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January 3, 2000   CONTINUED e-mail e-mail to a friend in need


Dear Breakup Girl,

When my girlfriend visits me (she lives 2000 miles away), she somewhat takes over my house. She refers to it as "our" home. She also stays with me for two or so months at a time! Since she won't do much for herself, I have to take her around town, etc. She is retired with no immediate family nearby. I've known her for over ten years, but I can't marry her since she is 30 years older than I am. My question is, how can I still be friends with her without upsetting her by telling her that I can't have her stay with me such a long period of time?

-- Olif

Dear Olif,

Well, sweepea, you probably can't not upset her by initiating a change ... but don't let that be a "reason" to stay her Elderhostel guide for longer than you really want to. Don't patronize her by actually telling her this, but frankly, it would probably do her some good to be "forced" to -- eventually -- explore more fulfilling stuff in her own home town. (Maybe she can make friends with Alberta?) Let that private thought assuage some of your guilt while you respectfully attempt to establish firmer interstate boundaries: fewer visits, fewer months at a time ... or maybe cold turkey would be the kindest cut? If you're simply looking for less with her and not more with a Nearby Girl, that's fine. But it's also fine to free yourself up for someone who'll show you the town.

Breakup Girl



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