Dear Amy: I am a senior who recently started dating.
I was seeing a man for about two months. I liked him but he was being too intrusive, in my view.
Sometimes he would show up at my door uninvited. Once when he asked to get together, I told him I had other plans, and he later questioned the veracity of my explanation.
I felt like I was a teenager being monitored by a parent, and told him so.
If I told him I had an appointment, he would offer to drive me, even though I preferred to get there on my own. He acted hurt when I refused his offer.
I wondered if the offer was his way of keeping tabs on me. He sent me a text message in which he referred to me as a “player,” which I found insulting, and later said he was just joking.
The final straw was when I refused to spend time with him, and he sent me three dozen voicemails and text messages in a short period of time. This really frightened me. I told him not to contact me again.
He thinks I owe him a further explanation, but I don’t. I think that would just provide him another opportunity to get together with me.
Although I enjoyed his company, I don’t want to reopen this relationship. Do I owe him more?
Dear Wondering: Your instincts regarding this relationship and the level of control this man was attempting to exert are 100 percent solid. You are wise to back away completely. Not only do you NOT owe him any explanation for your distance, I agree with you that providing any explanation will only open the door for further contact.
Don’t take his calls or return messages. If necessary, block his number, but keep evidence of his calls, texts, and voice mail messages.
If he continues to contact you, and certainly if his contact escalates and you feel genuinely frightened, you should check in with the local police.
I hope this episode doesn’t scare you off of dating. Your own attitude and behavior indicate that you are open, and can take good care of yourself.
Dear Amy: I’m worried about my younger sister.
She has not responded to me since last December. I was very concerned, because she lives by herself. Her dog (and constant companion) of 12 years recently died.
I had to call the local police and neighbors to find out if she was OK.
I live nine hours away. She said that she did not want to talk, but now she will not respond to my texts, emails or birthday cards/gifts.
She lives in our old home, and we share ownership.
I want to visit, but I have exhausted my efforts to contact her.
Should I just wait for her to contact me?
It is still my home and I would like to visit, but the last visit did not end on a positive note.
Just Show Up?
Dear Show Up: You should contact your sister and tell her that you are going to visit on a specific day. And then – whether or not you hear from her – you should make the effort to go. She may be unwell, or depressed. Once you discern her situation, you can make a decision about the next steps to take, including not contacting her.
Dear Amy: In reference to the ongoing conversation in your column about household chores between a husband and wife (or any other relationship), I’d like to share what has worked in our family.
When we had a toddler and infant, I was feeling overwhelmed and we went to a marriage counselor.
In that first session, she had us write down every chore – from cleaning the pool, to groceries, to dishes, to laundry. There were about 20 three-by-five cards.
We then picked a chore from the pile that became our own to deal with.
We were allowed to outsource the chore (such as lawn care and at one time even hiring a college gal to pick up the kids from school, so it would not interrupt our workday), but it was still our own to deal with.
Twenty-six years later, we still divide things up fairly.
We still have lawn care and a housekeeper a couple times a month, but otherwise all is divided. We are so glad we fixed this early. I hope this helps someone else.
Dear Fair: Boom! I think you just helped a lot of people. Thank you.
Email Amy at firstname.lastname@example.org.