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Infatuation-seeker lives in fantasyland

Sat., Feb. 20, 2010

Dear Annie: My former girlfriend and I dated for 14 months. She is 49, and I am 52. We loved each other, but were not “in love.” While we had some differences in personalities and opinions, we still enjoyed a variety of activities together. We also had many of the same dreams for our retirements.

I thought we had a solid foundation – that our basic compatibility and the love we had for each other made for a great long-term relationship. My girlfriend, on the other hand, feels the glue that holds a relationship together is to be totally “in love” and to have butterflies in the stomach whenever we are with each other.

We continue to speak on the phone. I miss her, and she misses me. Please share your thoughts. – Confused in Connecticut

Dear Confused: Ann Landers used to say, “Love is friendship that has caught fire.” The constant “butterflies in the stomach” is infatuation. It’s excitement mixed with anxiety – and isn’t intended to last. Over the long haul, those butterflies should settle into something comforting and loving, with the underlying foundation being a solid friendship. If your ex-girlfriend insists on fluttering bugs for all of eternity, we wish her luck.

Dear Annie: “Memphis Belle” was upset that her mother loaned out part of a collection that she had been storing at her parents’ home. I have a solution for parents whose kids leave their valuables with Mom and Dad when they move out.

When my five kids left the nest, I told them they had 10 years to claim their belongings, after which they were fair game. This seemed a decent allowance of time, especially since I didn’t charge storage fees. When the 10 years were up, everything was claimed. – Grandma in New York

Dear Grandma: Our readers will appreciate the sensible suggestion. Ten years is a generous time frame and in most instances should be sufficient to decide what is worth keeping.

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