The Trentonian (Trenton, NJ) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK -

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.


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 difference” is a deal-breaker. 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-work­ers 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 Abi­gail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Con­tact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069.

Abby shares more than 100 of her fa­vorite recipes in two book­lets: “Abby’s Fa­vorite Recipes” and “More Fa­vorite Recipes by Dear Abby.” Send your name and mail­ing ad­dress, plus check or money or­der for $14 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Cook­book­let Set, P.O. Box 447, Mount Mor­ris, IL 61054-0447. (Ship­ping and han­dling are in­cluded in the price.)

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