DEAR ABBY: Some people believe sex with friends can turn a friendship into chaos. I don't believe it because I can remain a friend and still be there intimately. I have a friend I feel would be a good match because we are both very sexual and filthy-minded. We continuously tease about it. I know it's only a joke, but I believe he's the type of person who would feel the friendship would be lost if we were intimate -- or worse, if we aren't compatible in bed.
Can someone joke around so much about something and not want to do it? Also, I'm not the type he would ever see himself having sex with, and he says he can't believe he feels this way.
Should we try it or leave it alone, as it will only be sex? It's not like we're looking to fall in love. Men always say they would love to have a friend with benefits, but if it happens they can't handle it. -- FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS
DEAR F.W.B.: In order to be friends with benefits, you have to have two people who are willing. The man you have described seems to be all hat and no cattle. Leave it alone.
DEAR ABBY: I recently moved in with my boyfriend and now live two hours away from my parents. (Before, it was only 10 minutes.)
My boyfriend has been offered an incredible job in a different country and has asked me to go with him. It means I'll have to quit my job, which is a good one. But he has promised to financially support me during the two years we would be there, including adding to my usual savings and paying the mortgage on the condo I left when I moved in with him. He's talking about an engagement and marriage when we get back.
My problem is my parents. Their definition of "success" is marriage and family. Because they never taught my brother and me how to communicate, I'm deathly afraid to tell them that we are moving to a different country. The thought of upsetting them is paralyzing me. I am losing sleep and considering breaking up with him so I can keep the peace with my family. What do I do? -- TORN UP
DEAR TORN UP: Allow me to offer a suggestion that may keep peace in your family. Because your boyfriend is talking about marriage "when you get back," I propose that you suggest to him that the two of you be married before you leave. Problem solved.
DEAR ABBY: I'm a female in my mid-20s. I have recently hired a personal trainer at my local gym. So far, it isn't working out as I had hoped.
My trainer isn't really training me. He spends half the time trying to flirt. He says we could have a great time together when we aren't in session. I've recently heard he does this with most of his female clients. I am a nice person, but it's getting out of hand. What do I do? Should I tell his boss? -- STILL OUT OF SHAPE IN ALABAMA
DEAR STILL OUT: Do not report your trainer to his boss immediately. Talk to him first. Tell him that when he flirts it makes you uncomfortable, and you prefer to keep your relationship with him strictly professional. However, if he continues after that, you should not only report it to his boss, you should also hire another trainer.
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