DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend, "Ronnie," and I have a very active and "different" sex life. I'm happy I have found someone who is so compatible, but it has also presented a problem for me when we're out with friends.
Our bedroom activities occasionally include a third party -- a female. I'm perfectly happy with this arrangement because I am the one who initiated it. However, I have a problem with Ronnie's recruiting practices. He seems to think that because I have one friend who has joined us, all of them are fair game. Most of my friends are not aware of our activities. They're mainstream, and it's embarrassing when he propositions them. I try to blame it on booze, but they get offended. I have lost one good friend over it.
I have tried repeatedly to explain to Ronnie that there's a time and a place for everything. He just doesn't get it. He says not to worry about what others think. I don't want to end what we have, but I need him to understand that our sex life is not open for discussion among our tight-knit group of friends. Any suggestions? -- EMBARRASSED IN JERSEY
DEAR EMBARRASSED: Because you have explained to Ronnie that what he's doing is making you uncomfortable, that not all of your friends are into threesomes and it has already cost you one friend -- then face it. He doesn't want to "get it." Or, this may be his way of letting you know that he wants to do some recruiting of his own.
Before any more of your private business is broadcast, you will have to decide if Ronnie's ability in the bedroom makes up for the fact that he's embarrassing in other important social situations. Only you can decide that one.
DEAR ABBY: You probably have heard things like this before, but I don't know where to turn.
I have been dating "Jeff" for five years and we have a lot of fun together. Last week Jeff proposed marriage and -- I choked! Now I'm having doubts about everything, and he's getting impatient with me because I haven't given him an answer.
Things are not going the way I had hoped, Abby. Everything is falling apart. Does this happen often? How do I know if he's the right one? -- PANICKED IN PITTSBURGH
DEAR PANICKED: It doesn't happen "often," but panicking at making a lifetime commitment certainly isn't unheard of. You need to relax, calm down, and realize that you have spent five enjoyable years with Jeff or the relationship would have ended. Then ask yourself how you would feel about a lifetime of similar experiences, and you'll have the answer you're looking for. I hope you'll be very happy together.
DEAR ABBY: I was friendly with a woman I'll call Paula. In the past, whenever I'd buy a lottery ticket I'd promise to buy her a house if I won.
Our friendship has become strained. In fact, we're no longer friends at all. It has been a year and a half since I've spoken to her.
Am I legally bound to buy Paula a house if I win? She's the kind of person who would take you to court and generally try to ruin your life. Could you please give me some advice and help me out of this jam? -- WINNER-TO-BE IN STAUNTON, VA.
DEAR WINNER-TO-BE: Yes. A verbal agreement is only as good as the paper it is written on.
Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby -- Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)