Our friend never does anything without him anymore, including spending time with us.
We want to spend more time with our friend alone, and we are also concerned that he's moving too quickly.
How do we tell our friend we want to spend more time with just him? Is it our place to tell him that we think he might be moving too fast?
Concerned Friends: I think it’s natural for two people who perhaps romantically/sexually collide to then stick together — certainly at the beginning of an intimate relationship. This is not the most prudent way to behave, but ... prudence sometimes goes out the window when the flame burns hot.
You don’t say that your friend is unhappy; you don’t note any real red flags about this new relationship and you don’t mention that you have a negative reaction to your friend’s new guy.
Friends trust that the friendship will survive through some tough truths. Adults can also express sincere concern, without seeking to control the object of their concern.
But first, accept that this relationship is real. Get to know his partner, and adopt a positive attitude as you do.
Express: “Hey, we really miss solo-you! Any chance we can see you without your guy any time soon?”
Otherwise, unless you see specific issues — such as signs of abuse and control, or if your friend has a tough romantic/sexual history that makes you worry — then he has the right to proceed with abandon (he has that right, anyway, regardless of what you perceive). You can certainly make an observation: (“You two are moving really quickly”) and follow it with a question: “How are you feeling about everything?”
But you have to listen to his answer, and if he says he’s happy, then you should be happy for him.
Dear Amy: Years ago, I met a wonderful lady and we began dating. We dated for a year. She chose to break up. Three months later she asked me to see her again. Unfortunately, things were not the same, and we split up for good.
We each married other people. We live 200 miles apart and have not had any contact since we broke up.
She was (indirectly) the reason I have a great job today.
Because of this, I feel that she changed my life in a positive way.
Is it wrong for me to send her a thank-you card, telling her this?
I do not want to create any problems for her and I do not wish to see her again, but I am grateful for her quiet influence.
Just Wondering: This is a question that you should run past your wife.
Your wife doesn’t run you, and she doesn’t control your friendships or contact with other people, but she might have insight into this conundrum because she is a woman — and because she knows you very well.
Oh, but I sense that you don’t want to run this past your wife. I’m extrapolating from your tone a certain wistfulness. Again, there is nothing wrong with feeling wistful and acting on those nostalgic impulses, but if you do, you should be honest with yourself about your intentions and about what you are really trying to express.
In short, don’t start something that you aren’t prepared to own.
If you do choose to send this message, make sure that it is both sincere and appropriate, and something she would feel comfortable showing to her spouse, if she chose to: “Our lives took us in different directions, and I have no regrets. I’m grateful for your influence. I’ve had a wonderful career, and I owe you some of the credit. Thank you for that!”
Dear Amy: "Frazzled Shopper" reported having a 3-year-old who was incorrigible while at the grocery store.
You accepted this as a discipline issue, but that child might have a sensory processing disorder. The child should be checked!
Experienced Mom: Several readers suggested this. Yes, this child could have a sensory processing problem, although it is hardly out of the norm for a 3-year-old to misbehave in the grocery aisle.