Man wants to date ex’s sis­ter

The Commercial Appeal - - Viewpoint -

I was in a toxic re­la­tion­ship with a woman, “Me­lanie,” sev­eral months back and am re­ally happy to be out of it.

About a month ago, Me­lanie’s sis­ter, “Laura,” “slipped into my DMs” — sent me a di­rect mes­sage on In­sta­gram — and I got pretty ex­cited. We talked for a lit­tle over In­sta­gram and later on Face­book, and soon we were tex­ting plans to sing karaoke to­gether. And even­tu­ally, we did.

I took her home and, after mop­ing for a while about my hav­ing dated her sis­ter, we wound up col­laps­ing into each other’s arms. And so it goes.

So, I re­ally like this woman. She’s re­ally funny and open-minded and in­de­pen­dent. And most im­por­tantly, she’s re­ally nice.

It’s early. We’re talk­ing and be­ing phys­i­cal oc­ca­sion­ally; that’s about it. But I re­ally want to cul­ti­vate more. An­nie, what should I do?

Dear An­nie: — Wishy-washy Wal­ter

This won’t work. For one, you and your ex had a toxic re­la­tion­ship; you need to cre­ate dis­tance be­tween your­self and her, not prox­im­ity. For an­other, this could cause a huge rift in their fam­ily. If you care about Laura at all, you should spare her that angst and end things now. There are plenty of fish in the sea whom you could catch with­out hurt­ing feel­ings.

Dear Wishy-washy Wal­ter:

I’m so happy to see that med­i­ta­tion is help­ing “Work­ing on My Per­spec­tive in Penn­syl­va­nia,” who orig­i­nally wrote to you about her speech prob­lems. I’d like her to know that she’s not the only one who has dif­fi­culty with say­ing the let­ter R. I have the same is­sue. But I have re­fused to see it as a prob­lem ever since my mother bravely walked over to the school after I’d come home from sixth grade cry­ing one too many times and told the speech teacher, “Leave the kid alone. She talks the way she talks.” I can even laugh now about my high­school coun­selor’s call­ing me in, at the re­quest of the com­pany where I’d ap­plied for a sum­mer of­fice job, to find out whether I had a “fake English ac­cent”!

My friends know that even though I sound as if I were from Eng­land or the other side of our great coun­try — New Eng­land — I was born in Cal­i­for­nia. If it’s some­one I don’t know ask­ing where I’m from, I some­times re­spond, “Guess.” If the per­son says “Bos­ton” or “New Eng­land,” I make his or her day by smil­ing and re­ply­ing, “You guessed it!” Hope this helps.

Dear An­nie: Dear Been There: — Been There

You’ve a great at­ti­tude, and I com­mend you for hav­ing pa­tience with strangers. I’m print­ing it here as en­cour­age­ment for “Work­ing on My Per­spec­tive” and any­one else who strug­gles with be­ing dif­fer­ent.

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