Surprise changes in plans strain women’s friendship

Published 2:19 pm Saturday, September 12, 2020

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DEAR ABBY: I have a serious issue with my best girlfriend. We make plans together, adult plans, and then at the last minute, her kids drop the young grandkids off for her to babysit, curtailing any plans we have together. The past few times, we have changed our plans to a “kids” activity.
I have an extremely busy client load, and I’m losing income by accommodating my friend’s time constraints, which revolve around making her husband’s lunch and dinner. Although I’m single now (I am a widow), I do understand why she has her priorities. If her grandkids are there when we have plans, she asks me to pick them up fast food on the way over — on my dime.
I have kids and grandkids myself, and they are important to me. I’m tired of being held hostage by her adult children who I feel are using her and taking advantage of the “drop-in day care” with Nana. How can I talk to her about our time being important, too? I have intentionally NOT made plans with my grandkids if she and I have plans, and I would love some reciprocity. — THROWN UNDER THE BUS
DEAR THROWN: If this happened occasionally, I would advise you to cut your friend some slack. However, because this happens often, tell her your dates with her are carefully scheduled, and when she changes them at the last minute, it has a negative impact on you economically. Point out that when you make dates with her, you let your children know they will have to arrange for another babysitter unless it is an emergency. And, if the last-minute changes continue, see her less often and arrange to socialize with other friends who appreciate your situation.
DEAR ABBY: I’m about to be 22. I have been talking to a man around my age for almost six months now. He tells me how special I am and how much I mean to him, but says he isn’t ready for a relationship. We go on dates and do not have relations with other people. He says putting a “title” on us will give him accountability he doesn’t want.
He claims to be over his ex, but he often mentions her. I know he was still conversing with her when we first started talking, but he lied about it. I’m not rushing a relationship because I know it takes time to get to know someone, but I want to know if he can see a future with me, and that is a question he will not answer.
I have attachment issues and don’t want to let him go, but I can’t help but feel as if I am not good enough for him (which he says is not the case). Should I move on or wait and see what the future holds? — IMPATIENT IN ILLINOIS
DEAR IMPATIENT: Stop allowing your insecurity issues affect your common sense. You are both young, and your relationship has been going on for only six months.
He has been honest by admitting he isn’t ready for a relationship or the titles that go with one. He may not answer your questions about a future because he doesn’t know the answer, so stop pushing him. He may be more focused on work at this point than romance, and frankly, so should you be. If nothing has changed in another six months, consider dating others then.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order “How to Have a Lovely Wedding.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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