I sent you an email two years ago regarding an incident about a first meeting I had with an online dater.
We met in a public place at a local mall. The person was very controlling, something I could tell from that one meeting and a few phone conversations afterwards. Nothing went further. You informed me that it was smart to meet in a public place.
Fast-forward one and a half years and my life is now wonderful…. I met someone, at work of all places (Note: You do not need the Internet to date).
After 16 months of dating, we’re engaged!! I couldn't be any happier. Thank you for your great advice.
Love in Minnesota
Congratulations! I delight in hearing your happy news. But this is your own doing, not mine.
So many people write me about Internet dating that I of course accept that it’s a popular, and sometimes successful, approach. And each positive story naturally encourages countless more people to take a chance through the dating sites.
But there’s no denying that meeting someone through friends who know you both, or, as in your case, through work where you have a context for assessing each other, and getting to know each other on a frequent basis, is generally more successful. (We’re talking of “success” here as forming unions, not about what may happen later re: which group separates or divorces more. I’ve seen no data on that, so far).
However, couples who meet through friends, family, or colleagues, generally have good community support, and a more familiar sense of their partner’s character than strangers who meet online.
In my family, in the last few years, there’s lots of talking behind our backs from my dad and step-mom.
During this time, my step-mom has so-called brain cancer and getting treatments done, but she’s still driving a car.
We think she's having an affair with her old boss. It seems that every time her cancer kicks up he's somehow in the picture.
Also, two years ago Dad got a houseboat for the family but she didn’t want it, so her boy-toy buys it from them. That's when her so-called cancer returned and he gave her a motorcycle.
My brother said he saw them downtown when she was to be getting her treatments.
She skips family functions, without letting us know ahead. But she went to boy-toy’s mother’s house for their family dinner.
We’re told that she and my dad want to move to another city for a job she has… this boy-toy lives there. I’m feeling alone and have to talk to Dad when he’s had two strokes this past year.
I understand your sadness, in a situation where there’s so much judgment and backbiting among you children, and so much accompanying pain.
Let’s be honest – you and your brother don’t like your step-mom. And you don’t trust her either, even down to thinking her brain-cancer isn’t real, only a way to get out and carry on an affair.
You may be right. But you’re wrong to decide this is fact without knowing for sure.
You also have no idea what your father knows, accepts, and would resent hearing from you, especially when he’s had recent strokes.
Still, you need to tell him you feel “lost,” left out of his life. He may not have the physical strength to change much but you two need to at least express your bond as parent and child.
FEEDBACK Regarding the “nitpicking” wife (Oct. 10):
Reader – “Sorry, I disagree that the husband should compromise and give the (hanging-up) “hook system” a try. Missing information – why’s the wife so adamant? Are his slightly used shirts etc. taking up too much space, or fail the smell (and visual) test? Does he “re-drawer” damp socks (yuck)?
“Our rule: If and when I want something washed/laundered, I put it in the clothes hamper and it magically reappears clean and (if necessary) freshly ironed several days later. I, like any mature adult, pick-up, hang-up etc. Where I hang or put “slightly-used but still clean” items is never an issue.
“So, why should he abandon what worked for him during his bachelor days. If she wants to “change” him the guy should run and not look back.”
As I wrote, “It’s a power struggle.” If he tries it, and she doesn’t stop other nit picking, there’s no hope.
Tip of the day:
However couples meet, use good judgment, selectivity skills, and your gut instinct to be sure of your choice.