Never-seen boyfriend raises doubts for con­cerned par­ents

The Progress-Index Weekend - - LIFESTYLES - Jeanne Phillips

DEAR ABBY: My daugh­ter is a pro­fes­sional woman in her mid-20s. She works in a de­mand­ing field with a lot of over­time. She lives an hour away from us and is fi­nan­cially in­de­pen­dent, but de­pends on us of­ten for fa­vors.

She has been dat­ing a man for a year and a half who doesn’t even call her his “girl­friend.” We have never met him. He sees her when it’s con­ve­nient for him, some­times for an hour at 11 on a Sun­day night after he’s spent the week­end with his friends. (We both know what to call that.) She has never asked him to feed or baby-sit her cat, help her move fur­ni­ture, pick up an item from a store or any­thing. She asks us.

We are in our 60s. We feel it’s time for her to find a lov­ing, con­sid­er­ate life part­ner, but she’s con­tent with her present “re­la­tion­ship.” She has had re­la­tion­ships be­fore with thought­ful, help­ful guys, so I’m not sure why she is ra­tio­nal­iz­ing this man’s self-cen­tered be­hav­ior.

He is now mov­ing 600 miles away, but plans to con­tinue see­ing her. He hasn’t asked her to join him, although she con­sid­ered up­root­ing her­self from her job and fam­ily to do so. How can I make her see that she has no fu­ture with this man and needs to find a real part­ner in life?

— WON’T BE AROUND FOR­EVER

DEAR WON’T: Are you sure he isn’t mar­ried or in a long-term re­la­tion­ship with some­one else? I don’t blame you for be­ing a con­cerned par­ent, but this is a re­al­iza­tion your daugh­ter is go­ing to have to ar­rive at in her own time. Badger­ing her is coun­ter­pro­duc­tive.

Could it be your in­de­pen­dent daugh­ter likes the “free­dom” this re­la­tion­ship pro­vides? If you are do­ing your daugh­ter fa­vors the “boyfriend” should be pro­vid­ing, cut it out. It’s pos­si­ble that the move he’s mak­ing will cause him to drift out of her life so things can end nat­u­rally. Cross your fingers.

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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