While there are still a few days left in 2010, we’re going to feature some of our best and favorite posts from the last year. Each of your regular Frisky bloggers has picked out her 10 favorite posts from 2010—some you may remember well, others might have slipped past your radar. Either way, we hope you’ll relive the best of The Frisky in 2010. Here’s the best of Dear Wendy!“Can A Relationship Work Without Sexual Chemistry?”
The real question is whether YOUR relationship can work without sexual chemistry, and that’s simply something you’ll have to answer for yourself. I can tell you that it’s quite possible that you may find someone else who makes you weak in the knees but doesn’t treat you like your fiance does. You may find someone whose sexual pull is completely magnetic, but he’s got no interest in getting married or having kids or even necessarily being a boyfriend. You need to really evaluate your priorities and decide what you’re willing to live with and without, and then ask yourself some hard, honest questions.
You’re not a hard-line traditionalist or a domineering macho type? Good! Then you shouldn’t have a problem with taking your wife’s name if you feel so strong in your convictions that a family unit should share the same surname. Maybe your girlfriend would even be open to creating a new last name you both take when you marry. Still feel like it’s the woman’s job to take the man’s name and you’re not going to marry any woman who disagrees? Well, maybe that traditionalist macho label fits a little more snugly then you’d like to admit.
Torn, don’t go!! This guy is manipulating you like crazy. Getting a second Ph.D isn’t going to put him ahead of the pack any more than one Ph.D. will. The guy’s avoiding real life. He’s been in school since he was kid and he doesn’t want to get a real job like grown-ups do. Does he have any career goals and plans at all? Has he even bothered applying for jobs he may qualify for, or is he simply using the whole “crappy job market” line as an excuse not to look? And if he’s using that excuse for himself, does he think it doesn’t apply to you too? Let’s not forget — you’re the one with a job! He doesn’t have any prospects for one.
If there’s any chance at all you might want to have children one day, why on earth would you marry someone with whom that option would not be readily open to you? There are several big issues you should be in agreement on with someone before you legally commit to him or her and whether or not to have children together is pretty much at the top of the list. If you aren’t ready or able to reach an agreement on that issue yet — because you yourself don’t even know what you want — you’re not ready to get married. What’s the rush, anyway?
There are far worse things to be saddled with than a lot of debt (and if you don’t believe me, just read through some of my previous columns from readers with psycho exes, racist families, chronic illnesses, etc.). And the bottom line is that you’re able to manage your debt, right? You’re financially responsible and you foresee a high income trajectory in your future, so those are wonderful things. I understand that you’d feel insecure about your debt, but you’re in no way, shape or form a leper. You are not destined to a life of solitude and loneliness because of outstanding student loans.
One thing that will help you as you pursue a relationship— whether it’s the one you’re currently starting or another one in the future—is to think not so much of your condition, your history with it, and the effect it has on your ability to reproduce as a “confession” you have to make, but as another layer in the story of who you are.
Here’s something they don’t teach you or tell you in college — and when I say “they,” I mean everyone: professors, mentors, parents, older friends, that cab driver who waxes philosophic when he gets a car full of impressionable early twentysomethings — life doesn’t suddenly come into focus once you’re out in the “real world.” In fact, it doesn’t come into focus once you get a real job or turn 25 or find someone you want to spend the rest of your life with.
If you let fear — fear of being alone, fear of disappointing others, fear of hurting your partner — steer your life, you’re going to end up nowhere you want to be pretty quickly. This goes with every decision you’ll make in life — if you know in your heart that your best chance for happiness and success is to do the thing that scares you, feel the fear and do it anyway. Fear is simply a signal that you’re taking a risk, and risks are the things that empower you and enrich your life. Feeling fear simply means you’re stepping out of your comfort zone, and you know what? You gotta step out of it some time if you ever want to get anywhere.
This is one of those questions where there is no answer that is more “right” or more justified or more moral than the other. Only you — and your fiancé — can decide what is best for you and which outcome is going to be easiest for you to live with. What I can do is help provide a little perspective, and what I’m hearing you say is that marrying your fiancé secretly would break your heart, while the inconvenience of getting health coverage without insurance would continue to be, well, inconvenient. It seems that heartbreak is a heavier burden to bear than inconvenience, right?
Does applying for a job your friend is also pursuing make you a bad pal? That’s debatable in any economy, but certainly given our current state of things, it’s understandable as a recent college grad you’d want to apply for anything you might be qualified for (and find enjoyable, to boot). The problem here is you asked your friend if she’d be angry if you applied and she said “yes.” Asking her implies you care about her feelings, but disregarding her reply because it isn’t the answer you wanted to hear shows a real lack of character on your part.