Dear Abby: Talk of previous relationship throws water on current flame
Dear Abby: I’m a widower who was very happily married. I have decided to re-enter the dating game. I met a very nice widow, and we connected. As I was lonely, it made a big change for the better in my life. The lady I matched up with is a wonderful, caring person, and we enjoy being together doing what dating folks do. We’re thankful to have found each other.
She had met a man she enjoyed being with some years ago, but it was of short duration because he died. She told me they had a nice, but platonic relationship. My problem is how often she speaks about him. Something reminds her of him, and she wants to talk about it. I can understand that he might come up once in a while, but last month she mentioned him a dozen times. I don’t think she does it to make me jealous, but I find it annoying.
I tried a few times subtly suggesting it would be better if she didn’t mention him. I’m not sure she understands it could undermine our relationship. What to do?
— Worried Widower In New England
Dear Widower: Address this with your lady friend as frankly as you have to me. If she values the relationship she has with you, she will stop “raising the dead” in conversation.
Dear Abby: My sister did something that really bothered me. My niece (her daughter) took us to a restaurant she had heard was really good. In this restaurant, you order and pay for your meal first. My niece paid for all the meals, and we sat down at our table to await our food.
My niece had to leave the table momentarily before our order was ready. While she was gone, my sister said I should reimburse her daughter because she couldn’t afford to pay for all the meals.
I have never mooched off anyone in my life. The $10 my niece spent is the only time I can remember anyone buying me dinner in my adult life other than on my birthday. My niece has a job that I know for a fact pays at least three times as much as mine does. She has several pets, and I’m sure she spends a lot more a month on pet food than the cost of my meal. I don’t think my sister should have made an issue of it. What do you think?
— Irritated In North Carolina
Dear Irritated: I agree with you. You were an invited guest and, as well-meaning as your sister may have been, she should have stayed out of it. I hope you will overlook her poor manners.
Dear Abby: This past weekend I was walking at the mall and encountered a gentleman in a wheelchair. I was walking down a long, graduated slope as he was coming up. I offered to assist him, and he politely declined.
My question is, what is the proper thing to do when offering to assist? Is it rude, and is someone offended when offered a helping hand?
— Just Trying To Help
Dear Just Trying: I don’t think it is ever offensive to OFFER a helping hand. What can be counterproductive is when a good Samaritan does something without first ASKING — such as grabbing the arm of a sightless person and attempting to help the individual across a street — which can be not only frightening but possibly unnecessary.
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