Ask Amy

The Denver Post - - LIFE & CULTURE - by Amy Dick­in­son

Dear Amy: I am a se­nior who re­cently started dat­ing. I was see­ing a man for about two months. I liked him but he was be­ing too in­tru­sive, in my view.

Some­times he would show up at my door un­in­vited. Once when he asked to get to­gether, I told him I had other plans, and he later ques­tioned the ve­rac­ity of my ex­pla­na­tion.

I felt like I was a teenager be­ing mon­i­tored by a par­ent, and told him so.

If I told him I had an ap­point­ment, he would of­fer to drive me, even though I pre­ferred to get there on my own. He acted hurt when I re­fused his of­fer.

I won­dered if the of­fer was his way of keep­ing tabs on me. He sent me a text mes­sage in which he re­ferred to me as a “player,” which I found in­sult­ing, and later said he was just jok­ing.

The fi­nal straw was when I re­fused to spend time with him, and he sent me three dozen voice­mails and text mes­sages in a short pe­riod of time. This re­ally fright­ened me. I told him not to con­tact me again.

He thinks I owe him a fur­ther ex­pla­na­tion, but I don’t. I think that would just pro­vide him an­other op­por­tu­nity to get to­gether with me.

Al­though I en­joyed his com­pany, I don’t want to re­open this re­la­tion­ship. Do I owe him more? —Won­der­ing Se­nior

Dear Won­der­ing: Your in­stincts re­gard­ing this re­la­tion­ship and the level of con­trol this man was at­tempt­ing to ex­ert are 100 per­cent solid. You are wise to back away com­pletely. Not only do you NOT owe him any ex­pla­na­tion for your dis­tance, I agree with you that pro­vid­ing any ex­pla­na­tion will only open the door for fur­ther con­tact.

Don’t take his calls or re­turn mes­sages. If nec­es­sary, block his num­ber, but keep ev­i­dence of his calls, texts, and voice mail mes­sages.

If he con­tin­ues to con­tact you, and cer­tainly if his con­tact es­ca­lates and you feel gen­uinely fright­ened, you should check in with the lo­cal po­lice. I hope this episode doesn’t scare you off of dat­ing.

Dear Amy: I’m wor­ried about my younger sis­ter.

She has not re­sponded to me since last De­cem­ber. I was very con­cerned, be­cause she lives by her­self. Her dog (and con­stant com­pan­ion) of 12 years re­cently died.

I had to call the lo­cal po­lice and neigh­bors to find out if she was OK.

I live nine hours away. She said that she did not want to talk, but now she will not re­spond to my texts, emails or birthday cards/gifts.

She lives in our old home, and we share own­er­ship. I want to visit, but I have ex­hausted my ef­forts to con­tact her. Should I just wait for her to con­tact me? It is still my home and I would like to visit, but the last visit did not end on a pos­i­tive note. — Just Show Up?

Dear Show Up: You should con­tact your sis­ter and tell her that you are go­ing to visit on a spe­cific day. And then — whether or not you hear from her — you should make the ef­fort to go. She may be un­well, or de­pressed. Once you dis­cern her sit­u­a­tion, you can make a de­ci­sion about the next steps to take, in­clud­ing not con­tact­ing her.

Dear Amy: In ref­er­ence to the on­go­ing con­ver­sa­tion in your col­umn about house­hold chores be­tween a hus­band and wife (or any other re­la­tion­ship), I’d like to share what has worked in our fam­ily.

When we had a tod­dler and in­fant, I was feel­ing over­whelmed and we went to a mar­riage coun­selor.

In that first ses­sion, she had us write down ev­ery chore — from clean­ing the pool, to gro­ceries, to dishes, to laun­dry. There were about 20 three-by-five cards. We then picked a chore from the pile that be­came our own to deal with.

We were al­lowed to out­source the chore (such as lawn care and at one time even hir­ing a col­lege gal to pick up the kids from school, so it would not in­ter­rupt our work­day), but it was still our own to deal with.

Twenty-six years later, we still di­vide things up fairly. We still have lawn care and a house­keeper a cou­ple times a month, but oth­er­wise all is di­vided. We are so glad we fixed this early. I hope this helps some­one else. —F air Cou­ple

Dear Fair: Boom! I think you just helped a lot of peo­ple. Thank you.

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