DEAR ABBY: I met a wonderful man who was 14 years older who treated me like I have never been treated before. He opened doors for me, took me on actual dates, paid for things, met all my friends and family, and took me on my first vacation at 39 years old. He was very cuddly and such a gentleman. He even introduced himself as my “boyfriend” to some of my friends.
Seven months ago, we had our first argument and he asked me how I felt about him. I said I loved him and he returned with, “I like you a lot.” He said he didn’t feel as strongly as I did and doesn’t want a relationship.
When we broke up shortly after, he said he wanted to be friends. But he still called and invited me over for sex regularly for the next six weeks. I was very hurt, but I finally cut ties because emotionally I couldn’t handle it. He still wants to be friends but I cannot. He still will do anything for me and wants the benefits of being together without the labels.
It has been more than two months and I’m heartbroken. If I call him, he answers and talks like we are the best of friends, and it kills me. How do I get over him? Is it worth trying to see if we will work out? — BROKEN IN UTAH
DEAR BROKEN: This “gentleman” made clear that his feelings for you are not as strong as those you have for him. You are involved with someone who is honest about wanting nothing more than the status quo. If you’re willing to settle for being only FWB — which, I suspect, you have too much intelligence and self-esteem to do — go along with what he’s offering (which is very little). But if you do, know full well that it won’t “work out.”
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I own a condo in a building with 22 units. Because of COVID, one of the HOA board members has posted signs stating “rules” throughout the building. The rules are typical for these trying times, but the number of signs is obsessive. Many of the residents dislike the signs, but my husband was the one who wrote a nasty letter to the HOA about how many are posted.
The board member who was responsible for posting the signs was a friend of mine. Her feelings were hurt, and she has made some snide remarks about the letter. A group of women meet weekly for happy hour, and she and I are both part of that group. I feel caught in the middle. My husband has had a hard time getting over being mad about the signs, and I know the HOA member is angry at him. I just want to go to happy hour and drink and gossip. Why can’t we all just get along? — IN THE MIDDLE
DEAR IN THE MIDDLE: We are living in trying times, and many people — your husband included — aren’t their better selves right now. The HOA board was fulfilling its obligation to the community by posting health and safety signs. They are meant to educate not only homeowners but also visitors to the building, but too often they tend to become like “wallpaper” and are ignored.
You are not caught in the middle. Your husband owes that woman an apology for getting snarky. But it probably won’t happen unless you insist upon it. (If it doesn’t, you can always do it “for” him the next time you all meet for happy hour.)
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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