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by Abigail Van Buren

Woman Ready to Leave Nest but Boyfriend Refuses to Fly

DEAR ABBY: I am 20 years old and have been living with my boyfriend, "Doug," and his dad for the past year. Doug is my best friend, and I'm in love with him.

My problem is I'm ready for us to go out into the world and get our own place, but Doug is not. Lately we have been fighting a lot over little things -- but sometimes it's the little things that count.

The three of us live in a one-bedroom apartment. Doug and I have the bedroom, and his dad sleeps in the living room, which means we have to go to bed at night even when we're not ready.

I love to cook and I long for my own kitchen. Not only is there a lack of privacy, but there is no place for me to put all my nice things.

I am ready to grow up and leave the nest, but my boyfriend isn't. His dad gives him money all the time, and we don't pay rent. Doug feels we've got it made. He doesn't understand my desire for independence.

What should I do? I don't want to leave him. Every time we kiss, it's like the first time. -- READY TO GROW UP AND MOVE OUT IN FLORIDA

DEAR READY: You have some hard choices to make. You may love Doug, but at this point you both want (and need) different things. You have matured and are ready for independence. He is still financially and emotionally dependent on his father. This may be a case of the right person at the wrong time. Please don't put your life on hold waiting for this young man to grow up. It could take a very long time.

DEAR ABBY: I am embroiled in an awkward situation. A year ago I changed jobs. Within a few weeks I met "Bill," and we became good friends. Six months later, we started dating and eventually began sleeping together.

Now it seems all Bill wants to do is have sex! I have told him that I believe a relationship should be based on more than hopping in the sack, but his response is always that we still do "other stuff," and sex is important to him.

Abby, the only time I see him outside the bedroom is at the office where we keep our relationship strictly professional. He recently got a promotion and is now my boss.

I want to go back to being friends with Bill, but am afraid if I suggest it he'll make my work life miserable. I've tried to distance myself by going out with friends on my days off, but he goes out of his way to make me feel guilty about not being with him.

Abby, right now the situation's getting so bad that I am seriously considering asking for a transfer to our company's other office out of state. I can't afford to quit and look for another position -- and besides, I love my job. It accommodates my class schedule at college, and I don't want to change schools in midstream. Please come up with some ideas on how to get out of this mess. Sign me ... WORK/SEX DON'T MIX, WASHINGTON STATE

DEAR W/S DON'T MIX: You must get out of there as quickly as you can even if it means changing colleges. Tell your new boss you want that transfer, and if he tries to prevent it, tell the whole story to the human resources department at your company. They should be glad to help you, considering the alternative could be a nasty, embarrassing lawsuit.

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