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Revitalizing Your Relationship: Exploring Intimacy Beyond Routine

DEAR ABBY: As a mature, divorced woman cohabiting with my partner for the past two years, we enjoy a comfortable life in a pleasant home within a wonderful community. However, I am facing an issue with his limited display of affection, stemming from his upbringing where such expressions were scarce. While he assures me he will improve, his efforts are short-lived, and our intimacy lacks emotional connection. How can I navigate this situation with understanding? Is it time to reconsider our relationship due to unmet needs? — UNFULFILLED IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR UNFULFILLED: Consider showering your boyfriend with love and affection, hoping that it will reciprocate. Open communication is vital. Express your love frequently and initiate physical touch. Don’t hesitate to ask for the affection you desire. Since he lacks the learned behavior of showing affection, he may need guidance in every aspect. Give it a try as there’s much to gain from your efforts.

DEAR ABBY: Despite having a decent relationship, my sister and I have not communicated for the past two years. Recently, I discovered through a general Facebook post that she and her husband welcomed their fourth child three months ago, making me an uncle. Feeling hurt that I wasn’t personally informed, should I be upset? I am their only brother and remaining family member. — BATTLING EMOTIONS IN ILLINOIS

DEAR BATTLING: The lack of communication might be due to misunderstandings or unresolved issues. Reach out to your sister to clarify the situation. Perhaps there were misconceptions or feelings of neglect. Address your concerns directly to prevent further distance in your relationship. Take the initiative to bridge the gap and understand her perspective.

DEAR ABBY: I have a close-knit group of childhood female friends, one of whom gossips behind our backs. While she maintains a pleasant facade in person, her behavior changes when we are not around. Her recent hurtful remarks have caused me to distance myself for almost three months, resulting in a stress-free period. Is my reaction unreasonable? — PEEVED IN PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR PEEVED: Your decision to prioritize your emotional well-being by avoiding someone who compromises your trust is commendable, not childish. It is wise to protect yourself from negative influences, even if it means creating some distance. Your self-care is essential in maintaining healthy relationships.

Dear Abby, penned by Abigail Van Buren, a.k.a. Jeanne Phillips, was established by her mother, Pauline Phillips. For inquiries, visit or write to P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.