I'm a virgin and my boyfriend isn't. He's had much more experience than me, and though I don't care about his past, I want to wait until marriage until we have sex. Is this too much to ask?

Grandma: I'm sure you and the boyfriend are having oral or manual sex. Therefore, that is sex. Your boyfriend is a saint. I would advise you to marry sooner rather than later — how many years are you going to wait?

Alison: What I'm wondering is how old you are, and how serious the relationship is. Are you actually going to be getting engaged in the near future? Talk to your boyfriend about what you want, and see what he thinks, but stick to your beliefs. It's fine if you do make the decision not to wait, but it shouldn't be just to hold on to him. I know a couple that went the first four years of their relationship without having sex, because the girl wanted to wait for marriage. The guy was in love with her, and decided it was worth it. They're married now and doing great, so it is possible.

I'm twenty-five, and I have a three-year-old son. My husband is not a particularly sexual person, and we sometimes go weeks without intimate contact. He says he's in love with me, but he's very cold and doesn't act interested.

For about sixteen months, I've been seeing someone else. He's great, but also married, and will never leave his wife. In the original letter you wrote to your granddaughter, you said not to marry a man if there is no passion. But now I find myself in love with a man who won't be physical with me, while caring very deeply for a guy who will never be with me. Do I leave and go for it alone, or try to make things happen with my cold husband? Or worse, stay a secret lover to a man who's perfect for me in my head but not in reality?

Grandma Carmela: How old is your husband? He should see a urologist or primary doctor, or have his testosterone levels checked — they might be very low. If that's corrected, he'll be a new and happy man. If your husband wants to save his marriage, he should realize that a wife needs love from her husband, and she has sexual needs. If his hormones are normal, your husband has psychological problems. See a marriage counselor, psychiatrist, or divorce lawyer. Perhaps he is gay and is afraid to come out of the "closet," and is living a double life. I hate to hurt your feelings, but I feel your husband does not love you. I suggest you end the affair with the married man — there is no future for you there, only more heartache.

Alison: I would never have thought of getting his hormone levels checked, but hey, why not? Is there another issue triggering his lack of intimacy, like depression? Or has he always been that way? I don't have the experience of being in a marriage to offer much guidance, but counseling sounds like a good option, especially since you say you're still in love with him, and you have a child. Whether or not you work it out with your husband, I agree with Grandma — end the affair.

I've been dating my boyfriend for six years, and I feel like I'm falling out of love with him. I don't know if he feels the same way or not. Also, there's this new guy who I'm infatuated with. It's totally different with him. Should I work things out with my boyfriend, or go for the new guy?

Grandma: If it's been six years with no marriage proposal yet, it looks as though your relationship will never go further. You have met a new man who is different. I like the word "different" — it sounds like you met Mr. Right. Go for it, enjoy, and dump the six-year relationship — it's dead and over.

Alison: You need to have a serious talk with your boyfriend about your relationship. Chances are he can sense that something is off. It will be difficult, but worth it to lay all of your feelings out on the table. It might be good to take a break, date other people, and see if the grass is greener on the other side — but know that you're risking losing him. Think about if you're really okay with that, even if it doesn't work out with the new guy.

My marriage is nearly too perfect. We almost never fight — I can count the number of times we've raised our voices with each other on one hand. On one hand, I feel like I'm complaining about nothing, but on the other, I'm worried about what this could mean. How much conflict should a good relationship have?

Grandma: You're lucky. There is excellent communication between you two and you have a good marriage.

Alison: Again, I'm not married, but isn't it a good sign if you have nothing legitimate to fight about? Do you really want to be one of those couples that get into screaming matches? As long as you're happy and talking about any issues you do have, there's no need for lots of conflict. It's a lot sexier in the movies than in real life.

Read more advice from Grandma DeNisco in her infamous letter to Alison. And if you want to meet someone to grow old with, meet them on Nerve.

Commentarium (22 Comments)

May 09 12 - 2:23am
Michelle

I adore Grandma Carmela. ADORE.

May 09 12 - 6:49am
Susie

Excellent advice ladies! Keep up the great work. Grandma right on about checking the husband's testosterone and Alison right- the husband may also be depressed. If that couple wants to salvage the marriage couples therapy is in order and no sex with the married guy!

May 09 12 - 9:12am
ZZ

This makes me uncomfortable.

May 09 12 - 10:46am
Jessica

Grandma Carmela should have her own column!

May 09 12 - 11:28am
Mila

I totally agree. She´s so upfront and honest. And she´s got the right perspective on people who won´t get serious about a relationship - just dump them! Fabulous!

May 09 12 - 5:22pm
JL

So true. Best advice since Andrew W.K.

May 09 12 - 11:10am
esh

thanks grandma. I appreciate your solid advice. Alison- i think you may be on to something. Depression makes a lot of sense. thx ladies!

May 09 12 - 11:15am
Hmmm....

Doesn't matter how risible or potentially harmful, Nerve will publish just about anything that could vaguely be described as sex-positive, huh?

May 10 12 - 12:24am
Sara

What's potentially harmful about this?

May 10 12 - 10:10am
Hmmm....

I think a lot of people are loving on Grandma Carmela because she's plain spoken, but really she just shoots from the hip, no? When her responses are so short, the absence of nuance in blanket statements like "It seems strange — girls today want a boyfriend so badly, and she's not ready to date? If she were into you, she'd want to sleep with you." really don't give the full story. Are "girls today" supposed to take as a given that being "into" a guy must mean that they want to sleep with them? Maybe the questions have been heavily edited, but we know nothing about ages or experience levels here. I'm just saying...

May 09 12 - 3:01pm
..

On the last question: Do you feel like there's anything going unspoken between you, issues you feel like you can't bring up, unaired resentments? You don't need to fight for fighting's sake, and you don't need to go looking for problems that aren't there, but sometimes an eerie perfect accord means that one partner is relegating their wishes or avoiding potential conflicts. I've been in one of those relationships, and it was ultimately pretty poisonous -- it seems to me that once you're in a long-term relationship, occasional minor fights are healthy.

May 09 12 - 9:23pm
Harmony

Sure minor arguments are bound to happen or else you are a robot: there are the "Bickersons" that waste time on trivial arguing always and often in front of others for an audience. Not cool over the long haul. Don't think grandma would approve.

May 10 12 - 9:55pm
Prytania

Love her advice except for the fighting advice. Yes fighting is "bad" but this person is asking the question because there might be something else lurking that they don't want to talk about. (Note: I wrote "might".) There is an old saying that goes "You cannot have a fight if you are alone." So maybe the writer is more alone than we think.

May 11 12 - 1:08am
Noel

I second the comment requesting this as a permanent advice column - that would be awesome.
regarding the last question, I have heard "advice" from others that little or no fighting in a relationship is a bad sign (of what, I'm not sure). However, my boyfriend of two years and I rarely fight. If we do disagree on something, we have a conversation, not a discussion and not an argument, about it. I can honestly say that ours has been the most honest relationship he or I have ever been involved in, and it's so easy (once you get into a pattern of honesty and explaining your feelings, it becomes the easy option). Of course, since she didn't explain if she's worried about something in particular, we don't know if that's the case, or if she received the same advice I did.
Just my 2 cents.

May 14 12 - 12:51pm
cjt

A bit condescending to add the running commentary from Alison...let her speak and we can make our own minds up about what she says....

May 15 12 - 10:06am
jf

I disagree about the marriage with no conflict. A red flag for future divorce is two conflict-avoidant people. While it is possible for two people to be in this much agreement with each other, it's unlikely. It's pretty rare for two people sharing a life to never or almost never disagree. I had a marriage that was seemingly nearly perfect too, but it turned out my soon-to-be-ex-husband was simply uncomfortable telling me when he disagreed or was unhappy. He professed to be very happy in our marriage right up until he had an affair and walked out. I suggest it would not hurt to tell him your concerns and see a counselor together.

May 15 12 - 11:56am
Fantasy Dating Game

Grandma Carmela rocks! All of her answers are smart and straight to the point. Cheers to her wisdom!

May 15 12 - 10:02pm
Adri

I have been living with my boyfriend for about a month now and I have known him for five months. I am still a virgin and he says that he will wait for me until I am ready. The thing is that i would have sex with him now but i check his computer and phone sometimes and i find images, videos, or text about him talking/being to other girls and it just makes me want to wait longer. I ask him about it and he says he doesn't talk to any other girl since he meet me and i believe him. What should I do? Keep waiting until I'm 100% sure, or just talk to him?

May 16 12 - 8:49pm
gurl

How old are you? Have you hung out with your boyfriend with groups of friends in which there are other attractive single girls around? What are his interactions with said girls like?

You can wait as long as you don't feel comfortable doing so... And you could talk to him too.

May 30 12 - 4:27pm
TXL

Every time I start thinking I should get back ou there and meet girls, I hear from someone like the last letter writer. WTF is the point of trying to make things easy for someone so they can be happy if they're just going to resent you for it?

May 31 12 - 10:49am
grandma_caremlla_htr

Stop giving her props just cause she's old. Her advice is dated and disgusting.

Jun 01 12 - 2:03pm
F. U.

fuck you.