DEAR ABBY: I'm in desperate need of help. I have been with my girlfriend for four years. With every long-term relationship, there are bound to be issues. I haven't felt loved by her in a long time, and I think I have fallen out of love with her. I can't even tell her that I love her anymore because I don't want to lie.
When we make love, it's dull and boring. I want to feel the way I used to about her. When I was near her, my hairs used to stand up, my heart would race, my body would quiver and I would never want to let her go. How can I feel that way about her again? -- WANTS THAT OLD FEELING
DEAR WANTS: The problem with relationships is that they can only be brand-new once. With the passage of time, to some extent the excitement fades. That's where the "work" comes in.
Longtime couples must make an effort to keep their relationship fresh and exciting. This means introducing spontaneity and new experiences to each other.
You say you haven't felt loved by her in a long time. My advice would be to talk to her about it. Because you can't bring yourself to tell her you love her, has it occurred to you that she might feel as though she has been emotionally abandoned by you?
If you want that old feeling back, you and your lady will need to resume communication on a meaningful level. It's not always easy, but honesty can revive a relationship that's wilting.
DEAR ABBY: I live with my longtime boyfriend in a house he owns. We're five hours away from my parents and siblings and the town in which I grew up. It's a beautiful house with lots of land, and I can imagine raising a family here. However, I always thought that if I had children, I'd live close to the rest of my family. I would want my parents nearby so they could lend a hand, and I want my kids to have a close relationship with their grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.
My boyfriend is open to the idea of selling the house, but I'm not sure I would want him to. What should I do? I love this house, but how can I start a family so far from my own? -- LOOKING AHEAD IN NEW JERSEY
DEAR LOOKING AHEAD: Before you make any decisions, discuss this with your parents and see if their vision of grandparenthood is similar to your fantasy. Take into consideration how close they are to your siblings and how involved they are in each other's lives. Be sure that the kind of extended family relationship you envision is realistic.
If everyone is on board, then you and your boyfriend should talk about what relocating will mean in terms of not only selling this house, but also the impact it might have on your ability to earn a living. This property may be terrific, but if it cannot offer you the lifestyle you wish for, then you would be better served to move. But only you can decide that.
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