Dear Abby: I am considered to be a quite attractive -- easily a nine or a 10 -- professional dancer here in Las Vegas. I recently met a guy who has literally met almost all my dream qualities for a life partner, husband and father of my future children.
The problem is, I'm not attracted to him. He's not ugly; he's in pretty good shape, if a little on the skinny side. I have always dated muscular men who get me excited at the sight of them, and I'm wondering if there's something wrong with me because after nine months I'm still struggling with his looks.
I feel like there is no sexual chemistry. But we have another kind of chemistry because we get along great, and he motivates me to be a better person.
Am I shallow, or is the lack of sexual chemistry a sign that maintaining a successful long-term relationship won't happen? -- MISS PICKY IN LAS VEGAS
Dear Miss Picky: Whether lack of sexual chemistry is a deal-breaker for you depends upon how important sex is to you. From what you have told me, looks are a primary factor in what draws you to men. (It would be interesting to know how long the relationships you described lasted.)
Bear in mind that men who are Adonises can lose their looks if they don't consistently work at it. Looks don't always last forever. That's why it's extremely important to take into consideration qualities that will last.
Dear Abby: My 67-year-old mother has vascular dementia and breast cancer. In accordance with her living will and many conversations we had before the dementia began, we (Mom, my sisters and I) have decided to forgo treatment. She has been widowed for 17 years; she watched her husband -- our father -- die from cancer. She lives in an excellent health care facility that will provide her with palliative care when the time is right.
My question is, how do we inform people (family and friends) of her diagnosis and of our treatment plan? Without knowing the whole story, without having seen her very recently, it seems everyone has an opinion on what we "should" do. How do we tell these people that, while we appreciate their concern, this is her decision without hurting their feelings and our relationships? -- FAMILY WITH A DILEMMA
Dear Dilemma: How do these unwanted advice givers know that you do not plan to subject your mother to treatments that would only prolong her decline? If you solicited their opinion, you made a mistake. If you didn't, then the last sentence of your letter -- if said kindly -- is an appropriate way to phrase the message.
Your mother's treatment plan is nobody's business but yours and your sisters'. If these are her wishes as stated in her advance directive for health care, then you should respect them. To do otherwise would be a betrayal of her trust.