Friend’s Behavior Makes Woman Uncomfortable

by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: I’ve had a male friend, “Herb,” for more than 35 years. He has helped me a lot with things such as repairs at my home. Many years ago, I became pregnant, but the baby’s father and I didn’t end up together. When Herb offered to marry me and raise my child as his own, that’s when I realized he had feelings for me. I explained that this was a kind offer, but I could not reciprocate his feelings.

Over the past 10 years, Herb has become touchy-feely, and it makes me very uncomfortable. He will kiss me on my forehead or come from behind me and hold me or hug me while rubbing my back. I have told him how it makes me feel and he laughs it off. He also makes remarks like, “Oh, I’ve never been in your bedroom,” or while we’re on the phone he tells me he is in bed and we are having pillow talk. What can I do? He’s been a good friend, and I hate to lose his friendship, but I really don’t know what else I can say to him to make him understand how he makes me feel. — TOO FRIENDLY IN OHIO

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