Dear Abby: People think my friend and I date, and we don’t, but we should

Woman’s crush says she’s not interested, but they often talk on the phone for hours, and their parents are convinced they’re a couple.

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DEAR ABBY: My longtime friend “Bonnie” and I have been reconnecting during COVID, mostly via text and video chatting. She’s recently moved back to my area (she’s in the military), so we spent a weekend together helping her move in. It was exhausting and stressful, and her drinking concerned me. I know drinking is prevalent in the military, and as a relatively high-ranking officer, she’s under a lot of pressure all the time. I’m more aware of it because my sister is a recovering addict.

I’m a queer lady. Bonnie is gay, and over the last couple months I’ve been nursing a crush on her. She’s very supportive of my artwork, and over the years has been the one doing the work to keep our friendship alive despite our lives going in different directions.

I told her I had a crush on her during the stressful moving weekend and asked her to please not tell me about all the girls she texts. She responded that she does not return those feelings for me. But we talk on the phone for hours at night, and she calls me “Baby” sometimes. She also tells me I’m sexually magnetic. Our lives are intertwined enough that both our parents think we’re dating, and Bonnie frequently says things like, “My neighbor thinks we’re dating.”

How do I keep both our friendship and my sanity? — CRUSHING IN PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR CRUSHING: Regardless of what others might think, you and Bonnie are NOT dating, and she has told you plainly that she’s not physically attracted to you. She was honest with you, I’ll give her marks for that. Whether she’s being completely honest with herself, however, is anyone’s guess.

My advice is to stop allowing her to monopolize as much of your time as she has been. It isn’t good for you because it keeps you from looking for a companion who can reciprocate your feelings. If you continue as things are, you will only subject yourself to more of the confusion you are feeling now.

DEAR ABBY: My wife of 46 years keeps telling me about her deprived childhood. Everybody else had a color TV; the one she grew up with was a black-and-white. Granny didn’t have a dryer; she had to use a clothesline. They didn’t have a car, and when they finally got one, it was a used car. Finally, they had a new car, but it was stolen two weeks later.

All the other girls had ballet lessons; all the other girls were in Brownies. When Granny finally signed her up, it was too late. My wife had to get a used Brownie uniform that didn’t fit, and they put her in a troop with Girl Scouts much older. She always wanted a swing-set, but never got one.

Is there counseling and group therapy for this self-pity condition? I’m laughing to myself and my tears are getting into my beer. — HAD IT ROUGH, TOO

DEAR HAD IT: I would like to think your wife has it a lot better now, but to be married to someone as insensitive as you appear to be can hardly be an upper. Go pour yourself another pilsner before your tears dilute this one and bring you down further, Laughing Boy.

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.

What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in “What Every Teen Should Know.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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