Mis­lead­ing lady friend re­mains just that

Cape Breton Post - - IN MEMORIAM/TV HIGHLIGHTS/ADVICE - Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar An­nie’s mail­box

Dear An­nie: I am a di­vorced male in my mid-50s. A cou­ple of years ago, I met a di­vorced woman through a mu­tual friend. We share a com­mon hobby, which led to us spend­ing hours of time to­gether, of­ten just the two of us.

I asked my lady friend early on if she was in­ter­ested in dat­ing. She told me she had re­cently been through a bad breakup with her live-in boyfriend. She thought it would be nice to have some­one with whom to go out for din­ner, but she wasn't in­ter­ested in a sex­ual re­la­tion­ship with any­one. I ac­cepted that. As time went on, how­ever, we be­came closer. Although there was never any­thing phys­i­cal be­tween us, we had what I con­sid­ered “dates,” where I would pick her up and we'd have din­ner. I thought it was only a mat­ter of time be­fore our re­la­tion­ship be­came ro­man­tic and in­ti­mate.

I re­cently learned that, for the en­tire time I have known her, my lady friend had been hav­ing a sex­ual af­fair with another guy who al­ready has a live-in girl­friend. When I con­fronted her, she nei­ther ad­mit­ted it nor de­nied it. In­stead, she said her sex life was none of my busi­ness.

I think I've been used for two years. I en­joyed our time to­gether, but I never would have spent so much of it with this woman if I'd known she had a sex­ual part­ner. We are no longer see­ing each other, and although that is prob­a­bly for the best, it is awk­ward since we have mu­tual friends.

What do you think? — Feel­ing Used

Dear Feel­ing: We think this woman def­i­nitely took ad­van­tage of you, but we also be­lieve you went into this with dif­fer­ent ex­pec­ta­tions. The woman needed some­one to squire her around for din­ner and such, and could not do so with her al­ready-at­tached boyfriend. You were a con­ve­nience, and she mis­led you. You, how­ever, as­sumed there would be an even­tual sex­ual re­la­tion­ship with a woman who told you up­front that she wasn't in­ter­ested (the rea­son is ir­rel­e­vant). If you had in­stead con­sid­ered her to be sim­ply a friend, with no other agenda, you could have en­joyed din­ners out and hobby time with­out feel­ing used.

It's time to let it go. You made a mis­take get­ting in­volved with her, but it shouldn't shame you into avoid­ing your mu­tual friends. Hold your head up, be civil around her, and look for ro­man­tic com­pan­ion­ship else­where.

Dear An­nie: I thought I was be­ing re­spect­ful by ad­dress­ing ladies us­ing the ti­tle “Ma'am.” Re­cently, I said that to a woman and she re­sponded, “My name is Mrs. X. I am not a 'Ma'am!'”

What do you think? — Lafayette, La.

Dear Lafayette: We think some peo­ple are too easily of­fended. We all have a pre­ferred term of ad­dress, but we can­not ex­pect oth­ers, es­pe­cially strangers, to know what that is. One doesn't chas­tise a per­son for be­ing po­lite. For those of you who have been un­in­ten­tion­ally in­sulted and feel the need to re­spond, sim­ply cor­rect the per­son in a gen­tle man­ner so they will know for next time.

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