Dear Abby: Our amazing daughters are in their late 20s. Both of them are independent, intelligent and loving. The four of us have a special bond. My wife and I have always been supportive in all aspects of our daughters’ lives, and that will never change.
They have been dating great guys over the past five years whom we believe they will ultimately marry. The problem? My wife and I were raised with certain values, and our daughters have recently moved in with their boyfriends. We do not approve, but respect their decisions as adults.
One daughter plans to have an open-house party celebrating their new place. She’s upset that my wife and I have indicated we won’t be attending, because doing so would be difficult and against our beliefs. We have understood her decision, but she does not appear to respect ours. Are we wrong to take this stance?
Against the Tide
I think so. Your daughter is an adult. Do you plan to continue “punishing” her and the man you say you approve of until they tie the knot? She and her boyfriend have been a couple for five years now, and their relationship appears to be progressing nicely. It’s not unusual for couples today to live together. I see nothing to be gained by skipping their open house — but I do see something to lose.
Dear Abby: My husband’s grandmother keeps purchasing season tickets to the theater for me. I have told my mother-in-law (who is in charge of buying the tickets) as politely as possible that summer is a very busy time for me. My kids, husband and I are all involved in activities, and the theater conflicts with these activities.
As well, I don’t particularly enjoy the group of people that we go there with. (I haven’t shared this with my mother-in-law.) While I like my mother-in-law and husband’s grandmother, the others are rude. They exclude me from conversations and hardly acknowledge my existence. I try to make conversation but unsuccessfully. It makes for a dreadfully awkward evening.
How do I get out of going to the theater without hurting anyone’s feelings?
The most effective way to accomplish that would be to stop beating around the bush and tell your husband’s mother and grandmother you would prefer not to be included, and the reason why.
Dear Abby: I like a girl but don’t know if she likes me. I went to a school dance with her, but that’s about it. I’m a choosy person, but everything seems right about her.
I never had a girlfriend before. Am I doing something wrong? I really want to be in a relationship with her, but I don’t want to get rejected. I hate that feeling. Can you give me advice on what to do?
There is a saying, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” It means that in order to succeed, you have to TRY. In dating relationships, there is always some risk of rejection, and it applies to girls as well as boys. If you want a relationship with her, stop being afraid and start acting like it. Because she went to a dance with you, she probably already likes you, too.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.