DEAR ABBY: I have been dating a great guy for a few months. He treats me well and seems to care about me and my family. He offers to help with the bills and cleaning my place. He's also kind and honest, and he's actually the first guy I have ever dated I feel I can fully trust.
I was single for years before we started dating, and during all that time, all I wanted was to be with someone like him. However, being single as long as I have been has made me very independent, which I really like. We have certain days that we don't see each other so I can have my "alone time," but -- more and more -- I feel like those few days aren't enough.
I'm starting to realize that, for the most part, I really enjoy being alone. I don't get why I feel this way. He's everything I have always wanted in a partner, so why do I still always want to be by myself? Do other people have the same kind of feelings I do? Or is this not normal behavior? -- WANT TO BE ALONE
DEAR WANT: I think most people need a degree of alone time to concentrate on their interests or to be creative. That's normal. However, you state that you don't feel you have enough of it, and even though you are seeing someone you think is "Mr. Wonderful," you still always want more. Your next step should be to talk with Mr. Wonderful about the fact that you need more time alone. It may be something the two of you can work out. However, if it isn't, you will have to face the fact that you may not be ready to couple up.
DEAR ABBY: My parents have been divorced for years, so I go to my mum's for a week and to my dad and stepmum's the next. Recently I have been going to my dad's less often because he is giving me major anxiety. He keeps asking questions I don't want to answer because they either might be about my mum or are just not "appropriate."
Dad and his wife are "sticky beaks." They don't mind their own business. I just started high school, so I'm very stressed and have been crying a lot. Can you help me to get my life together? -- MAJORLY ANXIOUS IN AUSTRALIA
DEAR ANXIOUS: A new school can be intimidating for first-year students until they become used to the routine and more at ease with classmates. However, with time, you will settle in and it will no longer be stressful for you. In fact, it may offer opportunities to explore interests you were never exposed to in the lower grades.
As to your father and his wife, you do not have to report to them what your mother is doing or whom she is seeing (if anyone), or answer any questions that embarrass you. When they ask, ask them to please stop because the questions make you uncomfortable. If they persist, tell your mum and let her deal with them. She may be able to explain that what they're doing is driving you away, and if they don't stop, they will be seeing less and less of you.