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by Abigail Van Buren

Woman's 'Best Friend' May Not Be Marriage Material

DEAR ABBY: I was with my boyfriend, "Marty," for six years before we had our daughter. She is now 3 years old. On Valentine's Day, Marty finally gave me an engagement ring. I couldn't have been happier -- until the other day when someone asked Marty what kind of ring it was. He said it was a "friendship ring." Can you believe this?

Abby, I am a person who believes in family values. I want my daughter to have a full-time father. I am thinking it might be time for me to leave Marty. Should I ask him if we are ever going to be married, or are we just going to continue to play house? -- NOT LAUGHING IN MARYLAND

DEAR NOT LAUGHING: There is a big difference between friendship and engagement. Of course you should ask him. But before you do, tell him why you're asking. If he can't bring himself to set a wedding date, the family YOU value will have to include someone other than Marty.