Pickleball partnership may be too much of a good thing

Published 8:59 am Monday, July 24, 2023

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DEAR ABBY: I play pickleball with a nice group of people. Partners normally split after each game. One day, however, a woman told me I was her favorite partner. From that day on, she played with me as often as possible, even though she could have chosen partners who were better players than me, and won more games.
Abby, she is the most attractive woman I have ever met, and not just physically — she’s smart, friendly, athletic, caring, supportive and really fun to play with. I’m not used to having women like her pay attention to me, and it feels great. She’s married, but I can’t help having a crush on her, a feeling I’m pretty sure is not mutual — and therefore not appropriate – yet I think about her all the time.
How can I get over this feeling? Should I tell her I have a crush on her, which would probably drive her away? Should I quit being her partner? Or should I just keep everything the same and hope the attraction gradually fades? I love playing with her, and I don’t want to stop. – BIG CRUSH IN NEW YORK
DEAR CRUSH: What if you tell this woman you have a crush on her and she responds by telling you she also has a crush on you? Where would that lead? She’s married. Clearly, there is a mutual attraction, and it isn’t based on how well you play the game of pickleball. Maybe you are easy to be around, or she likes your sense of humor.
Your crush may or may not fade with time. Because you enjoy the contact you have with her, continue being her partner unless it progresses to something that makes either of you uncomfortable. (Or too comfortable.)
DEAR ABBY: I’ve been in a relationship for nearly 20 years. We are not married. For three-fourths of this relationship, I have been the one who pays for everything (with my disability check). He refuses to look for a job. When I told him a few years back that I wasn’t happy, his only reaction before leaving the room was to ask, “Do you love me?”
Every time I mention the bills or his getting a job I’m met with excuses. We had talked about moving, because I had received an inheritance. Now it’s as if his ideas for a home are more important than mine, plus I’m still expected to pay for it all.
I want out, but he has a lot of stuff – and I mean A LOT – and nowhere to go. I feel guilty. I know I have let it happen and have tolerated it, but if I say anything, he acts like a 5-year-old having a tantrum. He’s very negative and mocks anything I try to do to improve myself. Please tell me what to do. – LOOKING FOR A WAY OUT
DEAR LOOKING: When your freeloader asked “Do you love me?”, you should have responded with, “Do you love ME? Because if you do you would find a job and help with the finances.” Sponging off a lonely woman isn’t love. It’s extortion. If you really want to improve yourself, give him a date to get himself and his stuff out of there and stick to it.
Warning: You may need to consult an attorney so you know your options because his tantrums, rather than being a sign of love, appear to be an attempt to bully you into letting him continue to take advantage.
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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order “How to Be Popular.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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