Carolyn Hax is away. The following first appeared Dec. 22, 2006.

Hi, Carolyn: So, I went out with this guy for a drink. I thought we had fun. It was quick but we both had somewhere to go.

Well, he emailed the next day saying he would call the following week when he returned from a weekend away. I have not heard from him — it has been over two weeks. I would like to know why.

Can I email him? I need to know if it was me — or what the deal is. Not that I think he is "the one" for me, or even that I want to go out with him again. Am I obsessing a little too much?

— Washington

Washington: So, you’re saying you don’t care about him, but you care about his opinion of you?

If you’d like to see him again, then email him to say you’d like to see him again. If you don’t, then don’t, and celebrate the simplicity of it all.

Dear Carolyn: I've been dating a woman for two years now, but lately it feels like I'm being taken advantage of. Every time we go out, whether she suggests it or I do, I'm expected to pay for the night's entertainment. I do make more money than she does, but she lives at home, pays little or no rent and spends all her money on clothes or other things for herself. This woman believes in equality (a self-labeled feminist), yet expects the man to be "the man."

There are times I believe there could be a future for us, but if this is a sign of things to come, I'm a bit worried. What do you think?

— D.J.

D.J.: I think her self-described feminism sounds more like me-ism — a worldview in which beliefs follow behavior, as opposed to the vastly preferable reverse. What Baby wants, Baby rationalizes.

However: My getting this from your 67-word description of her means you’re actually the one who thinks this. Whether I agree is irrelevant; please trust yourself to believe what you believe, and stand up for those beliefs.

You never once said you like her.

Dear Carolyn: How can I walk away from a relationship that I'm not ready to let go of yet? I am not being treated well. The guy just hasn't made me a priority in his life, and everyone tells me I need to walk away.

The problem is that I am not ready to let go. I still have that hope in my heart that we'll work out, and I have absolutely no interest in meeting anyone else. Am I crazy for hanging on?

— Starving for His Attention

Starving for His Attention: Certainly you’re going to let go only when you’re ready to, or when the intrigue supply dwindles, whichever comes first. If my calling you crazy will move things along, then, sure, I’m at your service. You know, to help. But I doubt it will.

What will help, I think, when it dawns on you, is that people can be busy; people can be slow to date, slow to trust, slow to find you physically attractive; people can be confused, distracted, scarred, grieving — all of them openings for optimistic projection. But when they enjoy somebody’s company, they seek it. Unless he’s transparently happy to see you, don’t weigh yourself down with hope.

Write to Carolyn Hax at tellme@washpost.com. Get her column delivered to your inbox each morning at wapo.st/haxpost.