Ask Amy Amy Dickinson, Ask Amy

Amy Dickinson is a general advice columnist.

DEAR AMY: For many years, my 92-year-old father and I have been bitterly disagreeing about his climbing on ladders and high step stools to change light bulbs. His balance is poor, and I’ve seen him almost fall many times. Last week he fell backward at a restaurant, hit his head and had to go to the ER for stitches. Two days later I saw him walk down the hall with a tall step stool to check the fire alarm, which I ended up climbing up and checking for him. Months ago my husband saw my father about to get on a tall step stool to change a light fixture outside and suggested we have our contractor do it, but my father wouldn’t listen, so my father had my husband, who is prone to seizures, climb up to fix the light fixture — putting my husband’s life in danger. I was furious. His neighbor was so concerned about his getting on ladders she said that if she ever saw him on one, she would call the police. He is so stubborn. How would you suggest I get him to stop this extremely dangerous endeavor? I am so angry and I don’t want him to die.

Angry in Sausalito

DEAR ANGRY: Here’s what you need to know, and this is a certainty: Your father is going to die. You don’t want him to, but he will. To some extent, he is choosing how things will go — by stubbornly maintaining his independent wish to do as he pleases, regardless of the danger and likely consequences.

You have fought this bitter battle with him for years. You could try to convince him to make a list of household chores so that during your visits you can perform some of these tasks, but he doesn’t sound likely to comply.

It’s important for you to realize that your father could trip on a rug in the kitchen, injure himself bathing, or in countless other ways.

Unless you would like to move in with him to try to protect him from his own impulses, I think you should try to let this go.

DEAR AMY: I am a 26-year-old woman from Hong Kong living in London. I met this guy through a dating app. We were very compatible in every way. I was recovering from a fling. He left a six-year relationship just after they became engaged. We almost got to the point where we hung out like a couple, knowing each other’s friends and family. I asked him where this relationship was heading. (I know I shouldn’t have, but I couldn’t help it.) He replied that he really liked me. He was about to go to Burma for a short trip, so he said he would give me an answer after the trip. After the trip, he told me he is likely moving there to start a business with his friend. He said he doesn’t want a relationship with anyone right now. I believe him, but it’s still upsetting, I have never been with a guy who I can see a future with. However, I also saw a lot of red flags. He didn’t pay for the first date. Since the third or fourth dates, I always initiated getting together. I want to make him realize how uniquely compatible we are. Do you have any suggestions?

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J

DEAR J: I wish I had suggestions on ways to prove that you are compatible with this guy, but you’re not compatible with this guy.

He is not that into you. If he was, he would be demonstrating his interest in exactly the same ways you are demonstrating yours: initiating getting together, for instance, and by not making plans to move to another country.

You have done nothing wrong — you are simply at different points in your lives. I think it is great that you have had the experience of being with someone where you are feeling these wonderful feelings and where you realize that you want to have a relationship. Consider this realization his gift to you. Accept this gift, and move on.

DEAR AMY: I was shocked when you told “Heartbroken” that his wife’s choice to work out at the gym every day indicated that their marriage was in trouble. Maybe this woman just wants to get healthy!

Fit Wife

DEAR FIT: Along with other changes in this woman’s life, sudden frequent gym attendance and losing weight are indicators that the marriage might be in trouble.