Ask Amy: Dating rules for the newly single

November 15, 2013 

Dear Amy: I am a 27-year-old woman. I just broke up with my boyfriend of 31/2 years. I know I made the right decision. We are still friends.

I have been single for a while now and enjoy going out with friends or on my own, but lately there are times when I feel completely out of the loop when it comes to dating. I feel like dating has changed so much, even since I was last single!

I have a question: Do girls give their number without being asked for it? I have had multiple guys come up to me and strike up a conversation; we have nice banter — then nothing. Before I started dating my ex, I had a rule that if a guy really wanted to see me he would ask for my number. I thought this would help weed out the bad ones and those not really interested.

Many of my male friends say they won't ask for a girl's number, even if they're really interested. They say she'll give it to them, and if she doesn't, there will always be another girl next weekend. These guys are in their 30s and are "catches" — and also nice people.

What do you think?

— Newly single

Dear Single: This issue might have started with security sensitivities back when cellphones were not quite so ubiquitous. The idea is that asking a woman for her number is something of an encroachment and that if she is interested, she will take the initiative and offer it. These guys are just plain lazy (because they can be).

You get to do what you want to do and what feels right to you. You might try to offer your number to a guy and see what that feels like, but if you had "rules" four years ago, these same guidelines might be good for you now. There are myriad ways to connect with people (aside from cellphones), so any guy interested in you could easily find you on social media.

Dear Amy: We host an extended family meal semiannually. Some family members have attended the event but have eaten almost nothing. The explanation they gave was that they were hungry and ate at a restaurant before arriving.

This has occurred several times over the last couple of years. What do you think of this behavior?

— Hosts

Dear Hosts: The most obvious remedy is to ask these family members if there is something about the meal you're serving that they can't (or don't care to) eat. They may have food sensitivities, preferences or allergies affecting their ability to partake.

Another way to encourage participation is to ask them to contribute something they enjoy eating to the meal.

You can contact Amy Dickinson via email at askamy@tribune.com, follow her on Twitter @askingamy or "like" her on Facebook.

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