Family Life

Being Yourself in Relationships

Dear Frankie,
I grew up in a quiet family. Neither of my parents felt anyone in the family needed to share their every thought and feeling. We didn’t wag our tails a lot, bark much, or dance around when one of us came home. Being reserved was never a problem for me until now. Recently, my boyfriend has been complaining that I never share my feelings, and he is starting to wonder if I really love him. He pointed out that couples often write loving thoughts about one another on Facebook. I can’t imagine sharing such personal feelings in public, let alone on social media. He did admit I was a good listener. I love my boyfriend, but I’m shy. I don’t think I can become an extrovert at this late stage in my life. I’m worried this is going to be a deal-breaker.

Dear Flossie,
No, you can’t change your personality, nor should you, just like a leopard can’t change his spots. Before you throw in the towel, ask your boyfriend to suggest ways you might show him how much you care. He might say, writing a love note, smiling and wagging your tail when he comes to visit, or telling him what you like about him, such as you love it when he acts goofy. These might be doable even for someone shy. I agree with you about Facebook. Is nothing sacred? You might remind him that one of the greatest gifts you can give another person is listening and providing them with your undivided attention. If that’s not enough for him, it might be time to rethink the relationship.


Frankie is a rescue and a service dog for Geneva Woodruff. Together, they have traveled far and wide. Along the way, Frankie befriended dogs from all walks of life. She thought it would be remiss not to share the many lessons of life she learned from them.

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