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by Abigail Van Buren

Suddenly Squeamish Boyfriend Puts the Kibosh on Kissing

DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend recently started turning away when I try to kiss him. When I asked him why, he explained that he has developed into a "germaphobe."

In the beginning of our relationship we never had this problem. What is happening? -- NEVER BEEN KISSED, LATELY

DEAR NEVER: Your boyfriend may be embarrassed to tell you that your breath is unpleasant. Or he may be trying to distance himself romantically. I recommend you ask him directly if either of these could account for the change in his behavior. If the answer is no and he really has developed a phobia about germs, then you'll have to decide if a kissless romance is enough for you.

DEAR ABBY: I have this friend, "Miranda." We share a lot of interests and I think we have the potential to be something amazing. I'm not a shy guy, but when I'm around her, I can't put my thoughts into words.

We will graduate from high school this year, and I'm afraid to lose touch with her and blow my chances of making our friendship progress. Any advice on what to do would be wonderful. -- MISSING OUT IN SAN DIEGO

DEAR MISSING OUT: At this point in your lives it would be premature to declare undying love. But it would be nice if you told Miranda that you think she's a special person and you'd like to stay in touch regardless of what directions your lives take you. That's a nonthreatening, huge compliment. And even if you haven't dated, she may be open to the idea of keeping up the contact. You'll never know if you don't try.

DEAR ABBY: My husband of 20 years has always exaggerated and embellished things. It doesn't matter what subject, the unvarnished version is never good enough.

The other day we "discussed" why it takes my son and me only 15 to 20 minutes to get to a nearby town, while he is adamant that it takes him a half-hour to 45 minutes. Mind you, this is driving the same route and obeying the same speed limits. I asked him how that could be. His answer? "Because you guys drive the SUV and I drive the little Ford Festiva."

Huh? I'm no brainiac, but how can the size of the vehicle make that much difference when you're going the same route and speed? -- EXASPERATED IN BURBANK, WASH.

DEAR EXASPERATED: It can't. And after 20 years of marriage to your husband, you should know better. (Could he be making a pit stop?)

DEAR ABBY: I work a night shift, and I am often still in my pajamas in the late morning.

If someone comes to my door I'm never certain if I should answer in my robe -- which may make the caller uncomfortable -- or not answer even though it's obvious that I'm home. What's the best thing to do besides getting dressed earlier? -- JAMMIED UP IN IRON RIVER, MICH.

DEAR JAMMIED UP: If your caller is a friend, he or she should know what your work schedule is and understand why you are still in your pajamas. If the person is a workman, you might be more comfortable being dressed before the appointment. However, if you don't know who is at your door, you are under no obligation to open it to anyone, nor to offer any explanation about your attire.

What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." To order, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)