DEAR ABBY: I live in a densely populated luxury high-rise apartment building in a busy downtown neighborhood that has a diverse mix of residents. I have lived here for four years and have never really had many issues, until recently.
My next-door neighbor works in the medical field that at times has very late or early hours associated with it. I also work in a field that has odd hours, so I am empathetic. My issue is, she has a new boyfriend she is intimate with anywhere between 2 and 4 a.m. I am a light sleeper and get awakened by their sessions together. I can hear her voice and, at times, jostling of furniture.
I have thought about telling the building management, but it would be obvious that the complaint would have come from me, and I don’t want that. I also don’t want to cause embarrassment to either of us. How can I address this delicately, without causing embarrassment, or must I suck it up and suffer? — SLEEPLESS IN CHICAGO
DEAR SLEEPLESS: Write your neighbor a sweet note explaining the problem and ask if there is anything she can do to muffle the sounds you are hearing. (It might be something as simple as moving her bed away from the wall or placing it against a different one.) However, if she’s uncooperative, as a last resort, do discuss your problem with the building manager. I assure you, it won’t be the first time he or she has heard something like this, or the last.
DEAR ABBY: I suffer from a moderate to severe case of social anxiety. I’m now in my first relationship with a partner who tends to move fast, and whose parents have recently been asking to meet me. This has caused tension in our relationship as well as in his relationship with his parents.
Because of some past experiences with previous partners, his parents have preconceived notions about me, which makes me feel all the more reluctant to meet them. I don’t like feeling vulnerable, especially with people who don’t know me. One counseling session with a boss, a professor, someone in authority, etc., and I’m on the verge of tears or already crying.
I know I’ll have to meet his parents someday, but I don’t know how to approach it. I feel overwhelmed just thinking about it. Please help. — SOCIALLY ANXIOUS
DEAR SOCIALLY ANXIOUS: I hope you are receiving professional help for your social anxiety. You should not approach meeting your partner’s parents with a negative attitude. Smile, put your best foot forward and try to make a good impression.
Keep in mind that this is not a performance review, a professor you need to give you a good grade or anyone in authority. They are parents of a son whose past judgment about partners may have been less than stellar, and of course they have concerns.
It would be nice if they thought the moon rose and set on you, but if they don’t, will it affect your relationship with your partner? If the answer is yes, then he may not be mature and independent enough to be having a romance with anyone. Hold a good thought and stop hiding out.
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.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in “What Every Teen Should Know.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)