Posted: Wednesday, March 31, 2010 8:01 pm
Dear Annie: I’ve been best friends with “Sarah” since high school. We stayed close as we grew up, married and had children.
Sarah moved to another state 15 years ago. The problem is, she seldom calls. I hear from her twice a year if I’m lucky. In response, I phone her only four or five times a year, so I don’t overload her. She rarely returns my calls, although if I sound distressed and tell her I need her, she will call back immediately.
Every Christmas and birthday, we exchange gifts. I send a prompt thank-you note or phone her. Sarah rarely lets me know my gifts were received. She has a lot of family here and comes to town every couple of years. She gives me little to no warning, yet I drop everything to meet with her. I have told her how I feel about the way she treats me. She says she never wants to hurt me and will try to do better, but nothing has changed.
Sarah attended my son’s wedding, and I realize this took time and money. It meant the world to me. I have plenty of friends in this area, but none touches my heart as Sarah does. Do I simply accept her the way she is and be content with the small amount of interaction we have, or should I assume our friendship doesn’t mean that much to her? — Don’t Want To Lose a Special Friend
Dear Don’t: After 15 years of living in different states, it is inevitable that the bonds of friendship would loosen a bit. We are certain Sarah still cares about you, but you have placed the friendship much higher on your list of priorities than she has. If you want to continue to count her as a friend, we think you should accept her as she is and value the time you do get to spend together without expecting too much more.
Dear Annie: I am an 80-year-”young” gay male and have been swept off my feet by a 55-year-old gay man. I went into this as a fling, but it soon became serious. I know several male couples who have a similar age difference, and the relationships have worked out very well.
I was previously in a relationship that lasted more than 50 years and have been single since my partner died five years ago. The problem is, I have really fallen for this younger guy. He asked me to marry him twice, but each time I told him we’d have to talk it out. He agreed, but we didn’t actually get around to it. Two weeks went by, and then he called to say it was over and that was it — nothing.
I have left messages on his answering machine, but have received no return calls. I still have strong feelings for him and don’t know what to do. Should I close the book on this and move on, or do I keep trying to see if it might take off? — N.Y.
Dear N.Y.: Either he isn’t interested in you any longer, or he is too temperamental to wait two weeks. His way of handling your relationship strikes us as manipulative and immature. We know you’re smitten with him, but he doesn’t seem to be the best person for you. Please try to move on.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from “Waiting in California,” the 26-year-old male virgin who made an eloquent case for his conviction to wait to have sex.
I waited until college, at which point I weakened. I felt so much pressure not to be a virgin that I got high and had sex with one person after another. I contracted STDs, terminated a pregnancy and set myself up for a lifetime of regret and shame.
I wish I had valued myself enough to wait and not succumb to the pressures I perceived around me. Empty sex is the loneliest self-inflicted pain you can imagine. — Regrets for Life in Simi Valley, Calif.
Dear Regrets: Please know your letter will help others understand that they don’t have to give in to such pressures. We hope you can forgive yourself.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
Published in The Messenger 3.31.10