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Ask Amy: Survivor of suicide loss looks for memorial

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: Forty-two years ago, my uncle died by suicide. I was very young at the time, and for years was told that he died in a car crash.

It was only by accident that I discovered that he had taken his own life. He had a troubled life. It seems he never really felt at home in the world. When he was a teenager, the father with whom he already ...Read more

Emotionally Distant Boyfriend Makes Me Anxious

Life Advice / Dear Annie /

Dear Annie: I've been with my boyfriend, "Mike," for five years, and we've lived together for three. I've noticed he's been distant lately. I can't quite put my finger on why; he says he has just been stressed about work.

He has also been spending more time on his phone. Last week, I saw messages pop up on his phone from a woman named "Sarah,...Read more

Asking Eric: Wife wants to return husband's anniversary gift

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Eric: My husband and I just celebrated our first anniversary, and we cutely decided to give each other a gift in keeping with the antiquated anniversary gift themes. The first year is paper or clocks. Smartly and thoughtfully, my husband gifted me a clock made of paper he had seen me looking at in a museum gift shop. But this thing is ...Read more

Ask Amy: Amy revisits a favorite reader prank

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Readers: Before I leave this space at the end of June, I’m taking advantage of my senioritis and re-running some of my favorite columns.

The following Q&A is an example of a prank question that savvy readers enjoyed so much that it went viral. Honestly, I don’t know how I missed this obvious nod to a beloved sitcom, but I did.

I hope ...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS

Ask Anna: My girlfriend is still married: How to handle a separated relationship

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

Dear Anna,

I have been seeing a woman who’s been separated from her husband for 14 months. We met through work and have known each other for over 10 years. The past 14 months we have been intimate and I have gotten a place for us to live. However, she recently told me that her gut is telling her not to divorce her husband over my concerns. ...Read more

My Husband's Career Is Turning Me Into a Single Parent

Life Advice / Dear Annie /

Dear Annie: My husband, "John," and I have been married for eight years, and we have two young children. Recently, he's been working late almost every night and spending weekends at the office. When I ask him about it, he says he's trying to secure a promotion that will benefit our family in the long run.

I've always admired his work ethic ...Read more

Ask Amy: An update reveals the need for practical help

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Readers: As I have announced previously, I am leaving this space. My last column will run at the end of June. (Readers can continue to find my work through my newsletter and at amydickinson.com.) In the meantime, I’m publishing some favorite columns and updates on previously published advice. The original Q&A (first published in 2022) is ...Read more

Single File: Sex as a Gift

Life Advice / Single File /

DEAR READERS: The woman who wrote protesting men's attitude toward sharing sex hit a nerve. Mail was robust, with wide reactions to her statement that "sex is a gift, not a right." Read on:

"Although I'm a very sexual man with no taboos or inhibitions, I think a man who grabs or gropes a woman without her consent is shameless, cowardly and ...Read more

Prostockstudio/Dreamstime/TNS

From 'it's a match' to first date: Steps for an easy transition from app to real-life

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

After what can feel like endless swiping, seeing “It’s a Match!” pop up on your screen can feel like a victory. But let’s be honest: The journey has just begun.

There are still quite a few steps between achieving a mutual right swipe and meeting face-to-face. From sending an engaging opening message to setting up a first date spot, a ...Read more

Friends, Frustrations and Finding New Connections

Life Advice / Dear Annie /

Dear Annie: I've experienced couples being completely tone-deaf to the single friends in their lives. Sometimes they have no interest in helping their friends find a relationship. I'm not even talking about setting someone up. I'm talking about having no interest in even going to a place where single people might be.

In my case, it resulted ...Read more

Ask Amy: Friend’s drinking held as a close secret

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: Two years ago, my friend “Kim” admitted that she has cut alcohol out of her life after her brother died due to his alcoholism.

I thought this was great; we have enjoyed doing things together without alcohol.

A couple of times I suspected she had been drinking.

Last summer I took my suspicions to her sister-in-law, “Bea,” who...Read more

Friendships Tested by Time

Life Advice / Dear Annie /

Dear Annie: When I was a teenager, I had a big dilemma, and I would like to know how you would have solved it. My closest friend, "Joanne," lived just a few minutes away but had terrible punctuality when it came to getting together. She would often be up to a few hours late getting to my house, which sometimes led to me having to cancel our ...Read more

Ask Amy: Depressed elder worries depressed child

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: My 83-year-old widowed mother is depressed, and I don't know how to help.

She refuses to see a therapist and sees drugs as a crutch. She has always been a very private person, is generally distrustful of doctors, and would never let down her shields to a stranger.

I have told her that I am not a therapist, but she has lately begun to...Read more

Thank-You Notes and Caregiving Solutions

Life Advice / Dear Annie /

Dear Annie: There have been two different occasions where I sent a baby shower gift because I couldn't make it to the shower. On both occasions, I never received a thank-you note. One was for the niece of a friend, and the other was for my own nephew and his wife's baby shower.

I told my sister about not receiving a thank-you note from her ...Read more

Ask Amy: Big box inspires a meditation on being helpful

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: Which is the default position regarding asking for help versus offering to help?

For instance, let’s say I’m at work and someone walks past my desk several times, carrying a big box each time.

Assuming that carrying the big box is part of their job, do I stop doing MY job to offer my assistance, just because it is the polite ...Read more

Millennial Life: He Would Give Them Water

I've thought more about what Jesus would do in the last five months than I have since those bracelets were all the rage in the late '90s.

Heading to an event this week, I realized I was going to be awkwardly early instead of fashionably late, so I took a detour to an area where homeless encampments had frustrated residents and restaurants ...Read more

Mixed Signals Tell You All You Need to Know

Life Advice / Dear Annie /

Dear Annie: I've been in an on-and-off relationship with a guy for four years. He has a lot of female friends, and I'm not really sure how I am supposed to feel about that. He goes to dinner with them for their birthdays and meets them out for drinks, and yet he won't introduce me to them as his girlfriend. He tells me that my jealousy is a ...Read more

Ask Amy: Daughter’s Mother’s Day gift is … a stranger

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: On this recent Mother’s Day, my 50+ daughter once again asked to bring a new boyfriend to our home for a small family holiday gathering she'd been invited to. We had never met him.

It has been a pattern for her to date someone for only a few weeks, want to bring him to a special family event or holiday, when he is a complete ...Read more

More Text Talk

Life Advice / Dear Annie /

Dear Annie: My girlfriend's father has a knack for calling or texting me at the most inconvenient times during the day or night. I get random texts from him while I'm in meetings or have my boss in my office.

Over the last few weeks, he's started calling and texting me until I answer or reply to his text during the middle of the night. The ...Read more

Ask Amy: Enthusiasm is curbed for wedding gifts

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: I am getting married in July at the age of 54. My boyfriend and I have been together for 18 years and have no children. This is our first marriage and we just never saw any reason to get married before, but now due to some plans for our future, we know that being married will be easier for us.

We are having my sister be the officiant ...Read more