Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

Compatible Relationships Are Built on Respect, Not Argument

DEAR ABBY: I have been dating a wonderful man I'll call "George" for the past 14 months. We have never had an argument or even a disagreement. We both have good jobs, like doing the same things, and we see each other every weekend. Our co-workers and family members have commented that we seem remarkably happy as a couple.

Don't get me wrong. George and I know what we like and dislike in life. We talk about things, have serious discussions and deal with whatever comes our way. But for some reason, my sister insists that by now my boyfriend and I should have had at least one good argument. She thinks it's weird that we haven't, and says we are "trying too hard" to make each other happy. She says George and I are ignoring things that could cause unhappiness.

My sister is younger, married, works full-time and has three kids. I think she may be secretly jealous of our relationship. So I ask you, Abby, DO all couples have to argue or have disagreements? -- "MISS BLISS" in N.Y.C.

Dear "MISS BLISS": No, they do not. Some couples have a higher compatibility quotient than others. Intelligent, mature people do not necessarily agree on everything. However, they respect each other's right to disagree without it degenerating into an argument.

It appears that you and George recognize how lucky you are to have found each other. Whether your sister is jealous is beside the point. When you are ready to take the next step, premarital counseling -- which I think is a good idea for all couples -- can ensure that you and George are on the same page about the things you both think are important.