DEAR AMY: I am very confused about the relationship I have been in for the last seven months.
My boyfriend has told me that he needs space, which I know is the classic line for, "I don't want to be with you any longer," but in the next breath, he will say, "I'm not breaking up with you."
I am so confused about what he actually wants.
In the last month, I stayed with him for three nights and saw him for three hours on another occasion. I used to stay with him at least three days a week.
I don't know how much more space I could possibly give him without actually not being with him at all.
I am so hurt and confused.
I fell in love with him very quickly, and he has told me on a couple of occasions that he loves me too (he is not the type to say it), so I have taken it to heart that he does.
Can you please help me figure this out? I don't want to lose him or push him away. And what is it you think he is trying to tell me?
— Very Confused in Toledo
DEAR CONFUSED: You want confusing? The "cap and trade" bill is confusing. Your situation? Not so much.
You correctly translated your boyfriend's desire for "more space," but you have decided to ignore his very obvious statements and behavior because you seem to care more about his needs than your own.
Let me clarify. You are no longer a girlfriend. You are now a booty call.
This guy is pretty good at getting what he wants, and you need to follow his lead and work harder to get what you want: a committed relationship.
The next time he says, "I'm not breaking up with you," tell him, "I know. I'm breaking up with you."
And then do it.
DEAR AMY: I am 44, and my daughter is 23.
She is gay, and I have treated her and her partner the same way I treat my son and daughter-in-law. Everyone acknowledges this. I respect their commitment to each other and am joyful that they are very happy.
However, I cannot accept the fact that she just got "married." She has now informed me that she needs to terminate her relationship with me because I will not accept her marriage.
She is aware of my position on gay marriage. The suggestion to agree to disagree is not an option.
What say you?
DEAR WONDERING: Many parents would be delighted for their kids to choose marriage. A wise parent knows that forcing offspring to choose between them and a romantic relationship often results in the younger person choosing the latter.
Your daughter knew the risks she was running in terms of her relationship with you when she and her partner chose to marry. She did it anyway. You may assume that she is as stubborn as you are.
Because you rule out the option of "agreeing to disagree," you really left your daughter no option but to terminate the relationship.
I can only urge you to try harder to find a way to reconcile. If your daughter chooses to have children, you might want to have a relationship with them.
DEAR AMY: "Frustrated Grandparent" asserts that children would be better behaved in public if they only had more unstructured playtime at home. This makes no sense to me.
As a parent of two small children, please let me assure you that the path to good behavior in public is practicing behaving well in public. Common sense and good manners are not instinctive and must be taught. Unstructured playtime, though important, does nothing to teach good behavior.
A little kid crying in public is probably tired, hungry or overstimulated.
DEAR LENNY: "Frustrated Grandparent" was expressing the view that young children today tend to be overstimulated. I agree with that.
I also absolutely agree with you that good behavior in public must be taught — and practiced.