Neigh­bor wants a re­la­tion­ship, but man thinks she’s too old

Chicago Sun-Times - - ENTERTAINM­ENT - DEAR ABBY Dear Abby is writ­ten by Abi­gail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Con­tact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069.

Dear Abby: Last night I vis­ited my 47-year-old son. Af­ter a 23-year mar­riage, he is go­ing through a nasty di­vorce. While I was there, he asked my opin­ion about what he should do re­gard­ing a “sit­u­a­tion.”

A 62-year-old fe­male di­vorced neigh­bor, who looks much younger, be­friended him, and they’ve been hav­ing sex and spend­ing time to­gether for sev­eral months. She hasn’t been in any re­la­tion­ships for two years.

He told her he’s not in­ter­ested in a per­ma­nent re­la­tion­ship be­cause he’s still not in a good emo­tional place, but he told me the real rea­son is their age dif­fer­ence. She told him she wants to con­tinue, hop­ing it will lead to some­thing per­ma­nent. He wants to be friends with ben­e­fits but doesn’t want to hurt her feelings by telling her this.

He’s a de­cent guy and feels he’s be­ing de­cep­tive. I sug­gested he be hon­est and tell her it’s be­cause of the age dif­fer­ence. What do you rec­om­mend? Mom in the Mid­dle

Dear Mom: Does your son think it will hurt the woman’s feelings less if he mo­nop­o­lizes her for months — or more — and breaks the news later? For some peo­ple, a 15-year age dif­fer­ence is no big deal. But the longer this ar­range­ment con­tin­ues, the more hurt she will be when she finds out how much it mat­ters to him.

I agree with you. Hon­esty is the best pol­icy. And you know what? If she’s as worldly as I sus­pect she may be, she may agree to con­tinue the ar­range­ment just the way it is.

Dear Abby: I am a quil­ter. I have cre­ated hun­dreds of quilts as gifts for friends and fam­ily over the last 30 years.

Ear­lier this year, my hus­band’s un­cle passed away, and my mother-in-law brought his quilt over and gave it back to me. When my mother passed re­cently, I was given her quilt back, too. Look­ing at them makes me sad, but I can’t bear to just throw them away.

My ques­tion is, what do I do with them? And what can I say to peo­ple about not re­turn­ing these gifts I made with­out hurt­ing their feelings at the time they’ve lost their loved ones? Hurt in Cal­i­for­nia

Dear Hurt: This is the first I have heard about re­turn­ing per­sonal gifts to the givers af­ter some­one passes away, and frankly, I am sur­prised. I won­der if the same would be true of gifts of ex­pen­sive jew­elry or cloth­ing?

If it hap­pens again, all you have to say is how sorry you are for the per­son’s loss but that you don’t “need” the quilt back and sug­gest it be do­nated to a hospi­tal, nurs­ing home, se­nior cen­ter or or­phan­age. Con­sider con­tact­ing a lo­cal church for in­for­ma­tion on where they might be needed.

As to what to say to these griev­ing rel­a­tives, re­mem­ber that when a gift is given, it is the re­cip­i­ent’s — or the re­cip­i­ent’s sur­vivors — to do with as they wish. Try not to take it so per­son­ally.

Dear Abby: What do you say to a guy who resur­faces 10 months af­ter our first en­counter and wants to know if I want to “see” him again? He didn’t men­tion go­ing to din­ner or a movie or any­thing — just see­ing each other ev­ery 10 days or so. Un­de­cided in Florida

Dear Un­de­cided: I’m not you, but this is what I would say: “What do you have in mind? A hike? A pic­nic at the beach? A so­cially dis­tanced din­ner?” And if his an­swer isn’t some­thing more than get­ting to­gether for sex, I’d pass.

HE TOLD HER HE’S NOT IN­TER­ESTED IN A PER­MA­NENT RE­LA­TION­SHIP BE­CAUSE HE’S STILL NOT IN A GOOD EMO­TIONAL PLACE, BUT HE TOLD ME THE REAL REA­SON IS THEIR AGE DIF­FER­ENCE.

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