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by Abigail Van Buren

Student Plans Post Graduate Dating Course With Teacher

DEAR ABBY: I'm in love with my teacher. I'm 18; he is 23 and single. I have been in love with him since I met him 18 months ago.

He hasn't done anything that could cost him his career, but there have been times when he has shown interest in me. Recently, though, I was told by the principal to "be careful." Not to stop, mind you -- just be careful.

I still love him as much as I ever did, but I can't show it. I graduate in December and was planning on talking to him about this then. Between now and then, though, what should I do? -- IN LOVE IN LA FAYETTE, GA.

DEAR IN LOVE: Until then, you and the teacher should do as the principal urged. Be careful. If you don't, you could harm your reputation and this young man's career.

The best advice I can offer is to play it cool -- very cool -- until at least six months after you graduate. That way, if your interest is reciprocated, he cannot be accused of jumping the gun and starting a relationship while you were still a student. This may seem like a long time to wait, but it's best for both of you. Tongues will wag even then, so I urge you not to give them grist for the rumor mill.

DEAR ABBY: My live-in boyfriend constantly gives me hickeys. Despite the fact that I have asked him not to, he intentionally marks my neck and throat on a weekly basis.

I am in my mid-20s and find these bright-red marks both unprofessional and unnecessary. I have also tried wearing perfume or moisturizer on my neck to get him to stop.

How do I prevent the hickeys, or do I have to get rid of the boyfriend? -- EMBARRASSED IN ORLANDO

DEAR EMBARRASSED: Either your boyfriend has an immature sense of humor, or he is making the marks so others will know he is intimate with you. I can understand your embarrassment in the workplace.

Tell him the hickeys have to go -- or he will. You shouldn't have to spend the rest of your life wearing turtleneck sweaters because you have a boyfriend who is insecure unless he has "marked his territory."

DEAR ABBY: Prior to my older sister's recent death, she shared a family secret. She told me that in the 1960s, while he was serving in the U.S. military in a foreign country, our brother had fathered a child. He was young and fresh out of high school.

My sister said our now-deceased mother had opened a letter addressed to my brother from the baby's mother saying his child was born. She read it -- and tore it up. To my sister's knowledge, Mother never shared the news with my brother.

Now that I am over the shock, I am struggling as to what to do with this information -- if anything. (My brother is happily married with grown children.)

What would you do? -- CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE

DEAR CAUGHT: Since the woman had your mother's address in the States, she clearly was more than a one-night stand. If I were you, I would tell my brother privately. He has a right to know.

For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order "How to Have a Lovely Wedding." Send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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