In­ter­net match­ing leads to dog sit­ting

The Morning Journal (Lorain, OH) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - Con­tact Amy Dick­in­son via email at askamy@

DEAR AMY » I met my boyfriend (on­line) a year ago. I lived in another state, was in­de­pen­dent and had a de­cent job, but strug­gled fi­nan­cially.

I have no fam­ily left. When my guy and I talked, it was elec­tric! This man of­fered me so much. Af­ter only a few months, he asked me to move to his state. He said he would take care of me. He is seven years older than me (I’m no spring chicken).

We dis­cussed this at great length. I didn’t want to move and be stuck with some crazy lu­natic.

Af­ter be­ing here for a short time, our sex life went down­hill. We now sleep in sep­a­rate rooms. He has taken care of me fi­nan­cially (like he said he would). He has five cor­gis that I have fallen in love with, but I now feel like I am be­ing used.

He has gone on sev­eral “work” trips, and I have kept his dogs. He is now plan­ning a three-week trip, say­ing that it’s “work,” but signs (and my gut) say oth­er­wise!

The prob­lem is that I am broke and de­pen­dent on him. I feel I am be­ing used as a house­keeper, cook, and dog watcher — pe­riod.

I am at a loss. I’m so scared to start over. I have health is­sues that pre­vent me from do­ing the type of job I’m used to.

If I catch him in this lie (my friend sug­gested a GPS tracker), do I have grounds to go to court to sue for fi­nan­cial aid?

He is good to me oth­er­wise, although I do have is­sues with his racism and his habit of damming God. Please help! — Lost in Bama

DEAR LOST » This is a dan­ger­ous game. You ig­nored your own sense of cau­tion, and have landed with­out a safety net. You should make ef­forts to get out.

If you are a re­li­gious per­son, you should join a church to meet peo­ple, and ask for help with hous­ing. You might be able to rent a room in some­one else’s home in ex­change for the same ser­vices you are of­fer­ing this man. If you are an able and en­thu­si­as­tic dog lover, once you are out of the home, you might be able to charge him (and others) for dog sit­ting.

Use the in­ter­net to ex­plore other cre­ative liv­ing op­tions, with the same en­thu­si­asm you used this medium to meet him. Peo­ple who have sea­sonal homes some­times hire house sit­ters to stay in their houses dur­ing the off-sea­son. An in­ter­net search re­veals sev­eral ways of con­nect­ing with house-sit­ting ser­vices.

I hope you will vet these op­por­tu­ni­ties more care­fully than you vet­ted this man.

Amy Dick­in­son

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