Hi, Carolyn: I signed up for online dating again yesterday, and I can already see why I give up so easily. Most of the conversations are one-sided. I ask a question and they reply with a one-word answer. I ask another question and they reply with another brief answer. They don't elaborate or ask questions about me. There is no back-and-forth. I lose interest quickly and move on to the next person, only for the same thing to happen. On the rare occasion that someone can hold a conversation, there is usually some other reason it won't work out: Their divorce isn't final yet, they're in an open marriage, they're only looking for a hookup, they smoke, they hunt.

I'm a nonsmoking animal lover looking for a one-on-one relationship. Do I just need to lower my standards?

— Dating

Dating: Yikes. Never.

Dating a la carte just might not be a good fit for you. The most reasonable current alternative is to expand the number of places you show up in person — when and how it’s safe to — where you have a possibility of meeting other people. Because you have dealbreakers, choose places where people with the same dealbreakers might congregate. Animal rights causes. Politically like-minded causes.

I say that even though I disagree to some extent: The benefit of meeting people in person vs. shopping for them online is that you can see them in their entirety, which can allow you to see they’re good for you in ways you wouldn’t have recognized on paper. Broader is better for that.

Hi, Carolyn: My sister-in-law asked to open a checking account for my children so she and the grandparents could deposit money into their accounts easily. I believed this was for birthdays, Christmas and occasional gifts.

She has been depositing upward of $250 a month for the last six months into both of my daughters' accounts. Shame on me for just realizing this. She is a single professional woman with no children of her own, is great to my kids and would do anything for them. However, I am not comfortable with this. I feel this is setting them up for failure, believing they do not have to work to earn money. I was not raised in such an environment.

My husband (her brother) does not agree. He feels that if she wants to help them, I should let her. I am fuming inside — at both my husband and his sister, for thinking this is okay and not getting my permission to give them this amount of money. How do I approach this calmly and confidently, as well as see if perhaps I'm blowing this out of proportion? I don't feel I am.

— Busy Mom

Busy Mom: One data point does not an ethos make.

Or if it does, you won’t know which except in hindsight.

And one generous aunt won’t undo everything you, as parents, are doing.

Can we just change the whole conversation, though? Keep the money, and steer all but an allowance’s worth to 529 college savings accounts instead, in your name. Like, today. Ask Sis to do that for you, or make yourself a co-signer on the account (if you aren’t already) so you can move the money yourself. Everyone happy, nobody spoiled, educations financed.

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