Dear Amy: I am divorced with two daughters, ages 10 and 12.
I met a great guy through my church; he is a widower with three kids ranging in age from 12 to 18. Our relationship is a dream. I can say anything to him. He makes me laugh and is a great listener. His children are wonderful.
He has mentioned to me that he and his wife slept together in the nude every night. He said this is the only demand he would put on a future wife. He said he and his wife held each other as they drifted off to sleep; he feels this is the best part of intimacy.
He says that sleeping nude also gave them an incentive to work out problems before going to bed.
I wouldn't mind sleeping in the nude if we were alone, but I told him I wouldn't sleep naked with kids in the house.
He assured me that sleeping in the nude would not harm the children. He said that his kids were aware of this, that they only saw their parents' shoulders peeking out from the covers, and that they kept robes next to the bed and were never nude elsewhere in the house.
I feel my reluctance over this is the only reason he has not yet proposed marriage.
If this is a deal breaker for him, is this a red flag?
Amy says: I assume that sleeping in the nude wouldn't only provide an incentive to work out problems before going to bed, but also a reason to hit the gym now and then.
While I think your guy's request, reasons and practical application sound reasonable, I don't love the idea of "demands" and "deal breakers" when two people are contemplating spending the rest of their lives together.
If you two can talk and laugh about anything, can't you talk more about this? Can you imagine putting a latch on the bedroom door? Can you imagine that it's not damaging to children to know that their parents are happy, in love and discreetly naked? Can you imagine sleeping nude on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays?
Any husband of yours must respect your values and comfort (just as you would respect his) -- surely there is a way to compromise so you can snuggle happily ever after.Make friends at events
Dear Amy: I am a single person with many married friends. I find myself being the third, fifth or seventh "wheel" when socializing with them, because I am not in a relationship.
My friends are beautiful people, but I find myself getting bored doing the same things and going to the same places with them. They don't seem to want to venture too far from their comfort zone.
I would like to go to a concert or performing arts event or to an upscale lounge or bar with people older than 25. I try to get my friends to go, but they don't want to.
How can I meet new friends who would enjoy the cultural events I enjoy -- without using the Internet because it's too risky?
I can't socialize with my co-workers. I'm not ready for marriage, but I'd love to meet some nice people.
READY TO VENTURE OUT
Amy says: The way to meet people who enjoy cultural events is to go to these events. That's where your future friends are. Many museums and orchestras have "singles" groups that host special mixers, performances and exhibitions for this important and culturally eager demographic group. Join up.
You should also take yourself to a club that suits you, and practice introducing yourself and making conversation with people. It's easier than you think.
Ask Amy runs on Sundays, Tuesdays and Saturdays. Send questions via e-mail to Amy Dickinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to Ask Amy, Chicago Tribune, TT500, 435 N. Michigan Av., Chicago, IL 60611.