• 72°

Playful name-calling isn’t fun anymore for boyfriend

DEAR ABBY: My girlfriend and I call each other horrible, disparaging names as a form of “love.” Recently, I asked her to stop calling me names like that because it was fun at first, but now not so much. For me, it was just too negative.
I love her, and I want to show it by my actions. I want us to be a positive couple. I now call her “Bebe.” Well, she got mad and accused me of not letting her be herself. Am I wrong for asking her not to call me ugly, gender-based names? I know she loves me, and I just want her to tone down the name-calling. Is that too much to ask? — NO DUMB-A** IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR NO D-A: No, it is not too much to ask. Jokes can get old and stale, and the name-calling stopped being cute or fun for you a while ago. People who love each other are sensitive to the other person’s feelings and don’t do what your girlfriend is doing. If she persists, it may be time to step back and reevaluate this relationship because her “just being herself” WILL become a turnoff.
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DEAR ABBY: My husband of 34 years has really bad table manners. He smacks when he chews, makes gulping noises when he drinks liquids and stuffs huge amounts of food in his mouth. He once swallowed a whole hard-boiled egg all at once and almost choked. It’s gross.
I love him, but his lack of manners is embarrassing, especially when we are invited out or are over at a friend’s house. What can I do? — ROLLING MY EYES IN TENNESSEE

DEAR ROLLING: Have you talked to him about this? If you have, sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. Hand him a mirror or record a video of him eating so he can see for himself how unappealing he looks when he does this. If that doesn’t persuade him to slow down and take smaller bites, consider putting less food on his plate before serving it. I can’t guarantee this will work, but it’s worth a try.
P.S. A whole egg? OUCH!
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DEAR ABBY: After recently having gone through a divorce, my brother has now decided to start a family. He claims he loves her, but I’m afraid she’s taking advantage of him. They are both in their mid-30s and blinded by lust. They plan on marrying “maybe a year from now.”
I don’t know what to think. On the one hand, I’m happy he has moved on and found a new life. On the other hand, I’m afraid for him, knowing he’s vulnerable. How do I cope? — BEWILDERED SIS IN VERMONT

DEAR SIS: Your brother is talking about getting married a year from now. Unless he’s putting the cart before the horse by starting a family before the wedding, he seems to be handling things quite well and not rushing into a commitment he can’t get out of. Calm yourself. Let this play out and get to know his girlfriend. If you do, you may find you like her.
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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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