DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend and I are both 34 and have been dating for eight years. I love him, but I'm tired of him being so selfish and self-centered. His free time revolves around hockey games on the ice and on TV, baseball on the field and on TV and football season TV. Basically, his butt is glued to the couch.
Every day when I get home from a 10-hour day at the office, he's sitting there watching a game on TV, getting ready to watch a game or getting ready to go to a game. I'm lucky if I get a kiss on the cheek and a five-minute "hello" before he's gone or his eyes are glued to that damned TV.
He complains because he wants me to watch with him or join him. Occasionally I will, but honestly, it's not my thing, and I have no interest. I do it just for him, but when it comes to something I want him to do with me, he makes a fuss, doesn't want to participate and makes me feel bad for even asking.
My life consists of spending time alone at the mall every Saturday or Sunday to get out of the house and just get a day of sunlight, or reading a book upstairs in our room. If his weekend games don't start until the afternoon, he literally sleeps in until an hour before.
I'm tired of him being lazy, inattentive and making no effort in our relationship. We are both adults, no kids. We love our freedom, but I still want to do things sometimes as an actual couple. Our lives are boring, sad and depressing. Please give me some advice on how to change this, or do I change alone and finally move on? -- AFTERTHOUGHT IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR AFTERTHOUGHT: You cannot change another person, but there is still time to make some positive changes in your life. I think eight years of this -- I hate to call it a relationship -- is enough. You have wasted enough time trying to get through to this very limited individual. Find a man you have something in common with to spend your life with. You should have moved out and moved on years ago.
DEAR ABBY: For some strange reason, my sister-in-law "Yvonne" doesn't want gifts. She has done a lot for us (baby-sits, etc.), and when we try to give her a little gift, she says she doesn't want anything. She loves growing herbs, so we gave her an herb-growing kit. She refused to accept it and made us return it to the store. It hurt my feelings deeply.
My husband and I have decided to not get her any more gifts. Her birthday was last week, and we didn't do anything for her. It made me feel terrible. Why would someone not want to receive anything? I feel we are being robbed of the joy of giving. -- GENEROUS IN GEORGIA
DEAR GENEROUS: Not knowing Yvonne, I can't explain her personal reasons for not wanting gifts. I do know that some people are uncomfortable receiving them because they consider it to be an obligation -- plus they don't like to shop, have no use for the item or it is not their taste. Rather than be upset with her for being honest with you, respect her wishes and on her birthday, send her a card.
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