Dear Amy: I am a 24-year-old woman. Since leaving my previous relationship, I’ve been getting back out there and going on dates.
When I realize that I do not wish to pursue a relationship with someone after going on (one to five) dates with them, I usually send a text that says something along the lines of, “Hi, Mike. I enjoyed meeting you, but I don’t think we have enough of a romantic connection to pursue anything further. I wish you the best.”
I loathe the idea of “ghosting” someone I’ve met in person, but I also don’t think letting them down in person or on the phone is necessary when we don’t know each other very well.
The two men I’ve recently sent this message to never responded. Is it rude for me to send that text, and/or is it rude for them not to respond? I can’t help but be a little hurt when I agonize over sending a text that I know will hurt someone’s feelings (because these men expressed their interest in continuing to see me), only to get no acknowledgement that they even received it.
I know it doesn’t really matter because I’ll never see these men again, but I want to do the right thing.
Dear Not Interested: I agree with you that sending an honest text message is a good idea in this context. It is not like you are breaking up – you are giving these people a heads-up on where you stand, releasing them from any further misapprehension, feelings of obligation or hopes for a relationship. That’s life in the big city.
What you shouldn’t do is expect anything in particular in return. Other than perhaps an acknowledgment that they received your message (“KK”), these men are being rejected, they get it and they are moving on.
Dear Amy: Recently I gained access to my husband’s Facebook account. I checked his search history and found that he has looked up an old girlfriend several times over the past two years. I was devastated, and confronted him. He said he was curious about where she is and what has happened to her over the years.
I can understand looking her up a couple of times, but once you have seen what she looks like and what is happening in her life, that should be the end of it!
This isn’t the only thing that has happened recently. We both retired a few months ago, and when he received a phone call from a female co-worker, he acted very suspicious and said he would call her later.
He has also texted her several times regarding work-related issues.
I don’t want to be dealing with this at our age. Am I overreacting?
He has apologized and said it won’t happen again. I know he loves me and doesn’t want to hurt me. I still feel insecure.
Dear Need Reassurance: What you really need is a new hobby. Stop policing your husband. Both of the things you report (looking at an old girlfriend’s Facebook page and receiving work-related text messages from a former colleague) are benign. All the same, you have confronted your husband, and he has reassured you. Take it.
According to the way you describe this, your feeling of “devastation” is out of balance, and so you should start concentrating on ways to feel better about yourself.
The kind of surveillance you are doing is a reflection of your own poor self-esteem, and one way to feel better is to stop triggering yourself through snooping. Trust is a choice, and choosing to trust someone who deserves to be trusted will liberate you.
Retirement can be a very challenging period for couples as they adjust to the twin challenges of being less structured or occupied, while also sharing more time together. I hope you will find healthier ways to spend your time.
Dear Amy: I absolutely loved your response to the “Big Sister” [“No Kid Experience”] who had problems mentoring a young girl whose media choices did not correspond to her own.
The purpose of being a Big Sister is to give the young girl better opportunities to thrive, and not be judgmental of a life that she knows has been bruised. I applaud you for showing her how to do just that – without taking her to task for her own opinions!
Dear Ranjana: Big Brothers and Sisters (bbbs.org) are heroes, and their efforts should be applauded, supported and encouraged. That’s easy for me to do.
Email Amy at email@example.com