DEAR ABBY: I recently got back in touch with an old flame from 12 years ago. We never dated in the past because he was an alcoholic and not in a good place. A month ago, he added me on Snapchat, and we picked up right where we left off. He has been sober for three years, has a steady job, a house and a good support system. We spend hours on the phone and have a lot in common. I was excited to see if our friendship would evolve into something more, and he also wanted to see if we could be more than friends.
Abby, I went over to his house and it is filthy. It's not cluttered, just dirty -- like it needs a very good deep cleaning. He has a large dog in the house, so the place smells very bad. I wouldn't sit down on any of the furniture, and I couldn't wait to get out of there. What do I do? Do I tell him how I feel about his house and see if he's willing to change, or must I end the relationship we are starting to build? I don't want to settle, but I don't want to miss out on what could turn into a wonderful relationship. -- PUT OFF IN IOWA
DEAR PUT OFF: It is entirely possible that this man doesn't realize how dirty his home, furniture and dog have become because he is used to living that way. You have no choice but to tell him he needs a cleaning crew for his home on a regular basis, and his dog needs to be bathed and groomed regularly for the sake of the health of the animal. If he's willing to listen to you, it could turn into a wonderful relationship. If he isn't, it's better to find out now, don't you think?