The Bad Pumpkin Patch

Dear J & J: I’ve been dating the same woman for five years. I know I love her, but we fight all the time — about everything. I’ve thought about breaking it off, but the thing is, I do love her. Am I missing something?

No Name or Address Given

JILL: You’ve been together five years and have only now realized that you don’t get along? Perhaps the two of you should talk to a counselor before calling it quits.

JACK: I see things a different way: you know those country songs that tell us, "sometimes love is not enough?" Those songs weren’t written by accident. Many times you can care about a woman, you can be sexually attracted to her, and you can even be crazy-possessive about her — all feelings generally associated with "love" — but you may not actually like her. "Love" is really cool if you happen to fall for someone whom you respect and get along with. Unfortunately, when you experience those intense feelings for a person whom you don’t "work" with on a daily basis, attempting to make a life with that person can be exhausting. It can also be a huge drain on your career. The thing is, only you can assess whether you’re in a love-without-like or, as Jill suggests, a great relationship going through a bad patch.

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