The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT)

Woman dreads going on first dates

- Jeanne Phillips Write to Dear Abby at P.O. Box 96440, Los Angeles, CA 90069 or

Dear Abby: I am a 30-yearold woman who very much wants to find someone to share my life and start a family with. The problem is I hate dating, at least the early stages. To me, first dates aren’t exciting; they’re just plain awkward and nerveracki­ng.

I have tried everything to change my outlook on dating, but I still go into every first date with the same enthusiasm as I’d have for a root canal. Do you have any tips?

Hates Dating in Maryland

Dear Hates Dating:

It might benefit you to make them more casual — a lunch, a coffee, a movie or some other entertainm­ent, so a conversati­on won’t become a third degree. If you regard a first date as a chance to make a new friend, you might enjoy it more and so would your date.

Dear Abby: I’m concerned because there is tension in my family. I’m 30. In the past, I’ve had anger issues that may have alienated some family members. I’ve worked on them and I think I’ve gotten better in recent years, but I’m still not perfect.

What concerns me is I think one of my brothers might be harboring resentment toward me, but he won’t say so directly. I feel bad about the things I’ve done wrong and I’m willing to do what I can to make up for them, but I don’t know how to do that if people won’t communicat­e with me. How can I make things right and show my family I really do care?

Lost in California

Dear Lost: It seems you may not be the only person in your family with unresolved anger issues. While you were overt in demonstrat­ing your anger, your brother is the opposite. He demonstrat­es his anger with PASSIVEagg­ression.

Show your family you care by continuing to work on your issues. Apologize to anyone you hurt and offer to make amends. Do the same with this brother in a written message, if necessary. After that, if he still refuses to communicat­e, recognize that the problem is his and stop making it your own.

Dear Abby: A friend brought a birthday cake to the restaurant where we were all meeting, and served it after the meal. I voiced my concern that it wasn’t fair to the restaurant, since we used extra tableware and dishes for the cake, and deprived them of a possible dessert order. Is what she did acceptable? Or was I out of line to say something? (We left a large tip.)

No Dessert

Dear No Dessert: If your comments dampened the joy of the occasion, you should have kept your mouth shut. Bringing a cake to a restaurant for a special occasion happens often. However, the polite way to handle it is to first check with the restaurant to be sure they don’t have a policy against it.

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