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Dear Abby: I want to marry my rich boyfriend, but he’s never loved anyone middle-class

Dear Abby counsels a woman who's adopted daughter is lying about her relationship.
Dear Abby counsels a middle-class woman who is dating a man of substantial means.

DEAR ABBY: I am in a relationship with a man of substantial means. I’m well-educated, but never made a lot of money from my education. My money comes from a relationship I had with a man who died a year and a half ago.

I think I may be in love with my current beau, but he has never loved anyone from the middle class. We both have children from previous marriages. I have grandchildren as well. Should I let nature take its course, or become more assertive in pursuing more out of our relationship? — TENTATIVE IN PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR TENTATIVE: Although you may be tempted to become more assertive about pursuing “more,” take the slower route and get to know this “substantial” gentleman better. He may or may not be biased against folks from less fortunate circumstances, but you won’t know unless you give yourself the time to see what develops.

DEAR ABBY: My daughter was 4 when we adopted her. She’s 23 now, going to college and moving into an apartment soon. She has been the center of our lives, since our older children are grown. We have supported her through abandonment issues, lost boyfriends, school, everything. We went through cancer treatment with her. She acts like things are good here.

About a year ago, she met a man who worked at a resort where we vacationed. They traded contact information, and then the lies began. She’d tell us she was traveling “with the girls” when she was flying to another state. The man is here on a student visa. He may not be able to stay. His Plan B is most certainly marriage.

We mentioned this possibility to her, but when we did, she became angry and defensive. She dredges up things from years ago to deflect and blame. His family is courting her, sending her gifts for every holiday. She just returned this week from another visit. She doesn’t talk about him. But when I was putting something in her room, I saw what looked like an engagement ring.

How am I supposed to feel when she keeps these secrets? We’ve given her every opportunity — travel soccer, dance, band, camps, even sent her to Europe on a tour with band members. We pay for her college and her every need. I am hurt, and I don’t know what this means for the future, since we’ve only met him once, for five minutes. — BEWILDERED IN SOUTH CAROLINA

DEAR BEWILDERED: Your daughter’s lying and unwillingness to be open about her plans is a character flaw. People who are proud of what they are doing don’t lie about it. It’s time you and your spouse sit your daughter down for a serious question-and-answer session with her — and possibly her boyfriend.

First among them, why all the secrecy? If they are serious about each other (as the ring would indicate), why have you not met his family? Does she plan to complete her education? If so, does she expect you to continue paying for it? You are entitled to some straight answers, and I sincerely hope you get them. That information will give you a clue about how to proceed from here.

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