Dear Miss Emily:

Ok, so this may not be your "normal" type of question you may answer.  I am 24 and my partner is 20. We are both females, but do not identify with the label that our relationship puts us in.  We did not seek out a romantic relationship with one another, but our bond is like no other and we genuinely love each other and the happiness we continuously share.  We have been dating for nearly two years now and both of our families know and our mutual friends know of our relationship (all who have been supportive).  However, I am able to tell friends of mine and she is still not able to share our relationship with her friends.  I see this as a minor issue in our relationship. Furthermore, we have not been intimate with one another for the last 4 or 5 months.  This would not have alarmed me as much, but we used to be fairly intimate. My questions concerning this matter are always refuted with "I am tired" or "I guess I just don't have a high libido anymore."  She tells me she loves me, but I am starting to worry about her inability to tell other people about our relationship and also her inability to touch me or let me touch her.  We still kiss, hug, cuddle, but things are different.  What do I do?  I have tried talking and asking... I have tried initiating... I have tried backing off... that is the worst when I do that, because she feels I am acting weird.  Help?

---------------------------Miss Emily's advice----------------------

Her inability to tell her friends about her relationship with you is a big deal. She thinks they would be judgmental -- something she's not willing to risk, or she is not truly comfortable with your and her relationship as defined. Whether you choose to use the "L" word, or not, you have had an intimate relationship with this woman (girl!) and you have been committed to each other for two years. Right now, she's calling the shots and getting away with it. You can maintain a great friendship if she's willing to be honest about her feelings and, then, you can proceed with a new understanding. But until that happens, it's up to you to be realistic. This isn't going to go away by wishing it so. She's been backing off, and that means something. If you're not satisfied with it, decide what you're going to do about it.