I dated this guy once, 18 years ago, when I was in my teens. I never saw him again.
We recently bumped into each other. I mentioned I was going to be at a dance club nearby with friends that weekend.
He showed up, we mostly drank and danced. We ended up fooling around at my place and had sex, though I barely remember it.
We’re not kids, there was no relationship happening, we barely talked.
Now, he’s repeatedly messaging and phoning me daily. When I told him to back off, he angrily accused me of “emotional abuse” for “leading him on” by mentioning where I’d be that night.
I’m worried that he may also start stalking me.
What Should I Do?
Start with a gentle response but prepare for something stronger if necessary.
Tell him that you’re sorry but you had no intention of “leading him on,” by what you thought turned into a mutual (and alcohol-fuelled) one-night-stand.
If his harassment and anger don’t cease, tell him you’ll have to ask the police for a restraining order against him.
Then block his contact in all forms, stay watchful, and alert police if he persists somehow.
My teenage daughter and I are very close. I made sure she knew she was my Number One priority.
Her father and I divorced when she was 11. Eventually she started spending every second weekend at his place. I started dating and met a nice man, who eventually moved into our home.
Six years later, she and my partner still aren’t friends.
She developed a teenager’s bad attitude towards anything or anybody that doesn't agree with her.
She doesn't speak to him unless she needs to. They stay out of each other's way, but she can be nasty sometimes.
She and I have typical conflicts mother-daughter that can get ugly, but she still talks to me about everything.
Recently, we argued about a trivial matter, it escalated into a yelling match, during which my partner arrived.
He told her to stop, she told him to mind his own business. They began arguing/yelling and trading insults.
She called her dad to come get her and has stayed away for five days.
I know that we all behaved badly. We adults should’ve removed ourselves before things got out of control.
But I also cannot excuse my daughter's behaviour.
However, she feels that I should’ve stood up for her against my partner. She says she won't come home as long as he’s living at our house.
I shouldn't have to give up my life and future with him in order to keep her. But I feel terrible for not immediately choosing her.
Is my daughter a spoiled brat or am I a horrible mother?
She’s acting on the belief which you instilled in her, that she comes first.
She needs help learning that your partner doesn’t replace her. He supports you in adult ways, and has even tolerated her coldness towards him as part of that support.
Get mother-daughter counselling together because you need each other: She needs your guidance towards her achieving an emotionally healthy adult life. You need the comfort/security of knowing she loves and respects you.
Also, get couples’ counselling to clarify his role in the family: Unless there’s abuse involved, your mother-daughter fights are not his fights.
He can become a friend to her, if she regains her confidence in your love, and recognizes his commitment to you both.
FEEDBACK Regarding the writer who questioned if it’s “normal” that he’s attracted to older guys (Sept. 12):
“As a gay man, I’d tell him, Yes, it's okay to be attracted to people of different ages. But consider that some people obsess over "youth." If you get connected with such a person, be aware that their attraction may fade as you age.
“Also, explore the nature of this attraction. Is there something specific about the specified age range that appeals to you? Is it that you’re attracted to people with more experience in life, career, and/or love than you currently have? If so, might your attractions "catch up" to yourself as you gain experience?
“What we feel and why, can be one of life's wonderful mysteries. Sometimes introspection can help us deepen our self-awareness. Sometimes the mystery should be enjoyed for itself.
“Meanwhile, the attractions you described are perfectly normal and nothing to fear.”
Tip of the day:
Don’t bring (almost) strangers to your place when alcohol or substance use fogs your awareness.