DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend, "Jimmy," and I have been together for two years. After about four months, out of necessity we moved in together and it was great.
Not long afterward I got a job two hours away. Since I moved, we get to see each other only every two or three weeks. The separation has been tough, but when we're together, everything is perfect and all is right with the world. I feel we were fated to be together.
Before the move, Jimmy and I often talked about marriage, and although I am not crazy about it, I knew it meant a lot to him, so I proposed (ring and all). He initially said yes, then sort of asked me to take back my proposal. Since then, he has been avoiding all discussions about our future, and I don't know what to do.
I'm willing to quit my job and go back to be with him, but I'm scared he's going to get cold feet. Obviously, I'm hopelessly in love with him, but now I'm feeling lost and confused. -- HOURS APART IN THE SOUTH
DEAR HOURS APART: Please allow me to offer some clarity. Do not quit your job because if you do, you may find yourself not only without a job but also without a place to stay.
When someone (man or woman) asks that a proposal be rescinded, it usually means the person feels he or she may have jumped the gun by saying yes. Jimmy is avoiding all discussion about your future because he doesn't want one, and he's afraid to say it directly because he knows it will hurt your feelings.
For your own sake, have an honest conversation with him about this. It may be painful, but it will be better than living in limbo the way you are. As the saying goes, "When a door closes, another one opens."
DEAR ABBY: Last Friday was Grandparents' Day at my kids' preschool. My parents attended and were well-behaved for the most part, but then my mother made a faux pas. She asked one of the directors when her baby was due. Well, Abby, the woman isn't pregnant.
When I picked up my kids, I had no idea what had happened. The director was having a conversation with one of the teachers when I walked in, so as usual I smiled and waved as I walked by. I did sense something was off when she didn't respond, but I figured she was preoccupied. When we met my parents for dinner, my mother told me what happened.
I am mortified. I managed to make it out of the preschool this morning without crossing paths with the director, but I'll be seeing this woman for the next couple of years. What, if anything, do I say to her? -- HORRIFIED IN MICHIGAN
DEAR HORRIFIED: You did nothing wrong, so stop avoiding the woman and behave as you usually do. IF you notice that she treats you differently, all you should say is: "I heard what happened with my mother, and I'd like to apologize for her behavior. As you can see, she sometimes puts her foot in her mouth, but we love her anyway."
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