[LIFE ★★]



(P1) Dear Mariella,

(P2) I am a woman in my early 30s hoping at some point IN THE NOT-TOO-DISTANT FUTURE to get married and raise a family. I have been single for quite a while, but recently I was surprised by my best male friend telling me that he was “in love with” me and has been for 10 years.

(P3) I am now IN A POSITION TO start a relationship with my best friend. Another friend, happily married to a man who similarly PINED AFTER her for many years, says I should give it a chance. The sexual attraction might come, she says, and everything else you want is already there. However, it isn’t like I haven’t thought about all this before. I see his intelligence, value his friendship, but have never felt a strong sexual attraction to him (although he is certainly ATTRACTIVE). I’m INCLINED to LET HIM DOWN, but should I give this potential relationship a chance?

(P4) Mariella replies:

(P5) Yes! Let’s talk about you, your DEVOTED male friend, and your desire to create a family. You’ve got a man in your life who offers you everything but a strong sexual attraction. I’d take a step forward and see where it leads. Most of us EVENTUALLY choose partners who BEAR LITTLE RELATION TO the sexual fantasies of our 20s.

(P6) It is odd that when we are looking for LASTING romance, one of the top items on our list is whether or not we are OVERCOME by sexual desire. But this does not not have much to do with the qualities that make someone a good husband or wife. As any VETERAN of a long union will tell you, sex slips down the list of PRIORITIES for daily HARMONY pretty soon.

(P7) It’s definitely important to be attracted to the person you select, but sexual passion INEVITABLY DWINDLES. If you haven’t got respect, friendship, and a genuine interest in the person you’re with, there’s not a chance of the relationship surviving. That’s why unions EMBARKED on in the HASTE of desire and SUSTAINED on LITTLE ELSE, most often in youth, tend to be the first to CRUMBLE.

(P8) It would be a shame to let a little thing like a LACK of immediate sexual desire stand in the way of such a potentially REWARDING partnership. You should give this relationship a try.

WORDS: 394



If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. What advice would you give this woman?
  3. Have you ever been in love with someone who didn’t know how you felt?
  4. How important is sexual attraction in beginning, developing, and sustaining a relationship?
  5. What is the best age to get married?


What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.

  • In the not-too-distant future
  • In a position to
  • Pine after
  • Let someone down
  • Bear little relation to
  • Little else

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