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Choking Is Never a Good Thing, Not in Sports, Love or Steak

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Today's mailbox is full of letters about seizing the moment, making excuses and celebrating living together ...

MAX: I went to the wedding of a close friend and had a fantastic time! The ceremony was both life affirming and love affirming. After several years of working hard toward a new career and achieving my goal, I realized it was time for me to get back into the dating world.

After the reception, I met a couple of women at a nearby lounge. We talked quite a bit and enjoyed a great Beatles tribute band. While driving them to their car later on, I learned that Carrie, the lady I was interested in, had recently gone through her second divorce. She said she was tired of getting her heart broken and was taking a break from relationships.

Because I didn't want to come off as some pushy, unthinking jerk, I didn't ask for her phone number and we parted ways. Only 15 minutes later, when I was back in my hotel room, I rethought the situation. I should have given her my phone number or email and told her, "If and when you're ready to date again, let me know and maybe we can get together."

To use a sports phrase, I choked. No excuses, I've just been out of practice for too long. I've made up my mind to keep an open mind, eye and ear towards possible opportunities. And to never choke again.

JON: In my opinion, sexual addiction is just an escape clause to save a marriage and reputation.

I know because I used it to excuse my behavior. I wasn't addicted to sex. I was just a lousy husband who slept with whoever would sleep with me. I never thought about the hurt I was causing my wife or the harm I was doing to my family.

When I learned to value my family and wife over my own selfishness, I took control over my life. I stopped everything cold turkey and have been happily married ever since.

Guys don't need counseling for sex addiction. They need to grow some testicles and man up.

DARREN: I'd like to say something in favor of living together. Say I had given a girl a year or two of serious dating. We shared weekends and holidays, vacationed together, etc. If she declined to move in with me and had nothing meaningful to say about why, I might feel like I was wasting my time on a girl who wanted the attention and the chase more than she wanted a life with me.

Anyone who looks around will see some married couples lacking commitment and some unmarried couples who are 100 percent devoted. Matrimony is not a great indicator of a relationship's longevity, success or overall health. Some weddings are a lot like a prom with more expensive drinks spilling on more expensive clothes.

I would much rather celebrate an unmarried couple's 10th anniversary than a new couple's wedding day.

Is there such a thing as sexual addiction? Send your thoughts, along with your questions, problems and rants to cheryllavinrapp@gmail.com. And check out my new ebook, "Dear Cheryl: Advice from Tales from the Front."

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