Wednesday, September 15, 2004

You Call that Advice! The return of Dear Abby

DEAR ABBY: I recently started dating a man I'll call Freddy. We met through an online dating service. We live in the same city and have had several dates, including a sleep-over. I am completely taken with him.
My problem is that Freddy continues to keep his profile on the dating site and visits it frequently. He says he goes there only if someone contacts him. I told him it makes me feel insecure; he said until he feels "safe" (previous women have left him for other men), he's going to continue to go to the site.

Am I wrong to feel insecure about this, or do lots of people leave their profiles active while dating someone? -- SUSPICIOUS IN COLUMBIA, S.C.


DEAR SUSPICIOUS: Many people do -- at least for a while. And if I were you, I'd remember that several dates and a sleep-over are not a committed or exclusive relationship. Although you may be "completely" taken with Freddy, he may prefer to test-drive several models before buying a car -- or anything else. Slow down.

In fairness, Abby isn't terrible in this dose of advice. A few dates and a sleep-over do not a fully committed relationship make- at least not on their own. Suspicious should, and should have been advised to, have a conversation with "Freddy" (aside, who picks a pseudonym for their new beau from the Nightmare on Elm Street series?). Where does he see 'them' going. Is he seeing other people. Does he want to see others. Is he willing to stop seeing others.

The sad thing is Suspicious was doing a pretty good job on her own. She'd had the start of the conversation. But she hadn't pushed it all the way to useful. A little encouragement to chat him up a bit more is what Suspicious really needed. Communicate but with an open mind (an especially open mind as this is a young relationship), that's what a competent Abby meant to say.


DEAR ABBY: In a few weeks I will be attending my boyfriend "Don's" daughter's wedding. Several years ago, Don cheated on me with a woman I'll call Mona. It was only a short fling, and since then we have worked hard to repair our relationship. My problem is, Mona will be attending the wedding, too.
Should I go and hold my head high -- or not attend? I know it will be hard seeing her and not acting in a negative way. Mona has never stopped trying to interfere with our lives, and I have had a lot to swallow. What would you do? -- NEEDS SOME INPUT IN PENNSYLVANIA


DEAR NEEDS: I'd ask Don how he plans to handle it if Mona tries to attach herself to him, and agree upon some ground rules. Then I'd attend the wedding, be gracious to everyone, and revel in the fact that I was Don's girlfriend while Mona is the "loser" in more ways than one.

What makes "needs some" the winner in all this? Is it the fact that her boyfriend cheated and came back? The fact that "Mona" is still in the picture well after the short fling ended?

Let's put the pieces together, just for fun. Mona is invited to Don's daughter's wedding. Does anybody else get the scent of a much better story which isn't being told? Does the daughter know about Dad's past and still invite Mona? Does "Don" even give a crap about "needs some"'s needs? I'm wholly unconvinced.

If you even have to ask "Don" how he'll handle it if his former mistress tries to sidle up while his current girlfriend is there, it's probably already a lost cause. Communication, usually the right way to go, should take a back seat to putting your foot down here.

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