DEAR ABBY: I have been reading your column for years, regularly taking advice that you give to others and applying it to my circumstances.
I have developed a mutual bond with a woman who is 30 to 28 years younger than me. She’s a waitress at a restaurant I frequent.
I’ve watched her kids grow over the past six or seven years. We had many meaningful conversations and shared our highs and lows. She is friendly by nature.
Three or four years ago she started sharing casual side hugs when I arrived. I never ask about it. Over the past year, these hugs have become more intimate — not in a sexual way, just a deeper bond of friendship. We chat occasionally when she’s not at work, but I don’t see her socially.
Lately she’s been teasing that she’ll be my next ex. I answer the flirting and teasing. I believe there is a mutual attraction. Without the age difference, which I have no problem with, or the fear of causing trouble with our friendship, I would ask her out.
Social taboos weigh heavily on my mind, and I’m pragmatic.
Should I or shouldn’t I? Or am I reading too much about our friendship?
UNSURE IN THE MIDWEST
BEST UNSURE: Since I haven’t seen the chemistry between you two, I couldn’t say. However, nothing was ventured, nothing gained.
The next time you see her after one of those “more intimate” hugs, teasingly tell her that you’ve been thinking about her comment that she’ll be your next ex and ask her if she’d like to have dinner with you. Her reaction will tell you if you’ve read too much about the friendship.
DEAR ABBY: I’ve been with my husband for seven years and I’m tired of having the same fight every day. He smokes marijuana and I hate it.
It has been a constant battle for years. We’ve tried therapy, which helped for a while, but behind my back, he’s smoking again. We’ve tried to compromise that he doesn’t smoke until after a certain time of day, but it still leads to fights.
He shuts me out when he’s on drugs and says I don’t care about his happiness because it’s something he enjoys, and I take it away.
I love him so much, but I hate drugs and I don’t like who he becomes when he smokes.
I want a baby, but I don’t feel comfortable with drugs in the house. I feel like I can’t trust him to be alone with a baby when he’s high.
I don’t want to leave him, but I can’t take it anymore. Having the same fight every day is exhausting, and it has had a very negative impact on our marriage.
I want him to choose me, but if I give him an ultimatum, he will hate me. What shall I do?
ANTI-DRUG IN ILLINOIS
BEST ANTI-DRUG: Give your husband that ultimatum and pack your bags. If you’d rather your kid’s dad doesn’t have a marijuana habit and he can’t quit, then no matter how much you love him, this person isn’t the one for you. Sorry.
Dear Abby was written by Abigail Van Buren, aka Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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