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— AFTER MOVING AWAY, WOMAN CAN'T MOVE ON FROM LOST LOVE

DEAR ABBY: I have known this man, "Finn," for years. We grew up together. He was the annoying boy on the playground who turned into my first love when we were in college. We live in different states now, so we have grown distant, although we still talk on holidays and birthdays.

It's been quite a while since we were together, but I still can't get over him. I haven't tried to find another guy because I know he will be second to Finn, and that's not fair to him.

Is it weird that I still go to text Finn when something big happens but realize I can't, or that I dream about us still? How do I get over a guy I love and only broke up with because he didn't want to move? I will never go back to our hometown. It was an awful place. So what do I do? -- TRYING NOT TO LOVE HIM

DEAR TRYING: Here's what you do. Accept the fact that Finn is a "married man" -- someone wedded to his hometown, which you have long outgrown. Then stop idealizing a person who didn't value your relationship enough to consider relocating with you. And finally, accept the reality that this wasn't meant to be. Allow yourself the opportunity to meet eligible men and quit comparing them to someone you have placed on such a high pedestal that they cannot compete.

DEAR ABBY: My 24-year-old son is a good young man and mostly responsible and mature, except in one area. He fails to see the importance of keeping up regular oil changes on his two vehicles that were passed down to him.

I keep track of when he's had the last oil change, and I start reminding him at the time they are due. I tell him to make an appointment, he says "I will," but when asked later, he says he hasn't. I have tried to tell him how important it is. I've even made the appointment and taken the vehicles in myself. What can I do to get him to take care of this responsibility by himself? -- NAGGING MOTHER IN WISCONSIN

DEAR MOTHER: The way for your son to learn that lesson is for you to stop nagging and let him suffer the consequences for his irresponsibility. You may have helped the cars by taking them in, but you did not help your son.

DEAR ABBY: One of my sisters is visiting our place and staying at our house for four nights. She always brings presents for us when she comes. However, the items are partly used or carry no tags or seals.

My other sisters feel the same as I do about it, but no one ever says anything. I am torn between staying silent or speaking out once and for all in plain English. What should I do? -- TAGLESS IN MAINE

DEAR TAGLESS: When someone is a houseguest -- even a relative -- good manners dictate that a small gift is in order. By small gift, I mean a bouquet of flowers, a bottle of wine, a box of nuts or candy. Your sister is either unaware of the social graces, financially strapped or rude. Accept the "gift" graciously but suggest that next time a bottle of wine or some flowers would be appreciated.

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