DEAR ABBY: "Roger" and I have been seeing each other for two years. (We are both 50.) He is very handsome. We go to movies, ride our bikes together, work out at the gym and attend other events. He calls me every night, sends emails during the day -- even calls me when he's on a break from work.
He never asks me to pay for anything and sends me flowers on special occasions. He will kiss me goodnight, but he has never held my hand or been affectionate in any other way. People we see think we're married or seriously dating and have asked about it. He tells them we just "hang out" and that he's just a friend.
Roger says he's seeing only me, but he's on a dating website every night instant messaging younger women and talking to them for hours. I know it because one of my girlfriends is on the same site and checked it out for me.
My friend says Roger is a good companion and I should stay with it. But I'm attractive and accomplished. I think I deserve a fuller relationship with someone who is less platonic. Abby, what do you think? -- HANGING UP ON HANGING OUT
DEAR HANGING UP: Roger has made it no secret that he's comfortable with the relationship as it is and doesn't intend for it to progress. It appears the two of you are best friends. (Nowhere did you mention that you are in love with him.)
I do think that after all this time you should ask him why the relationship hasn't become sexual. The answer may be that Roger is impotent, asexual or he's just not interested in you that way. If that's OK with you, then continue what appears to be a pleasant relationship. However, if you need more -- and I think you do -- then it's time for you to move on.
DEAR ABBY: My mother won't stop nagging me about marriage. She insists that I "must" be married by the age of 22 and have kids by 25, which I think is inconceivable. Abby, I'm only 17. Marriage and boys are the last things on my mind.
I have told her that her "talks" make me uncomfortable and I don't plan on getting married anytime soon (if ever), but she won't let up. She keeps saying she knows she's right, and that when I'm 22 I'll thank her, which I know isn't going to happen. Other than this, she's great and we don't have any other problems.
She has been saying this a lot recently because I'm going off to college this year, and that's where she thinks I'll find a husband. How can I get through to her? -- VIRGIN TERRITORY
DEAR VIRGIN TERRITORY: It would be interesting to know why your mother feels this way. Could she have been born and raised in a culture in which early marriage and motherhood are expected of women?
With her mindset, I don't think you will "win" an argument with her over this. Be patient with her and when she raises the subject, point out that women of your generation are expected to complete their education and be able to support themselves financially before they marry in case the need arises later (i.e. divorce or widowhood). It's a fact. Women in the United States -- particularly college-educated women -- are now marrying and having children later than they did a generation ago.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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