DEAR ABBY: I am a divorced woman with two children. Throughout my life, I have always liked having one close female friend and a few other casual acquaintances. But these close relationships last only five to 10 years.
Abby, I am a "do anything for you," truly devoted friend. I am totally accommodating, to the point that I rearrange my activities and forgo my own wishes -- the "whatever you want to do" type. In spite of this, these "best friend" relationships, which theoretically shouldn't end, eventually do. The other person is usually not quite as committed as I am, even though she likes my company.
Why does this happen when I try so hard and go out of my way to maintain the friendship? -- TRUE BLUE IN ALLENTOWN, PA.
DEAR TRUE BLUE: Not all friendships last forever. Many have a beginning, a middle and an end, and people drift apart. Perhaps if you spread your friendship around rather than depend on just one person, and actually listened to your own needs rather than continually sacrificing them, your relationships would become more mutual. With more of the usual give-and-take, they might last longer.
DEAR ABBY: I'm 14, and I'm really worried about my best friend, "Allie." I moved from our old school to a school nearby, so I haven't talked to her as much lately as I used to. Allie doesn't call often, but when she does, she tells me about talking to boys online. This is how she met her current boyfriend, who is our age and lives in Texas. (We live in Ohio.)
Allie and this boy talk on the phone often, and it scares me. I'm scared she and someone she meets online will get together, and it will go badly.
She has been telling guys online that she's a cheerleader at our local college, which she isn't, of course. She's in ninth grade like I am. Should I tell her parents what's going on, or someone else? My mom and dad think I should call the police. What do you think, Abby? -- FEARFUL IN ALLIANCE, OHIO
DEAR FEARFUL: Allie shouldn't be lying about her age and pretending to be someone she isn't. And there's no guarantee that the "boys" she's talking to aren't 45, married and also lying about THEIR ages. Allie appears to be vulnerable, gullible and looking for trouble. And that's why your mom and dad should tip off her parents about what's going on, before trouble finds Allie.
DEAR ABBY: I have a friend, "Josie" who lives in another state where the time is two hours earlier than where I live. I have asked her please not to call my home after 8 p.m. my time because this is when I am preparing my two children, ages 3 and 1, for bed. My daughter is a very light sleeper.
Josie feels I am being silly. She says other people she calls in my area don't put such limitations on her. She has suggested I "just unplug the phone if I don't want it to ring."
Abby, this has created a huge issue between us, and I need to know if my request is unreasonable. -- YOUNG MOM, BLOOMINGTON, ILL.
DEAR YOUNG MOM: Your request is perfectly reasonable, and if your "friend" was not so self-centered, she would understand that and be more cooperative. You should not have to unplug your phone to prevent her from disturbing your children, because if you did you might be unavailable in case of an emergency.
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