Dear Barb – Differences in Comfort

Dear Barb:

My boyfriend and I have been dating for two years. We’ve always had a difficult relationship because we seem to see the world differently. For example, I am a saver, he is a spender. I am open and communicative and he is a quiet brooder. I love kids; he’s kind of so-so about them. I am very affectionate, but he isn’t demonstrative at all. He smokes drugs quite often, while I don’t use drugs at all. Through all of these we have managed to stay together, but now we are beginning to talk about marriage and I’m a little hesitant to commit like that. I don’t want to spend my life fighting and arguing with my husband and I fear that would happen. I love my boyfriend and we have a lot of good times. I just don’t know what to do. Kim.

Hey Kim:

Partners who are very different can still have a successful marriage if they share similar core values. Some examples of core values include honesty, trust, commitment and caring for others. You and your boyfriend should have a serious discussion about these issues; you will then be able to detect any problem areas. If the problem areas are concerning you I would suggest you both go to couples counselling before you commit to marriage. Your physician would be able to recommend a reputable counselor for you to see. Hope this helps Kim and thanks for writing.

Dear Barb:

My wife and I have been together for five years and I feel the passion has died. I still love her, but our relationship has become more comfortable than passionate. I try to be affectionate and considerate to her, but I just don’t know how to get the passion back. Any suggestions, thanks Ken.

Hi Ken:

Great question. In a relationship people often mistake comfort for boredom, although in reality it is not. It is normal for a long-term relationship to become comfortable. The passion is still there you just have to work a little harder to bring it to the surface. Take your wife out for a special dinner, maybe somewhere you went early in your relationship that will trigger some memories. The simple addition of candles to the dinner table, with the lights turned down will change the whole mood. Write her a poem or a romantic letter. Make all the arrangements for a weekend getaway, by that I mean not only book the room, but if you have pets, make sure they are taken care of, make reservations at a nearby restaurant for dinner, perhaps have flowers delivered to the room. If a getaway is above your budget, how about a gift of lingerie, it doesn’t have to be expensive, it is the thought that is romantic. Comfort is a good thing as long as it is not indifference, as that would cause you to grow apart. Happy romancing Ken.

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Email your questions to Some submissions may be edited for length and to protect confidentiality; your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.