DEAR AMY: After being with my girlfriend for a little over a year, I realized that we weren't going to work out. We're both women in our 30s. I waited months to tell her -- I knew she would be devastated and she had no friends or family to turn to for support. I tried easing out of the relationship by suggesting that maybe we could be friends, but I didn't want a romantic relationship with her now or in the future. She couldn't let our relationship go. She would send me long nasty messages on Facebook about what a terrible person I am, and then apologize and expect immediate forgiveness. She would act friendly for maybe a day and then either send me another nasty message or tell me that she can't live without me. I finally told her that we need to just go our separate ways. I blocked her from Facebook. She retaliated by texting and calling me nonstop, either yelling at me or crying. I'm afraid to totally cut her off again in fear that she will either harm herself or come to harm me or my property, depending on her mood. She has been arrested at least once for attempted assault. This harassment has been going on for nearly three months now. I'm not sure what to do. How can I get this toxic person out of my life once and for all?
DEAR BYE-BYE: Do not engage at all with your ex. Going back and forth with her on Facebook, or responding to texts or calls keeps the contact fresh and gives her something to respond to. Even telling her not to contact you provides her with something to push up against.
If she threatens you or threatens to hurt herself, you should call the police immediately. If she continues to harass you, you should keep a detailed record of all of the contact (keep voicemail messages and texts), and visit the Family Law department at your local courthouse to apply for a restraining order. Given her history and arrest record, the threat of arrest for violating a court order might be the only limit she will respect.
DEAR AMY: I got engaged in Sept 2013. It's coming up on two years and we still do not have a date set. I am OK with this (so is my fiance) but family, friends, and co-workers ask us almost every day why we don't have a date set. This is starting to get annoying and embarrassing. We have plans for a larger guest attendance at our wedding but we are paying for it ourselves. We have had some mega expenses that we have been dealing with the past couple years that have delayed life in general. How do I tell people without being rude (or bursting into tears) that we are happy with things the way they are and when the wedding happens, it happens? What are your thoughts on this?
DEAR ENGAGED: If you are truly happy with things the way they are, then you won't be bursting into tears when people ask you about your plans, right? Otherwise, please understand that (for some people) your engagement might be the happiest news they've got. Unless you feel you are being teased or taunted by these repeated inquiries (in which case you should shut it down), you should prepare a set response, and repeat it as often as necessary.
One option is to choose a date so far in the future that it makes you smile: "Save the date: September 20, 2020!" Or you might say, "Life got in the way, but we're working on it. I'll definitely let you know when we choose a date, OK?"
DEAR AMY: Thank you for handling the letter from "Confused" (who was complaining about his son being with a "cougar") with dignity and humanity. Maybe the shallow, image-conscious parents are disappointed that the pair won't provide grandchildren for them. The unenlightened parents should mind their own business and back off.
On Your Side
DEAR ON: These parents should back off, before they are pushed away. Thank you.