Dear Abby: Before we met, my girlfriend got large breast implants. I think they're a terrible turn-off, but I don't know how to tell her. Should I try to overlook this because I love her, or can I tell her the truth about why our love life is sometimes not so hot? I have known her long enough that the next step is marriage – or nothing.
She walks around the house bare-chested and obviously thinks I find her breasts a big turn-on. I have faked it for five years. What should I do? – Not That Excited in Colorado
Dear Not That Excited: Your letter is a lesson about the danger of "faking it." Level with your girlfriend, but without using the words "terrible" and "turn-off." Tell her you love her, but while many men find large breasts to be a turn-on, you actually prefer smaller ones – to the degree that it sometimes affects your sexual performance.
Explain that if she thinks her breasts are what have kept you interested, it's not the case. At some point, one or more of her implants may need to be replaced, and she might opt for smaller ones.
Dear Abby: I moved to Australia 10 years ago. It has been a fantastic adventure, but I feel drawn home. Complicating things is the fact that I have a same-sex Australian partner. Because gay marriage is not federally recognized in the United States, he has no possibility of legally emigrating there. His skills are not sufficient.
To move back to the U.S. would destroy my home, which is a happy one. On the other hand, I come from a large, close family and my parents are entering their 70s. I miss my family and my culture every day, and feel torn between my family in the U.S. and my partner in Australia.
I have felt this way for a few years. I feel unable to settle down and start living or feel comfortable in my life until I work this out. The thought of not being around my family in the long term is unbearable. The thought of leaving my partner is equally painful. I have tried in vain to find an answer and feel overwhelmed. Help! – Trans-Pacific Reader
Dear Trans-Pacific: I don't know your financial situation, but why must this be an "either/or" situation? You're happily settled in a beautiful country and enjoying a loving relationship. I assume you also have a well-paying job.
Your dilemma might be solved by visiting your parents more often, particularly since their health is still good. If that changes, you could return to the U.S. for a more extended period. Until the laws in the U.S. regarding same-sex marriage change, that's what you will have to do unless you're willing to sacrifice your relationship.
Dear Abby: Is it proper to tip your tattoo artist or piercer? They provide a service, just as a hairdresser would. I have never seen this addressed before. Your input would be helpful. – Curious in Upstate New York
Dear Curious: Tattoos and piercings are considered works of art, and it's not unusual for a customer to present the artist with a gratuity commensurate with the degree of satisfaction the person feels with the results, the time it took to create it and the intricacy of the design. In lieu of money, sometimes gifts such as art books, spiritual artifacts or jewelry are given to the artist.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.