Life Advice



Ask Amy: Hookups lead to friendship, followed by ghosting

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: Through some unusual circumstances too complicated to explain here, I met another man about seven and a half years ago.

We first met for a sexual encounter and soon became lovers. And then we became good friends.

We are both well into our elder years, and are regularly tested, so we know each other's health.

Prior to our meeting, his husband as well as my wife had long since lost interest in sex, so sex was the initial attraction for both of us.

We live in different cities, but manage to see one another several times a year. Sometimes we may only meet for lunch or supper and just talk — hours and hours of talk. Other times we have the opportunity to be intimate with one another. We share our thoughts, our dreams, family issues, concerns, etc.

The last few months his communications have slowed down. At this point, I have not heard from him in a few weeks. No explanation, no messages, no nothing. I guess that is what is called "ghosting"?

My question is this: I feel like I at least need some sort of closure. I will be in his city in a few weeks.

Should I try again to make contact with him so I can have a sense of closure?

How might be the best way, and how persistent should I be? Or should I just let it go?

– Ghosted

Dear Ghosted: Yes, you should contact him. Ask, perhaps by text: “Could you get back to me, just to let me know if you’re OK? Of course, I miss hearing from you, but at this point I’m just looking for an explanation for why you haven’t been in touch, and I’ve started to worry. I’ll be in town soon, in case you want to meet in person.”

After this effort, yes, I think you need to just let it go.

And … this is not on-topic, but I hope your wife has also been tested for STDs.

Dear Amy: I don't think I've ever seen this subject addressed.

This could be an issue that a straight person or gay person has encountered. (I happen to be gay.)

My ex died suddenly a few years ago from a tear in one of the chambers of his heart. He was 53.

After our split (due to infidelity on his part), we were able to put our acrimony toward each other aside and move on as friends. He even attended my wedding to my current husband.

When he died, I was devastated. The grief was pretty intense.

People around me were acting like… “If you were just friends, then why are you taking this so hard?”


My husband tried to be understanding, but I got the idea that he didn’t really understand. Believe me — at that point I had no romantic interest in my ex.

Did I overreact?

– Wounded Ex in the Midwest

Dear Wounded: The indelible line from John Donne’s poem “No Man is an Island” immediately comes to mind (as it so often does, lately): “…any man’s death diminishes me, For I am involved in mankind.”

Continuing to piggyback on this poem, I’ll tell you “for whom the bell tolls”: The bell tolls for you, and for every grieving person.

A friend of mine recently described the impact of the loss of friends as being like having holes blasted through your life.

You shared your life with your ex, and after your breakup, you continued on in friendship. Of course, you mourn this loss!

There is no shortcut through grief, and there is no need to justify how you feel, the way you feel, or … that you feel such intense grief after the death of a friend.

Dear Amy: Regarding your recent “Best Of” column concerning adoption (from “Distressed Sister”), we have three children: one bio and two adopted.

When we brought our second child home (three weeks old!), we were told by our social worker to tell him about the day he was adopted and to tell him frequently.

Obviously, a three-week old infant does not understand adoption, but the point was that we'd get very comfortable telling him his adoption story and be open to any questions he had as he grew up.

So, the right age for a child to learn her/his adoption story is the day you bring your child home.

– Susan E

Dear Susan: This is stellar advice, which I hope all adoptive parents will follow.


(You can email Amy Dickinson at or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)

©2022 Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.



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