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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: I have been dating a wonderful man for a little more than two years. We are both divorced and have children. Mine are 20 and 15; his are 12 and 10. We are very close, all of our kids get along, all the exes get along, etc.

I love him. Despite thinking I'd never feel this way again, it has happened. He treats me SO well -- he is absolutely amazing to me. We go places, do things -- dinners, family events, etc. I have never felt so loved and valued.

My issue is, he has not said the words "I love you" yet. We have discussed it a few times, but he is terrified to say it because of his divorce. I don't want to pressure him, but how long should I wait for him to say it before moving on? As a side note, it took him forever to say it to his now ex-wife when they were dating. -- LOVING HIM

DEAR LOVING: Moving on? This man shows you by his actions the way he feels about you, and you admit that you have never felt so loved and valued. It takes no effort to say, "I love you." Many people have been known to say it without meaning it.

That said, after two years it would not be pushy to ask him what the future looks like from his perspective.

Ghosting by Longtime Friends Is a Mystery

DEAR ABBY: I've been "ghosted" on social media by two friends who were, at different times, also work partners. We formed close and supportive bonds over many years, and I considered each of them a friend I could trust.

Being ghosted without any explanation has been very painful. I made a few attempts with each of them to ask why and never received an answer. That, too, has been painful. I'm not a person who has had friendship ruptures in my life. I have always been one to work out differences and disagreements. So this has been surprising.

These were separate friendships; the ghostings happened at separate times. To my knowledge, they have no connection with one another. I can't think of anything I did to cause this. I understand the need to "edit" one's social media friends list from time to time, but ghosting a longtime friend and colleague with no explanation seems like rude, hurtful behavior that leaves no possible good resolution. What do you think? -- GHOSTED TWICE IN NEW HAMPSHIRE

DEAR GHOSTED: Life isn't always a tidy affair. Sometimes, much as we would wish it, there are no answers. Rather than obsess about why these former work friends no longer communicate, it would be healthier for you to move on and not look back. You have asked them for answers. They weren't forthcoming. Now go!

Missing Birthday Check Gets Teens' Attention

DEAR ABBY: Here's a fun suggestion for grandmothers who are upset about teens not writing thank-you notes. If you want to hear from a teen, try this: Send a card and write inside, "Happy Birthday! Please buy something fun or something you need with the enclosed check. Love you, Grandma." Then forget to enclose the check. You will hear from that child, I promise. -- NEW ENGLAND NANA

DEAR NANA: You are a shrewd and witty lady. I'm sure my readers will love that suggestion. I know I did!

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