Dear Abby: My boyfriend of one year has told me he needs to focus on getting his life together - getting a better job, concentrating on his career and finding himself. At this point in his life, he knows he can't provide for me and give me what I want, which is to settle down in a few years.
He said he is unsure when he will have his life together and he doesn't want me to wait for him. He feels he needs to be "selfish" now and focus only on himself. We have talked about breaking up, and while he has faith that we will be together again, I can't bring myself to end things with this amazing man.
- Afraid To Let Go
Dear Afraid: When a man says he wants to focus only on himself and he doesn't want you to wait for him, what he is really saying is, "It's over." While the prospect of moving on after having invested a year in the relationship may be anxiety-provoking, at this point, you really have no choice. Please accept my sympathy for your heartache.
Looking to negotiate
Dear Abby: I am a 13-year-old boy. My dad and I have a disagreement. I have been throwing away the lunches my mom packs for school because I don't like them and buying school lunches. I realize this was ungrateful and dishonest, and I regret doing it.
As a punishment, Dad won't let me go to my friend's birthday party. I'm fine with being punished, but I think this punishment is unfair to my friend because he doesn't get to have me at his party. Instead, I think it would be better to be grounded or made to do extra chores. Who's right?
- Normal Teen in Orinda, Calif.
Dear Teen: You are a born negotiator. Instead of taking your punishment, you're trying for a plea bargain. I wouldn't be surprised if in the future you become a successful lawyer.
However, regarding your question - I'm not getting in the middle of this one. And I'm pretty sure that this is a punishment you won't soon forget.