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DEAR ABBY: I met a man 15 years ago who has recently come back into my life. I hadn't seen him in years. He says he wants to be with me and marry me, and I very much would like to be his wife. I live in one state, he lives in another and his work is in yet another state. He does travel - not much - but some.
The problem is I think he's married to his job. He says he wants to be home with me once we are married. But then he says that once his work slows down, he won't earn as much.
I'm not sure how I can do this, with him working in one state and living in another. Sometimes I wonder if he's really in love with me or if he's stringing me along. How can I be with him if I never see him? If you have any advice for me, please let me know soon.
- Hearts Awaiting
DEAR HEARTS AWAITING: If a "little voice" is telling you this man may be stringing you along, make no hasty decisions. It's important that you visit him at his home at least a few times, get to know his friends and family, if he has any, and see how you would fit in.
You also need to decide how you would spend your "alone" time while he's working. If you are an independent type, you'll be able to fill the time. But if you're not, then face the fact that as much as you care for him, you'd be miserable. So look CAREFULLY before you leap to the altar.
DEAR ABBY: I am an educated, open-minded, well-spoken, well-mannered single man. I enjoy life and smile just about every waking moment.
My problem is that people - especially women - think I'm gay. I assure you, I'm not! One woman recently lambasted me, saying her "gaydar" is never wrong, so I should just admit it to myself.
This issue has prohibited me from dating, especially over the last few years, because ladies see me as a peer instead of potential partner. Also, people tell others that I'm gay, so there are preconceived opinions.
Please don't think I am anti-gay. I have several gay male and female friends. I don't think my speech inflections or mannerisms make people assume this. I don't know what to do. Help!
- Straight, but not narrow in Alabama
DEAR STRAIGHT: Because there appears to be some confusion about your sexual orientation, I recommend you talk frankly with some of your female and male friends and ask what it is about you that has created this impression. Obviously there is something about the way you present yourself that's causing it, and the quickest way to find out what it is would be to ask direct questions of the people who know you best.
DEAR ABBY: My dear friend, God rest her soul, had a saying I think everyone could benefit from:
"You are the master of the unspoken word. Once it is spoken, it is your master forever."
- Discreet Midwesterner
DEAR DISCREET: Your dear friend was a smart woman. Too many times we say things that we wish we could take back. The same is true for the written word.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.