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Show him two can play that game

I'm an attractive, single, 30-year-old woman who has some hangups and problems dating. My most annoying and recurring problem is this: The men I date have the need to point out other attractive women to me. I don't do that to the men. Am I silly for feeling this way? If not, how can I tell them politely to stop?

- Wants to be Respected in Ohio

I used to feel the same way you do - threatened if someone I was with mentioned that someone else was attractive. What a waste of energy. Then I realized that once it was out of their mouths, it was usually out of their heads, and I relaxed and didn't let it get to me.

However, because you have mentioned to these men that it bothers you and they persist, try giving them a dose of their own medicine. If a hunk appears onscreen, elbow them and say, "Oooh, isn't he hot?" or "Doesn't he have the cutest little tush?" Then watch their reaction. Perhaps if they find themselves on the receiving end, they'll learn empathy. It's worth a try.

The message? Thoughtfulness

I am a freshman in college. I just bought my Christmas cards, but I need to know a little bit about proper etiquette. My concern is regarding my friends who still live with their parents. Would it be inappropriate to address the card only to my friends? Would it be better to address the card to my friend and then write a short message inside along the lines of, "Wishing you and your family a happy holiday"?

- Lauren in Lexington, Ky.

It's certainly proper to address the Christmas cards to your friends only. However, I think the idea of including the rest of the family is thoughtful and sweet. It would offend no one and please everyone, and that, by definition, is good manners.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips.

Universal Press Syndicate