DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend, “Lance,” attends the Naval Academy in Annapolis. We have been dating seriously for a long time and have made plans to start our life together when he graduates and heads off to flight school. I intended to leave my job, my family and friends to be with him.

Recently, out of the clear blue sky, Lance told me he has second thoughts about our plans. He said his doubts stem from his concern for my best interests. He feels it would be too difficult for me to continually move over the years, and he would feel guilty asking me to sacrifice so much for him.

I was caught completely off guard. I told Lance that, because I love him so much, I want to give this new life a chance. We talked for hours, and he decided that although he loves me very much, his life belongs to the Navy, and no one but he should make sacrifices.

Should I try to mend this relationship or let him go? – STILL IN LOVE IN MARYLAND

DEAR STILL: It’s apparent that Lance gave the matter considerable thought before he discussed his change of heart with you. “Mending fences” won’t work because his mind is already made up. Speaking metaphorically, the ship has sailed, and you have been left behind. As I see it, you have no choice but to let him go. Make the break a clean one and move on.

DEAR ABBY: My wife’s brother, “George,” lives with us. It was my wife’s suggestion because he was homeless, and she didn’t want him on the streets in the cold weather. She said she wanted him to stay with us for a few months. That was more than three years ago.

I am fed up with this. George doesn’t work, so he’s no help with the bills. He brings women here like it’s his house. He smokes dope here and gets drunk on beer. I don’t do any of those things. He won’t even mow the lawn in the summer.

I have told my wife that George is a 50-year-old man and has got to move elsewhere. She agrees, but says nothing to him. It has led to some serious arguments. I recently left something out in our bedroom to see if it would disappear, and yes, it did. I knew it would. I am ready to leave my own home. What should I do now? – TIRED OF MY BROTHER-IN-LAW IN NORTH CAROLINA

DEAR TIRED: You have done more than enough for your brother-in-law. The time has come for George to sober up, grow up, and take responsibility for himself. Since your wife can’t bring herself to tell her brother he must go, it’s up to you. Your marriage depends on it. Set a date for him to leave and insist upon it. In the meantime, make sure your valuables are under lock and key.

DEAR ABBY: Five months ago, I became involved with a gentleman whom I met at church. He is kind and caring – everything that a girl could look for. We are compatible and get along quite well in more ways than one.

The problem is he is living with someone else, and his job takes up much of his time. When we’re together the time goes by so quickly – and then I hear nothing for days on end. He tells me that he cares for me, and I care about him, but I’m confused. Should I bide my time in the hope that things will improve? Or should I turn tail and run? – CONFLICTED ON THE EAST COAST

DEAR CONFLICTED: Face it: Your kind, caring, compatible, churchgoing guy already has a hen sitting in his nest. Unless you want to end up with egg on your face, run like the dickens. He’s already taken.

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.

For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more attractive person, order “How to Be Popular.” Send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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