DEAR ABBY: I have been with my boyfriend, “Nick,” for 10 years. We have been through a lot. We have a 3-year-old son, and Nick’s mom passed away shortly after his birth. Nick now tells me he doesn’t want to watch our son, that he wants his time for himself. All I need is for him to watch him one day a week while I’m at work. My family helps the other days.

I have a good job, which Nick wants me to leave and move across the country with him. I feel it would be a mistake to move before our cars are paid off and our son is in school, which will all happen in a year. It just seems logical, so we won’t have someone we don’t know watching our kid, especially because I can’t predict when Nick will be in dad mode and want to watch him.

Jeanne Phillips

Nick says he doesn’t want to wait and he’s threatening to go without me. He said he didn’t sign up for kids in the first place. I don’t want our relationship to end. I don’t want to be a single mom. I feel like we could work this out, but I don’t know how. Help, please. — SO UNSURE IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR SO UNSURE: It’s time to face reality. You ARE a single mom. What exactly do you think you can work out with your boyfriend, who “didn’t sign up for kids in the first place”? Nick has made plain that he doesn’t want the responsibility of fatherhood. He will, however, have a legal responsibility to support his son financially. Do not allow yourself to be rushed into moving. Your reasons for wanting to wait make sense. You have steady employment where you are and relatives who provide safe, reliable child care for your little boy, who may reach adulthood before his father does.

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DEAR ABBY: My mother passed away a couple of years ago. She had a very nice man, “Ron,” as a partner for several years before her death. Since Mom’s funeral, I have done my best to spend time with him and check in to see how he is. Unfortunately, he has a habit of stopping by my home unannounced — usually on Sunday evenings. I know he’s lonely, and I feel terrible asking this. How can I tell him in a nice way that my husband and I don’t like surprise visits when we’re getting ready for the workweek ahead or relaxing by the pool? I’m starting to resent having to be “presentable” for a drop-by visit when all I want is to unwind at the end of a weekend. — CRAVING SUNDAY SOLITUDE

DEAR CRAVING: You should have drawn the line within a few months after your mother’s passing. The way to handle this would be to say to him the next time he shows up unannounced, “Ron, we already have plans for tonight. (Pause.) You know we care about you, but in the future, please call before dropping by because we sometimes need to relax and prepare for the workweek ahead.”

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TO THOSE WHO CELEBRATE ROSH HASHANA: At sundown tonight, the Jewish new year begins. At this time of solemn introspection, I wish my Jewish readers, “L’shana tova tikatevu” — may you be inscribed in the Book of Life and have a good year.

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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.

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