Hax: Be patient after getting dumped

The Washington PostNovember 27, 2013 

Dear Carolyn: I’m newly single after being dumped from a serious, long-term relationship. I thought the relationship was perfect. It turns out my ex was telling me things were perfect but secretly romancing someone else.

I’m starting to move past the stage of wanting my ex back and into the stage of wanting to find a new person for a relationship. However, I don’t want to ruin my chances with new people by trying to date before I’m really ready. How will I know when I’m ready? How long do I really need to wait?

C.

As long as it takes to meet someone you want to date — which is very different from reaching the point of wanting to date.

“Wanting to date” is interviewing for a vacancy, and too often the first step in agreeing to the least unappealing candidate.

Another reason to be patient: You’ve positioned yourself to make that mistake, or one like it, before you’ve even accepted a date, with, “I don’t want to ruin my chances with new people.” You’re trying to impress these candidates, versus treating them as people who need to impress you.

Your baseline for such accurate readings is the happiness of your life on your own — the phase between wanting the old and wanting the new.

Dear Carolyn: I need a reality check. Is it out of line to want a preliminary family meeting to discuss next steps for our aging parents to include just the adult siblings and the parents, i.e., not my sister’s husband and brother’s live-in partner of several years?

I also don’t think I should have to explain why I have this preference.

B.

Yes, but maybe not for the reason you think.

Your parents get to decide who has this conversation, not you.

If they don’t care, are incapacitated or are vulnerable to arm-twisting, then it’s worth explaining your preference. Whether you “should have to” explain is irrelevant and, worse for your interests, defensive.

Email tellme@washpost.com. Chat online at 10 a.m. Fridays at www.washingtonpost.com.

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