Find some­thing ful­fill­ing

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Dear Annie: I am dat­ing this guy who’s mar­ried but sep­a­rated. We’ve been do­ing this al­most three years. I am just not feel­ing the love from him. Will he ever love me like I need to be loved? -- Wait­ing on Him

Dear Wait­ing: If you’ve been wait­ing three years, you’ll be wait­ing 300. I wouldn’t count on this man divorcing his wife any­time soon.

End­ing things with him will be hard, but it will be worth it. Take some time on your own to re­group af­ter­ward. Then get back out there to give your­self the chance to find some­one with whom you can share a mu­tu­ally lov­ing, ful­fill­ing re­la­tion­ship that you are both all-in on.

Dear Annie: Ear­lier this year, you pub­lished my letter invit­ing read­ers to sub­mit their quar­an­tine sto­ries to a project that I founded, Keys to Cop­ing. We are col­lect­ing and shar­ing sto­ries from real peo­ple of all ages who show courage, re­siliency, hu­mor, and com­pas­sion in this dif­fi­cult time. Here is a sam­ple to share with your read­ers.

“What are my keys to cop­ing? Rec­og­niz­ing that life has al­ways been full of un­knowns and em­brac­ing each day.” -- Anony­mous

“For my 90th birthday, friends had a drive-by party for me: Two sher­iffs cars led the way with flash­ing lights, fol­lowed by 12 mo­tor­cy­cles and 20-plus cars with signs and ban­ners. What a day!” -- Annie Smith

“Today, I went out for the first time in three and a half months! I had to put on a mask, real clothes, shoes and makeup. Worst of all, I had to put on my bra!” -- Anony­mous

“There are many things that I miss dur­ing the COVID cri­sis. But I re­tired last year. For that, I’m truly grate­ful. I have the luck of no pres­sure to do more than what I feel safe do­ing. So, I cher­ish the new recipes and the time to tackle old projects that have been years in the wait­ing. I cher­ish the time to keep up with the yard work and the house­work. And I’m grate­ful for the pos­i­tive im­pact that COVID-19 has had on the en­vi­ron­ment. Slow is good.” -Anony­mous

“I was al­ready in mourn­ing for my gen­tle­man com­pan­ion, who died in Jan­uary, so the pan­demic was easy for me to deal with in a sense. I am a walker and walk daily (of­ten with my sis­ter) for two to three hours, masked and chat­ting. We’re lucky to live in a ru­ral-ish town close to the har­bor and ocean. In my spare time, I clean out junk and read. Works for me!” -- Vicky in South Dart­mouth, MA

“My keys for cop­ing dur­ing COVID-19 iso­la­tion: 1) Pray for all na­tions. 2) Stay hy­drated and eat healthily. 3) Rest, re­lax, re­ju­ve­nate and read. 4) Com­mu­ni­cate daily in some way: wave or smile at passersby, laugh with a friend on the phone, Facetime or Skype with fam­ily. 5) Seek spir­i­tual so­lace. 6) Sit, walk or play in the sun­shine to get vi­ta­min D. 7) Ask and you will re­ceive help, an­swers, guid­ance, di­rec­tions or for­give­ness.” -Anony­mous

“I coped with quar­an­tine by chat­ting with my friends via iphone, hav­ing on­line classes and dance classes on Zoom and Bul­let jour­nal­ing. Through quar­an­tine, I have en­joyed ev­ery­day life.” -- Eden, 14 years old

We are col­lect­ing back-to-school sto­ries now. We plan to com­pile th­ese into a book. All are in­vited to send a sen­tence or two, pho­tos or any­thing else they’d like to share to PO Box 304, West Hyan­nis­port MA, 02672 or thekeyidea@ View the sto­ries and im­ages -- Lenore Lyons, Founder, The Key Idea

Dear Thank you for shar­ing all th­ese won­der­ful tid­bits. You are do­ing an im­por­tant ser­vice in doc­u­ment­ing what it’s like to be alive in 2020.

“Ask Me Any­thing: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie” is out now! Annie Lane’s de­but book -- fea­tur­ing fa­vorite col­umns on love, friend­ship, fam­ily and eti­quette -- is avail­able as a pa­per­back and e-book. Visit http://www.cre­ator­spub­lish­ for more in­for­ma­tion.

Send your ques­tions for Annie Lane to dear­an­nie@cre­

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