DEAR ABBY: I recently started a romantic relationship with "Doug," a guy I have been chasing for a while. My friend "Cassie" helped to set us up, and I am grateful. Doug and I talk every night and are very close.
Cassie has a reputation for being a flirt, but I didn't think much of it. As the months have progressed, I notice her talking to my boyfriend more often. I'm OK with her being friendly, but when she hugs him or tries to always sit next to him, it makes me uncomfortable. I'm scared she's trying to come between us. Recently she told me that she thinks he's cute.
She's always telling me I'm too good for him or I need someone who understands me better. Doug tells me that Cassie is giving me strange looks and telling him that I'm too good for him. I am flattered that she thinks this, but I am scared about her true motivations. -- NERVOUS IN NORTH CAROLINA
DEAR NERVOUS: Stop feeling flattered. Cassie's motivation may be she's sorry she fixed you up with Doug because he has begun looking more and more appealing to her. It appears she is trying to manipulate you and Doug into breaking up, and that's not friendship.
Tell her you and Doug are happy together, you're not "too good" for him and you understand each other very well. Tell her to back off and stop flirting with your boyfriend, and if she doesn't, recognize it's time to distance yourself.
DEAR ABBY: I have three grown sons we don't see often. They're married or live with a girlfriend, and they work a lot. I understand they have their own lives, but it seems their partners' families take priority over us. I feel bad about it, but I understand that this is just how it is.
We feel unimportant in their lives. When our anniversary comes around, they don't bother to acknowledge it. (They do acknowledge our birthdays.) I always make sure I don't miss an occasion by calling or sending a card. When the one couple needs something (like money), they always call. I feel if we disappeared, they wouldn't notice. Our anniversary is the tip of the iceberg. All the rest I can let go of.
How can I tell them how much it hurts without sounding like a whiner? I'm not asking for much more than an unsolicited "Happy Anniversary." Our "golden" one is coming up soon. Some people's kids give them parties for such a special occasion. I'm actually embarrassed. We do have a life. We travel. But a little acknowledgment from our kids would be a big morale-booster. Advice? -- LET DOWN IN THE WEST
DEAR LET DOWN: Your adult children are not mind readers. They appear to be very much centered on themselves and their own lives. TELL them how hurt you are when they overlook your anniversaries. If nothing changes, the next time you are hit up for money, say no. If you do, it may lessen their sense of entitlement, which would be doing them a bigger favor than dispensing dough like an ATM machine.
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