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Dear Abby: Dancer pines for partner who’s devoted to another

29January 2021

DEAR ABBY: I am a middle-aged divorcee. I recently took up ballroom dancing, which has been a long-held dream, and I’m enjoying my life. However, there are few single men my age around. Most of the available men are 20 years older or 20 years younger.

From Day One, I have had a crush on one of the few men my age in the dance group. We eventually became best friends, spending all our free time together. I soon learned that he is married, but separated and looking to divorce. However, he has a crush of his own, and he talks to me about her constantly. We have so much in common, but he only has eyes for her.

I realize it isn’t healthy for me to pine away for someone who doesn’t think of me the way I think of him. Yet walking away would mean losing my dance partner and best friend and going back to sitting out dances, watching from the sidelines, or worse, sitting alone at home.

Do I maintain the status quo and suffer in silence over his rejection? Or would it be healthier to move on, upend my life and isolate myself from him when I have no other circle of friends to support me? — DANCING AWAY IN PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR DANCING: Because of the pandemic, leave things as they are — for now. However, as soon as it’s feasible, find another dance group — or two — to join. If you do, you will establish other relationships with both women and men, and have a better chance of finding what you’re looking for.

 

DEAR ABBY: My ex-wife, my son’s mother, moved out a few years back and settled about six hours from us. We did halfway trips in the beginning so they could maintain a relationship, and I have even driven the whole way a few times to help with that.

Over the last two years, her interest has diminished, and they haven’t seen each other at all. I’ve offered the halfway trip, even offered my couch if she came the entire way, especially around holidays. She hasn’t taken me up on it.

Our son is now entering his teens, and I bought him a cellphone. She has his number, but doesn’t call or text. She even missed his birthday. My problem is, he has started to recognize her lack of interest, and I can tell it hurts. I thought about changing his number and cutting her off altogether, like yanking off a bandage, but I don’t know what’s best. Please advise. — SANE DAD IN MARYLAND

DEAR DAD: You are a loving and constant father. As you have realized, now that your son is getting older, he is becoming increasingly aware of his mother’s emotional neglect.

I do not think you should change his number and cut her off from him. She’s doing a good job of doing that herself. I DO think it’s important your son knows he can talk to you about anything and get honest answers. Something is clearly wrong with his mother. He should not go through life thinking her behavior was caused by anything lacking in himself, so if and when the subject comes up, answer his questions as kindly as you can.

 

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.

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