Dear Abby: I am a bisexual female college graduate living at home, and an only child. I have had one sexual encounter with a woman but never a relationship. I have, however, had relationships with men.
I came out to my mother when I was a teenager. She didn’t believe me, but did say that she would not mention it to my other parents or family members. (I have two stepparents as both biological parents remarried.)
I am considering — if I find a woman to go on a date with/be with — pursuing a lesbian relationship. However, I am not financially independent and won’t be for many years. My problem is I’m afraid to do it while I am living at home. My cousins, friends and ex-boyfriends all know, just not my parents, grandparents, aunts, etc. Do I try for my own happiness and hope for the best, or defer my happiness and only date men?
Scared to Be Who I Am
Dear Scared: You are no longer a teenager; you’re an adult now. You should be entitled to have the kind of relationship with which you are most comfortable. If your cousins know about the fact that you are bisexual, the chances are that so do their parents. However, if coming out now would mean that you would be out on the street, I’m advising you to keep your mouth shut and bide your time until you are independent.
Dear Abby: My family and I are all travelers. Recently, some issues have arisen with them about the way they regard my mode of travel. They prefer flying versus driving. I don’t. Because of my size.
I can’t fit into an airplane seat and buckle the seat belt without an extender. I’m always worried that I’ll be forced to buy an extra seat or won’t be allowed to fly because of my weight, and it is stressful. I have tried for years to lose weight, but have gotten only to the point where I’m maintaining my weight.
I fit comfortably in my car. I can get the seat belt buckled, and I don’t have to inconvenience other passengers.
My family is now trying to discourage me from taking future trips with them because I won’t fly. They claim it’s because I’m single and normally travel by myself. I’m in my mid-30s and have traveled solo for years. Any suggestions on how to help them understand my choice?
Frustrated Solo Heavy Traveler
Dear Frustrated: Your family may be doing this in an attempt to “encourage” you to work harder at losing weight. However, if you are more comfortable traveling by car, then that’s what you should be doing.
Dear Abby: We have a co-worker who has been internet dating. She constantly tells her co-workers how horrible the men are and says the same thing about the dates.
How do we tell her that it’s not the men, but her?
In Santa Monica, Calif.
Dear Stumped: If you’re smart, you won’t — unless she asks.
Dear Abby: I’m someone who’s been chronically hot for as long as I can remember. In winter, I usually wear lighter clothes than most people so I can be comfortable. Unfortunately, complete strangers feel compelled to ask several times a day, “Aren’t you cold?” or say, “You’re crazy for dressing that way!”
I don’t feel I should have to justify my wardrobe, and I think calling someone crazy is out of line. I have pointed out to some people that how I dress is none of their business, at which point they take offense. (One guy even told me to “shove it where the sun don’t shine.”) I don’t think my response was inappropriate considering that they were the ones judging me. I’m the one who should have been upset. What can I say to these judgmental people without justifying myself and without evoking an angry response?
Not Crazy, Just Comfortable
Dear Not Crazy: Most people are curious when they see something “different.” Wearing lightweight clothing in the dead of winter qualifies as different. If you are asked, all you need to say is that your body temperature runs hotter than most people’s, and you are perfectly comfortable. Period.
Dear Abby: A friend of mine died recently. My question is, how much time should I wait before asking his widow if she saved his hearing aids from the crematorium and if so, could I have them?
Dear Minnesotan: You didn’t mention how long ago your friend died, but if it was yesterday, give the widow a week or two to recover from the shock of her loss. I say this because if you wait too long, somebody else may grab them, but if you ask too soon, she may give you an earful.
Dear Abby: Years ago, I dated an awful guy. He possessed just about every negative quality you could imagine. I dated him anyway because I was immature, depressed and lonely.
Since we broke up and I got my mental health back on track, my life has been wonderful. I keep moving up and forward in life. I hear through the grapevine that his life, on the other hand, is in shambles.
I blame myself for wasting the time I did with him. Sometimes when he pops into my head I get sick to my stomach. I’m afraid he might come back into my life and harm me because he blames me for his miserable life and bad choices.
How do you remove such a negative person from your memory? Is it possible to forget — especially when you want to?
Dear Annoyed: Your experiences have made you the person you are, and at this point in your life, you have made yourself successful and happy. Congratulations for that. Now it’s time to stop listening to news about your ex-boyfriend through the grapevine.
When friends bring him up, tell them you aren’t interested. If he lives nearby, frequents the same places you do and has threatened you, talk to law enforcement or move. Give it time; time has a way of healing. It’s important that you continue getting on with your life. You may find fears will dissipate once you find a new significant other.