Six months ago I met a great guy I'll call Joe. Things have gotten serious and we have discussed living together. A couple of weeks ago, Joe spent the weekend at my place. When I got up to prepare breakfast, I was shocked to see him walk through my front door after retrieving my newspaper -- stark naked.
I live in a wooded area with few neighbors. Joe had to stroll down a long private driveway to the public street to get the paper. Anyone could have seen him. There are little kids in the neighborhood. To top things off, it was chilly outside and raining.
I asked Joe why he went outside naked in the rain, and he tried to shrug it off as no big deal. He replied, "I didn't want to get my clothes wet."
I haven't been able to think about anything else for days. I'm considering breaking up with him over this. Joe seems perfect in every other way. He's handsome, successful and even-tempered. I live in a small town and can't risk my reputation by being in a relationship with the local flasher. He thinks I'm making a big deal out of something innocent. What should I do?
Mortified in Minnesota
First of all, count your blessings. I know a doctor in Minnesota who likes to shave naked in the snow. He says he gets a closer shave that way. Of course, he hasn't caught pneumonia yet or been reported to the police -- and his wife is open-minded.
Because you live in a secluded area, it's possible your friend didn't realize he could be seen by anyone -- young or old. Put him on notice that when he's at your house, he is not to go outside au naturel. If he respects your feelings, he'll abide by your wishes. If he doesn't, Nature Boy is not the man for you -- and could be courting a "close shave" with the law in your community.
I am one of your male readers. I posted my profile on an Internet site for singles. The site contains a significant amount of personal information. All the information I entered was accurate except for my age: I said I was six years younger.
I did it for two reasons: First, I neither look nor act my age. I take excellent care of my body and my chronological age doesn't reflect who I am. Second, individuals conduct a search based on only two parameters -- the age range desired and geographic location. Thus, many women would never view my profile because I would fall outside the age range considered acceptable.
I sent and received several e-mails from a delightful young lady. At one point, she asked me whether the age listed in my profile was accurate. I told her the truth and the rationale I had used for listing myself as younger. She immediately informed me that she was no longer interested in communicating with me because I had lied.
Was I wrong to list an age in my profile that wasn't accurate, even though I am more youthful than most people my age?
Looking for Love, Columbus, Ohio
Yes, you were wrong. Although many people of both sexes lie online -- about everything from height to weight to income level -- the truth has a way of coming to light in the end. And when it does, the inevitable question that follows is: "What else has this person been lying about?" That's a very poor way to start any meaningful relationship.
It is best not to engage in false advertising -- and if you're going to post a photograph, make it a recent one so there are no disappointments.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, Calif. 90069.
(c)2004, Universal Press Syndicate