DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend, “Brian,” and I are in our early 30s. In June we will have been dating for six years. We’ve lived together for four. I am ready for marriage and a family, but Brian considers marriage a “financial decision.” He has told me more than once that he would gain nothing by marrying me.

Frankly, our living arrangement has never been financially ideal for me. At the time we moved in together, I had been making payments on a small home that would have been paid for by now. I sold it (taking a loss) and gave away all my furniture when I moved in with Brian. He had just purchased a pricey home, and I have always paid him rent and shared all living expenses.

So I have to ask myself: What does my live-in companion have to “lose” financially by marrying me? I continue to pay him rent. At my own expense I have painted the bedrooms, put up all new drapes and blinds, planted a beautiful garden – all for a house that’s not even mine.

Last June, I gave Brian one year to ask me to marry him. Here it is almost May, and he is no closer to proposing now than he was then. Am I being unreasonable to expect a serious commitment? Any advice would help. Sign me – COLORADO LADY IN WAITING

Unreasonable, no. Naive, yes. Your boyfriend is a self-admitted cash-and-carry kind of guy. He is only interested in the financial benefits of your current arrangement.

You have stars in your eyes, and Brian is blinded by dollar signs. If you want a real partnership, find someone with whom you have more in common.

DEAR ABBY: “Vivian” has been my best friend for 11 years. Our children are the same ages and our families have always been close. Last summer, Viv suddenly stopped talking to me and wouldn’t return my phone calls. The last time we spoke was Christmas when she brought gifts over for the kids and acted like everything was fine. I haven’t heard a word from her since.

I miss my friend and I am mystified as to why she won’t return my calls and e-mails. I thought we were as close as sisters. I don’t understand how a grown woman can toss out a longtime friendship like yesterday’s garbage. What more can I do, Abby? – HURT AND CONFUSED IN OREGON

You have done all you can to preserve the friendship. The ball is now in Vivian’s court. There may be something going on in her life that she’s not willing to share with you at this time. Go on with your life and don’t second-guess what you should or shouldn’t have done.

CONFIDENTIAL TO MY READERS: Easter will soon be here. Many people regard it as an occasion to give pets to small children. A word of caution: If you plan to surprise a child with a duckling, a chick or a baby rabbit, please consider that living creatures need proper care. Unless you are absolutely certain that the little pet will receive the care it needs to survive, please give the child a stuffed bird or rabbit instead. Regardless of how cute baby birds and animals are, they should not be given to children on impulse.

If you have gotten this far and are still determined to give a live baby rabbit as a gift, I strongly advise that you do some research first. Visit for information about rabbits’ life expectancy, health issues, temperament and desirability as household pets.

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 or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

Good advice for everyone — teens to seniors — is in “The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It.” To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447.

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