DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend and I have been dating for nearly two years. He would literally do anything for me. He's incredibly affectionate and supportive, and a lot of women would love to have someone like him.
My problem is we see the world through completely different eyes. I'm an artist. I want to go out and explore the world and do crazy things. He's more comfortable at home with video games and he's not comfortable mingling with crowds. He can be overprotective sometimes, and when I bring up my concerns about possibly breaking up, he doesn't take me seriously and says, "You do this every time you're upset."
We live together and are dependent both financially and emotionally. Honestly, I would like to stay with him, but I'm torn about what to do. Should I leave someone I should be grateful for in order to chase selfish dreams? Or should I stay and encourage him to change? -- CHASING MY DREAMS
DEAR CHASING YOUR DREAMS: Your boyfriend isn't going to change. If you can't accept him the way he is, then it would be better for both of you to separate.
DEAR ABBY: I like to host parties for my kids, family events and game nights with friends. I love when my home is filled with loving family and friends. But when we open our home, there always seems to be someone who feels it necessary to point out something wrong with our home or something that should be fixed. It drives me nuts! I find it hard to respond without sounding snotty. When I'm invited to someone's home, I would never walk around and nitpick and point out problem areas. I would love it if you could give me examples of what I can say to deflect those not-so-helpful comments. -- HOST IN ILLINOIS
DEAR HOST: Allow me to offer you a menu. Feel free to pick and choose as you please:
1. "Oh, my! I hadn't noticed."
2. "Thank you for pointing that out. I'll have it fixed before you come back over." (And don't invite the person again.)
3. "The next time you visit, be sure to bring along your wrench."
DEAR ABBY: For our anniversary, I bought my wife a $1,500 necklace and told her that if she wanted, it could be exchanged at the store within a month.
The following week she went out with some friends and came back with a different piece of jewelry from the store that cost an additional $800. Besides the financial aspect, I'm feeling hurt that what I gave was not adequate enough for her. Am I being too sensitive here? -- HURT FEELINGS IN BOCA RATON
DEAR HURT FEELINGS: You are a generous and loving husband. You should not, however, feel hurt that your wife exchanged the necklace. You told her she could, and she took you up on it. Perhaps next time you should consider asking her what she would like, so you can choose the gift "together."
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