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Dear Abby: Lovestruck daughter may be missing the bigger picture

by Abigail Van Buren | May 13, 2023 at 1:00 a.m.

Dear Abby: My 23-year-old daughter and her first and only boyfriend are talking marriage. Although I think he’s a wonderful, smart, compassionate man who adores my daughter, I am concerned about his unhealthy habits.

When my daughter introduced him seven years ago, he was a little overweight. Since then, he has packed on at least 25 pounds a year, and he’s now morbidly obese. His diet is bad, and he never exercises. He also drinks and smokes, although not excessively.

My daughter is petite, athletic and clean-living. Her habits haven’t influenced him. I know enough about weight gain to be concerned with the trend I’m seeing. Her boyfriend is fast approaching the super-morbidly-obese range and has limited mobility. He graduated near the top of their college class, but hasn’t had a stable job since. I’m afraid it will only get harder for him to find work.

What makes me even more upset is my naive daughter seems to have lost interest in pursuing her own career and thinks this guy will take care of her. She has no clue that her boyfriend’s the one who will need taking care of before long, and she’s going to find it difficult to work and care for a man who weighs nearly four times what she does.

So far, I haven’t said anything about this. I’m happy my daughter has found someone kind, funny and loving, and whose family is welcoming. I don’t want her to lose this guy; I just want them to get on a better track. I think they both need a reality check. Should I say something? — Fretting Mom

Dear Mom: Talk to your daughter about your concerns, all of which are valid. Your daughter should not put her career on the back burner because she may need it. Make sure she understands that her boyfriend’s choices will affect not only her future, but possibly her children’s, so this is a serious subject you will bring up only once.

If this romance progresses to marriage they should make estate planning a priority. When love is in the air, we all expect a happy ending, but all too often fate intervenes.

Dear Abby: I was born in America to parents who emigrated from Pakistan. I have noticed a recent trend at Pakistani weddings: The invitations say “no boxed gifts,” which is code for “we want money” instead. Have you or your readers ever heard of this? I think it’s in poor taste, but it’s common at our weddings. I can’t remember the last invitation that didn’t include this request. What do you, or your readers, think? — Just Give Me Money

Dear Just Give Me Money: In some cultures, money is expected. Was it a tradition when your parents lived in Pakistan? In any case, according to etiquette, any mention of gifts on a wedding invitation is considered a social blunder.

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 P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069 or visit


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