Col­lege stu­dent liv­ing at home is ready to fly af­ter grad­u­a­tion


DEAR ABBY: I am 21 and about to grad­u­ate from col­lege. I have lived at home these last four years partly be­cause my dad didn’t want me to go away. He never said it, but he made up rea­sons to make me stay at home. I was 17 and be­ing ma­nip­u­lated and con­trolled. I tried to ex­plain to him that I wanted to go away to learn in­de­pen­dence, but he said I wasn’t ma­ture enough.

Now that I am about to grad­u­ate, I have been of­fered a job with a com­pany in Cal­i­for­nia. I am afraid to tell my par­ents about the news. I know that it’s my life, but my fa­ther is a master of psy­cho­log­i­cal ma­nip­u­la­tion. I want to fi­nally get away from my par­ents’ strict con­trol­ling and fi­nan­cial strings and start a stress-free life of my own. How do I ex­plain this with­out them ma­nip­u­lat­ing me all over again? — SOON TO BE A COL­LEGE GRAD­U­ATE

DEAR GRAD­U­ATE: First, make up your mind that you ARE leav­ing. When you tell them, be sure to say how grate­ful you are for the love and sup­port they have given you, but that you have been of­fered a job in the field for which you have stud­ied and are now well-pre­pared enough to fly on your own.

Set a date to leave and do not al­low your­self to be dis­suaded, whether be­cause of a guilt trip or any other ma­nip­u­la­tion. I’m not say­ing it will be emo­tion­ally easy, but for your own sake, you must do it.

DEAR ABBY: I have a sin­gle daugh­ter in her early 30s. She’s ac­tive in her church, goes out with friends and spends time with fam­ily. She’s very at­trac­tive and has a won­der­ful per­son­al­ity.

Her sib­lings, cousins and friends are all mar­ried and most of them have chil­dren. She wants her own fam­ily and has tried the usual dat­ing sites, but never gets any re­sults.

I try to keep her spir­its up. Her hap­pi­ness is most im­por­tant to me, not her mar­i­tal sta­tus. How can I help her? I don’t want to keep telling her the right one will come along when she wants a boyfriend now. — SIN­GLE GIRL’S MOM IN GE­OR­GIA

DEAR MOM: Your daugh­ter should start by ask­ing her sib­lings, cousins and friends why they think she’s still sin­gle when she wants so much to be mar­ried. Could the so­lu­tion be some­thing as sim­ple as tweak­ing her pro­file? It may be that she needs to ex­pand her in­ter­ests and ac­tiv­i­ties so she’ll be out in the com­mu­nity more than she is.

If her friends and co-work­ers aren’t al­ready aware, she should ask if they know some­one nice who’s un­at­tached. Who knows? One of them might have a cousin. Pro­fes­sional or­ga­ni­za­tions hav­ing to do with her field of em­ploy­ment can also be fer­tile ground for prospect­ing.

Peo­ple who are vis­i­ble and pas­sion­ate about the ac­tiv­i­ties they’re in­volved in at­tract pos­i­tive at­ten­tion, which in­creases the like­li­hood of meet­ing some­one el­i­gi­ble, or meet­ing some­one who knows some­one. When all is said and done, find­ing Mr. Right is usu­ally a mat­ter of luck and tim­ing.

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