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Dear Abby 5/2
Couple's views on sex don't bode well for their future
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DEAR ABBY: I am a 28-year-old woman and have been dating a 26-year-old man I'll call "Chris" for four months. We have become good friends. On our last date, the topic of sex came up, and Chris told me that he was a virgin and that it was very important for him to find a girl who had "never been with anyone" either.
    Well, Abby, that bridge was burned when I was a teenager. I was honest with Chris about it, which was not easy because I now regret some of the poor choices I made at that time of my life. I am a completely different person now due to a religious conversion and am waiting until I am married to have sex again.
    I told Chris this, and asked if he wanted to continue the relationship. His answer was he'd "have to think about it." We are still friends. He says he likes me and still wants us to date.
    However, although I care deeply for him, I now feel devalued. I'm afraid this issue is going to cause problems in the future. I believe that purity is an issue more of the heart than the body. If I had known that virginity was so important to Chris, I would never have dated him in the first place. I can't change the past, and I have strong opinions about men who sing "Amazing Grace" in church while insisting on marrying virgins. What should I do? -- DEFLOWERED IN PENNSYLVANIA
    DEAR "DEE": Cross Chris off your list as husband material. Your friend may be self-conscious about his lack of experience or his old-fashioned values. It's the old double standard, and even some men who have sown acres of wild oats feel this way.
    While most men today have more sophisticated thinking about sex, the one you are dating has his heart set on a "sweet old-fashioned girl." If that's what he wants, it's his privilege — provided he can find one. As for you, it was your bad luck to get involved with someone whose values are different from your own, but that's the luck of the draw. Please don't take it personally. It's time to move on.

    DEAR ABBY: I had a teenage pregnancy while our family was living in a foreign country. I gave birth to a son and named him "Jacob." After a few months, my parents thought it best to send me away to live with relatives.
    My parents raised Jake as their own, legally adopted him and never hid the fact that I am his biological mother. Eventually everyone in my family moved to where I live, including my son, whom I treat as a younger brother. However, we have never lived under one roof.
    I am now the mother of 2-year-old twins. Jacob adores the girls and sees them often. I don't know how I should explain Jake to my daughters. No one outside my family knows he is my son. My husband knew about this long before we had children, but never mentioned it to any of his family.
    I didn't do the right thing when I was younger. I never got the chance to be a mother to Jacob, but I would like to be a good one for my girls, and I'm hoping you can help me. -- JUST CALL ME BRIANNA
    DEAR BRIANNA: Your daughters are so little they are not likely to ask questions about Jacob for many years to come. But secrets have a way of revealing themselves, often at the most inopportune times.
    Because so many family members know Jacob is your son, it is likely to come out sometime. When it does, do not deny it. Simply say that when Jacob was born, you were very young and unable to provide for him financially  — which is why your parents adopted and raised him as their own. It's the truth. End of story.
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