Dear Abby: I met this guy through a dating site. We began chatting and hit it off. We talk almost every day, and have Skyped a few times. We've been getting closer and closer. I really like him, and he has told me he feels the same.
The thing is, I'm not sure if he's telling me the truth. We live in different countries, and for all I know, he could have a girlfriend and be messing with me. I also don't know how to tell my parents. They don't support online dating, and they don't think I'm ready for a relationship. Please help me. I'm really confused. — Chatting from Another Country
Dear Chatting: It is hard to keep emotions in check and think clearly when the adrenaline is pumping and our hearts are beating a mile a minute.
Because you are a minor, you have to respect your parents' decisions until such time as they agree you're ready for a relationship. A way to earn their trust and prove that you are mature enough would be to be honest about what you are doing and thinking, rather than sneak around hoping to slip something by them. When that time comes, finding someone closer to home, somebody you can introduce to them IN PERSON will make your life easier. In the meantime, concentrate on school and the opportunities it provides.
Dear Abby: A good friend of my husband's, "Eric," offered us a very generous wedding present. It was something we needed in our home, and he told us he would like to build it for us. Time went on, the project was delayed and my husband offered him numerous opportunities to back out. Each time the friend continued to support his offer. When it was finally finished, Eric admitted it had pushed him beyond capacity.
It has become obvious that Eric feels resentful, and now he's holding his generosity over my husband's head. He recently asked my husband to help with a project in his own home, and when my husband couldn't do it that week, the conflict came to a head.
My husband has reached out trying to explain that he wants to help his friend, but he needs to plan for it. We haven't heard back from Eric, and my husband is very sad. I'm good friends with Eric's wife, and this conflict has made it uncomfortable for us to see each other.
I want to mediate, but it's difficult to objectively step back and see where my husband has wronged and needs to make amends. I realize that nothing in life is black and white, and I need an unbiased perspective on how we can move forward. — Good Friends
Dear Good Friends: I agree that few things in life are black and white, but after reading your letter, I can't see how Eric was wronged. Your husband didn't refuse to help with the project; he just said he couldn't do it unless it was scheduled in advance.
I don't know why Eric is nursing a grudge and neither do you. Not all friendships last forever. That's why, if you are smart, you will refrain from inserting yourself in the middle of this.
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.