Dif­fer­ent ap­proaches to re­li­gion are likely to drive cou­ple apart Phone eti­quette

The Hazleton Standard-Speaker - - ADVICE -

Dear Abby:

For the first time in my life, I am in love. We met about a month ago. I know he’s the man I have waited my en­tire life to meet. I am 33, so I know what I feel isn’t just lust. We have one huge hur­dle, though: re­li­gion. He’s ac­tively re­li­gious, while I am not, and he doesn’t be­lieve our re­la­tion­ship can sur­vive this dif­fer­ence.

On ev­ery other level, we are won­der­ful. We want the same things in life and share sim­i­lar val­ues. Our dif­fer­ence isn’t that I don’t be­lieve in God. I do. But that isn’t enough for him.

I told him I would go to church with him, and raise our chil­dren (his and mine) in a Chris­tian home, but when they are old enough we should al­low them to make their own de­ci­sions. He says that would be “just go­ing through the mo­tions” and I’d even­tu­ally re­sent him for it.

Must I let him walk away? Or should I fight for what could be (next to my kids) the best thing that’s ever hap­pened to me?

Heart­bro­ken in Texas Dear Heart­bro­ken:

In what way do you plan to “fight”? Do you plan to con­vert to his re­li­gion and de­vote the kind of time to it that he does? Think care­fully about what that would mean.

While his fer­vent re­li­gios­ity is laud­able, what this man doesn’t re­al­ize is that re­gard­less of the ex­am­ple he wants to set for his chil­dren, even­tu­ally they are go­ing to make up their own minds and live their lives the way they wish.

This “one dif fer­ence” is a deal­breaker. He is looking for a spir­i­tual clone. You’re not it, so let him go. Dear Abby:

The com­pany I work for re­cently switched to digital phones that show the caller’s name and lo­ca­tion on a screen no mat­ter where they are in the build­ing. Years ago, I formed the habit of in­tro­duc­ing my­self when plac­ing a call: “Hi, this is Sally from mar­ket­ing. How are you, Trent? Great! I’m call­ing be­cause ...” I have been in­formed that what I’m do­ing is old-fash­ioned, un­nec­es­sary and a waste of ev­ery­one’s time.

The pre­ferred method would be to launch into the heart of the con­ver­sa­tion with no in­tro­duc­tion, just “Hi. I need in­struc­tions for the new pro­jec­tors,” be­cause the per­son al­ready knows who is call­ing. To me, this feels rude, es­pe­cially when talk­ing with some­one I see rarely.

I can’t help but won­der what the long-term of­fice cli­mate will be like if ev­ery­one is so terse. On the other hand, many of my younger co-work- ers would pre­fer not to talk at all and con­duct busi­ness by email or text. ANY con­ver­sa­tion feels ex­ces­sive to them, and they are hu­mor­ing me by an­swer­ing the phone.

Where is the mid­dle ground here? How can I main­tain what feels like ba­sic good man­ners and hu­man in­ter­ac­tion with­out an­noy­ing my col­leagues?

Po­lite in Cal­i­for­nia Dear Po­lite:

There are cer­tain niceties that make in­ter­ac­tions with oth­ers more pleas­ant. While you may no longer have to an­nounce that you are “Sally from mar­ket­ing ,” it is po­lite to in­quire how the per­son is do­ing or how the day is go­ing. It’s a pleas­ant con­ver­sa­tion-starter and a tran­si­tion into the busi­ness you will con­duct. Be­cause you are get­ting flak for it, go to your em­ployer or H.R. for guid­ance in nav­i­gat­ing the new sys­tem. (Dear Abby is writ­ten by Jeanne Phillips)

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