Old Flame Keeps Flickering
Dear Annie: An acquaintance from my past (1983) contacted me in July 2019 after searching for and finding me on social media. We have been speaking on and off since then, but he now calls me every day (sometimes two times a day) and says he's making travel plans to come see me.
He lives in Canada, and I live in Massachusetts. Back in 1983, he begged me to sleep with him knowing I was dating his best friend who introduced us but was out of town at the time. Shocked and blindsided by his request, I caved under his pressure and acquiesced. I then slept with him on a second occasion. His friend -- my boyfriend -- was still overseas, and I couldn't tell if he had intentions to return.
This acquaintance has yet to visit me, and he has ghosted me a number of times over the past three years, about three or four. Should I even entertain the idea of seeing him, let alone thinking there could be anything more? I'm divorced; my children are grown; and I haven't entertained any male company for the past 14 years. All this time, I've just been tending to my family and have just started to return to work, accepting temp assignments as they are offered to me. -- Skeptical
Dear Skeptical: I wouldn't hold your breath on this guy. People can change, but his flagrant flakiness doesn't suggest that he's suddenly sprouted a sense of integrity.
Instead, try to set up an online dating profile to meet men in your area. Now that you're an empty nester, it's a good time to get back out there.
Dear Annie: In the column from April 15, you responded to a mother of three children, "Feeling Stuck and Lost." This mother was struggling with how to move forward in her life, between wanting to finish her GED, obtain a car, get a job and be a better mother to her kids. I thought your response was good, however, you should have also advised her to seek community and government assistance, and offered other thrift savings advice.
For example, some organizations may offer free or low-cost vehicles to single mothers. (She didn't say if she was single, but it was sort of implied.) She didn't mention if she had a license, but it sounded like she did not. In some states/communities, there are organizations that offer free driving training/driver-testing assistance to low-income residents. There may be other benefits out there in her community, and she should take advantage of all of them if they will help her situation.
Lack of access to information about benefits or feeling ashamed to use benefits can oftentimes exacerbate having a low income/living in poverty. Community colleges, church groups, etc. often offer free/discounted services to people who need them and who are stuck in a cycle. There are discounted clothing stores online (such as swap.com and thredup.com) that offer extremely cheap, high-quality used clothing. Also, address-verified community apps, such as Nextdoor, allow neighbors to communicate and offer/receive free goods and services. -- The More You Know
Dear More You Know: Thank you for your letter. It's easy to feel overwhelmed and alone when we face a daunting situation, but with time, helping hands and baby steps in the right direction, we can make it where we want to go. I am confident these resources will be helpful for "Feeling Stuck and Lost," and so many other readers and their families.
"How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?" is out now! Annie Lane's second anthology -- featuring favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation -- is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to firstname.lastname@example.org.