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Heart To Heart

Monday, August 14, 2017

Cannot reciprocate their feelings
I am confused. Two of my good friends, both boys, have proposed to me. I like both of them but don't love them romantically. I don't want them to get hurt; but I also don't want to get hurt myself. What should I do?

Open and honest communication is always the best way. Let both your friends know in no unclear terms, how much you value their friendship, but cannot reciprocate their feelings. I repeat, speak in very clear terms so that neither one of them continues to hope. This is definitely not going to be a pleasant experience for them, but nevertheless necessary. If they are mature, they will not hold your refusal against you. However, since from their side there has been a substantial emotional investment, it could take time for them to get over it. As far as you losing them as friends is concerned, I think it comes second. The choice should be theirs. If they feel they can re-establish just a friendship with you and be okay with it, that’s fine, but if they find it difficult to do the same, it would be cruel to insist that they be just friends with you for your comfort. Also, to avoid a repetition of similar incidents in your life, do introspect and see whether there is anything in your behaviour with boys that could lead them to believe that you are interested in them romantically.

Psychogenic impotence
I never have a problem with erection during masturbation but when I tried intercourse with my girlfriend, I could not get a proper erection. Why is it so?

It is a common occurrence. Sex before marriage is invariably associated with guilt, hesitation, fear and self-doubt. These feelings affect the erection (Psychogenic erectile dysfunction). Moreover, girls with a moral upbringing are invariably reluctant to indulge, or fail to actively participate in intercourse before marriage. Invariably, they agree for intercourse only under emotional compulsion and thus fail to give a free and spontaneous response during the act. The lack of response from the partner also affects one’s level of sexual excitement and subsequently the erection.

Not taking a risk is the biggest risk
I am 26. My trust has been betrayed so often by close ones. I find it difficult to trust any more. What should I do? Please guide me. I love your answers. Your answers are eye opening and genuine.

Any intimate relationship is based on love and trust. It is not normally questioned in the relationship, because its presence in the relationship is normally assumed.  One does not live in a relationship suspecting betrayal of this love and trust. Such a betrayal of trust strips you of everything you thought you knew. Now you are left asking yourself the question all the time, ‘What’s true? Is this true? Should I believe it?’ After such betrayal it takes a long time to come to some sense and have some rationale in your thoughts. Despite this, one should never get into a shell, but risk being a little vulnerable. This brings great rewards; or else you will miss out on love & life. And opportunities of meaningful relationships will simply pass you by. “Not taking a risk is the biggest risk of all”.

Birth control methods
We will be getting married soon. I am 26 and my fiancé is 23.  We want to avoid pregnancy at least for the first year. We wish to know about all different methods of contraception (birth control) for men and women?

The contraceptive methods are broadly classified into (a) Male Methods and (b) Female Methods. The male methods include: Condom and Surgical sterilization known as "Vasectomy".

The female methods are: Oral Contraceptive Pills, Injectable contraceptive shots, Spermicidal creams or pessaries, Intra Uterine Contraceptive Devices (IUCDs) commonly known as the Loop (Copper T) and Surgical sterilization known as "Tubectomy".

Newer methods like the female condom, Intradermal Hormonal implants and the Male Contraceptive Pill are not commercially available in India presently. Each method has some advantages and some disadvantages. It is best to decide about the contraceptive method after both of you consult your family physician or a gynaecologist. It is then up to each individual couple to sit together, weigh the pros and cons and then use a method which is mutually acceptable and which is most suitable for their requirements.

For a newly married couple the Condom (to be used by men), Spermicidal pessaries and Oral contraceptive pills (to be used by women) are the ONLY recommended methods. The other methods are usually to be practiced only after the birth of your first child and/or after completing your family.

Is she with you for ‘You’?
I have a problem with this girl. I have been meeting this girl for the past 6 months. At the same time she was having problems with her ex-boyfriend. She used to tell me that he was no good for her and she still wants to go back with him. They have been together for 3 years. But anyway I am in love with that girl and I don't want to give her up. We have been physical a few times. But I can't understand when I try to kiss her she says that she is not attracted to me. We have not had sex yet or kissed. But the way this has been going on, I mean the way how she turns me on and off is making me angry. Also I don't want to leave her for many other reasons other than love.

It’s never a good idea to involve yourself with someone on the rebound, much less if the break-up with her ex-boyfriend is just a lover’s quarrel. It would be wise on your part to wait till she has had a clean break and has resolved all her feelings about her ex. Would it not be better if she is with you for you, and not as a stop-gap arrangement for her?  You say that she has said that she is not attracted to you. This is all the more reason for you to step aside. She needs to resolve her feelings about her ex and about you. If she cannot be emotionally and physically totally with you, then you are better off without her.

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