Los Angeles Times

Hold out for ‘crazy in love’

- Email questions to Amy Dickinson at askamy@ amydickins­on.com.

Dear Amy: I’ve been dating “John,” who I thought was an evolved, caring and understand­ing human, for nine months.

We do not tell each other that we love each other, or talk about the future.

John is divorced going on two years, so it is understand­able that he’s not in a place to commit and he doesn’t want to marry again.

He has a 9-year-old son, “Caleb,” with whom I’ve spent time. Caleb ignores me, doesn’t answer questions and lacks manners.

John says he’s shy and takes time to warm up.

I had a similar upbringing, so I can empathize.

Lately, I find I don’t enjoy spending time with them.

Is this a sign that this is a casual relationsh­ip and works for now, or do I need to cut the cord and move on?

I want a partner. I hope to find my person, be crazy in love, have a healthy relationsh­ip and possibly get married again someday (I’ve been divorced for 11 years).

Either I’m settling or I’m learning how to not be so attached. Your thoughts?


Dear Casual?: First, Caleb. He is 9. Nine-yearolds can behave along a wide spectrum, but I’d say that a 9-year-old whose folks have split up and whose dad is bringing a new friend around would generally behave just as he’s behaving.

Every single moment his dad spends with another adult is one less moment spent exclusivel­y on Caleb. And exclusivit­y might be what he craves right now.

Taking this on as a partner would require an extremely motivated person who will hang in there, befriendin­g this hurting child and loving his father. No one would blame you for not wanting to take that on.

If you hang in there without the “crazy in love” part, then you would be settling. “Crazy in love” is what gets you across the finish line in a family system like this.

I assure you that when you finally find your person, you’ll feel brave enough that you’re willing to take on a room of angry teens in order to be in a family together.

I think it’s time to transition to friendship with John.

Dear Amy: We apparently live in a time of excessive self-marketing. This is exhausting to be around.

Self-labeling to elevate one’s status, without earning a title through the hard work, seems epidemic.

A chiropract­or calls herself a doctor. A hobbyist calls herself a photograph­er. A book club attendee proclaims himself a scholar of fiction. Words such as “amateur” and “avocation” seem to have left our vocabulary.

I’d love to tell the chiropract­or how my doctor dad went to 14 years of medical school after high school.

But my unsatisfyi­ng approach is to mute myself and leave them to their bubble.

I love to support and encourage others but false advertisin­g rips it for me. Any suggestion­s on how to respond, if at all?

Buy One, Get One Free

Dear Buy One: Chiropract­ors can call themselves “doctors” but shouldn’t say they’re “MDs.” In a broader sense, doctors — and chiropract­ors — are healers, teachers or practition­ers.

I agree with you that inflation is out of control.

But there is a great wave of self-taught people attaining excellence in a number of fields. Credential­s do not always confer competence.

You could challenge someone who does this, but remember, language evolves faster than humans do.

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