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Dear Abby
Modified: October 31, 2012 at 12:07 am •  Published: November 1, 2012

According to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, a debt collector may not contact the debtor's friends, relatives, employer or others, except to find out where the person who owes the money lives or works. If the calls continue, contact the Federal Trade Commission by calling (toll-free) (877) 382-4357 or visit its website,

DEAR ABBY: Over the years I have become friends with a client of mine, “Doug.” I live in Wisconsin; he lives in Florida. We are both happily married and share about family and work. We use instant messaging for work-related issues and to chitchat. We have typed “I love you” to each other at times — but only if we're being sarcastic, joking around or saying thanks for some help.

My husband doesn't think you can say “I love you” to a friend without having feelings or wanting more. I have never regarded Doug as anything but a friend, and he feels the same. Can I say “I love you” to a friend without it meaning something more?

— Spreading the Love

DEAR SPREADING: In my opinion you can, and many people do. There is a difference between saying “I love you” and “I am IN love with you,” and I'm surprised that your husband doesn't realize it. Could he be feeling insecure?

Write Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069. To order “The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It,” send your name and mailing address plus check or money order for $7 to Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included.)



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