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by Abigail Van Buren

Woman Living Online Fantasy Can't Be Sure of the Facts

DEAR ABBY: I am divorced, work full time, and a year ago I became an Internet "love bug" when I met a man who lives 3,000 miles away. We started out as friends, but soon began e-mailing and talking on the phone almost daily. This relationship has become much more intense than I expected, yet I have some nagging questions.

His nickname is "Skip." He swears that he loves me and is not married, but he refuses to give me his full name, home address or phone number. (He calls me only from his office.) He says that when "the timing is right," he will give me all the information he has been withholding. We have become quite intimate over the Internet and telephone -- and yes, he has my home phone number. He tells me it's not "convenient" for me to visit him right now, and he can't visit me because when he flies he becomes deathly ill.

Abby, I enjoy his attention, the passion and excitement. We've tried several times to break it off, but I always give in and contact him. Do you think I am living in a fantasy world? -- LOVING SKIP FROM AFAR

DEAR LOVING SKIP: I sure do. Or to put it another way, you'd feel right at home at Disney World. A telephone romance may make your heart "skip" a beat, but it pales when compared to the real thing. Why are you wasting your time like this?