Life Advice





Longtime Friend Brings Others Along On Outings

Life Advice / Dear Abby /

DEAR ABBY: I have a friend, Tara, I have known for a long time. Early in our friendship when we made plans, she would bring her boyfriend along (without asking or telling me she was). When she began dating her now-husband, it continued. I did grow to like him and appreciated the chance to get to know him, but I thought it could have been handled...Read more

Annie's Mailbox: Fed Up in Milton, Fla.

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

Dear Annie: This is in response to the letter from "Not Living in Peace in Tallahassee, Fla.," who discovered a registered sex offender living next door. Your advice was way off. "Tallahassee" needs to put a sign in her yard saying "A SEX OFFENDER LIVES NEXT DOOR" with a big arrow pointing toward his house, and then get out the bullhorn and ...Read more

Harriette Reflects On The Anniversary Of The Capitol Riot

Life Advice / Sense & Sensitivity /

DEAR READERS: Today is the anniversary of a dark day in our country. On Jan. 6, 2021, just when my family was about to celebrate my niece's birthday, the airwaves were filled with frightening images of Americans who were overtaking our beloved nation's Capitol. It's hard to believe that a whole year has passed since that fateful day.

We are ...Read more

Help! Some People Use Social Media Differently Than I Do!

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I often enjoy the social media posts of family and friends. Typically, I post two or three times a month: almost always a personal picture or throwback photo describing something positive like a fun outing, celebration, birthday or anniversary.

However, I am becoming increasingly dismayed by the way some friends use social ...Read more

Unbalanced Dinner Bill

Life Advice / Dear Annie /

Dear Annie: My wife and I have been friends with this couple for over 10 years. We met when our kids were in grade school. We would get together with this couple regularly over the years for dinner and drinks, while the kids would stay at home.

When we go out, we would always split the bill 50/50. Fast-forward to today, their kids are always ...Read more

Ask Amy: Good guests have responsibilities, too

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: During the current climate of hibernation and cautious socialization, it’s appropriate to prioritize your family’s well-being.

But may I say something in defense of hard-working hosts as well?

After a two-year hiatus, we restarted our annual Christmas party.

Asking guests to “vaccinate or hibernate” and other clear measures ...Read more

Politics Strain Friendship That's Lasted For Decades

Life Advice / Dear Abby /

DEAR ABBY: A friend of 40 years got mad at me after the last presidential election. I told her I didn't want to talk politics, since we voted for different candidates. She then emailed me saying she thought we should take a break from our long-distance phone calls. We had been calling each other every two weeks to catch up.

Because it has now ...Read more

Annie's Mailbox: Nearing the End of My Rope

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

Dear Annie: When my wife and I married, she requested that I avoid conflict with her manipulative stepfather so that she could maintain a relationship with her mother. I consented to her request.

However, her stepfather's abusive demeanor got worse until, at a dinner party my wife hosted, he made several crude and base statements about my wife ...Read more

Single File: Being Good to Yourself

Life Advice / Single File /

I just happened to be rereading the book I wrote (titled "Single File", for those of you who haven't done the same) and found myself lingering at the section 'Be Good to Yourself.' This is an issue dear to my heart because to this day, the stereotype persists of the unmarried as self-obsessed. To be sure, there is much unraveling of the ...Read more


Erika Ettin: Common timing vs. common values

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

I recently held an “Ask Me Anything” session on my Instagram page, soliciting any and all dating questions that were on people’s minds as we enter 2022. One I want to highlight this week is the following:

“I’m a 38-year-old female dating a 41-year-old male. Both of us want kids. We’ve been dating for four months. What should the ...Read more


Barton Goldsmith: Getting from one problem to the next as gracefully as possible

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

Sometimes as soon as you solve one problem, another pops up to take its place. If you’re lucky, you get a problem-free day in between. The key is learning to take these problems in stride and navigating through them as gracefully as possible.

Doing this will make your whole life easier because you will no longer see problems as interruptions....Read more

Friends Make Too Much Noise At Restaurant Worker's Job

Life Advice / Sense & Sensitivity /

DEAR HARRIETTE: I work in an upscale restaurant. My friends come in often to visit me, but my new boss doesn't like them very much. My friends can be a little bit rowdy, and apparently my boss doesn't like so much noise in the dining room area. My old boss had no problem with my friends. I'm scared that their boisterousness will jeopardize my ...Read more

Being Thanked On Someone Else's Behalf

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: How should I respond when thanked by a third party for helping another person? I am happy to say You're welcome when someone thanks me on their own behalf, but I feel terribly awkward when it is a third party, particularly when I don't feel my efforts are at all above and beyond.

While the issue isn't a critical one, I would ...Read more

Let Your Children Fly

Life Advice / Dear Annie /

Dear Annie: I cried when I was reading the letters from parents about not letting go of their children in college. My mother was so strict with me that I was not even allowed to go to college.

A new local college was opened the year I graduated from high school, but my parents' excuse for me not to go was that they couldn't afford it. They ...Read more

Ask Amy: Friend’s alcoholism is out of control

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: My friend is a drunk. This is disgusting to watch.

At several points over the years, when I have traveled with her, she has found ways to drink while a passenger in my car – often from a “water bottle” that has vodka in it.

If I were stopped by police and they found open liquor within reach inside my car, I would be immediately...Read more

Parents Wonder If Son's Friendship May Be More

Life Advice / Dear Abby /

DEAR ABBY: My preteen son is friends with a boy I don't quite approve of, but I understand that sometimes bad decisions lead to future wisdom. When I can, I allow the friend to come to our house to hang out with my son because this friend allegedly has a difficult home life.

During this last visit, I noticed them hanging out a little physically...Read more

Annie's Mailbox: Depressed Hubby

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

Dear Annie: My wife, "Nicole," had an affair with a co-worker last year. When I found out, I was devastated, and I still have emotional problems because of it. We have four children, so we worked it out the best we could.

Nicole continued to work at the same place with this same co-worker for a short time after I found out, and it was killing ...Read more

Science Advice Goddess: Rust Issues

My husband and I are in our 50s, married 25 years. I married for life, but I didn't expect our initially happy marriage to turn into a dull housemates situation. With our children away at college, there's no distraction from my husband's lack of interest in having a fun, interesting life or even trying to be interesting to me. Most ...Read more

Weight Gain Overshadows Beach Vacation

Life Advice / Sense & Sensitivity /

DEAR HARRIETTE: I'm going on vacation with some friends from my college later this month. We decided on this a long time ago, but COVID-19 delayed us. Everything is set. We are going to an island with the plan to lounge on the beach and chill. I love the idea, but I have gained a ton of weight and feel very self-conscious about how I look. I ...Read more

Expressing Sympathy Need Not Be Complicated

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: When my son (now a young adult) was a young teenager, he met a very prominent musician. He was quite kind to my son, and inadvertently helped set his path to being a professional musician. My son wrote to him shortly after the meeting, thanking him for his time and kind words.

The musician has now died, and I want to send a ...Read more