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Since: Mar 09

Miami, FL

#1 Jun 14, 2012
Dear Amy: I am a professional woman in my early 30s. My parents seem to think they need to keep tabs on me as though I were 13.

When they call me late at night and I don't answer, it leads to panicked voice mails and angry calls to my significant other.

Every phone call starts with, "Where are you?" instead of, "How are you," and then they accuse me of "Being out having fun."

I do not think this is normal. They have difficulty making friends and watch television most of the time, and I think that they resent my social activities, trips and friends.

How do I get them to start acting like well-adjusted adults instead of needy micromanagers?

Annoyed

Dear Annoyed: Your parents have had 30 years of practice to micromanage your life. If they were ever going to be well-adjusted, it probably would have happened by now.

The odds that you can force them to change are slim. What you are left with is the age-old task of drawing and enforcing boundaries.

First you give your folks reasonable limits: "Mom I'm not going to take your calls after 10:30 at night. Please don't call Brad late at night, either. I'll return your calls in the morning." Call them on a very regular schedule.

In terms of being out and having fun you should definitely own that. If this is leveled at you as an accusation, you need to tell your folks that, "I am definitely out having fun. And you should do the same."

Your folks are who they are. You should be calm, respectful and kind to them. Encourage them to get busy, but understand that they are making choices and may not be able or willing to change.

Dear Amy: I met a man on a dating website. When we were communicating online we agreed to exclusivity. After our first in-person meeting, he sent me an email saying, "Do you think I'm a total schmuck if I tell you I'm seeing someone but we're not a couple, and if things don't work out then I'd like to date you?"

So being very righteous, I wrote back, "Yes I think you're a schmuck." Then about three months ago he got in touch, and we've been seeing each other steadily ever since. He keeps saying we're exclusive, but I see he's still signing on to the dating site.

My profile has been deleted, and I'm not browsing. He keeps saying he will cancel his membership but obviously hasn't.

He also said he would go for an STD test if I wanted him to (and I said, "Of course I want you to!" To which he replied, "What, you think I have a disease?").

This man is no youngster; he's 61 years old. My thought is that he's writing the same nonsense to anyone else he may be contacting online.

My friend tells me not to make a big deal out of this or issue an ultimatum. He tells me we're becoming a couple (a couple of what?), but I just don't know. Is he looking to upgrade?

Increasingly Irritated

Dear Irritated: You talk a good game, but so far you haven't done one thing other than worry how you can have this self-described "schmuck" all to yourself.

If you want an exclusive and monogamous dating relationship, you had better find someone who shares your values. This man is telling you and showing you that he does not.

Never mind him. If you have had sex with him, you should get an STD test. And you should hop right back on that dating site and find yourself an "upgrade."

Dear Amy: "Uncertain" wrote to you, wondering if she and her husband should still financially support a graduate student daughter who had announced she was getting married. She said she didn't think this couple could make it financially on their own.

You missed the obvious answer: "If you are mature enough to get married, you and your husband should support yourselves."

Fiscally Responsible

Dear Responsible: I thought this couple should continue to finance her education (as they had been), but otherwise, right you are.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#2 Jun 14, 2012
L1: amy got a pretty good intern this summer.

L2: I think you're both schmucks for agreeing to "exclusivity" when you haven't even met.

L3: I think it depends on the family. there is no "my way is the only way" answer.

Since: Mar 09

Miami, FL

#3 Jun 14, 2012
L1: I like most of what the intern said, except this:
"Call them on a very regular schedule."

DO NOT DO THIS. Because the second you deviate from it, they have an excuse to flip out.

And be very firm about spelling out what's not okay and what the consequences will be if they do that stuff anyway. And stick to it.

L2: You're both losers.

L3: What Angela said.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#4 Jun 14, 2012
j_m_w wrote:
L1: I like most of what the intern said, except this:
"Call them on a very regular schedule."
DO NOT DO THIS. Because the second you deviate from it, they have an excuse to flip out.
You're totally right. My first thought was "Yeah, call them regularly, keep them off your back that way," but your reaction is correct, I think. How about, "call your parents regularly," so they know they'll hear from you once or twice a week, but not on a set schedule. "Sorry, I can't have sex wtih you, I have to call my mom at 9."

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#5 Jun 14, 2012
1 Tell your partents to GTFU and get a life.

2 Its a dating site, there is no such animal as exclusive.

3 Wish I was born with the silver spoon.

Since: Feb 10

Location hidden

#6 Jun 14, 2012
Dear Amy,
I'm going to cut out all the jibber jabber and get right to the point...

I want someone to share my life with, but the person I am currently seeing doesn't fit the requirements I have. How do I force him to become a completely different person? Don't suggest I meet new people. I have already deleted my profile and couldn't possibly create a new one.

Thank you

Since: Mar 09

Miami, FL

#7 Jun 14, 2012
itser wrote:
Dear Amy,
I'm going to cut out all the jibber jabber and get right to the point...
I want someone to share my life with, but the person I am currently seeing doesn't fit the requirements I have. How do I force him to become a completely different person? Don't suggest I meet new people. I have already deleted my profile and couldn't possibly create a new one.
Thank you
HAHA! So true.

Since: Mar 09

Miami, FL

#8 Jun 14, 2012
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
<quoted text>
You're totally right. My first thought was "Yeah, call them regularly, keep them off your back that way," but your reaction is correct, I think. How about, "call your parents regularly," so they know they'll hear from you once or twice a week, but not on a set schedule. "Sorry, I can't have sex wtih you, I have to call my mom at 9."
I think calling them regularly, like once a week, would help. But not on a specific schedule like every Monday at 6, because at 6:01 they'll be blowing up your phone. Taking the letter at face value, the parents are unhinged enough not to understand that life happens - you have to work late, you get invited to happy hour, you decide to go to a movie where your phone is turned off, etc. and that your life doesn't revolve around dropping everything to answer their calls.

My mom is in town visiting right now and she was telling me about a friend of hers who speaks to her 20-something son on the phone every day. I said something about him being a momma's boy. Cut. The. Cord. People!

Since: Dec 07

DuPage County

#9 Jun 14, 2012
Dear mom and dad, for god's sake, leave me alone!

Dear dog who claims exclusivity, leave me alone!
Stina

Saint Petersburg, FL

#10 Jun 14, 2012
I am very tired and cranky today. You guys covered it. Thanks for your help!!!

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#11 Jun 14, 2012
LW1:'and then they accuse me of "Being out having fun."'
And this would be a problem because.....?

LW2: You wanted exclusivity before your first date? Good luck finding someone who feels the same way. You're going to need it.

LW3: "If you are mature enough to get married, you and your husband should support yourselves."

Yeah. They should skip marriage and continue to let mom and dad finance her living expenses while they fornicate every night in their illicit loved den paid for by her parents.

“I looked, and behold,”

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#12 Jun 14, 2012
LW1: Tell them to knock their shyte off. I woulda nipped that in the bud as soon as I turned 18, probably sooner.

LW2: You both act like you are in grade school with this exclusivity nonsense before you've even met. Also, based on everything you've shared this guy sounds like a complete tool. I would say break up with him, but you must be so defective yourself to be in any kind of a relationship with him in the first place, that I'm not so sure you are even capable of better.

LW3: I don't have a problem with some support and gradually cutting it off.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Melrose Park, IL

#13 Jun 14, 2012
1- Have your parents always been like this? Not that it's any of their business as you're a professional adult, but what exactly are you out doing late at night while your boyfriend is sitting at home? What kind of "social activities" are you involved in? Maybe there is something going on here and your parents are right to be concerned?

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#15 Jun 14, 2012
You make is sound so cool!
Mister Tonka wrote:
LW3: "If you are mature enough to get married, you and your husband should support yourselves."
Yeah. They should skip marriage and continue to let mom and dad finance her living expenses while they fornicate every night in their illicit loved den paid for by her parents.

“What's it to ya?”

Since: Mar 09

Location hidden

#16 Jun 14, 2012
When Chris decided to move to (read: follow a girl) Texas the second he turned 18 it was really hard for me to sit back and not make a huge deal about how he was "only 18" and to call me all.the.time.

But, I didn't do that because I had done a pretty good job of preparing him to be an adult, he was not going to learn to be one without experience and mistakes of his own, and he was 18, I couldn't stop him. Plus, I wanted him to know I would support him no matter what choices (or how foolish I might secretly think them to be) he made.

I did ask hi, as he was going via Greyhound, to check in with me periodically along the way because he'd never traveled that far alone except via non-stop flight. He agreed.

We dropped him off, he boarded the bus. I drove away on purpose so he didn't feel like I was smothering him. Two blocks away at the stop light my phone rang. It was him. The bus hadn't even pulled out yet and he missed me already.:)

He called/texted me a few times on the way and then called me when he arrived safely (I did ask for this) but then he continued to stay in touch with me every couple of days, of his own volition. I do think (then and now) that he knew I would worry and did it for me more than for him. I never however got all pissy if I tried to call him and he didn't pick up/respond immediately.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#17 Jun 14, 2012
LW1: It sounds like they're trying to make you as miserable as they are. Amy's intern's advice was good, except for jmw's caveat.

LW2: Now you sound like the schmuck.

LW3: For centuries, parents have been supporting newlyweds. For some cultures, it's SOP for the bride to move in with the groom's family. Your "obvious" answer might not fit every situation.
tiredofit

Los Angeles, CA

#18 Jun 14, 2012
Mimi, I enjoyed your post because I went through the same thing with my son at 18. He surprised us totally by joining the Coast Guard. What a shock. He felt he was grown up and wanted to experience the world. Well, he learned mom and dad weren't so bad. He had a terrible case of homesickness but had a successful 4 years in the CG and many new life experiences.
pde

Palatine, IL

#19 Jun 14, 2012
Lw1: here's what the girl from the letter yesterday grows up into.

Lw2: if he won't take an STD test, dump him. Isn't that just about rule number 1?

Lw3: While I fully understand why parents financially support undergrads (they are basically required to by federal aid law until those undergrads turn 25), I do not get why parents financially support graduate students. The "no parents supporting me" financial aid calculations are a whole heck of a lot more generous. I graduated early from undergrad and immediately continued my studies as a graduation for EXACTLY that reason.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#20 Jun 14, 2012
pde wrote:
Lw2: if he won't take an STD test, dump him. Isn't that just about rule number 1?
?? Rule number one for what? Dating? Are you saying you actually request that?
pde wrote:
I do not get why parents financially support graduate students.
Cause they want to and can afford it.

“Fort Kickass”

Since: Sep 09

Bloomington, IL

#21 Jun 14, 2012
j_m_w wrote:
L1: I like most of what the intern said, except this:
"Call them on a very regular schedule."
DO NOT DO THIS. Because the second you deviate from it, they have an excuse to flip out.
And be very firm about spelling out what's not okay and what the consequences will be if they do that stuff anyway. And stick to it.
Yeah, this.

They sound like my MIL. Every couple days, my MIL IMs J freaking out. "I haven't heard from (SIL)!" Um, she has *very* sporadic cell phone access at camp, she's WORKING long days, and you're a PITA when you do talk to her, so what's her incentive to call when she can? Good Christ. Ever since I moved out, I can go a month or more without talking to my family. As long as the cops don't show up on their doorstep, they know I'm aiight.

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