DEAR AMY: I am a 36-year-old man in love with an amazing woman. "Carly" and I have known each other since high school. We have held each other up through the roughest times — my divorce and depression, and her ill father and abusive ex-boyfriend. She's beautiful, smart, and great with my kids. I could imagine her as the perfect stepmom to them. A few weeks ago, I took a chance and expressed my feelings. She rejected me, and then acted as if nothing had happened. She continued texting me regularly and tagging me on social media as if she expected nothing to change. I asked her to stop contacting me, but that made her irrationally angry. She says I'm throwing away a 20-year friendship, but she is the one throwing it away. She says she "misses" her "best friend," but I have plenty of friends. What I need is a romantic partner. I feel like she is trying to have things both ways, keeping me around as long as it suits her. I don't want to be that guy who the pretty girl strings along, great for helping her move, but too repulsive to touch. How do I get her to get off the fence, and to either decide that she wants to be with me properly, or to let me go on my way?
Love Me or Leave Me
DEAR LOVE ME: "Carly" isn't on the fence. She is not in love with you. She does not want to be your romantic partner, but she does want to be your friend.
You are obviously very upset and disappointed. You have the right to sever this relationship and given your reaction to Carly's overtures, it would be wisest for you to do that. You should delete her contact information, and mute or block her from contacting you.
She is going to have to tolerate the end of this long friendship, and you are going to have to tolerate this woman saying "no" to you.
Given your personal and mental health challenges, it would be wisest for you to see a therapist in order to find a way to process your hurt and anger in a way that is healthier for you.
DEAR AMY: I just turned 76. I grew up poor. I studied and worked hard — and now find myself with over $10 million. I live simply, and none of my relatives know that I have this wealth. I have one daughter, two grandchildren, and nieces, nephews, and grandnieces/nephews. They are all wonderful people. I send cards and gifts to them for birthdays and holidays. But everything is "one-way." For my recent birthday I got a text from my daughter which said, "Happy Birthday," and nothing else from anyone. No cards or calls. The closest lives 500 miles from me, so I rarely see any of them. If I call them and leave a message they rarely respond. I lie awake at night pondering my estate. I could leave each $500,000, with more to my daughter and grandchildren. Or I could leave each $100 and give the rest to charities. How much is good for them? How much might cause them to become lazy? If I leave them anything, they won't be able to say "Thanks" because I won't be here to hear it.
A Rich Uncle
DEAR UNCLE: You should not lie awake pondering how to divide your substantial estate. Instead, you should be sitting in the office of a competent estate planner, making deliberate choices that reflect your values.
It seems that your family members are already "lazy" (at least when it comes to you). It is a totally legitimate choice for you to honor, reward, or acknowledge any individual family members you feel close to with more money, leaving a nominal sum (or nothing at all) to others.
My own opinion is that you should carefully pay down your estate during your lifetime, giving to people, causes, and organizations that will appreciate your largesse, while you are still here to enjoy their gratitude.
DEAR AMY: I have ideas for grandparents to give gifts to kids who already have "too much." I have 13 grandkids. We give them experiences: Visits to water parks. rafting trips, sporting events, music concerts, indoor skydiving, go-cart racing, zip-lining and more. Every one of us loves this. We call it building memories, and we have some great ones.
DEAR GRANDDAD: This is not possible for all grandparents, but I agree that this is ideal.