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Student pleads for help getting parents to co-sign for loan

DEAR ABBY: I have plans to go to law school in the next two years. I have already taken the entrance exam, and will receive recommendations from two of my college professors. The problem is, my parents are refusing to co-sign for my law school loan.

Abby, I'm not asking for money; I'm just asking for someone to co-sign the loan for me. I plan to pay off the debt myself. I don't want to ask an extended family member for help, because even if they agree, I'd feel horrible if it prevented them from helping their own children with something.

My parents don't have a good enough excuse to not co-sign for me, and it surprises me that it doesn't embarrass them that I may have to ask another family member for help. What should I do, Abby? -- FUTURE LAW SCHOOL STUDENT

DEAR FUTURE LAW SCHOOL STUDENT: Your parents shouldn't have to meet your criteria for what is a "good enough" excuse for being reluctant to co-sign on a loan for you. It should be enough that they are uncomfortable with the prospect of doing it.

While your desire to pursue the field of law is admirable, have you researched what job opportunities are available to new law school graduates? Currently, according to the media, these jobs are not nearly as plentiful as they have been historically.

However, if you are determined to plunge ahead, I think you already know what you're going to have to do -- and that includes seeing if you can find another source of funding for your law school education.

DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend and I have been together a year and a half. We knew each other for a while prior because we used to work together. Our relationship has been somewhat fun. The only issue that bothers me is that he can never seem to open up. He doesn't express his feelings toward me or even show much that he cares that we're together.

When I ask him about it, he says he's just not ready to open up and I should respect that. I do, because he has been through a lot in life. But it's hard to figure out where I stand with him. I'm always the one to make the first move -- whether it's to show affection or express my love for him. It's lonely and confusing that he doesn't, and I often feel like I'm in a relationship with myself.

Should I give him more time to get comfortable enough to open up? Or am I wasting my time? -- MIXED UP IN LOVE

DEAR MIXED UP: Not all men are comfortable expressing their emotions verbally. More important than what someone tells you, is how he treats you. You stated that he not only doesn't express his emotions, but also doesn't show that he cares you are a couple. A year and a half has been plenty of time for your boyfriend to respond with more than indifference.

Because you need more than he seems capable of giving, it's time to find someone who can give you the affection and affirmation you crave. In a relationship, BOTH parties must contribute if it is to survive.

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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