DEAR AMY: I had a boyfriend a long time ago who ruined my life. He ruined my credit and physically assaulted me. Naturally, my family can’t stand him. He has been out of my life for a long time. I now have a new love in my life and I’m very happy. Recently my ex has been trying to contact me. Every time he tries to find me I block and delete him from social media, but he’s using other usernames, and an account on Facebook with new pictures hoping (I suppose) that I won’t recognize him and will accept a friend request. He has contacted my sister via email and Facebook. I have asked her to please get rid of him. I don’t want that kind of drama in my life again. She says she is just curious about his life, and I say, “Why?” Every time I post on her Facebook wall, he can read it, right? I don’t want him to know my business. I have asked her out of respect for me to “unfriend” him, and she refuses. She says I’m being silly. What should I do?
DEAR WORRIED: You need to lock down your own social media. Adjust your settings to “private” on all your accounts. If you post on your sister’s wall and he is on her “friend” list, he is not supposed to be able to see your post or comment if he is blocked. But even if he can’t contact you on social media, she could easily keep him updated, because they are in touch. He can also see photos where you are tagged.
Your sister’s curiosity about your ex is baffling, but you cannot control her. He is now creating drama for you through her. You can control this to a large extent by detaching from the entire topic, by not continuing to question your sister about him, by not discussing him, and by moving on with your life without him. You should be judicious in all of your social media postings — especially any that involve your sister.
DEAR AMY: Recently my boyfriend and I had a dinner party with a mix of personal friends and co-workers. I invited my friend “Sandy.” She and my boyfriend work in the same field and I thought it would be a good networking opportunity for her.
The day after the party, Sandy texted me and asked me why I had introduced her to the other guests as, “This is my friend, Sandy,” instead of, “This is my best friend, Sandy.”
I sent a smiling emoji back to her and asked her if she thought that would have made her look better to my boyfriend’s co-workers. She texted back, “No, I asked because I’m your best friend.”
Amy, I didn’t know how to respond. I responded that while she is a close friend of mine, “Margaret” is my best friend. Margaret and I have known each other since childhood (we’re both 38 now). Sandy responded that she didn’t understand how Margaret could be my bestie since we haven’t seen each other in several years.
Margaret and I share a lifetime of history together. No one could ever take her place in my life.
Sandy is now somewhat distant. My boyfriend thinks I should invite her out and talk about it, or just be normal and see if she comes around.
Do I owe her an apology for being honest? Should I have said nothing at all?
DEAR JENNY: I suggest that you coax “Sandy” out of her adolescent idea that you must quantify your relationship while introducing her. You contributed to this when you offered her an explanation that she really didn’t deserve, by serving up the name of your true “best friend.” You might have responded: “I don’t publicly rank my friendships.”
Yes, you could discuss this with her one more time, but if her status as your bestie is critically important to her, then she might not be long-term friendship material for you.
Dear Amy: Thank goodness you told “Had It” that her stepfather’s tickling “raises red flags,” but you should have told Had It, point blank, that tickling (when you don’t want to be tickled) is abuse!
DEAR CONCERNED: I suggested that “Had It” should talk to the chain of adults in her life: her mother, another adult, a teacher or school counselor, and then if no one intervened — she call the CPS hotline herself. I agree that this is abusive.