Later, I learned Dave had exchanged emails with the driver, and they were trying to schedule a get-together, presumably for the four of us. I explained to Dave that I thought he was pursuing his own interest in the driver, and I wasn't interested in making new friends under those conditions.
A couple of other factors that inform my reaction: First, Dave has engaged in similar flirtations in the past, and been called on it. Second, Dave would never approve of my engaging in a private correspondence with a near-stranger.
I'm hurt but trying not to overreact. I'd appreciate your thoughts.
— Not Interested
Not Interested: I feel like we’re missing a lot of information.
However, that might not matter: Does Dave really have different standards for your behavior than he does for his own? If so, then Dave’s a jerk — an other who needs to become insignificant as soon as you can swing it.
The way to respond to someone who clamps down on you, by the way — or who “engaged” in “flirtations” — is not to clamp down on him. It’s to recognize that trusting and being trusted means you both move about freely in the world without fear, even knowing there’s always a chance, always, with anyone, that it could end badly for you. It’s worth holding out for, and liberating to the core.
Dear Carolyn: Am I weird? I've been divorced for over three years and I'm not ready to date. I left him — he's not a bad man, but our foundation wasn't great and eventually it cracked. We didn't have kids.
I still look great — especially for "my age." I get lonely but I don't feel ready yet. Then I read about a widower moving on [sooner than I can] and think I must be weird.
— Am I Weird?
Am I Weird?: Rule No. 1: We all move at our own pace.
Rule No. 2: We’re all weird.
Apply as needed.
Dear Carolyn: Any advice on how to talk to a college-bound kid about the drinking when his parents are both alcoholics?
Talking: Please look into the literature for Adult Children of Alcoholics.
And don’t underestimate the power of: “You’re the child of two alcoholic parents, so you’re at high risk for alcoholism yourself. If you’re open to it, I would like to share some resources with you. Just so you can make informed decisions.”
Dear Carolyn: How do I find a psychologist? Is there a website where there are ratings available or something?
Anonymous: Ask your regular doctor for names of reputable therapists for the type of concerns you have. That’s the best place to start. Your employer may have an Employee Assistance Program — they’re gold — and your insurance company also will have a list. To search marriage and family therapists, there’s also the unfortunately URL’d therapistlocator.net.