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Mom's matchmaking annoys girl

Dear Abby: "Todd" and I have been close friends since eighth grade. We're now in our mid-20s, and over the years I have gotten to know his family. His mother, "Cindy," is a kind and darling woman and I like her a lot.

The problem is, she has it in her head that I am perfect for Todd. On more than one occasion she has gone so far as to ask me why I don't marry him. Todd and I have always been close, but I have never had any interest in him beyond friendship. In fact, I am involved in a serious relationship right now with a man I love dearly.

Is there a way to stop Cindy from making suggestive comments without hurting her feelings?

-- Holding My Tongue For Now in Minnesota

Dear Holding My Tongue: Todd's mother's attempts at matchmaking may be annoying, but they're the greatest compliment a mother can pay a young woman. The next time she does it, smile and tell her that if you could clone yourself you would because you think she'd be the best mother-in-law in the world, but you're seeing someone and the relationship is serious.

> Teen should act confident

Dear Abby: I am 17 and popular in school. I have a lot of friends, but inside I feel like I'm not good enough to go out with the popular boys I like. I am friends with them all, but they always pay more attention to the prettier girls.

I know I should feel privileged to be popular, but what can I do to get the guys to notice me more? I sometimes stay up crying at night over this.

-- Wants More in Pennsylvania

Dear Wants More: I'll tell you a secret. Fear of failure can become a self-fulfilling prophecy -- and so can success. The more you dwell on your "deficiencies," the more pronounced they'll become. So, act more confident and soon you will be.

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