DEAR AMY: Fifteen years ago I met a woman in an online chat room. We hit it off immediately, found a strong connection and enjoyed a long and happy online relationship despite living in different countries. Eventually as the years went by, we lost touch. Three years ago I found her again via a chat app and we picked up right where we left off. We had both matured and our family life and situations had changed dramatically (we were both separated). We talked at a deeper level than before, with each passing day feeling a deeper sense of ... love, I guess? We used video chat to finally see each other (aside from photos) and were like giddy teenagers. Despite the inability to meet, we professed our feelings for each other. I changed jobs a year ago and now have the ability to visit her. We made plans to meet up but a few weeks before I was due to arrive, she pulled the plug. By this stage we were talking multiple times a day and this came as a massive shock to me. She said she didn't want to mess "this" up. In my mind I have two options. 1) I abide by her wishes and remain as we are, chat buddies, never push to meet her and realize that although she might actually be "the one," I should respect her demands or 2) buy a ticket to see her, call her when I am actually in her hometown (minutes down the road) and ask to see her and hopefully she relents and realizes that sometimes life is full of risks and sometimes these risks are worth taking if you are ultimately happy. I do not think there is anyone else on the scene, so this comes down to what I want versus what she wants. Or maybe there is something I am not seeing (being a man, this is a possibility).
DEAR G: There is a middle ground between giving up and showing up. You choose a date to visit, tell her of the date, and then visit on that date -- explaining your well-supported desire to go for it and telling her where you are staying. Don't show up unannounced -- but do show up.
If she refuses to see you again, then you should face the fact that this dangling, jangling online relationship doesn't seem like the best thing for you, and so you must be prepared to step out of it. There are so many reasons she might not want to see you that it is useless to speculate, but the most important consideration is that she wants one kind of relationship and you want another. You really must choose to do what is best for you.
DEAR AMY: About once a month, my wife and I get together with a group of our friends for dinner. "Vivian" is a girlfriend of "Fred's" and is a very nice person. However, Vivian has a very high, loud and screechy voice. I deliberately try to sit down the table from her, but sometimes this is not possible. I know Fred is aware of how annoying her voice is (his facial expression sometimes gives it away) but I doubt he has said anything to her. I would like to say something to Fred but my wife told me to hold off. She says it is rude. I simply do not want to attend any other gatherings where Vivian is in attendance. What do you advise?
Deaf in Maryland
DEAR DEAF: "Fred" is not in charge of his girlfriend's voice.
Your choices are: To speak to "Vivian," (i.e. "Would you mind lowering your voice just a little bit?"), stay home, or get over it. I vote for getting over it.
DEAR AMY: I was horrified to read the question from "L in NJ," who wanted to get a puppy for a woman who had rejected him. Yikes -- thank you for giving him a smackdown. People should never give animals as gifts, unless they will help take care of the animal.
DEAR ADVOCATE: Puppies are a ton of work, and represent years of commitment.