Annie, am I 'just dating' or 'in a relationship'? -
Published Wednesday, October 16, 2013 at 1:00 am / Updated at 12:42 pm
Annie, am I 'just dating' or 'in a relationship'?

Dear Annie: I have been in a relationship with a wonderful guy for a year. We are in our mid-20s. Both of us are interested in moving abroad in the near future.

When we started dating, we just wanted to have fun. I have since graduated and am currently working. He is also a graduate but has yet to find a job. The problem is, I have begun to really care for him and want to change our status from “just dating” to “in a relationship.” However, he still doesn’t want to take that step. He says it’s because he hasn’t started his career yet. He also thinks we are too young to be thinking about marriage, and I agree with that. I’m not interested in marrying in the next few years, but I do want to be in a relationship with someone for a few years before I start thinking about marriage.

This has left me wondering whether I should take it down a notch and enjoy whatever time we have left together or walk away.

-- Confused and Sad

Dear Confused: If you’ve been dating for a year, you are already “in a relationship” whether he acknowledges it or not. He believes making it official is akin to a pre-engagement, and he’s not ready for that. If you enjoy being with him, feel free to continue and use the time to “start thinking about marriage.” Relationships don’t come with guarantees. Only time will help you decide. But until there is a commitment in place, we suggest that you not build your choices around his. Do whatever is best for YOU.

Dear Annie: Several years ago, I was cut out of the life of a family member I had previously been close to. No explanation, nothing. Suddenly I’m persona non grata. I tried to talk to her and asked what I had done. I told her that if she would just discuss it with me, I would apologize, if necessary, although I won’t apologize for something I don’t know I’ve done.

I just found out that this person is now a grandmother. I posted a congratulatory message on her Facebook page, and now I’m blocked. When the rift occurred, I asked my parents to intervene and find out what was wrong. They refused, saying they didn’t want to get involved. I asked my ex-friend’s parents and was told it wasn’t any of their business. I tried writing this person and asking for an explanation. No response.

I no longer care to reconcile, but I would still like an explanation.

-- Too Late To Try Again

Dear Too: We’re sorry you have been stonewalled, but this is not uncommon.

Of course, it would be nice if she would tell you why you’ve been cut off, giving you the opportunity to explain or apologize. And there is nothing wrong with giving a blanket apology, not necessarily for wrongdoing, but for somehow damaging the relationship, even unintentionally. But too many people believe that spelling out the reason would be more damaging than silence, or they may subscribe to the mind-reading school, thinking you should “know” the reason. The fact that no other person will intercede on your behalf indicates there is little hope of reconciliation or of finding the explanation you desire. Accept it and move on.

Dear Annie: Tell “Trying To Get Granny To Shower” that for around $200, Granny’s bathtub can be made safe and easy. A shower seat is just the beginning. Add a hose extension to the showerhead so she can direct the flow where she wants it and not have water get in her face. Then install a pole that extends from floor to ceiling just outside the tub so she can hold on as she gets in and out. I ordered mine through a well-known drugstore.

-- Marsha, Age 76

Dear Annie: I just read a letter from “Disrespected,” who asked about cellphone etiquette. My complaint is that she called herself a “working mom,” and her friend was a “nonworking” mom.

When are people going to stop using these terms? Someone who takes care of kids, cleans, cooks, shops, makes appointments and takes care of endless details morning and night is not “nonworking.” Moms who care for their kids and homes work harder than anyone I know, so please, let’s give them the respect they deserve and recognize their hard work.

-- All Moms Are Working Moms

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