Dear Harlan: I am 28 years old, and the boyfriend I've had for six years just left the country without saying goodbye or calling in the two weeks since he left. He's originally from Mexico, and what his cousin and sister told me was that he had to return quickly because his dad is very sick in the hospital.

His cousin donated everything in his apartment because he won't be back for months. Since he's been gone, his sister gave me the number to his parents' house and I've called and talked to his brother. His brother told me several days ago that he would call me. When I mentioned coming to see them during spring break, he said that would be good.

My problem is that I'm used to talking to my boyfriend every day, and since he's been gone I'm so depressed and worried that when he left for Mexico he left me behind — permanently. I feel torn between thinking that he's not calling because he doesn't want to talk to me or that his dad's failing health is what is consuming his every moment. — Please Help

Dear Please Help: This is just weird. He's gone, his stuff is gone, and it looks like this relationship is gone. He hasn't contacted you, and that says it all. When a boyfriend of six years doesn't even have the courtesy to say goodbye, it's a sign that it's goodbye. There's no excuse.

Putting up with it just says, "You NEVER need to respect me because I'll always be here." His dad is sick, and he's sick too. Make plans for spring break, but go on vacation to a location where you can find someone who will respect you — or at least disrespect you but have the courtesy to say goodbye.

Harlan is the author of "The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into in College" (Sourcebooks). Write Harlan at or visit online: Send paper to Help Me, Harlan! 2506 N. Clark St., Ste. 223, Chicago, IL 60614. © Harlan Cohen 2008

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