DEAR ABBY: I am a 30-year-old professional woman dating a 22-year-old police officer. In recent weeks, our level of communication has dropped. He tells me his schedule has been hectic and he has not been able to return my calls. Sometimes I don't hear from him for days.
When we began dating, we spent a lot more time together, but lately our togetherness has dwindled to almost nothing. He blames his work schedule. I want to believe him, but my friends say he's not being truthful with me and I should dump him. They say if he really wanted to call me, he would find a way.
Abby, I think his profession makes their conclusion invalid, but I'm not sure. What do you think? -- UNSURE IN UPLAND
DEAR UNSURE: I suspect your friends are correct. While your boyfriend may not be able to return your calls during duty hours, even police officers have some time off.
Ask him to be honest with you about his feelings so you'll know where you stand. Once you know, you can decide how to proceed.
DEAR ABBY: I'm having trouble getting my mind off this problem. My wife passed away four months ago. She dearly loved flowers, and everyone in the family knew it. I was very disappointed that with 35 relatives attending her funeral, only six sent flower arrangements.
I'd like to know the proper procedure for flowers at a funeral. If you attend the funeral, perhaps you don't need to send flowers. I have been to three funerals since my wife's death and sent flowers to each one. Please answer my letter to ease my mind. -- MOURNING IN TEXAS
DEAR MOURNING: Please accept my sympathy for the loss of your beloved wife.
To answer your question, there is no "requirement" that those who attend the funeral must send flowers. It's a matter of personal choice. The trend at funerals in recent years has been away from masses of flowers. Often the family will request that in lieu of flowers, a contribution in memory of the deceased be made to a charity, hoping something positive will result from their loss.
If it's any comfort to you, in my opinion six floral arrangements were appropriate tributes to your wife's fondness for flowers.
DEAR ABBY: I would like to comment on two letters that have appeared in your column: one, from "The Last Nice Guy," whose 18-year-old girlfriend cheated on him while she was on vacation, and the other from "Feels Confined in Pacifica, Calif.," whose 19-year-old girlfriend is jealous when he wants to spend time with his friends.
Abby, they BOTH need to find out that true love is built on trust!
I would like to remind "Nice Guy" that if the woman would cheat on you now, she could also cheat on you in the years to come, after you are married with children. There ARE nice women out there who want to find a nice man. I found one. And I'm sure that you'll eventually find a nice woman to spend your life with.
To "Confined," I'd like to say, this gives you an excellent opportunity to strengthen your relationship with your girlfriend. Be completely honest and kind, but tell her what you told Abby -- that you care for her, but you occasionally need time by yourself. If she's a woman worth keeping, she'll understand. -- BEEN THERE IN PUEBLO, COLO.
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