No ex­pla­na­tion needed on end­ing re­la­tion­ship with ag­gres­sive, con­trol­ling man

The Washington Post Sunday - - BOOK WORLD - AMY DICK­IN­SON Amy’s col­umn ap­pears seven days a week at wash­ing­ton­post.com/ad­vice. Write to askamy@amy­dick­in­son.com or Amy Dick­in­son, Tribune Con­tent Agency, 16650 West­grove Dr., Suite 175, Ad­di­son, Tex. 75001.  You can also fol­low her @ask­ingamy. ©2017

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. Later, he said he was just jok­ing.

The fi­nal straw was when I re­fused to spend time with him, and he sent me three dozen voice mails 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 think so. 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 Won­der­ing Se­nior: 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 dat­ing. Your own at­ti­tude and be­hav­ior in­di­cate that you are open and can take good care of your­self. 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-by­five 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. Fair Cou­ple Fair Cou­ple: Boom! I think you just helped a lot of peo­ple. Thank you.

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