Dear Amy: About two years ago, I messaged “Bradley” on social media. (We’re both gay.)
I complimented him on some pictures he posted.
He answered me, which led to steady messaging, which then led to phone calls. What impressed me was how often he took the initiative. I’d send a morning and afternoon message. The calls could go two or three hours, on a daily basis.
He told me he’s shared more about his life with me than anyone else.
After several months of almost daily calls and messaging I told him that I love him. He’s said the same to me. He really has become part of my life. We have talked about meeting.
Recently, he got a job out West, which means a move from his home state in the East.
I live in the Midwest.
Now my insecurities are kicking in. There are going to be big changes in his life, with a move and a new job. I can imagine him meeting in person other guys he’s been in contact with.
I came into his life during a lull because of the pandemic.
He’s assured me that we’ll stay in touch. He says I mean a lot to him and he’s deeply appreciative for all I’ve done to help and support him.
My fear is that I’ll eventually be left to the side. This happened once before in my life, and it hurt deeply.
I’m trying to face the idea that things clicked with us for a reason and season.
How do I handle this? I want him to be happy.
How do I let go and not cling or dump my fears onto him?
Dear Unsure: You have developed a strong attachment to “Bradley,” and like all strong ties, the attachment itself can be something of a trap, because it can keep you in place, preventing you from forming and enjoying other relationships and pursuits.
Bradley is the dominant person in your relationship, and the lack of balance is why you feel insecure, now.
You should continue to assume that as his life changes, your relationship with him will also change. You seem to understand that insecurity might push your love object away. And yet you truly need to understand that your primary loyalty must be to yourself, to your own health, and to your progress through this world. This progress won’t happen when you are anxious and hurting.
You have portrayed Bradley as a compelling player who likely has formed strong attachments to other men. You know that if he really wanted to meet you in person, he would. (Is this a “romance scam?” You should consider this possibility.)
The way to approach this painful uncertainty is to determine to expand your own world, to develop affirmative interests outside of this relationship, to initiate contact less often, and to transition from love object to friend.
Dear Amy: I’m in my early 20s and living at home. I’m paying my parents rent, but the money I pay doesn’t include anything else — just the room.
This doesn’t seem fair to me, and I’d really appreciate hearing what you think of this.
— Renter at Home
Dear Renter: You’ve just described … rent. When you rent, you pay the owner of the dwelling for the roof over your head. That’s all.
When you’re a child, your parents provide all of the extras, but for adults, food, cooking, cleaning and laundry services are what happens at a hotel.
Once you accept this reality, you should do some research to see if you are able to afford rent and living expenses elsewhere. You may find that — even without the extras — you are benefiting from the lower cost of living at home.
Many young people use this transition period at home as a way to aggressively save money toward the higher cost of living elsewhere.
Dear Amy: I was intrigued by the question from “Judgmental Teen,” who is a high school girl very concerned about her harsh assessments of her peers’ clothing.
I was shocked by this line of yours: “The words you use to describe other girls (“slut” and “whore”) are rude and sexist, while the words you use to describe boys are much less offensive. This is an example of how misogyny has permeated our culture….”
Thank you for pointing out how we’ve internalized this. It didn’t occur to me until I read it.
Dear Thankful: No one should be using this language, and I appreciated this teen’s honesty in reporting that she does.
(You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)
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