DEAR AMY: I am a 30-year-old man. I used to live in New York City, where I worked as an architect. I met a 22-year-old girl on Tinder two weeks ago in New York. The first date went well, and we agreed to meet again after I returned from my two-week vacation in Sydney, Australia. The thing I could not tell her was that I would not be taking a two-week vacation. I had to leave the United States because of my visa status, and now I have to live in Sydney until I get this matter resolved. I would like to return to the States after resolving this visa situation and see her. Do you have any suggestions about my situation?
DEAR AUSSIE: My suggestion is pretty simple: Don’t lie. What you’ve chosen to lie about is a fairly pedestrian legal issue that most people have the capacity to understand.
I’m not sure why you are acting like George Costanza, caught in an Art Vandelay deception, but if this young Tinder date has a brain in her head, she will quickly discern that you are not actually on a two-week vacation in Sydney. She will figure this out either because you tell her, or she will notice that you haven’t returned, tanned and rested from your holiday.
You could paper over your lie by telling her now that once you re-entered your home country, you realized that your visa status was in trouble and that you will be in Australia for an indefinite period.
Tinder makes it very easy to quickly connect with people. This seems to accelerate the whole dating dynamic in all sorts of ways. Not only are people closing the deal much faster, but an ancillary result of this speed-matching is that people are also less interested in putting up with shenanigans. Because Tinder users know that there are always other people out there to meet.
DEAR AMY: Being an “unashamed animal lover,” I recently spent a lot of money on a cat, who was very ill and has since recovered because of the expensive treatment I paid for. A frugal (cheap!) relative of mine heard of my expense and has been broadcasting it to the family, saying that I’m foolish and extravagant. I’m no longer speaking to her, and in fact I’ve stated that I’d never spend “near” that amount on her if she was ill. Furthermore, I refuse to attend any family gathering that she would attend. So, Amy, am I wrong about this? Don’t I have the right to spend what I want on my own animals?
DEAR PET-FRIENDLY: Congratulations, you are in a catfight! And just like catfights involving actual cats, it is undignified and over something trivial.
You are being rude and inconsiderate. Your relative is also being rude and inconsiderate, but unfortunately by slinging insults, you now owe her an apology.
What she did was in poor taste. You could have taken the high road and responded with a simple chuckle and shoulder shrug, or my mother’s favorite situation-diffusing line: “OK, and what’s your point?”
Any number of responses could have put this spat to bed, but you have chosen to escalate it — and are dragging your other relatives into your feud.
I also love my pets like family, and occasionally I’ve thought about ditching my family events so I can hang out with the four-legged contingent. That’s when I remind myself that while my pets are lovely, they can’t call me on my birthday, pick me up if I get a flat tire or invite me over for a nice dinner after a tough day.
It’s time for the fur to stop flying, and for everyone to settle down and lick their wounds.
DEAR AMY: Thanks for your response to “Lonely Woman.” She was a 28-year-old woman who was desperate to find love, and was looking in all the wrong places. She needs to join some organizations. If she wants to meet men, she should go where she will find the kind of men she wants to be with.
DEAR READER: “Lonely Woman” might easily meet men by joining organizations, but first she has a lot of work to do. She seemed woefully out of touch when it came to her own issues. People can’t succeed in their relationships unless they are at least somewhat secure and happy with themselves. That’s why I suggested that this woman should take a total break from dating.