DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend, "Doug" (24), and I (22) have been in a long-distance relationship for a year, but we were friends for a couple of years before that. I had never had a serious relationship before and lacked experience. Doug has not only been in two other long-term relationships, but has had sex with more than 15 women. One of them is an amateur porn actress.
I knew about this, but it didn't bother me until recently. Doug had a party, and while he was drunk he told one of his buddies -- in front of me -- that he should watch a certain porn film starring his ex-girlfriend. It made me feel awkward. The next day he apologized.
Of course, having learned her name, I couldn't help myself from searching for her on the Internet. Now I can't stop comparing myself to her, and I feel intimidated and frustrated.
I have been struggling with how to get over it. Doug has told me many times that he loves me and I believe him. But those stupid, drunken comments really knocked me down. How do I get over my boyfriend's past? -- ECLIPSED BY A "STAR" IN NEW YORK
DEAR ECLIPSED: A giant step in the right direction would be to quit comparing yourself to a porn actress. In his addled condition, your immature boyfriend couldn't resist bragging to his buddies because he thought it would impress them with his prowess. If he had serious feelings about her, he would still be with her, not in a relationship with you.
That said, it would be in your best interest to find out if this woman really was a "girlfriend" or one of his one-night stands. If he is in a long-distance relationship with you and tends to be promiscuous, you should be more concerned about his judgment than how to get over his past.
DEAR ABBY: We have always purchased rather than leased our cars. One of them has 225,000 miles on the odometer and is running well. I have two friends who lease expensive foreign cars. Keeping the mileage down on their cars is important to them, especially when it comes time to return them at the end of the lease.
Because of this, I find myself driving more often than I should. One friend attends a weekly meeting with me, and we're supposed to take turns driving each other every other week. But somehow I end up at the wheel more often. I'd hate to start writing down our outings, but I'm beginning to feel used.
While I respect their decision to lease expensive new cars, it is not my responsibility to keep their expenses down. Both of these women are in a better financial position than I am, although we are all "comfortable."
Any ideas about how to approach this without seeming petty? It has been going on for a long while and is starting to bother me. -- DRIVEN TOO FAR IN LONG BEACH, CALIF.
DEAR DRIVEN TOO FAR: If you feel that you are being taken advantage of, then you probably are. I recommend you wean these ladies off your chauffeur services by being less available when they need a ride. And if you are asked why, remind them of your original agreement to share the driving duties 50-50.
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.
For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order "How to Be Popular." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)
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