DEAR AMY: I could use your advice. I go to a local dog park every day. Two years ago I fell in love with a guy there. He is the kindest, most thoughtful man I have ever met. Just standing next to him at the park and talking, I can feel electricity running through my body! But, the big problem is that he is married! It is so devastating for me that I can never have the man I love in my life. I wish he could be my boyfriend, then husband, but since this will never happen, many a day I come home from the dog park and cry! He seems to really like me a lot, and we email back and forth often, (all innocent). I tried to break it off with him once and didn’t go to the park for several weeks, but I was miserable not seeing him and finally went back and started seeing him again. How do I get over him? I am sad seeing him, and sad not seeing him. I know we will never be together since he has been happily married for 30 years now. He is in his 60s, and I am in my 50s. How should I handle this?
Must Love Dogs
DEAR MUST LOVE: Some neighborhood or workplace crushes can be fairly harmless. Contact with your crush can inspire you and generally brighten your day, but should not become overwhelming.
However, your crush on this man seems to have become a fixation, and the fixation will continue to make you unhappy until you are able to more or less break this spell.
If you were an addict, the advice would be to get clean by seeking professional help and staying away from the addictive substance.
That’s my advice here. There is no magic involved — you should find another park to visit and you shouldn’t be sending or receiving any communication from him. I realize this will be tough — especially at first — but eventually you will find liberation from this fixation, and the sadness it triggers.
A professional therapist could guide you through this process; certainly if you find yourself obsessing and anxious, you should seek help right away.
DEAR AMY: I rent out an apartment attached to our house. Our tenant of eight months wants to be friends and share “personal business” with me. She calls us constantly for non-urgent issues, many of them quite personal and of no interest to me. She has our cell numbers and has called many times, both while I’m at work and home. I have never ignored her calls, and yet the one time when it really was urgent (water coming in from the roof), she waited until we got home to let us know. She has a family and other connections, so I don’t think it is about her being lonely. I work full time and only wish to maintain a professional attitude toward her. Because of her behavior, I drew up some “House Rules,” detailing the responsibilities of landlords/tenants, but she seems to deliberately “break” these rules. I told her I would renew her lease, provided she adheres to these guidelines. I understand wanting to get to know someone, however, I only want to have a professional relationship. Am I being too harsh? I just don’t want to be friends or know intimate details of her personal life. Any advice?
DEAR LANDLORD: It is completely reasonable for you to want a boundary between you and your tenant. Things might improve if you ask her to text — instead of calling. This way, you will know why she is trying to reach you and can determine whether you want to respond.
Check your local laws to review tenants’ rights where you live. If you determine that you don’t want to renew the lease, you should make sure you do so by the book.
DEAR AMY: “Jenny” described an adult friend’s juvenile insistence in being referred to as a “best friend.” Our 10-year-old has a friend living two doors down, who is a few months older but one grade ahead in school. Our son told him he was his best friend. The boy responded, “I have several best friends.” I thought that was a very good answer, suitable to any age!
DEAR DAD: Children often excel at expressing (and understanding) these concepts. Friendship is a core value; quantifying or categorizing friendship can be a mistake.