DEAR ABBY: My live-in boyfriend, "Travis," and I are having a disagreement. When I get home around 5 p.m. I lock the door behind me, especially when I'm home alone. Travis gets home between 4:40 and 8 p.m. If I arrive first, he gets upset that he must unlock the door because he often takes his laptop and other things to and from work. I told him I don't feel comfortable leaving my door unlocked when I'm here by myself. I try to get to the door to let him in if I hear him outside, but I'm usually too slow.
Travis believes I am just insecure and think the worst of the world around me. He says I am choosing my irrational feelings over upsetting him. I told him if the alternative was for me to be robbed, raped or murdered, then I would hope his having to use his key every day would be worth it. I know it's unlikely that anything will happen to me, but it only takes one time.
Abby, am I paranoid or can you help me convince Travis of the importance of locking the door, especially when I am home alone? -- SAFETY CONSCIOUS IN SAN JOSE, CALIF.
DEAR SAFETY CONSCIOUS: I wish I could count the times I have turned on the evening news and heard someone say after yet another bloody tragedy: "But we live in a safe neighborhood. These kinds of things never happen here!" And how many times have we all heard the police issue a warning to the community to keep your doors and windows locked?
Of course you're not paranoid. You are acting responsibly. Unfortunately, your boyfriend is so self-centered he would rather jeopardize your safety than have his key ready when he gets out of his car. Bottom line: Either he adjusts his attitude or you should seriously consider upgrading the quality of the men in your life.
DEAR ABBY: Five years ago, while still in high school, I had a quick "fling" with a boy I had known since elementary school. It wasn't serious, and we didn't have sex. We mutually agreed that it was simply fun. We haven't seen or talked to each other since.
I have no regrets about it. I was 17, had just been dumped for my baby sister and was having self-esteem issues. He made me feel beautiful and desirable.
A year later I started dating my fiance. We have been together ever since. I love him dearly. We have a solid relationship, and we're very happy.
The problem is I sometimes still think about my fling from high school. I wonder what would have happened if we had dated, or if he still thinks about me. Is this normal for a woman who is getting ready to be married to the only man she has had sex with, and the only person she has dated for more than a few weeks? Or does it say more about my relationship with my fiance than I think it does? -- CONFUSED IN OHIO
DEAR CONFUSED: I'm glad you wrote. What you are feeling may be less about your high school "fling" than concern because you have limited experience in the dating world -- a boy who dumped you, a high school crush and five years with the person you met next. Obviously, you are having some doubts. It is important to examine them.
If you and your fiance have not had premarital counseling, it is in both your interests to schedule some. You're still young, and if you were ready for marriage you would be going full steam ahead -- not looking in the rearview mirror.
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(EDITOR'S NOTE: 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.)