DEAR ABBY: I have been close to my best friend for three years. A year ago we decided to date. We have a wonderful relationship on almost every level. The only issue I have is that he’s reluctant to open up about his past. He is a very private person, and I know it’s because of his upbringing. This has sparked many debates between us that have ended less than pleasantly.
Recently, he did open up, and when he did, he dropped a bomb. He asked me if I believed in soul mates, and I said yes. Then he told me about how in his past there was a girl he loved very much. Sadly, she died. He said he sees this girl as his soul mate, but he doesn’t think it lessens any of his love for me.
This was the first time he opened up to me. Now that it has sunk in, I’m hurt. I already have self-confidence issues, and I worry that since I am not her, I’m not enough. I can’t live up to a dead woman.
I always thought I could change his closed ways, but now, knowing the cause, I fear there is nothing I can do to help him. Maybe he’s just too messed up for me. I don’t know what to do. Can someone have two soul mates? — NOT HIS SOUL MATE
DEAR NOT HIS SOUL MATE: Please do not allow your self-confidence issues to ruin your relationship, because from where I sit, it appears you’re looking for a way to push this man away. So what if he had a romance that ended tragically? She’s dead — gone! And you’re very much alive. Stop competing with her.
If there is one thing I have learned, it is that we cannot change other people. He doesn’t need your help; he needs someone who will accept him the way he is and love him for it.
DEAR ABBY: I am the treasurer for my high school’s upcoming 50th reunion. My senior class was large — more than 550 students. My problem is, 280 students have not responded to our monthly emails or newsletters.
It takes a lot of time and effort to put on a reunion. We have been working on it for two years. I realize some classmates hated their senior year. Not all of us had a perfect time. But would you remind people that a simple yes or no works well?
Frankly, I don’t know why anyone would say no, unless medical or financial issues prevented them from attending. I don’t look like I did at 18, and neither does anyone else. The clique clubs are gone, and the captain of the football team looks just like any other guy. Can you comment? — READY FOR THE REUNION
DEAR READY: Yes. There may be other reasons why some graduates don’t wish to attend their high school reunion. They live far away, or there is no one they particularly want to see.
Rather than work yourself into a lather, in your next communication to the graduates, specify that only those who have responded to the invitation can be accommodated “because the committee is making arrangements for which they need an exact head count.” If you don’t hear from someone, do not plan on seeing him or her.
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.