DEAR ABBY: I'm considering marrying a man who is divorced. We get along great, and I love and trust him.
Is it ever appropriate to call the ex and discuss her side of the story? Or should I ask my boyfriend what she'd say if I were to contact her?
- Covering My Bases in California
DEAR COVERING YOUR BASES: If you call the ex, you can count on hearing something negative about your boyfriend or they wouldn't be exes. Also, the things the ex might consider to be flaws may be the qualities you love best about him.
That you would say you love and trust your boyfriend, and in the next sentence indicate you're considering a chat with his former wife, makes me wonder how deep your level of trust is. However, if your gut tells you to do some digging, then you should listen to it - even if it results in an argument, which it probably will.
DEAR ABBY: I am a longtime practicing Pagan. Because of the media, Pagans are considered to be evil devil-worshippers instead of the nature-loving people with knowledge of home remedies that we are. This makes it difficult in the dating world.
A friend of mine wants to hook me up with a friend of his. When is it appropriate to tell the gentleman that I'm a practicing Pagan? I dress like everyone else, so at first glance you wouldn't suspect my religion isn't Christian.
- Lover of Nature
DEAR LOVER OF NATURE: Nothing compels you and a stranger to get into a discussion about religious beliefs on a first date, but you should mention it when the opportunity arises.
If the man seems to be put off by it, suggest that he consult patheos.com, an online library on the subject of religions, in which there is a section describing Paganism, its practices and origins.