Dear Annie: I've finally met a man with whom I can hold an intelligent conversation, who enjoys the things I do, and who treats a woman with respect and chivalry. He's not perfect, but my feelings for him surpass his smoking habit and coffee cravings.
The problem? "Will" used to be my college professor, and well, I just found out that he may be homosexual. I almost thought it was a joke. But after many work visits, lunchtime hang-outs, late-night phone calls and candlelit dinners, he told me about his male "mate."
Annie, I thought he was The One, and I've fallen in love with him. Now I'm just lost. I'm happy for him if this is what he wants, but I was sincerely hoping to reach the next level of our friendship. He never explicitly said he was gay, and I'm too hesitant to ask. But recently, I did question if we could ever be more than friends, and he looked at me with assurance and a smile, and said, "Who knows?"
Annie, please help. I don't know what move to make, or what hopes to hold on to. Grace in Long Beach, Calif.
Dear Grace: If Will has made no physical move on you after numerous meet-ups and candlelit dinners, he is not interested in you romantically. If, on top of that, he talks about a male "mate," you can rest assured that pursuing him will only bring you disappointment and hurt. You have found a very good friend. Treat him as such and, for your own sake, please don't expect more.
Dear Annie: I realize I am out of the loop about a lot of things, so please tell me if I am being way too prudish. I have always regarded the "F" word referring to passing gas as unacceptable. During recent years however, my first-grade pupils attempt to use it freely. When I admonish them, they tell me that their parents, aunts, uncles, etc., use it.
My fellow teachers, family and friends also use it without hesitation. I see it on T-shirts and on TV. There is even a children's book using it. How do I handle my aversion to this word? C.B.
Dear C.B.: Many vulgar words have become more popular, but that does not make them any more acceptable, especially in school. If you don't want your students using this word (or any other), simply tell them, "If you wish to use the word at home, that is up to your parents, but it is not permitted in this classroom."
Dear Annie: "Jacksonville, Fla.," said he's been married for 11 years and isn't getting any affection or intimacy in his marriage. You responded, "We cannot understand a woman who withholds tenderness from her husband." Come on, Annie, sure you do.
I've been married for 10 years and can tell you how it happens. How about a husband who stands stiff as a board when you try to hug him? Or when you ask about his day and the response is always, "Fine." Period. How about when the only time affection is returned is when it leads to sex? How about when you've been hurt by his affairs and are afraid to give too much of yourself?
A man doesn't have to be a cheat, liar, thief or abuser. It's all the little things that build up every day that make it more and more difficult to reach out for his hand or wrap him in your arms. I Know Why
Dear Know: Perhaps we should have clarified that statement. We don't understand women who withhold tenderness from husbands who are attentive, affectionate, decent and kind. In your case, the withholding seems mutual -- which is equally sad, but more understandable.
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