DEAR AMY: I am a 32-year-old woman living at home with my parents, grandmother and college-age brother. Last year, I had to give up my room when my grandmother moved in with us. This year, my brother moved back home to attend a local college, so I had to give up that room, too. Due to a lack of personal space, no bedroom, no privacy and being tired all the time (literally and figuratively) from sleeping on the basement couch every night, I decided to start looking for another place. I found a place that was affordable and very close to my parents’ home, so earlier this month I informed my parents that I will be moving out next month. My mother, whom I have always known to be rational and understanding, did not take the news well. She is very upset and angry. She has not talked to me for a week. My father is supportive and understanding. I cannot understand her reaction because I have been talking about moving out since my brother moved back home. I think my mom is angry because I didn’t ask her permission. What can I do to mend this situation with Mom, so I can start packing and planning my move without feeling guilty about making a grown-up decision on my own?
Hurting my mom’s feelings
DEAR HURTING: Given the situation you describe, not to mention your age, your choice to move out is healthy, rational and something your mother is simply going to have to learn to endure.
If you have handled this in a way that you now regret, you should acknowledge your own failing, apologize and ask for forgiveness: “I feel I haven’t handled this very well, and I’m sorry, Mom. I hope you’ll forgive me.”
Parents do want to be included in big life decisions, and this transition might be a little easier on you if you had run it past your mother. You do not have to ask her permission, but you might have asked for her opinion.
Your mother’s nose is out of joint; she may be feeling some loss and anxiety about your departure. But she will have to adjust, and you should trust that she will adjust. Hold your head high. You’re starting a new phase of your life, and you should be proud.
DEAR AMY: I met a guy through work last year. I began crushing on him the day we met, but we live in different countries, so we didn’t meet in person. In July, I moved to his country (different city) for the summer. We started speaking on the phone for hours and messaging after work. All of this made me fall for him harder. Last week, he traveled 14 hours to spend the weekend with me. We had so much fun! I did not want it to end. When he went back home and called, I confessed that I liked him. He said he didn’t feel the same way. He said that since I confessed my feelings, he did not know how to proceed. I told him our friendship would remain the same and said I would never bring up the topic again. We have spoken a little bit since then, but he feels like we have gone a step backward. I really feel like I destroyed our chances, but I also feel he sent me mixed signals. Did I read him wrong? How can I take our friendship back to what it was?
DEAR IN LIKE: Here’s what I think happened: Both of you felt a spark at a distance. He traveled to meet you in person, so he could explore the possibility.
After spending personal time together, he does not feel chemistry.
You have done nothing wrong. You have been honest and straightforward. He should not blame you for being honest, but you should not blame him for backing away from a relationship.
Proceed now from the friend zone. Relax and give this time, and your friendship might revive, although without the promise of more, it will be different for both of you.
DEAR AMY: “Discouraged” described a relationship with her best female friend, who was becoming possessive after Discouraged had entered into a healthy, happy romance. If friends can’t embrace romantic partners, then they’re not really friends.
DEAR BEEN THERE: There is always a period of adjustment, but I completely agree with you.