DEAR AMY: I'm involved in a "friends with benefits" situation with "Steve." We are both in our late-30s. We tried dating, but he told me that he didn't see long-term potential in me. We stayed friends with benefits, basically acting like we are dating. I've always had ups and downs with him, mainly involving me reacting in an upset manner. I really resent him, but I also like spending time with him. I recently moved to my current location, and right now he's my only friend. I get so upset with him. Lately he's been calling me, "Angry Ashley." We've taken breaks from each other before, but one of us has always caved. Recently, I told him that I needed space. I have been good about not contacting him, and he's not on my social media, but, Amy, do you think that with enough space he will forget about the way I acted and eventually want to have a relationship with me? I am good to him, and sometimes he acts like he likes me, too ... we just haven't been talking or spending time with each other as much as we used to, and I've been feeling needy and clingy. Can I turn this around? I haven't talked to him in four days.
Dumb and Not So Young
DEAR DUMB: Even if you could possibly turn this around, should you?
Don't hope that he will forget about the way you've acted. Promise yourself that you WON'T forget about the way HE'S acted.
If you enjoyed this "friends with benefits" relationship, then I'd suggest that you should keep on keeping on. But you don't enjoy it. "Steve" is not particularly nice to you. He has actually told you that he is not into you, longer-term, and longer-term is what you want.
I actually give this guy some points (OK, one point) for honesty. So why don't you believe him?
You should pour your romantic and dramatic energy into this breakup.
Make yourself a wall calendar. Draw a big red X through each day that you are successful in not contacting him. Write yourself little affirmations in each daily square. Watch "Swingers," "Fever Pitch," or whatever makes you smile. Listen to Joni Mitchell, Rihanna, Adele, and Kelly Clarkson. Join a gym or yoga class. If he contacts you, don't respond. Don't.
Schedule little outings and activities for you to do that don't involve "Steve." You need to meet new people, have new conversations, and find new things to do. With time and TLC, you will reap much greater "benefits" than you had with this relationship.
DEAR AMY: I am a 77-year-old woman. I am still working and very active. I am often addressed as "young lady" by waiters, tour guides and all kinds of other public servants and, curiously, the person saying this is always a man. To me it is like them addressing me as "Old Lady" to make a joke, and I cringe when I hear it, but say nothing. I think these people would be surprised to learn that it is embarrassing for me to have strangers nearby turn around to see the old lady he's talking to. Any ideas as to how to respond and how to get men to stop using this phrase?
DEAR NOT YOUNG: I'm running your question because I just encountered this phenomenon personally for the first time. While passing through a busy airport, I was addressed as "young lady" not once, but twice! My first impulse was to think that I was looking particularly ancient, because, like you, I assume that this condescending phrase is directed only toward elderly women — intended, I guess, to make us feel youthful and appreciated.
And so, to all of you nice men out there doing this — please stop.
I went to Twitter with this dilemma, and I've cobbled together a response that has a distinctly Mae West ring to it: "First of all, I'm not young. And I'm definitely no lady."
DEAR AMY: "Concerned Cousins" thought they might have located a previously unknown cousin after their uncle's death. Why on Earth would you suggest that they try to fulfill elements of their uncle's unsigned will, which you already presume is not valid?
DEAR BAD ADVICE: I suggested that if these cousins could verify this person's identity, and if there were photos or material items belonging to their uncle that they could (or wanted to) part with, they should consider doing so.
Just to be nice.