Q. My boyfriend and I have only been together for a month, but I feel really strongly towards him. I tell him I love him, but he never says it back. All my friends say it's too soon, but I feel love has no time limit. Still, it hurts when he doesn't say it back. What should I do?
A. If you two have spent the last 30 days stranded on a deserted island where he has saved your life on more than one occasion, killed wild animals for food so you can eat, and made huge fires out of two sticks to keep you warm, then, and only then, on the thirtieth day can you say I love you to a man and not freak him out. Otherwise, a month of dating is way too early to tell a man you love him.
While men do love to rush things, we slow down and put on warning lights when women get too deep too soon. He might begin to think you are needy or plotting. And you might start to resent him for his silence. What happens if and when he finally does say that he loves you, will you believe him? Or will you wonder if he is just saying it to make you happy? The way things are now, don't drop the L-word for a while. Your man knows how you feel, so allow him time to catch up to you.
Q. My boyfriend and I are madly in love and sure that we want to spend our lives together. We are both 25 years old and trying to save money, so we live at home with our parents. With our families always around we have almost no time alone so that we can have noisy, unrestrained sex. What can we do?
A. Who says that you have to have sex at home in a bed? As my grandma used to say, Where there is a will, there is a way! Use your imagination and discover new and exciting places to make love. Try checking into a hotel that rents by the hour for uninhibited, and very passionate, sex on a budget, of course. You could also flip the script and buy your parents tickets for a movie while the two of you stay home for your own private show. Or see if a girlfriend would be willing to help you two hook up. Maybe she can let you use her apartment for a rendezvous with your man. Whatever you try, you'll feel a lot less frustrated once you two start thinking outside the box when it comes to loud sex. Happy lovemaking!
Q. I've been with my boyfriend for four years, and we have a 2-year-old child. The problem: He never takes me out without my begging him to. I've told him how lonely I feel in the relationship, but he says I shouldn't need him to be with me to go out and have fun. How can I get him to spend more time with me?
A. Usually it's the man that screams, neglect after a baby comes on the scene, especially once the terrible twos roll around. Still, there could be many reasons your man doesn't want to hang out, so you need to collect the facts and crack the case. Take him into a dark bathroom, sit him down on the side of the tub, shine a battery flashlight in his face, and ask the tough questions: Why don't you like to go out with me anymore? Are you wanted by the police? Do you realize I know I can have fun without you, but I want to have a couple of days of fun outside of the house with you each month? Then offer to go out and do something together that you know your man would enjoy. If he still won't budge iterally I am sure there are some things you can stop doing for him until he decides to take you seriously.
Have questions for our other experts? Go to Are You In A Romance Rut? in our related articles area to send questions to other members of our passion panel this month.