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by Abigail Van Buren

Boyfriend's Bedside Manner Gives Woman Little Comfort

DEAR ABBY: I rent my own apartment and my family lives an hour's drive away. My boyfriend of one year, "Mac," lives about 10 minutes from me and spends the night a few times a week and vice-versa.

I got the flu last month and it developed into bronchitis. I was so sick I could barely drag myself out of bed. I asked Mac to come over and take care of me and he said, "No, I don't want to get sick. I'll come by when you're better."

Abby, if someone cares about you, don't you think he should help out -- maybe make some soup, give you water at your bedside and just be there in general? If Mac got sick like that, I would go over and take care of him. But he wasn't willing to do the same. He said he doesn't feel it is "his job."

I am upset by this. Is it an indication of how he would be if we got married? -- IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH

DEAR IN SICKNESS: Yup. It appears Mac isn't the nurturing kind. However, if he has everything else you're looking for in a man, this needn't be a deal breaker. Instead of expecting him to intuit what you need, try telling him what you want. Example: "Send some soup over." "Please empty the trash." "Call an ambulance." You get the idea. If that doesn't do the trick, then scratch Mac.