Death in the family redefines the family
I disagree about chastising these family members, however. You are justified, to be sure, but I just don't think it is useful to tell other people how to behave, while it can be useful (and helpful to you) to tell them how their behavior makes you feel.
Here is some suggested wording: "Since 'Dean's death I have coped with my own sadness and extreme grief -- and I know you have, too. I have always considered you to be family members, and my connection to you has been a refuge during a very sad time. I'm so sorry to note that this connection seems to be fading, because I sincerely believe that we could help and comfort one another now."
Dear Amy: I recently met a guy online. We've been going out for about five weeks. We've been on four dates. We're not in a committed relationship, but he's not being upfront about the fact that he's seeing (and probably sleeping with) other women.
Because we are not exclusive, he and I have not slept together and I have told him that we won't unless we are exclusive.
He has made up different excuses for his unavailability. I've confronted him about this but he seems to continue doing it. How should I handle this?
-- Not Easy
Dear Not Easy: Actually, it sounds as if this guy has been fairly upfront about the fact that he is not exclusive with you. You have obviously discerned this somehow, because you have stated your own nonnegotiable about it.
You just don't seem to like his answer.
Perhaps you should just go ahead and assume that when he is not available to you, he is with other women. It is possible that he is doing what you are doing -- dating around. That's sort of the whole idea, isn't it? To meet and date different people until you find the best match?
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If he was really into you, he would want to be with you, and you wouldn't wonder where he was or how he felt.
However, four dates really isn't a lot of time to figure out how you feel, unless you are a guy feeling pressured to become exclusive before you are ready. In that case, four dates is plenty.
Dear Amy: I was infuriated by the issue presented by "Feeling Taken Advantage Of," whose brother always chose to fly into the airport furthest away from the house, forcing someone to drive for several hours to retrieve him.
This selfish jerk should get an Uber or cab to deliver him.
Dear Infuriated: Sometimes, flying into the closest airport is the most expensive choice, but I agree that this brother was being selfish.
(You can contact Amy Dickinson via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Readers may send postal mail to Amy Dickinson, c/o Tribune Content Agency, 16650 Westgrove Drive, Suite 175, Addison, Texas, 75001. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or "like" her on Facebook.)