Life Advice



Ask Amy: Runner needs to leap over frequent texter

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: My wife is an avid runner and usually runs on the weekends with a group of regulars.

Recently a man entered the group, and he seems to be reaching out to her a lot. This started with questions about running, but seems to have morphed into other areas. He always initiates texts, and she responds politely by answering his questions.

She is completely open, shows me everything, and often brings up to him that she has plans with her husband and kids. He then glosses right over this information and basically seems to be pretending that we don’t exist.

I am not at all concerned about my wife’s behavior but I’m a guy, she’s amazing, and I have a weird sense about this.

I’m not sure how to approach this weirdness. Do you have a suggestion?

– Hapless Husband

Dear Hapless: Talk to your wife about this, and ask her how she feels about this texting contact. Is it annoying or intrusive?

And then tell her, honestly, that it bothers you. Don’t make a big deal about it, and don’t insist that she needs to block him, but tell her: “I’m a guy, you’re amazing, and I think he’s into you. This concerns me because I’m a guy, you’re amazing, and I’m definitely into you.”

Dear Amy: I admire you so much when responding to people who disagree with your answers and who criticize you for stating something you didn’t say. I often wonder if you really want to say, “Listen &#@**, did you even read my answer?”

You are always so polite that I wonder if you are actually an AI, and not human. LOL!

– A Fan

Dear Fan: Lately, I’ve received many queries – some praising and others criticizing – all wondering if I am an AI bot.

I understand that the specter of artificial intelligence covers all bases, and that these comments are sardonic, but it is starting to creep me out. (LOL!)

Dear Amy, I am a 62-year-old man, needing advice regarding my daughter and 11-year-old granddaughter, who live across the country.

Eighteen months ago, I flew out to visit.

My granddaughter wanted a "yes" day where I would take her for a fun-filled day.

We had a fantastic time. I tried to shower her with love and attention.

Feeling a reconnection, with my daughter’s blessing, I purchased her a cellphone so we could stay in touch.

After the trip, I tried to reach out, only to be ghosted by my granddaughter.


I brought this up with my daughter, who cynically informed me that my granddaughter is quite busy and perhaps we could arrange for a monthly Zoom meeting. But I really had visions of talking one-on-one with this child, as I felt a growing bond which I wanted to nurture.

My daughter obviously wanted to supervise her phone calls, which I thought was controlling. She mailed me the phone back with a nasty letter. This upset me greatly.

It has been 18 months with no contact.

A Christmas or birthday present is always acknowledged with a short, curt text from my daughter – never my granddaughter.

My relationship has always been strained due to my divorce 25 years ago, but it was a fantastic visit and we got along quite well, so I am at a loss, Amy.

I go with the flow and am not a curmudgeon in any way.

Any advice on how to proceed?

– Distant Grandpa

Dear Distant: This visit went very well. But you live across the country. To your granddaughter, you are a nice old man whom she doesn’t know very well.

I don’t know of many adolescents who would be able to forge a one-on-one relationship with a distant grandfather over the phone. Kids generally prefer texting. Texting photos and funny memes back and forth from your phone to hers would have been a good way to establish a connection.

Your daughter’s suggestion for a regular Zoom meeting was a great one.

Your immediate assumption that she wants to “monitor” your contact is off-base. Most parents know that kids this age don’t easily dive into relationship-building; the parent’s presence on the video chat helps to move things along because they can prompt both the child and the elder into topics of mutual interest.

You have put a ton of pressure on this single visit to build one relationship and heal another, but even close and functioning families go through rough patches and miscommunications.

I hope you’ll keep trying to connect, and not take things so personally as you go.


(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.)

©2024 Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.




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