Dear Annie: I am a 44-year-old guy who wears his heart on his sleeve. I met “Lisa” two years ago. I was fresh out of a divorce. Lisa was in terrible shape. Her mother had just died, and shortly after, she lost her fiance in a traffic accident. Then she moved back home to take care of her ailing father.
It was love at first sight for me. But Lisa never fully grieved over her fiance. She told me he was her “soul mate,” and that she would never love another man the way she loved him. I told her I have all the patience in the world and would be there for her through her grief and sorrow. I knew she needed to deal with this in her own way, which included getting his name tattooed on her back. Again, I was patient and understanding.
Lisa’s family began inviting me to their home. But her family had been exceptionally close to her fiance and began posting things on Facebook to remind Lisa of him. It finally reached the point where I had to say something, and I talked to Lisa’s cousin. I said posting such things keeps the fiance’s memory fresh in Lisa’s mind, which doesn’t help her heal. I asked the cousin to please get the family to stop doing this. Well, my request got back to Lisa, who became hostile and negative toward me. She broke things off.
Annie, I love Lisa with every ounce of my being. Was I wrong to speak up?
— Lonely and Still in Love
Dear Lonely: You meant well, but talking to Lisa’s cousin was inappropriate and appeared as if you were going behind her back and being controlling. Lisa has had a rough time. Regardless of what her family was posting online, she wasn’t ready to get back into the dating pool. It’s also likely that she will always connect you to this unfortunate time. Please move on. This ship has sailed.
Dear Annie: I am an adopted 14-year-old and an only child. I would like to get in touch with my biological family. Everybody tells me to wait until I am 18, but I feel I should be able to contact at least one biological parent. From what my adoptive mom tells me, I have an older brother. I was also told that my parents tried to find my biological father, but out of the five names listed on the adoption papers, none of them matched.
Is there any way to contact my family? Even if I can’t find my mom, is there a way I could find my brother and speak with him?
— Adopted in Arizona
Dear Arizona: Please do not do this without the support of your family. Finding biological parents and siblings is not always the joyful reunion you dream of, and sometimes things don’t turn out well. It also can be hurtful to your adoptive parents if your relationship with them is undergoing changes, as it often does during the teen years, and you think your biological family will be “better.” There is a reason reputable organizations insist that you be 18 or older to search. Please ask your parents for help with the International Soundex Reunion Registry (isrr.org).
Dear Annie: “Pining for Rome” complains, “The foods and pastimes that I’ve become fond of are nonexistent in America.” Nonsense.
Granted, she may not see games of bocce ball going on in the local park or find abbacchio brodettato on the menu at Denny’s, but in this global world, all the things available in Rome are available in the USA. She can go to an Italian market, buy a good Italian cookbook and learn to make gallina alla vernaccia herself. Many Italian markets also sell bocce ball sets, so she could start her own games.
— Second-Generation Italian
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