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Publication: Dear Abby
Other Man's Overture Puts Couple's Romance In Doubt

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            DEAR ABBY - December 19, 2006   

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ABBY: I am a 35-year-old man, deeply and madly in love with 
a 36-year-old woman who has two kids. I'll call her Whitney. 
We would both like our relationship to lead to marriage and 
more kids, but something -- or rather someone -- has put a 
damper on things. Whitney has been talking to this other man 
(who she thinks is gay) for quite some time. A few weeks ago, 
he finally asked her out. She declined, but did not tell him 
she's involved with anyone else.

When we discussed it, and when I told Whitney he has crossed 
the line by asking her out, she argued that she is not 
attracted to him and he's gay, and then she accused me of not
trusting her.

I am not a controlling person. I never minded her talking to 
him before he asked her out. But the fact that he did, and 
they talk to each other daily and she does nothing to avoid 
talking to him, makes me uncomfortable. It has shaken my 
trust in her. This has seriously affected our relationship,
although she doesn't realize it.

I don't want to see Whitney get hurt by some guy who may be 
looking for just one thing. Does this look innocent to you? 
Can a gay man be attracted to a woman? And more important, 
can a woman be attracted to a gay man? 

CONFUSED: Let me answer your questions in reverse order. Can 
a woman be attracted to a gay man? Absolutely! I can think
of quite a few "out" gay men whom women find attractive. 
Among them are Rupert Everett, George Michael, Lance Bass, 
Richard Chamberlain and Neil Patrick Harris. 

And gay men can be attracted to -- and have a lot in common 
with -- women. I know that firsthand. But the attraction has 
everything to do with common interests, a similar sense of 
humor and a mutual understanding. It is not sexual. As a good 
(gay) friend once told me, "Never try to change a queen. It 
won't work."

Although you say you are not a controlling person, you appear
to be insecure in your relationship with Whitney. For heaven's 
sake, your lady friend has not tried to hide anything from you. 
She has told you she talks to this man, and how often, and what 
she has and has not told him. Even if she had a ring on her 
finger, she has a right to spend time with whomever she wishes. 

So calm down and let this play out. The "one thing" he may 
be looking for may be friendship, and it's something that 
eventually you could offer him, too.


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ABBY: My teenage daughters went to a birthday party for a 
friend. It was a slumber party, and on the spur of the 
moment, one of the girls suggested they play "strip poker." 
Abby, the host girl's mother not only allowed it, but 
actually joined the game! The mother is a single parent, 
and only females were present in the home.

The girls found the game great fun and plan on doing it in 
the future at slumber parties. I told them that I do not 
feel this was appropriate, but they reminded me that I have 
always told them there was no reason to be shy about their
bodies with other girls, so I was stumped to explain why I 
disapprove. I am still not comfortable with the idea of such 
an activity. Please tell me what you think. 

APPALLED: I see no harm in a group of young women playing 
strip poker at an all-girl slumber party. However, for the 
host girl's mother to abdicate her role as a parent in an 
attempt to act like their contemporary was, in my opinion, 
a lapse of judgment. Tempting as it may have been for this 
single mother to try to be "one of the girls," she should 
have refrained because she's not one of the peers.

ABBY is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as    
Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline    
Phillips. Write ABBY at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box    
69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.   

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