Dear Abbey: moving forward in relationships
Abbey Bennett answers submitted questions once a month in her "Dear Abbey" column. | Katie Juranek/THE CHIMES
I received a multitude of questions on topics ranging from Valentine’s Day to the Caf, but sadly I cannot include them all here. Once a month, the Chimes will print a variety of worthy questions and answers. Please keep sending your questions — yours may appear next month!
When is the right time to start holding hands in a relationship?
Dear Hopelessly Hand-heldless,
I have never found or seen the benefit of drawing out a timeline that every person in every relationship should follow. If there was something that could work for all people everywhere, I think it would be in the Bible! So, my advice: First define that you are in a relationship — as boyfriend and girlfriend — and if holding hands does not directly follow that, then talk about it. Communicate as much as you can early on in the relationship and you will be grateful for it.
I am addicted to food. When I am sad, the first thing I want to do is run into the arms of a really hot In-N-Out. When I get a good grade, I treat myself to a special Commons run. I don't think I know how to enjoy life without FOOD! What can I do to stop this, besides becoming manorexic? There has to be more to life.
Dear Forget Food,
First, I want you to acknowledge that food is not bad! God has given you taste buds and a wide variety of wonderful food options — especially living here in Los Angeles. However, an obsession with food can be dangerous. Try this experiment: The next time you are sad, rather than In-N-Out, go for a run. The next time you get a good grade, tell someone about it and then listen to a really great song on your iPod. If you can’t stand to run and don’t like music, try to identify some things you do enjoy doing that do not involve food at all.
Enjoy finding new indulgences,
What are your greatest fears about getting married? What have you learned about healthy and unhealthy marriage relationships from your parents, grandparents and other married couples in your life?
Curious Comm Student
Dear Curious Comm Student,
Oh, where do I begin! There are fears in my heart, but thankfully I trust in a God who is in control. He will walk with my fiancé and me as he always has. I have seen wonderful things in the marriages around me: my parents who have been in love and married for almost 25 years and my grandparents — on both sides — who still find joy in time together after more than 50 years. Yet I have also seen terrifying things: unfaithfulness, discontentment and selfishness. But one thing that always stands out to me is the power of a promise. In good times and bad, all couples must have a reason for sticking it out. Whether they are believers or not, I have witnessed many miraculous outworkings of staying true to a promise made on the wedding day. My hope is that my fiance and I revel in God’s faithful promise to us, and that faithfulness to each other would flow out of that awe.
I know that you are no doubt an expert in relationships and other things of that ilk, so I have an interesting question for you. It is Valentine's Day season, and amid the sugary goodness and romantic atmosphere that is no doubt permeating every corner of society, how does one navigate the post-Valentine's Day high period? After the floral aromas, cocoa delicacies and S.W.A.K. [sealed with a kiss] correspondences, how does a main squeeze return to the mediocrity of uninspired, pedestrian, lackluster everyday life?
Dear Lovelorn Lazarus,
To quote one of my friends on Valentine’s Day, “It’s just a made-up holiday, anyways!” While I love all the flowers and chocolates, it is true that the day is a bit fluffy and over-commercialized. My advice: Let it be a reminder of what you can do to bless and serve your loved one on a daily basis. Maybe take the inspiration on Valentine’s Day and create your own on a random day of your choice. Through it all, remember that every day is a gift and every day you are called to love.
May your love last,