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by Abigail Van Buren

Teen in Despair Pleads for Help and Guidance

DEAR ABBY: I am 22 years old and stuck in a long-term relationship. My boyfriend has taken care of me since my mother died last year. She was my only family, so without my boyfriend I'd be alone.

My problem is, I am no longer attracted to him. I don't want to hurt his feelings because of everything he has helped me through, but is a relationship worth staying in if you don't feel the "connection" anymore? -- ALONE IN THE SOUTH

DEAR ALONE: No, it's not, and it's also not fair to your boyfriend. Sooner or later you will have to level with him and tell him that, while you're deeply grateful for his support during this difficult time, you have come to regard him as more of a brother than a lover, and while you'll always care for him, the romance is over.