Ask Amy

Ask Amy: Man offers one story, Facebook reveals another

DEAR AMY: I have recently become involved with a new guy, and we clicked immediately. I’ve had a great time getting to know him and meeting his close friends. It’s been nice and flowing smoothly.

But, of course, there’s a catch.

His Facebook profile still says he’s in a relationship with another girl, whom he has been with for almost eight years. His profile picture even has her in it! I asked him about it on our first date, he declared he “didn’t care about Facebook” and that he and this girl hadn’t spoken in three weeks (doesn’t seem like an extraordinarily long amount of time). He explained they had been on/off for two years, and it just isn’t working for them anymore.

If they aren’t really together, why is she still a part of his Facebook? Am I wrong to be wary of this? Why hasn’t she removed their relationship from FB, if they are actually over?

I feel by not changing his status he’s leaving room for the possibility of their relationship rekindling.

This is a new dating issue specific to my generation. It’s been hard for me to detach myself from the situation and view it from an outside perspective. What should I take seriously from his social media, and what doesn’t matter? I don’t want to fall head over heels for this guy, then have his ex come back out of the woodwork and have my heart broken.

Generation Facebook

DEAR GENERATION FACEBOOK: Some issues are generational, and some are (more or less) eternal. A person in a long-term relationship who starts testing the waters before actually ending said relationship, for instance. That’s one for the ages.

There are many negatives about Facebook, but one positive aspect of social media is that you can see – very easily – where people stand.

Do not let this person gaslight you into thinking that this issue isn’t important. You can say to him, “Well, your Facebook status might not be important to you, but it’s important to me. I’m not interested in dating you if you’re in another relationship. Let me know if you become available.”

DEAR AMY: My brother and his fiancee have decided to tie the knot next week in a courthouse ceremony. They extended an invite to a potluck reception at their home, with various registries listed.

I was shocked to receive an email from my brother shortly after specifying what food and liquor I “have” to bring, including a link to a recipe.

My parents received the same, but with a more extensive list. I don’t mind bringing what I was assigned and would like to be supportive, but found the gesture to be tacky. How should I address this?

I’ll Bring the Cake

DEAR CAKE: Yep. This is pretty tacky. But here’s how you should address it: “Brother, I’m happy for you. I’ll do my best to make and bring the best cake I’m capable of making.”

What I’m suggesting is that you respond with generosity and love to this wedding. If your brother and his new bride continue to be specific in their demands past this day – or ungracious and ungrateful in responding to your efforts – then you have my permission to tell them to step off.

DEAR AMY: The letter from “Destroyed” shook me to my very core.

Destroyed described a marriage with a man who manipulated her, uprooted and moved her away from her support system, isolated her from her profession, friends and family members and belittled her until she felt worthless and confused.

This is exactly what happened in my marriage. I firmly believe that if I hadn’t escaped it, I wouldn’t be here now. I am genuinely afraid for Destroyed and her children and I hope that rather than follow your advice and try to rebuild her life within this marriage, she should leave the marriage now.

Survivor

DEAR SURVIVOR: Many readers offered supportive advice similar to yours. While I did advise this woman to try to change her own life (ultimately leaving the marriage, if necessary), I agree that it might not be possible. I hope she sees these supportive comments and follows your advice.

Write Amy Dickinson at askamy@tribpub.com.

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