DEAR ABBY: I started seeing a new doctor six months ago to be treated for a serious medical condition. I respect his medical opinion and the fact that many doctors treating my condition would be judgmental and lack compassion. He has offered both.

While I appreciate his skills as a doctor, I have started to develop romantic feelings for him. I realize telling him would put him in an awkward position and possibly jeopardize our professional relationship because of the ethical implications. I don't want to move on to another doctor because I value his services. How do I get over it? -- ANONYMOUSLY IN LOVE

DEAR IN LOVE: Your romantic feelings for your doctor are not as unusual as you may think. When a person needs ongoing medical care as you do, it's natural to feel vulnerable and dependent. When that happens, something called "transference" can occur. The emotions associated with one person -- such as a parent -- become transferred to the doctor. If you keep this in mind, it may help you to better handle your emotions.

DEAR ABBY: I was adopted at a year old by loving parents. Through a lifetime of hard work, they have become wealthy. Their generosity allowed my husband and me to buy our first home and start married life debt-free.

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My problem is, their community and friends, including some of my husband's and my own, often feel compelled to bring the subject up. I always thought it was rude to ask questions about other people's finances, and I don't know how to respond to their intrusive questions.

I'm very aware of our unique situation, and I'm extremely grateful to my parents for the generosity we have received. How do I respond to friends and acquaintances when they bring up such a sensitive subject? -- GRATEFUL IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR GRATEFUL: Remember this. You do not have to answer every question that is asked of you. When questions about your home or finances are raised, reply, "That's very personal. My parents are generous, and my husband and I are grateful." PERIOD!

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