Rotton boyfriend wants out, so let him go

DEAR ANNIE:My boyfriend, "Michael," has been irritating me for the past month. He breaks his promises, goes back on his word, bosses me around like crazy and gets angry and aggressive about everything. He no longer seems fazed if we don't get to hang out or talk on the phone at night. It appears he doesn't care anymore, but he claims to be madly in love with me and insists his feelings haven't changed.

I am a junior in high school, and as young as that may seem, I am in love with Michael. We've been together for more than a year, and I am confident we are a good match. But these small problems always end up becoming large ones. And it's always my fault. Michael is a year older, so I assumed he would be more mature about our relationship. I am tired of fighting with him. The arguments are long, depressing and get us absolutely nowhere.

I'm too terrified to lose him, so I don't want to break up. Talking only seems to make things worse. Do I keep praying and hoping he grows up, or should I walk away? — Young and In Love

DEAR YOUNG:Just because Michael is a year older doesn't mean he is more mature. He also doesn't sound ready for a permanent relationship, and his rotten behavior indicates he wants out. You already know this, but you are reluctant to accept it. You should never be "terrified" of breaking up with someone, especially if he isn't treating you well. Believe this: You can do better. And you have plenty of time to work on it. Tell Michael you think it would be best if both of you had a chance to see what else is out there. We know it will be difficult at first, but we have great faith in your ability to turn this to your advantage.

DEAR ANNIE:My sister-in-law invited herself to our second home in Honolulu for the holidays. She brought her husband, her daughter and her daughter's friend. They stayed with us for five days. We had a nice time. I gave them sensible gifts and a nice welcoming party with our friends and hula dancers.


Before they left, my sister-in-law told me her husband had instructed her to give me a nice gift. She had purchased a small necklace and earring set. She gave the earrings to her daughter and the necklace to me, saying, "It's not chic to wear matching earrings and necklace." I was insulted, but instead, I put the necklace around my neck and thanked her.

I still have unpleasant feelings about it and am considering sending the necklace back to her with a note saying I want my niece to have it so she can have the whole set. What do you think? — Not-So-Much Aloha

DEAR ALOHA:Please don't. Your sister-in-law may have been less than gracious with her gift, but it will only make things worse if you return it. If you don't like the necklace, donate it to charity, and don't waste another second thinking about it.

DEAR ANNIE:The letter from "Gray and Loving It" reminded me of myself. She decided not to color her hair and wants to know what to say to people who think she is older.

I, too, had decided to go natural with my hair color. Then two people (in two separate places) mistook me for my husband's mother. The next day, I went straight to the hair salon and colored my hair.

I love the new "do" and have received tons of compliments from so many people. The comments range from "I love your new haircut" to "You look great. What is different?" They don't notice that I've colored my hair, but they know I look wonderful. I will never go back. — Used to be Gray and Loving It, But Not Anymore

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