DEAR ABBY: I'm a woman who, a little while ago, got a girlfriend, "Darlene." After meeting her, I thought that was what love felt like. But my old (bisexual) friend "Michelle" has me feeling differently. I have known her since kindergarten, but recently I feel my heart racing and butterflies in my stomach just thinking about her. When Michelle does my nails and holds my hand to steady them, my knees feel weak. I do not feel this way with Darlene, although I still care deeply about her. I don't want to hurt her feelings by breaking up with her, but I think that if I were single, Michelle might consider going out with me. Darlene's feelings are extremely sensitive, and I want to keep her as a friend. But just being around Michelle has me feeling happier than ever. Abby, this is driving me insane. Do I risk hurting someone's feelings, or should I stay with Darlene and miss out on being with someone I am in love with? Am I a bad girlfriend just by thinking of this? — LOVESTRUCK IN ALASKA
DEAR LOVESTRUCK: Your feelings are your feelings. You are not a bad girlfriend; you are a girlfriend who is ready to break up with Darlene. Before making any announcements, verify with Michelle that your feelings are reciprocated. If they are, then you must tell Darlene you want to see other people. Count on her being hurt and probably angry, so be as gentle as you can when you give her the news. It will be doing all three of you a favor. Breakups, while painful, are a fact of life. People do recover, and Darlene will be free to find someone who will love her the way she deserves to be loved.
DEAR ABBY: My younger sister, "Tish," is adamant about getting our parents' affairs in order. They are in their 80s and in excellent physical and mental health except for osteo-related issues. Tish's constant reminders are making them feel she is rushing them to the grave. My siblings and I appreciate her intentions and support her efforts to get our parents to finalize their trust arrangements, but it's reached a point where she wants to start selling their belongings and is secretly throwing things away. Tish spends a lot of time looking at memorabilia and telling them who certain items should be given to. We are unable to control her, and she gets belligerent if we disagree with her vision of how things should be handled. Should I be thankful for what she's doing and try to convince my parents it's a lot less for them to worry about? I don't want to be "that" family member, but I am afraid I'm becoming such. — LOOKING ON IN TEXAS
DEAR LOOKING ON: Your parents are fortunate that they are in great health, but they should also realize what inevitably lies ahead. You would be doing the whole family a favor if you pointed out to them that because Tish becomes angry and belligerent if someone disagrees with her, they need to talk to an attorney who specializes in estate planning, which will prevent conflict after their eventual passing. After that, the ball is in their court.
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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