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Abigail van Buren

DEAR ABBY: During the past couple of years, I have become close with someone I was intimately involved with 20 years ago. We had a relatively short but very passionate relationship back then, which she ended for reasons I still am not clear about. For me, she was the “one who got away.” We never really fought and remained friendly during the years.

She now has a child she has sole custody of, so we never really are alone. The three of us hang out a lot and take trips together. The problem is, we are not intimate and haven’t expressed feelings for each other. I am, and to some extent always have been, in love with her. I don’t want to ruin what we have, but I don’t want to be stuck in limbo forever either. What should I do? — Old Flame In Pennsylvania

DEAR OLD FLAME: It might not be an accident this woman hasn’t found a babysitter so you can spend some adult time together. After “a couple of years,” it’s time for an honest discussion about why she ended your relationship the first time around. Express how you feel about her (if she doesn’t already know) and ask whether your feelings are reciprocated. If they aren’t, you need to adjust to the fact you are in the “friend zone.”

DEAR ABBY: My best friend of 30 years and I haven’t spoken since my wedding two years ago. We have had times apart before, and it’s always for the same reason — she gets out of control when she drinks too much and takes it out on me. I thought for sure she would apologize after the incident at my wedding where she told me to “kiss her a--.”

I realize her drinking is a problem, and I want her to know I still care, but I’m afraid if we reconnect it will continue. I have thought about writing her a letter. It’s sad because our kids have grown up together. I feel lonely without my BFF. What do I do? — Uncertain In Colorado

DEAR UNCERTAIN: If you think writing her a letter will make this person stop drinking, please understand the solution to her problem might be more complex than that. If she were interested in rescuing your friendship, she would have reached out after you returned from your honeymoon and she sobered up. I’m sorry you are lonely without your “BFF,” but recognize unless you are willing to accept her the way she is, you’ll be better off concentrating on healthy relationships.

DEAR ABBY: I was wondering how I can enjoy my college experience. I mostly am wondering about what I should do while I’m in college to get the best experience (other than focus on my classes because that comes first). What should I try and what things should I do while I’m there? I don’t think college will be like high school in terms of things to do because I will be living on my own with new people. I just wanted to ask your advice because I’m about to go off to college this fall. — Excited In Georgia

DEAR EXCITED: Every college is different. When you arrive and get settled, make it a priority to explore what options are available so you can meet new people and find groups that interest you. This not only will enrich your college experience but might help you to form lasting relationships.

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