Ask Amy Amy Dickinson, Ask Amy

Amy Dickinson is a general advice columnist.

DEAR AMY: I have a question regarding chemistry and what I've heard described as a relationship "intimacy gap." I met someone through eHarmony and have been seeing him for four months. He is kind and attentive. He doesn't smoke, drink or gamble. He has a steady, well-paying job. Neither of us has previous relationship experience, and he often thanks me for being so patient with him. However, after four months he says he is still not ready to kiss me. Is it too much to expect some sort of physical expression after four months? He is thoughtful in every other way, but I am very frustrated. I now feel that the spark is gone. I don't regret meeting him and would like him to remain a part of my life, but as a friend rather than a romantic partner. Is there a way to ignite the chemistry? Will it come as he builds his comfort level? Should I stay with him even if I'm left unsatisfied and jealous of other happy couples?

Hoping for More

DEAR HOPING: One important element of intimacy is the choice to be bold enough to be honest about what you want.

I agree that four months is a long time to wait for a kiss. But do you hold hands, make intense eye contact, lean against each other when you walk? Do you hug each other when you part? These are all physical signs that you are both acting on attraction.

Be honest with him. He may never be comfortable with a physical relationship. Know this, however: When it finally happens for you, true attraction is a marvelous and powerful feeling. All of the questions you now have will immediately disappear when you find a partner who wants what you want.

DEAR AMY: I invited a friend and her family (husband and two children) to vacation with us at my parents' home this summer. My parents were willing to host all of us (four adults and four children) in their home. While at a party at my friend's home, one guest, a friend of hers, commented that our summer plans sounded like fun. In response, my friend invited her friend and two children to my parents' home for this trip. My friend turned to me, in front of her friend and others, and asked if it was OK that they join us. I felt as if I were backed into a corner and had to be amenable to the invitation or risk upsetting and/or angering someone. I told my parents about the recent development and they were quite upset that my friend invited others to their home without consulting them. Including my parents, there will be 13 people staying at my parents' home for five nights. My parents are older and I cannot expect them to feed all of these guests, invited or not, during their stay. I am not sure how to handle this situation without upsetting or angering anyone. I want to put stipulations upon the visit, for instance, guests provide their own food, beverages, linens, etc., for their stay, but how?

Taken Advantage Of

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DEAR TAKEN: You need to develop some backbone -- if not for your own sake then for your parents'.

Your friend should never have extended this invitation. It was thoughtless (at best) and rude (at worst).

But what's your excuse? You need to assert yourself politely and contact your friend and her friend to say, "I'm sorry Sherri extended this invitation without running it past me first. I'm afraid this is simply more people than my parents can handle -- it's their house. I'm letting you know that they can't host any extra guests. Sorry for the misunderstanding. I should have spoken up earlier."

DEAR AMY: I disagree with your answer to "Frazzled" that people should no longer expect peace and quiet in a library. In an increasingly noisy world, libraries should be a refuge.

Library Lover

DEAR LOVER: Libraries are changing; ironically, one way to find quiet might be to join the revolution and use ear buds.