Are shared in­ter­ests nec­es­sary?

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - An­nie Lane

I’ve been see­ing this woman for about a month. She is beau­ti­ful and smart and thinks I’m funny, which is a plus. It’s been get­ting more se­ri­ous. But re­cently, when we were try­ing to de­cide which movie to see, some new info came to light. It turns out she hates su­per­hero movies and comic books. This is a to­tal turnoff to me, to the point that I now think this re­la­tion­ship may be doomed. I just see it as sort of a lit­mus test for per­sonal com­pat­i­bil­ity. Should I end things now be­fore I get deeper, or am I be­ing petty?

— Mar­vel Mega-Fan Tastes don’t make or break a re­la­tion­ship. It can def­i­nitely help to have shared hob­bies, but shared hob­bies alone can’t form the bedrock of a se­ri­ous ro­man­tic re­la­tion­ship. Shared val­ues do. And mu­tual re­spect. And oh, yes, love. All that is to say yes, it does seem a bit petty to me to break up with her over this, but deal break­ers are in the eye of the holder. Plus, this sort of thing is also a self-ful­fill­ing prophecy. This re­la­tion­ship may now be doomed, but only be­cause you’ve de­cided it may be, not be­cause she doesn’t like Spi­der-Man.

What is the proper amount to tip a hair­dresser? When I was grow­ing up, 15 or even 10 per­cent seemed cus­tom­ary. Re­cently, I saw some­thing in a mag­a­zine that said I should be tip­ping my hair­dresser 20 per­cent and tip­ping the sham­poo girl or boy (if there is one) an ad­di­tional $5! I get my hair done once a month, so that would re­ally start to add up. But of course, I’d cer­tainly hate to be rude. What is the eti­quette? — Sa­lon-Goer in Shreve­port Twenty per­cent is a fair tip for some­one with whom you’re en­trust­ing your crown­ing glory. As for tip­ping as­sis­tants, prof­fer­ing at least a small tip is usu­ally ap­pro­pri­ate, es­pe­cially if they’ve been more hands-on.

I must ad­dress the let­ter from the Viet­nam vet­eran who will not call for help. First, he should not give up. The Vet­er­ans Cri­sis Line (https://www.vet­er­an­scri­sis­line.net) is 800-273-8255. In 2016, 58.1 per­cent of vet­eran sui­cides were among vet­er­ans 55 or older. De­pend­ing on where the vet­eran lives, his county may have a vet­er­ans ser­vice of­fice he could visit or con­tact. He more than likely has a Vet­er­ans of For­eign Wars, Dis­abled Amer­i­can Vet­er­ans and Amer­i­can Le­gion or­ga­ni­za­tion near him that could pro­vide more re­sources. These groups serve vet­er­ans of all eras, and he could find people with whom he can re­late. And bring the bud­dies! Please of­fer these op­tions to him.

— Wife of a Viet­nam Vet­eran

Thank you so much for this wealth of in­for­ma­tion.

I par­tic­i­pated in your study about chil­dren. (I was one of the 77 per­cent of read­ers who are glad they had kids.) It was a very good and valu­able study. One of the re­spon­dents said to “trust your gut,” and you re­ported that people were mostly happy with their de­ci­sions, which was heart­en­ing. One of my daugh­ters wants chil­dren, and my other one and her hus­band have de­cided not to have them. I won­dered, given my think­ing and ex­pe­ri­ence, whether the one who is not hav­ing kids is set­ting her­self up for dis­ap­point­ment in later life, and know­ing that this is not likely is en­cour­ag­ing to me re­gard­ing her hap­pi­ness.

— Phil N.

I’m glad you gleaned some in­sight from the poll re­sults; I know I did, as well. Thanks so much for writ­ing, and thanks to ev­ery­one who par­tic­i­pated in the in­for­mal sur­vey.

“Ask Me Any­thing: A Year of Ad­vice From Dear An­nie” is out now! An­nie Lane’s de­but book — fea­tur­ing fa­vorite col­umns on love, friend­ship, fam­ily and eti­quette — is avail­able as a pa­per­back and ebook. Visit http://www.cre­ator­spub­lish­ing.com for more in­for­ma­tion. Send your ques­tions for An­nie Lane to dear­an­[email protected]­ators.com.

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