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.
DEAR ABBY: Our 10-year-old son, "Harry," is a sore loser. If we play a sport or a board game with him, he ends up in tears if he doesn't win. Sometimes he will cheat if he thinks it will help him win. He even becomes upset when his favorite NHL hockey team loses a game.
We have told Harry repeatedly that games are supposed to be fun, but he seems unable to grasp the concept. We do not know what else to do. Can you help? -- HAVING NO FUN IN CANADA
DEAR HAVING NO FUN: Learning to handle and channel frustration is part of growing up. Nobody likes to lose, yet winning and losing are a part of every competition. If you catch Harry cheating, there should be a penalty, and you should let him know you are disappointed in him.
Continue to impress upon your son that the most important aspect of sportsmanship (or gamesmanship) is learning not only to be a gracious winner but also to be gracious in defeat. Tiger Woods is a glowing example of sportsmanship at its best. A cheat may win a game, but when the deed is discovered, no one respects the person. It's sad to say, but we have seen examples of that, too, in professional sports in recent years.
DEAR ABBY: Why is it that men, no matter their ages, are jerks? I am a single mom and have been divorced for two years. I date occasionally, and when I do, I try to date good guys who could possibly become more.
Abby, I never get a second date! I am sweet and can carry on a conversation. I go out with them or cook for them. I just don't understand why they never give me a second chance. -- HURT IN ROSWELL, N.M.
DEAR HURT: Not all men are "jerks." Because you are consistently getting the same reaction from every man you date, it is time to seriously consider what you might be doing to chase them away. A good place to start would be by having a frank talk with some of your male relatives and/or platonic friends.
For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order "How to Have a Lovely Wedding." Send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby -- Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)