DEAR ABBY: I met a guy I think is perfect for me on a dating website. We have gone on several dates and they have been great. He respects my morals and even has some of his own, which isn't easy to find.
The problem: He says I am exactly what he has been looking for except for one thing. I look like his mother. He says he really likes me and would like to keep dating to see if he can get past this issue. I like him very much. Is there something I can do, short of plastic surgery? -- DEAD RINGER IN ARIZONA
DEAR DEAD RINGER: Before changing anything, you need to explore more closely what he's saying. Ask to meet his mother, then judge for yourself how strong the resemblance is. It's possible the similarity is less physical and more about your personality or mannerisms.
You should not alter your image to please anyone but yourself. Keep in mind that many men do marry women who resemble their mothers in some way -- whether it's conscious or not -- and the marriages are often successful.
DEAR ABBY: My parents divorced many years ago, and ever since, I have lived with my mother and visit Dad on his days off from work. Mom cheated on Dad, and the man she cheated with lives with us.
I don't have a good relationship with her boyfriend. We don't have much in common, and when he drinks, he gets angry for no reason and takes it out on me or Mom, and it puts the whole household in an awkward position, sometimes lasting for days. When he's sober, he can be fun to be around.
I have talked with my mom about this. She promises she'll talk to him and things are going to change, but they never do. She doesn't want to break up with him because she can't afford to pay the mortgage on her own. I have thought about moving in with my dad, but I don't want to upset her. What do I do? -- WANTS TO MOVE IN WITH DAD
DEAR WANTS: Your mother hasn't asserted herself with her boyfriend because she's financially dependent on him. She's afraid if she insists he do something about his drinking, he will leave her.
The affair and the boyfriend were her choice, not yours. If you want to move in with your father to avoid being around a verbally abusive drunk -- and your father is willing -- that's what you should do. You should not have to tolerate abuse in order not to "upset" your mother. It's OK to take care of yourself.
DEAR ABBY: I'm a 32-year-old woman. My boyfriend of 11 years passed away almost three years ago. I loved him very much and miss him every day. Some well-meaning friends and family members have suggested a dating site.
Abby, when does someone know if it's time to move on? I haven't been on a date in 13 years. I'm scared of putting myself out there again and getting hurt. Any advice would be great. -- SCARED IN OREGON
DEAR SCARED: If the only reason you haven't reached out before is fear of rejection, then it's time to move on. Ask your friends and family to help you write a profile, and then consider what happens next as an "adventure."
While there are no guarantees you'll immediately find a relationship like the one you had, you might find someone who is compatible. And if you don't, you could still make some friends. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order "How to Be Popular." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)