DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend of more than a year and I broke up about a month ago. While the split was sudden, I understood his reasons for wanting to end the relationship, and we’re still good friends.

Recently, a guy at work expressed an interest in me, and we have made out a few times. This guy is extremely forward, likes to move quickly, and has made it clear that his interest is only physical. I can’t seem to find the willpower to tell him to leave me alone. I keep associating with him to fill the void that was left when my boyfriend and I parted ways. He is pushing more and more to see me alone, and I’m running out of excuses.

I know what I’m doing isn’t right, but the feeling of being desired is something I don’t want to lose again. Can you please help me sort out this mess? – TORN IN TWO

DEAR TORN: That little voice that’s telling you what you’re doing isn’t right is your intuition. It is trying to steer you in the right direction. When an affair at the office ends, it can be painful and embarrassing to be confronted every day with the ghost of romance past, so take my advice and don’t do it.

Tell the office Romeo to slow down – he’s moving too fast. If he has any respect for you, he will back off.

DEAR ABBY: I love to bake, and I have heard for years that when baking or cooking with wine or liquor, the alcohol burns off.

I have a cupcake recipe that contains one-half cup of coffee liqueur and yields 30 cupcakes. They were baked at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

One of my co-workers, after having one cupcake, told everyone that she was sure the cupcake had made her drunk. She even had slurred speech! She did not appear to be joking, and continued talking about it for several days afterward.


DEAR BARTENDER: Yes, it is. I posed your question to Sherry Yard, pastry chef at Spago in Beverly Hills. Sherry told me that when the liqueur is put directly into the batter, not all of it burns off – which means people with a sensitivity to alcohol should not eat those cupcakes.

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I adopted two daughters from China. They are now 3 and 4 years old. Time and again, people ask if the girls are “real sisters.”

My daughters are proud to be Chinese, and they know each other only as sisters. In time, they will understand the circumstances surrounding their birth. An adopted child from China has no means of finding any history about his/her birth parents.

What do you recommend answering when we’re asked if the girls are “real sisters”? – LUCKY MOM IN MICHIGAN

DEAR LUCKY MOM: There seems to be no limit to the questions people feel entitled to ask when they see families who are multiracial. Your daughters became “real sisters” the minute you adopted them, and I see no reason why you should tell anyone otherwise.

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.

To order “How to Write Letters for All Occasions,” send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby – Letter Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447.

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