Dear Steven: The Chicago Suburb's Answer to Ann Landers! (An Advice Column)

Dear Steven: The Chicago Suburb's Answer to Ann Landers! (An Advice Column)

It has always been a very secret dream of mine to be an advice columnist. In college, I saw a one-woman show about the life of Ann Landers and I knew that was something I think I'd be good at. Friends have always told me my responses to problems and conundrums are rational and practical.

After my last blog about cheating in relationships, I suggested that readers ask personal questions and I could answer them, similar to Dear Ann and Dear Abby. Lo and behold, I got one! (And no, don't worry, I'll never divulge anyone's name or personal information.

So, welcome to Dear Steven (volume 1), The Chicago Suburbs answer to Ann Landers!


A letter:

"Dear Steven,

Thanks for your writing about relationships. 

Would you mind helping me on how to build a lasting relationship?

Thanks in advance for answering my question.

Sincerely, Curious"


Dear Curious,

Each of us is unique and have our own specific needs when it comes to relationships. But I'm glad that you're actively seeking a healthy relationship!

The hardest part is finding someone to date, something I'm still working on myself. The main bullet point of this problem is to not be desperate. I've seen plenty of people get into bad relationship situations because they were too fast to plunge themselves into the relationship ocean. Take the time to hack through the weeds and you'll find someone worth investing in. Try to find someone who you have a lot in common with you, but also is different enough to be fresh and exciting.

Another helpful hint for this step is to make sure to define your values: what do you believe, what do you need and why? If you don't know what you need from life, you can't expect someone else to put the puzzle together. That'd be like telling someone you want cookies, but not giving them any of the recipe!

Once you find that person you want to be in a relationship with, there are a few things that you need to build a lasting relationship:

As I have previously written about, Trust is perhaps the most important part of any relationship. You can read my thoughts on the subject here!

Another thing that I've found helpful is to lay all the facts bare at the beginning of the relationship. Don't hide anything from them and divulge everything, because lord knows they'll find out sooner or later. You may as well just have a big garage sale and dump everything before it becomes too heavy to carry.

Another thing you need in a relationship is time apart. This may seem odd to suggest this, but it is something that is imperative. Even when you're closer to someone than you've ever been before, both you and they need space to breathe. No one likes the feeling of being smothered and if you're too clingy you run the risk of driving the other person away. Yes, you should tell them how much you care, but don't overdo it. It's like drowning perfectly good pancakes in syrup: sometimes too much of a good thing is detrimental.

The last point I'll make tonight is the subject of sharing. In a relationship, you should share your passions with your partner. If the person derides you for what you enjoy, you need to run a mile away and take a good look at the situation. How can you love someone who ignores or ridicules what you love the most? It doesn't matter what you adore, from puppies to opera to pokemon! You should love what you love and never apologize.

I hope these helpful hints have gotten you on the track to a lasting, fulfilling relationship!

And, as always, remember to keep smiling, dahling!

Sincerely, Dear Steven.


If you enjoyed this advice tonight, and want some confidential advice of your own on any subject, email me at ! I'd love to hear from each and every one of you! Don't be shy, dahlings!

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