DEAR ABBY: Is it possible -- or normal -- for someone to lack the desire to travel? I am a 23-year-old female college graduate with a good job. I am involved in a serious relationship and still live with my parents because of financial constraints. I like to think my life is pretty normal.
When my friends graduated from college, they all backpacked through Europe before starting their jobs. I was content to stay home, relax and readjust to life off-campus. Now that my friends are accruing vacation time, they are planning all sorts of trips -- cruises, vacations, road trips to visit old roommates, etc. None of this appeals to me.
I am a nervous traveler and tend to feel uncomfortable when I'm outside my "comfort zone." I'm not afraid to admit that I can be uptight, and I don't "roll with the punches" very well.
Last summer my boyfriend and I spent several weekends in a beach town about two hours away. I had a great time, although I was just as happy to go home at the end. I am not depressed or aloof. Give me an afternoon at the local mall or a movie rather than a weekend in Las Vegas. Am I weird? -- HOMEBODY IN MASSACHUSETTS
DEAR HOMEBODY: Weird? No. However, because of your reluctance to step out of your "comfort zone," you are missing an opportunity to learn firsthand that this country -- and the world around you -- is filled with wonderful people who would be worth knowing if you could only broaden your horizons. If this didn't bother you on some level, you would not have written me. A therapist who specializes in anxiety disorders could help you do that. I wish you good luck -- and maybe even "bon voyage."
DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend of 10 years, "Simon," comes from a broken home. His mother left when he was quite young and as a result, his food choices are horrible. Simon is 30 now and eats only hamburgers, french fries, pizza and other fried or carb-loaded food. He includes absolutely no vegetables or lean protein in his diet.
I love my boyfriend and can't imagine spending my life with anyone else. I have tried to get him to consider other foods to no avail. I'm afraid that he is slowly killing himself. He has packed on some weight since we've been together. I wouldn't call him obese, but I see what's coming. He drinks only sugar-loaded soda and hasn't seen a doctor since he was 18. I love all kinds of foods. What can I do to bring Simon over to my side? -- WORRIED ABOUT SIMON IN CONNECTICUT
DEAR WORRIED: Until your boyfriend is willing to face the fact that he has a problem, and is willing to do something about it, there is nothing you or I can do. Simon may eat the way he does because he has abandonment issues or because he never learned proper eating habits in the first place. But until he's willing to face up to what's eating him and change the way he is eating, nothing will change.
DEAR ABBY: I am 19 and have been with my girlfriend for the last four years. I want to take a break and see what else is out there, but I don't know how to tell her without freaking her out and making her cry. Abby, how do I tell a girl who loves me that I want to take a break and see other people? -- TEEN IN MINNESOTA
DEAR TEEN: Do it in person and in plain English before you waste one more minute of her time. When you do, be sure to tell her that the reason has nothing to do with her and everything to do with you. Be prepared for the fact there may be tears. However, not every relationship is permanent, and breaking up is part of dating.
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