DEAR ABBY: I'm 17 and hopelessly confused. I'm currently in a long-distance relationship with someone I haven't seen in person for several months. At first, I wasn't "into" him, but after we began talking over Skype and emailing, he told me he liked me, so I said I liked him, too -- even though I'm not physically attracted to him. I figured that since he lives so far away and there's no one at my school I could see myself liking, why make him feel bad by telling the truth?
Now he's coming to visit for a few days, and I'm worried that I won't like him. I'm his first girlfriend, and I think his parents are excited to see that he finally found someone. My mom tells me that he's a very nice boy and won't leave me like the rest of my egocentric exes. He's just very immature and socially awkward.
I thought I might eventually fall for him because he's smart, motivated and sweet -- three things I value in a guy. What do I do about this? Is there something wrong with me? -- HOPELESSLY CONFUSED IN SALT LAKE CITY
DEAR CONFUSED: There is nothing "wrong" with you -- you are 17 and not experienced. When the young man said he liked you, you should have told him that you like him for all the qualities you mentioned, but as a friend.
When he comes to visit, if he tries to make the encounter romantic, level with him. If you're not attracted to him, it would be cruel to lead him on. You're both still young and have many dating experiences ahead of you. In the future, please remember that honesty is the best policy.
DEAR ABBY: My recently divorced, beautiful, intelligent daughter, "Glynnis," is an executive with a global firm and has a high net worth. During her divorce she reconnected with a high school friend who moved in with her.
This "friend" is a jobless, obese, coarse man who has been divorced three times. Glynnis uses him as an errand/houseboy, chauffeur, bodyguard, handyman and general flunky. He will do anything she asks of him at any time. One can only assume he thinks he has won the lottery.
This man is an embarrassment of monumental proportions. We live in another state and go to visit them. I am extremely uncomfortable with the bizarre image of a couple they present. At lunch, dinner or out shopping with them, people actually gasp when they realize the two are together.
I cannot relate to him. Conversing with him is hopeless. Of course, it's my daughter's business who she wants in her life. But I'm disgusted with the entire scenario. I don't want to damage my relationship with my daughter. Any suggestions? -- GLYNNIS' DAD
DEAR DAD: Yes. Try harder to find something you have in common with your daughter's companion, and you may start to understand what she sees in him. Right now he's serving a purpose. Having been through a divorce, she may want a man around who can perform all the jobs you listed. Or, she may just want someone she can control. If you're serious about his function as a bodyguard, suggest that if she feels threatened, she should talk to the police, who are trained to handle such matters.
As you said, your daughter is intelligent. It's unlikely she'll remarry anytime soon. So calm down and try to be less judgmental, because unless you manage it, you will drive a wedge between yourself and Glynnis. Or stay home.
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