The Bakersfield Californian

CAROLYN HAX

ADVICE WITH ATTITUDE & A GROUNDED SET OF VALUES

- Need Carolyn’s advice? Email your questions to tellme@washpost.com.

Dear Carolyn: About five years ago, I began to realize that a woman I dated 25 years earlier was someone I had stronger feelings for than I was mature enough to appreciate at the time. I had questions for her about why we hadn’t blossomed into the kind of relationsh­ip I now think we both believe we were destined for.

In the last five years, I’ve continued to have those questions, then dreams, etc., which led me to do a paid search for her address. I wrote her twice and left a voice mail. My messages have been about old friends I bumped into who reminded me of her, what I’ve been doing and how I’d like to hear from her. That is, nothing too serious or about what’s been on my mind.

I haven’t received an answer. I’ve thought through the reasons she hasn’t correspond­ed, and why I needed to talk with her, and am still at a loss. Would asking her my questions directly in a letter be a way to coax her to reconnect? Telling her that, apart from this midlife crisis of mine, I’m happily married, successful, and all I want are answers? — A 30-Year-Old Question

Happily married — so, your wife knows of this preoccupat­ion?

Given those search tools, I think we’ve all been forced to accept the idea of our private informatio­n as public property.

But our actual selves are nobody’s but ours. We give our time, companions­hip and affection to the people we choose, and only the people we choose.

You have given your One Who Got Away ample opportunit­y to invite you in, to share herself and her time. She hasn’t invited you in.

To press her further would be not only intrusive, verging on scary — which I’ll explain in a second — but also superfluou­s. You have her answer already. Apparently, you don’t “both” believe you were destined for the kind of relationsh­ip you’re thinking.

Here’s why you’re scaring me, and therefore, presumably, your ex: When you ignore an obvious sign that you should stop trying, it leads a person to wonder what exactly will make you stop.

That’s the far more important question to put to rest, so please do so. Your current reality is telling you that your 30-year-old memories are messing with your head. Deal with that internally, not by messing with her.

Dear Carolyn: I just found out I’m pregnant with twins.

Hubby and I are thrilled and totally freaked out. I’m torn over when to tell my family and friends. Do I tell them now, knowing we could miscarry — and thus have to tell everyone what happened, BUT also have support — or do I wait until the first trimester is over?

— Washington

Dear Washington: Presumably, there are people you’d tell if you miscarried; those are the people you can tell right away of your pregnancy. And that may be, officially, the last easy decision you make.

Congratula­tions!

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