DEAR ABBY: I'm 13, and a few weeks ago I met a guy online, got his number and we texted -- a lot. Before I knew it, we were flirting up a storm.
He lives in Tennessee and I'm in Texas. He's the same age as I am, so I don't see anything wrong with liking him, even if he's so far away. We have decided not to date until we have a chance to meet each other in person.
The problem is, I feel like I love him. He doesn't call me "hot," he calls me "gorgeous." He doesn't call me "Babe," he calls me "Angel." He listens to me when I have a problem and gives me sweet advice.
Yes, I know I'm young and love is supposed to come later in life. Yes, it seems shady that I met him online and we have never talked face-to-face. I know I might be mistaking love for infatuation -- I've heard all this before. But I trust this boy to be faithful and supportive of me.
How can I tell if I love him or not? Should I cut off contact with him? Is it OK to feel the way I do? -- TEENAGE GIRL IN A DREAM
DEAR TEENAGE GIRL: I'm all for young love, but before plunging in, I think both parties should know with whom they are having the pleasure. Has it occurred to you that because you met this person online and have never spoken face-to-face that he might not be who he says he is?
The person you have described may not be a teenage boy in Tennessee. He could be an adult man (or woman) anywhere. He doesn't communicate in the language most teens of today use. He doesn't call you "hot," he doesn't call you "Babe." He is using terms that someone much older would use.
Personally, I think you should take a giant step backward until you and a more experienced adult in your life learn more about him. Adults who carry on online romances with 13-year-old girls are called predators for good reason.
DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend of four years, "Taylor," and I are opposites in that I like to be on time and he is generally late. We usually work this out by leaving for an event I choose at the time I want, and leave for his friends' gatherings when he wants.
My problem is leaving for the airport when we travel together. We use public transportation, which takes 45 minutes, but things can go wrong and make it longer.
Taylor would like to leave so we arrive at the airport 45 minutes before our flights. This causes me a lot of stress because security lines can be long and I'm afraid of missing our plane. We have had to run through airports in order to avoid being left behind.
I'd like to be at the airport an hour and a half before flight time to be safe. Taylor hates waiting in the terminal when security is light and thinks we could be doing other things with our time. Please save me from our next argument and tell us who is right. -- FRAZZLED TRAVELER IN SAN FRANCISCO
DEAR FRAZZLED: You are. Better to be safe than sorry, especially when you have nonrefundable tickets. I have been on flights when seats were given to standby passengers because the ticketed passenger was held up for some reason. There are worse things than having to kill a half-hour at the airport. Missing your flight is one of them.
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