DEAR ABBY: I have been in a relationship with a great guy, "Jonah," for four months. We get along well and enjoy a lot of the same things. At times he can be jealous when other men notice me, but we have never had arguments about it. Only one thing about me really bothers him -- it's my infatuation with actor Mark Wahlberg.
Jonah is so upset about it he refuses to see any of Mark's films with me and gets annoyed when I mention him. It irks me because I know being with Mark isn't a realistic option, but Jonah acts like it is. What can I say to make him see that he (Jonah) is the only one I want to be with and Mark is just a fantasy? -- STAR-CROSSED LOVER
DEAR STAR-CROSSED: You may have said too much already. Stop bringing up Mark Wahlberg and see his films in the company of your girlfriends. While Jonah may be a "great guy," he appears to be somewhat insecure, which is why he becomes jealous when another man notices you. And insecure men can become irrational and controlling, so monitor his behavior and do not make any commitments until you both have matured.
DEAR ABBY: I am being married at the end of the summer. It will be a formal wedding. I have a biological father I see once or twice a year, and a stepfather who has been a big part of my life.
I would prefer my stepfather to walk me down the aisle, but I feel guilty about what my biological father and other relatives might think. Should I worry about their opinions or just do what makes me comfortable? -- TOUCHY DECISION IN OHIO
DEAR TOUCHY DECISION: You shouldn't worry about their "opinions" as much as their feelings. Talk with both of your fathers about this. And if there would be hurt feelings, consider having your biological father walk you halfway down the aisle and your stepfather take you the rest of the way to the altar if you feel closer to him.
DEAR ABBY: Our daughter "Melanie" is finishing her master's degree in social work. She's excited about pursuing her future career; however, when we tell our friends about her, we get disappointing -- and sometimes, hurtful -- responses. Some samples: "Whose idea was that?!" "You know she's going to starve, don't you?" "Oh ... they don't make much money," and, "I'm sorry!" These comments come from people with whom we've had warm relationships for years.
We know our daughter won't be rich. That's not her objective. We're proud of Melanie's choice and how hard she has prepared. We think she'll be a wonderful social worker. We have always been supportive of our friends' children and their choices. Is there a way to respond to these people without being rude? -- PROUD PARENTS IN DES MOINES
DEAR PROUD PARENTS: You should be proud. You have raised a daughter who will make an important contribution to the lives of those she touches. When someone makes a thoughtless comment such as the ones you mentioned, tell them what you wrote to me: "We're proud of our daughter's choice and how hard she has worked to prepare. We know she'll be a wonderful social worker." Period.
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.)