This is a preview. The full article appears in Neil's book: Love, Sex and Staying Warm: Creating a Vital Relationship

Dear Neil: My fiancé and I are in a 15 month relationship, and we’re planning on getting married 5 months from now. But before we marry, we need some help. First of all, you would think that we have been together long enough so that we would have worked out basic living agreements. But no, we focus on very different priorities in our day to day lives. He leaves the toilet seat up, leaves his clothes in a pile on the closet floor, leaves dishes in the sink for days at a time, and wants the bedroom window open at night so that we can freeze all night long. All of these just drive me bonkers.

It has gotten so tense between us that we have recently been avoiding each other—going to sleep at different times, eating at different times, and so on. The odd thing about what I’m describing is that I trust that we very much love each other, and we want to marry each other. But we are having a hard time coming to agreement about almost anything right now. Can you help?

Rattled in Toronto

Dear Toronto: Your letter is a perfect illustration of three “truths” that most people don’t understand about intimate relationships:

  1. Love isn’t enough in order to sustain a relationship.
  2. You cannot lose connection with each other, because if you do even small things can grow large.
  3. A relationship takes more time than you think it should.

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