DEAR AMY: I have two adult daughters, ages 32 and 36. Both are cute, intelligent and kind, and yet neither one has had a boyfriend – or has even gone out on a date – for five years.
Although friends and family have frequently offered to fix them up with people, both daughters have always refused – and now people have stopped offering.
Neither daughter will use an online dating program, although they both know of friends and family who have met their spouse/significant other this way.
This is a very sensitive topic for both of my daughters. They overreact strongly when I try to bring up the subject, telling me to “mind my own business.” Both are lonely (yes, they have said so) and miss not having a guy in their lives. My daughters know their sexuality doesn’t matter one way or the other to me, but they are both heterosexual.
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Is there anything I can say that would help them take some chances on meeting the right guy – or even just to go out and have some fun?
Mom of Two Lonely Hearts
DEAR MOM: If your daughters said, “Mom – we’re all out of ideas. What can we do to increase our chances of meeting guys?” then you would weigh in with all of your (excellent) ideas.
But they’re not saying this. Instead they are telling you to mind your own business.
And so, out of respect for them, that is exactly what you should do.
I suggest you stop seeing them as flawed and/or failed, and find a way to love them just as they are – lovely, kind and guy-less. If they are sticks in the proverbial mud, encourage them to maximize their potential in every area of their lives – personal and professional. Life is short. Fun is necessary.
DEAR AMY: I love my husband’s parents very much but it’s difficult to visit them. They’re extremely messy (they reuse dirty bedding for multiple guests; there are animal hair/waste and trash throughout the house, piles of dirty dishes everywhere, fleas, etc.).
I don’t even feel comfortable sitting on the furniture or walking on the carpets because they reek of pet urine!
We can’t afford to stay in a hotel, so my husband insists that we just “suck it up” and stay there.
I’m at the point where I suggest that he make these visits alone, but I don’t want to hurt their feelings and I enjoy them.
He’s talked to them before and according to their standards their house is fine; they’re used to it. What can I do? I don’t want to ruin our relationship.
DEAR CONCERNED: It’s not a bad idea for your husband occasionally to see his folks by himself – I think it’s good for adult children now and then to sink into their family system on their own. But you should try your best to visit your in-laws too (or have them visit you).
You might be able to find a less-expensive option to a hotel by checking a website like airbnb.com or a home exchange site – to see if you can find a local room for rent or exchange. You can let your in-laws know that you struggle with the presence of pets in their home. If you do stay with them, try to bring your own sheets and towels. You are obviously fond of your in-laws, and so you should continue to be respectful and understanding – visiting with them outside the home whenever possible.
DEAR AMY: I was very concerned by your answer to “Destroyed,” the woman who described in detail how her husband had emotionally abused and isolated her. You seem to have missed the red flags that this was a dangerous situation for her. I wish you had recommended that she call a hotline or get herself to a shelter. I’m afraid for her.
DEAR WORRIED: Many women responded similarly and I think you’re right. I missed this. Please – clip, keep and share this resource: The National Domestic Violence Hotline is there for you – 24 hours a day. Call 800-799-SAFE (7233) and get more information from their excellent website: thehotline.org. Thank you all.
Write Amy Dickinson at email@example.com.