Boyfriend’s head is happily in the cloud

Published 9:05 am Wednesday, January 17, 2024

DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend of two years, “Rick,” is addicted to social media – mainly the women on there. I’m not on any of his social media, and it seems like he acts like he’s single there. If he’s not at work, he is at home, but always on his phone.
Rick pays more attention to Facebook than he does to me. There are more than 2,000 women on his FB, and he follows thousands on his TikTok. He likes and “hearts” their pictures and even comments. He sees nothing wrong with it because he’s home with me and not physically in contact with them. This has been our only problem the whole time we have been together. When I express my feelings about it, he tells me I’m overreacting and that it’s “just social media.”
I told Rick I feel like he’s cheating in a way because he is devoting his attention to other females that he could be giving me. It’s like he needs constant attention, even if it’s innocent. It makes me feel like I’m not enough for him, that he’s no longer interested in me and he’s looking for the next gal to move on to.
I feel like I have to compete with these women online. His TikTok is mainly women dancing half-naked. I can be literally right next to him in bed, but he would rather look at them. Other than this addiction, Rick is an amazing man. Please help. – COMPETING IN OHIO

DEAR COMPETING: Rick may be “amazing,” but he is also absent. He may be next to you physically, but if his attention is directed to the dancing girls on screen, you could freeze to death and he wouldn’t notice. In a way, in fact, you ARE freezing because your love life has been put on ice. Unless Rick is willing to find things he can do with you rather than feed his addiction, you really should find a partner who is available.
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DEAR ABBY: My husband has always been a rule-breaker. During the COVID lockdown, he refused to change his routines. He continued to do unnecessary errands daily and eat lunch out (even if it meant in his car). My pleas for him to stop fell on deaf ears. I protected myself by keeping my distance.
Although neither of us got the virus, I’m having trouble excusing his selfish behavior. He has offered no apologies and seems to think he did nothing wrong because neither of us got sick. I maintain that is not the point. He put both of us AT RISK. How can I get past this? – DODGED IT IN THE MIDWEST

DEAR DODGED IT: You and your husband have been lucky. A way to get past this would be to ask your husband in a non-confrontational manner WHY he did what he did, and whether he took into consideration that it might have put you in danger. Then let him explain.
If his response is not satisfactory enough for you to “get past this,” recognize that this is what you signed on for when you married a “bad boy” (aka a rule-breaker) and make sure to take ALL the necessary precautions to protect yourself in the future.
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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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Abby shares more than 100 of her favorite recipes in two booklets: “Abby’s Favorite Recipes” and “More Favorite Recipes by Dear Abby.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $16 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Cookbooklet Set, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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