My boyfriend (who I share a town house, twelve pieces of furniture, and two cats) told me he is having doubts about our relationship and “needs to think about things.” I am in panic mode. I don’t ever think we fight that much. What do I do?? --Ashlee

Ashlee, move out…at least temporarily. Take just enough of your belongings so that you don’t require a moving truck but enough that he knows you’re serious. If I could impart one relationship rule to my readers and clients it is this: Never beg, plead, or try to persuade someone to love you.

Your boyfriend needs space.  I can’t guarantee that your relationship will work out, but I do know that it probably won’t in the long run if you don’t listen to what he is telling you and give him time to think. What I’m asking you to do is incredibly hard and it takes strength to walk away. But you’ll exit with your dignity knowing that you will not compromise your value ever.

At dinner with a bunch of girlfriends, one of my married friends said that marriage ages someone five years.  We are all in our late 20s, and a few friends (both married and not) took offense to the statement. It wasn’t meant rudely, but I am wondering now, does marriage make you “older?” --Spring Chicken

Marriage doesn’t make you older but it does change your priorities. When we take a vow to love and respect another, we also commit to a life that is not all about “me” any longer. There are many components to a good marriage, and selflessness certainly is one of them.

Perhaps your married friend that made this statement feels older because she has taken on more responsibility as one half of a partnership.  Or perhaps she’s experiencing some unrest in her relationship bringing stress that, in effect, is “aging” her.
Any situation in life that drains you of your emotional mojo can make you feel depressed, lethargic, and I suppose, to some degree, older. Marriage is not intended to be one of them.  

Angela, my girlfriend has hang ups about intimacy and recently confided to me that she had a horrible sexual encounter when she was younger.  I listened and comforted her, but how should a guy proceed after learning his girl has been through something tragic? I’m not talking about sex. I’m talking about the whole relationship. --Skylar

Skylar, your girlfriend showed incredible courage and trust by confiding in your about her abuse. Many victims feel such shame about what happened to them that they never reveal their secrets to anyone, opting to suffer alone in silence. Sharing her story with you was the first step to reclaiming her sexuality. However, the journey must continue. There is an excellent book by Wendy Maltz titled, "The Sexual Healing Journey: A Guide For Survivors of Sexual Abuse" that I suggest you both read. There are also many therapist that specialize in past sexual abuse recovery.  

The best thing you can do for her and your relationship is to make sure the love you have is stronger than the past abuse.

Do you have a question for Angela? E-mail NakedTruth@bocamag.com!

About Angela Lutin

On her popular blog, www.essentiallyangela.com, divorced single mom Angela Lutin dispenses musings on life, raising a teen, navigating the single scene, and tips to stay sexy regardless of your age or relationship status. A social media addict, she recently launched her new weekly Twitter conversation @essentiallyang—aptly titled #sexychat—that answers dating, sex-related topics and anything in between. Angela’s "Naked Truth" dating advice column appears weekly on Bocamag.com and also exclusively in Boca Raton magazine. Follow Angela on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/EssentiallyAngela or Twitter, https://twitter.com/essentiallyang.