Life Advice


Health & Spirit

No Need to Be Friends

Annie Lane on

Dear Annie: My boyfriend broke up with me pretty suddenly and over the phone right after spring semester ended. We haven't talked over the summer, and now that school started this fall, it's been pretty awkward. I still have feelings for him and a lot of questions. Since we haven't talked to each other for about four months, I don't know how to start talking to him again. I don't even know if talking to him is a good idea.

After he broke up with me, he said he still wanted to be good friends, and I told him that I honestly didn't think I could be friends with him. I don't know what to do. What do you think I should do? -- Uneasy at University

Dear Uneasy at University: I think you ought to listen to your heart, which seems to be saying that it needs more time to heal. So, be cordial when you run into your ex-boyfriend -- wish him all the best -- but put your energy into nourishing friendships, interests and your sense of self. One day you might be able to be friends with this ex, but that day is not today. And that is 100% OK.

Dear Annie: I was shocked to read that "Fearing the Future" is so pessimistic at 67. I am 91 and recently wrote the following poem:

"The Optimist"

"Why live to one hundred?" asked my friend.


"Isn't ninety enough to make a good end?"

"I think of the things I would miss," I replied,

"If, at ninety, I stopped and simply died."

Thousands of mornings to see the sun rise


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