Dear Ellie: I’m a woman whose new female friend cancelled plans with me for a man she barely knows.
We’ve been getting along so well — both single and interested in theatre, movies, dinner, walks, etc.
Two weeks ago, she suggested we attend a special concert tomorrow. We each bought our own tickets.
Tonight, I called to make arrangements to meet up. She’d forgotten all about the concert and made plans to date a new guy. Now she doesn’t want to cancel him because, “he’s made a restaurant reservation.”
She doesn’t want things to “fizzle out” and feels that, if she doesn’t see him tomorrow, she won’t see him for a couple of weeks! I can’t believe it, since she made plans with me first and it was her idea!
We’re both 53, yet she’s acting like a teenager. Worse, she doesn’t even like the guy much but says she just wants male companionship.
I thought the most important rule between women is that we don’t break plans with each other for a man!
Should I go to the concert alone or ask her to get rid of the guy?
The only decent response would have been for her to invite her other “date” to join both of you because you’d already made your concert arrangement for tomorrow. If not, she’d make other arrangements with him very soon.
But her reluctance to find that solution tells you far more about her. Instead of seeing new friends as important, she thinks being with a man matters more, even if she doesn’t have any feelings for him.
Her response is very outdated, indicative of her being insecure. She may have provided good company when you previously got together, but you now know that she’s neither loyal to women friends nor fair to men either, since she’d “use” this guy just for a meal and having a man at her side.
You can go to the concert alone, as many people do, or ask someone you can trust, to get a ticket and show up.
Given the outings you and she have enjoyed together, you may make other plans together in future, but stay mindful of this event.
Dear Ellie: Our parents divorced nine years ago and my brother and I adjusted to their choice. Our mother works at a home-based business. Our father had a good job, but discovered at 60 that he hated the cold winters.
Four years ago, he bought a used RV and drove to a trailer park in Mexico to spend the winter. During COVID, he stayed home, “miserable” over two winters, but this year, fully vaccinated, he returned to Mexico.
My brother and I surprised him. We flew to Mexico for a week, rented a car, and drove to his address.
Surprise! Dad was living with a Mexican woman. She’s ten years younger than him, nice-looking, and was welcoming to us. But we were uncomfortable.
My brother took Dad outside and asked whether he was “supporting” her. I asked if he’d known the woman when he divorced? He swore, “No!”
We’re still wondering if he’s supporting other children he didn’t mention, or her relatives. Your take on this situation?
Concerned Adult Children
It belongs to your father, not to you two. He doesn’t have to account for himself unless he chooses to do so.
Stop the questioning and spend time just being with both of them.
You’ll otherwise alienate her, and him too, since there’s clearly a relationship between them, not just “a situation.”
Dear Readers — If you don’t understand your parents and grandparents, you’ll learn here how they may feel about you:
Reader — “I’m early-70s with two children in their 40s and five grandchildren. I matter little to them, or other younger generations. One friend says her appearance matters little now, since “no one sees us anyway. We’re just wallpaper.”
“Phone calls/messages aren’t returned. Texts/email go unacknowledged/unanswered unless something’s in it for them.
“I’m told we cannot expect our children to nurture us now. I don’t need “nurturing,” just some acknowledgement/validation/connection. A brief answer to my text or email says, “I know you’re there.”
“I realize I cannot change anyone but myself. I must make every day a good one. I work hard at it and succeed.
“Even at 70, we may have several decades ahead. I still have a lot to offer.
“Give me the opportunity to be productive and appreciated. Not wallpaper!”
Ellie’s tip of the day
If friendship plans are broken for something or someone deemed “better,” reconsider the friendship.
Send relationship questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.