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by Abigail Van Buren

Man Puts His Convenience Ahead of Girlfriend's Safety

DEAR ABBY: My live-in boyfriend, "Travis," and I are having a disagreement. When I get home around 5 p.m. I lock the door behind me, especially when I'm home alone. Travis gets home between 4:40 and 8 p.m.

If I arrive first, he gets upset that he must unlock the door because he often takes his laptop and other things to and from work. I told him I don't feel comfortable leaving my door unlocked when I'm here by myself. I try to get to the door to let him in if I hear him outside, but I'm usually too slow.

Travis believes I am just insecure and think the worst of the world around me. He says I am choosing my irrational feelings over upsetting him. I told him if the alternative was for me to be robbed, raped or murdered, then I would hope his having to use his key every day would be worth it. I know it's unlikely that anything will happen to me, but it only takes one time.

Abby, am I paranoid or can you help me convince Travis of the importance of locking the door, especially when I am home alone? -- SAFETY CONSCIOUS IN SAN JOSE, CALIF.

DEAR SAFETY CONSCIOUS: I wish I could count the times I have turned on the evening news and heard someone say after yet another bloody tragedy: "But we live in a safe neighborhood. These kinds of things never happen here!" And how many times have we all heard the police issue a warning to the community to keep your doors and windows locked?

Of course you're not paranoid. You are acting responsibly. Unfortunately, your boyfriend is so self-centered he would rather jeopardize your safety than have his key ready when he gets out of his car. Bottom line: Either he adjusts his attitude or you should seriously consider upgrading the quality of the men in your life.