Featured Short Letter

This Week - No Call List

I am 34 and honestly care about a man, 50. Three years ago I got his number from his brother and called him. During the entire time I have always called him except for two times he called me for information, but not to chat. Our conversations flow smoothly, and I think we have a lot in common. When I call him, he sounds happy to hear from me.

I asked him twice if he was interested in dating, and he mentioned he hadn't gotten over his wife's death. Another time I asked him out and he said yes, but we never went anywhere. My family tells me to forget him and stop calling. Am I kidding myself? I consider him a friend but would like something more.


Sabrina, some people don't know how to get off the phone. They feel it traps them between lying and being hurtful. Perhaps at 50 he is simply old-school, which means he thinks a person should never be rude, never be impolite, and never fib. He sounds like a man who follows John Henry Newman's definition of a gentleman: someone who never knowingly inflicts pain on another.

Want and desperation can be like a devil sitting on our shoulder. They block our rationality. When that happens we need to pull back so we don't embarrass ourselves or harm others. This man's politeness doesn't make him your lover or confidante. Do him a kindness and stop calling.

Wayne & Tamara

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Last Week - False Allegiance

My boyfriend's mother has treated me unfairly from day one, and he has witnessed her behavior. Surely I couldn't have done anything to upset her before we even met. When my boyfriend told me after we marry his mother's issue becomes my problem, I reached my patience's end and broke it off.

Three months later he came back and said he's been thinking of nothing but us. He is convinced perhaps he went overboard protecting his mother and neglecting my feelings. However when he told his mother he wants to marry me, she refused to talk about it. When he made a stern effort to break the ice, she cried and told him he has changed.

My perception is, after her husband left for another woman, she lived alone and depended on her son for all the attention in life. She's jealous and insecure now that I am in the picture. I don't see her ever maturing or accepting that her son will have his own family and she won't be his center-point.

My boyfriend firmly believes he cannot and should not hurt his mother, so I doubt his bout of "realization" will last long. I love him, but I am worried.


Alessandra, most people are optimists, and that is a good thing. However, there is a downside to optimism so common it has its own name: optimistic bias. What that means is most of us think we are less likely than others to suffer the hazards of life.

In matters as diverse as car accidents, muggings, skin cancer, and unwanted pregnancy, researchers find we are likely to overestimate the chances they will happen to others and underestimate the odds they will happen to us.

You have a level of maturity we don't expect to see in someone so young. You have an absolute hold on yourself. You see things as they are. You don't believe you could live with this, and you are right.

Your boyfriend's attitude toward his mother needs to be, I will care for you within reason, but you will not prevent me from being a man and having a family. If he is unwilling to do that, he doesn't love you because he will sacrifice your life and the lives of your children for a woman who stopped living.

Don't ally yourself with a man you will come not to love.

Wayne & Tamara

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Two Weeks Ago - Matchmaking Or Meddling?

I have two friends; we'll call them Bill and Sheila. They've known each other more than 20 years, and everyone thinks they are perfect for each other. Neither has ever married. Friends have tried setting them up, but either one of them was in a relationship or the other was just out of a bad relationship.

Currently neither is involved with anyone. Schedules and location make it difficult at this point, but Bill wants to try. He's worried if it doesn't work out their 20 year friendship will go down the drain. Are his fears of losing his best friend justified?


Annie, we can't work our will on others. You may want to bring them together, but this is all about them. If there were a mutual attraction, you would be hard-pressed to keep them apart.

Everyone wants Bill and Sheila together but Bill and Sheila. Has Bill really decided? Or is this what Annie and "everyone" have decided?

Wayne & Tamara

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