Annie’s Mailbox: Looking to make a summer fling longterm
Dear Annie: I am a 20-year-old college sophomore. The summer before my senior year of high school, I took a trip to Europe with a religious youth group. From the moment we boarded the plane, “Rachel” and I shared a connection. By the second day, we were inseparable. After the trip, we stayed in touch.
A year later, the youth group held a reunion and I got to see Rachel again. That December, she came to my school’s postseason football game, and we both finally said “I love you.” I spent last summer in her hometown, attending classes at a local university and working part time.
The summer could not have been better, but Rachel and I both decided to step back and go our separate ways since she wanted the full “college experience” for her freshman year. But now I want to find ways for us to be together. I feel that this isn’t over — it can’t be.
I have no doubt that we are in love. We are perfect for each other in our values, aspirations and everything in between. I will give her whatever time and freedom she needs. All I want to know is whether I am right to believe the love we share is too special to die. Do I have to let her go and move on forever, or should I try to get back together when the time is right?
— Confused and In Love
Dear Confused: The intensity of finding someone special during the summer may not translate to a permanent relationship, regardless of how it seems to you now. And too much intensity can be frightening. You and Rachel may have a future together, but you should not presume it, nor should you put your social life on hold waiting for her. Yes, there is a risk that she will find someone else (so might you). We recommend you limit this to a light and easy friendship, periodically texting and keeping in touch via Facebook. If she wants more, she will let you know.
Dear Annie: Several years ago, a dear friend suddenly ended our friendship. Confused, I asked why, and “Anna” presented me with a litany of my faults. I felt blindsided and unfairly treated. I thought I was a good friend. I even took care of her when she was recovering from surgery.
Two weeks later, Anna asked if we could be friends again. I replied, “Of course!” and things returned to normal. But last year, she once again abruptly ended things. I have since discovered she has treated others this way.
Anna’s cold shoulder is beginning to warm again. I admit, I miss my friend — she’s smart, funny and has many good qualities. But a big part of me says to value my dignity and mental health more. Am I on the right track?
— Agony in Iowa
Dear Iowa: Anna sounds mentally unstable. Without appropriate treatment, we can guarantee her hot-and-cold attitude will continue. If you think you can convince her to get help, it might be worth retaining the friendship, but otherwise, you are smart to let this one go. Sorry.
Dear Annie: I can understand the health concerns of “Smokeless in Seattle,” who doesn’t want her kids exposed to the grandparents’ smoking. But I totally agree with you, Annie. How much longer will Grandma and Grandpa be able to continue the tradition of having the family for Christmas dinner?
Could the children buy an air purifier for the grandparents’ home as a gift? If all the family members contributed, a top-of-the-line system could be purchased. This is also a good way to let the grandparents know you are concerned for their health, as well as that of the children.
As someone who had wonderful grandparents and who is now a grandparent myself, I hope they will not do anything to endanger that very important relationship.
— Connecticut Grandmother
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