By Amy Dickinson, Tribune content agency
Dear Amy: I am a middle aged man.
My sister who lives out of state and keeps in touch with friends in her hometown put me in touch with one of her friends “Susan” who needed help with a minor repair at home .
I did it for her and we discussed a future flooring project.
Due to her budget constraints, I suggested that we could do the flooring work together (she was mildly interested in me). I thought maybe I scared her off, because I never heard from her again.
Fast forward two years.
I connected with a woman on a dating app who is friends with my sister and Susan.
The new wife, “Jill”, told me on our first date that she and Susan are lifelong friends and that Susan had told her that she had been in love with me since we first met there. two years old.
All this without me knowing it!
Jill said we couldn’t be together because it would betray Susan.
Jill and I really hit it off and agree that our chemistry is amazing. We discussed at length the difficulty of the situation.
Jill told me she was going to see other people. I’m a little disappointed and confused.
Should I contact Suzanne?
Dear Stuck: “Jill’s” interpretation of the “girl code” seems to be that if a friend confesses to an unexpressed and unrequited case of love, then Jill should stay away, regardless of her own feelings, impulses or instincts. .
Jill may have misreported or exaggerated her friend “Susan”‘s feelings for you, but I’ll venture this, that if Jill really wanted to go on a second date with you, she would find a way to justify it – especially if the chemistry between you is “incredible”.
You can certainly reach out to Susan to follow up on her flooring needs – or others – but you should consider whether you want to invite someone so passive and hard to read.
At the risk of preventing you from connecting with your next great love – my instinct is that none of these women are right for you.
But in this regard, the most important thing to consider is what your own instincts are telling you.
Dear Amy: My husband goes out to dinner a few times a month with the guys, including “Theo”, a man he’s known since elementary school.
Theo’s wife, “Teri”, hosted a birthday party for Theo, where my husband and I met her. She asked if we would like to go out socially.
We met several times and it was not very pleasant.
Teri took complete control – from ordering food for the group to the topics we discussed.
It’s not that we don’t like them, but we just have no interest in socializing with them!
I gave every social cue there is, not answering calls, not returning texts, and breaking plans after she wore me out for doing them in the first place!
My question is, how can I tell someone I’m not interested in being friends without hurting their feelings?
– I want to go out
Dear want out: “Teri” obviously doesn’t read cues like most people, so you’ll have to be honest (but polite) with her. Because of her overbearing personality, she might need to have the dynamic and your intentions made clear.
You might say, “Obviously our husbands are great friends, but we don’t seem to have good chemistry when we get together as a couple. I will back off and let the men continue their special friendship without me.
She can respond to that statement by doubling down on social pressure, and if so, you’ll have to say, “Thank you, but I just don’t want to get together.”
Dear Amy: The question of “Had Enough” really resonated with me.
My daughter also suffered painful rejection and bullying from her group of friends.
His mental health suffered. She sought guidance and managed to live her life, but it changed her.
We were friends with the parents of some of the girls involved.
I gently lifted it and got a very unsatisfactory response.
I realized that I no longer wanted to be associated with these people and quietly let go of the friendship.
I am cordial when I see them, but we don’t socialize with them.
I hope Had Enough can also move on.
– Move on
Dear Moving on: The ability to let go and move on is essential to self-care.
(You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] or send a letter to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askamy or Facebook.)