the "bad guy" because of his past. He's changed a lot, and I really want this to work out, but people come to me and say he's not marriage material, and they try to make us break up (one of his exes in particular).

DEAR ABBY: I just found out my husband has been looking at escorts in the local area. I know he has watched porn, but that never bothered me. When I confronted him about seeing his search for escorts, he said he just clicked on a link that popped up on a porn site. (I have seen them, so I know it can happen.)

DEAR ABBY: My sister is a pathological liar who causes rifts between family members. She tries to turn us against each other. We must constantly check with each other to find out if what she has said about each of us is true. We can't understand why she's this way. None of the rest of us is. When I have asked her, "Why are you lying about me, us, etc.?" she tells me, "I did not lie." I think she believes her lies.

DEAR ABBY: My wife and I have been married five years and are raising four children. One is from my previous relationship, one is from her previous relationship and two are ours. We both have joint custody. My son goes to school near his mom. My wife's son goes to school where we live. They are 9 and 8.

DEAR ABBY: While shopping with a friend recently, I was put in an awkward situation in regard to a store discount. Having served in the military, I qualify for a discount at that particular store. She was aware of that discount, and while she was at the checkout lane, she yelled at me, "Hey, you! What's your phone number for your military discount?"

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