DEAR ABBY: I have been with my boyfriend for two years. Until recently, we were inseparable and I loved his company. I got a job that required me to temporarily relocate and be on my own, so we saw each other only every other week. During that time, I gained a better understanding of who I am and how I want to spend my time.

Since then, I have realized that my boyfriend and I may not be as compatible as I once thought. We discussed it, and he's willing to do anything to make it work. But some things can't be changed, such as his interests and small quirks he has. I'm having a hard time because I want to break things off, but then I worry that he could be "the one that got away." Any advice would be appreciated. -- LOOKING FOR THE ONE

DEAR LOOKING: As you have found, distance doesn't always make the heart grow fonder. Keeping someone around not because you're crazy about him, but because you're afraid if you don't he will be the one who got away is not a reason to continue the relationship.

Your breather has shown that he may not be "the one" after all. That's a good thing, and not something to be afraid of. So do the kind thing and let him go. That way he can find someone who loves him -- quirks and all -- and so can you.


DEAR ABBY: My son "Jake" is headed to college in the fall, and I want his last year at home to be memorable and happy. He's a good student and has been admitted to the college of his choice. The problem is, he can't wake himself up in the morning. He switches off the alarm and goes back to sleep. I must go up to his room several times to wake him because he won't get up the first time.

Jake is otherwise independent. He does his own laundry and keeps his room spotless. I'm spending a large part of my savings on his tuition, and I'm worried that unless he can wake himself in the mornings, he won't get to classes on time.

I have tried talking to him about putting the alarm on "snooze" instead of turning it off, but nothing works. My husband suggests we pour a glass of cold water on Jake's face 10 minutes after the alarm goes off. Can you help us solve this problem? -- UP ALREADY IN NEW JERSEY

DEAR UP: Although you may think your husband's suggestion is harsh and inappropriate, it's time you stopped coddling your son. The two of you need to sit him down and tell him that college is expensive, that if you and your husband are willing to go through the financial hardship of paying for it, he must wake up by himself and if he cannot manage to do that, he will have to pay for his own education. Perhaps that will get across to him that you are serious.


Welcome to Spring!

DEAR READERS: While I'm on the subject of getting up in the morning, this is my annual reminder to those of you living where daylight saving time is observed: Don't forget to turn your clocks forward one hour tonight at bedtime. Daylight saving time begins at 2 a.m. tomorrow. I love this ritual because it signals the coming of spring!

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