Let’s face it, we boaters aren’t exactly known for our ability to find, or hold on to, significant others. Maybe it’s all those days we’re on the water instead of spending quality time with our mates. Or the time(s) we pushed our sweethearts to run a rapid that was just “a little bit harder,” and they took a beating in a monster hole. Or perhaps it’s all those nights we spent watching paddle porn long after our partner had turned glassy-eyed with boredom.

You get the picture. But few boaters would happily give up our water-bound passions for a girlfriend, boyfriend, husband, or wife. I’ve certainly lost my fair share of “winter warmth” when skiing boyfriends took a backseat to boating season. My going paddling with a bunch of other guys every night after work instead of hanging out with the one I was dating just never went over very well. To this day I’m not sure what they were more jealous of–my kayak or my kayaking partners.

Either way, boating simply causes a myriad of interesting little issues that most relationship gurus never even thought of. So how do you find, and keep, that one person who really floats your boat?

As a longtime paddler who’s dated both boating and non-boating guys (with varying degrees of success), I’ve developed an intimate appreciation for the unique difficulties that we face on our quest for true love–or at least a warm body to share a sleeping bag with. And now that I’m both happily married (See? That’s me and my hubby in the photo!) and still happily paddling, I’ve decided to share some of my hard-earned wisdom with the less fortunate.

That’s why, as your unofficial love doctor, I’m offering you humorous and sometimes even useful information on a variety of important topics. In future columns, I’ll dive deep into such critical issues as: how to keep your shuttle bunny/sausage happy; the secrets of teaching your significant other to boat; the best ways to pick up a boater; what to do when your partner takes a bad swim; and much, much more.

Send your burning questions about love and boating to loveboatdoc@hotmail.com before another tandem-canoeing vacation turns into an epic divorce-boating trip. We’ll help you keep your relationship afloat–or we may just tell you to sacrifice it to the river gods.