Ask Amy: Lack of romance elicits unattractive response

September 21, 2012

DEAR AMY: I recently reconnected with a friend, “Jenny,” from high school. We had dinner a couple of times, but there was really nothing more to it, at least from my perspective. Jenny lives two hours away, and while I left the possibility open for something romantic to develop, it ended up being just a friendship reunion for me.

She, however, apparently expected a lot more, and she has begun making frequent passive-aggressive statements to our mutual friends, especially on social media.

I recently attended a football game at our alma mater with one of these friends, who snapped a picture of us in the stadium to send to Jenny. Jenny responded, “I’m surprised he let you take a picture of him knowing it would be sent to ME.”

She’s convinced that I don’t like her (I’m guessing because nothing more developed). The thing is, she’s right! I have developed a dislike for her, but only because I can’t stand the comments; they’re embarrassing to me and make her seem needy and needlessly self-deprecating.

On one hand, I feel obligated to let her know that her behavior is a huge turnoff, but I’m concerned that doing so would only give her more ammunition. Any thoughts? -- Shakin’ My Head

DEAR SHAKIN’: You are not obligated to educate this foolish person about how to behave. I agree with you that this communicating style is unattractive and immature. But hey, that’s her problem.

You might have some success in alerting her to her behavior (and encouraging her to turn her attention elsewhere) if you send a private message saying, “I’ve noticed you’ve mentioned me a few times on Facebook. I hope everything is okay with you.” Don’t ask a question, tempting a response. After that, ignore her.

DEAR AMY: I am a broke college student, and last year I lived with three other girls. We all got along really well. I decided to live in the house throughout the summer while the other girls moved back home with their parents for the summer. We all signed another 12-month lease for next year.

Once they moved out, they sent me a group text message saying that they didn’t think they should pay for utilities when they weren’t living there during the summer. We had never talked about the utilities (of a five-bedroom house) being my responsibility.

The argument got very nasty, and I felt betrayed by my friends and very ganged up on. I told them I was moving out (I ripped up the lease before the landlord picked it up) because I was not going to be paying their bills for them. That’s when the nasty messages really started to flow in.

Recently, two out of the three reached out to me and apologized through text messages. Part of me just wants to forget it and become friends again, but I don’t know if I could easily forget all of the nasty things they said. What should I do? -- Upset Student

DEAR UPSET: Exchanging angry and hurtful messages and texts is not the mature way to handle something that really should have involved a conversation and negotiation. Tearing up this lease meant that you effectively put the entire group out on the street, scrambling for housing.

You should reflect on your own behavior to see if there is anything you should have done differently; accept their apologies and proffer your own. Please take this as an expensive lesson. Work out all financial terms in advance.

DEAR AMY: As a vegetarian with food sensitivities who also likes to eat organic, I can add to your response to “Unsure,” who had a guest request “only organic food purchased at a specific specialty store.” That guest is a narcissist, and Amy’s suggested reply of “we will miss you” was spot on.

I always inquire about the menu and then ask if I can bring a dish if I feel I need something else to eat. -- Accommodating Guest

DEAR GUEST: I’m setting an extra place for you.

Write to Amy Dickinson at askamy@tribune.com or Ask Amy, Chicago Tribune, TT500, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60611.

2012 by the Chicago Tribune

Distributed by Tribune Media Services

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