What should one look for in a spouse? Yes, I know, a broad question, but . . . I'm in my thirties, my fertility is running out, and I have an opportunity to marry a good man who loves me and is kind to me. Friends keep telling me I should marry only someone for whom I have a "spark." But I'm not sure what feeling a spark is. Is recognizing someone's kindness and goodness enough?


People who marry for kindness and babies can be derailed when they have a 7-year-old, a 4-year-old and a sudden mad love for a co-worker. But so can people whose sparks, somewhere between the 7- and 4-year-olds, went pfft. Plus, it's hardly kind to use someone for babies.

So. Recognizing that he loves you is not enough.

Recognizing that you also love him is enough.

How this applies to you, I leave up to you.


An issue has been popping up in almost every relationship I have had with men. I don't know if I am being overly sensitive but it bothers me when the guy I am with looks at other attractive women. I understand it's natural to want to gaze at beauty, yet I can't shake off the feeling of being disrespected.

What should I say or do in such moments?

I have been in the opposite situation, in which I am the woman at whom another woman's man is looking. I usually think the guy is an insensitive jerk who doesn't care about the woman's feelings. I don't think this is about me being insecure because I know I am attractive, intelligent and good-hearted. I am not jealous of other women's appearances.

I just don't think it's respectful to look around at other people when you are with your partner.

Wandering-Eye Whiplash

"Almost every relationship"? It's you.

So the guy for you is the one who's faultlessly discreet about looking.

Note that I didn't say the guy for you is the one who doesn't look. That would be cruel, sending you off to scour the earth for someone who doesn't exist (or who's too gay to care that you do).

I will grant that leering is horrible. Rude to a mate, rude and often frightening to the target.

But noticing -- a store window, a sunset, a really nice leg -- is what people do. Even a discreet myopic gentleman in really dark glasses is going to offend you if you're watching him, waiting for a 2-degree head turn, poised to take offense.

I'll save you the suspense: When you look for weaknesses in people, you're going to find them.

For the same reasons, if you look for strengths, you'll find those, too. (Theoretically.) When a guy notices you, instead of pitying the woman he's with, why not admire how secure she must be not to care that her date checked you out? Why not be glad you're attractive? Why not be grateful that boys will be boys (since who wants boys to be girls)?

Why not say to your date, when you bust him making a 2-degree head turn, "I agree -- that woman is really pretty"? Or if his stare is a little too blatant, "I think you dropped an eyeball." Why not laugh at him, at sex, at yourself?

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