DEAR ABBY: I am writing you about dating in these modern times. Lately, I have become perplexed at the vanity and immoral behavior now associated with the task of dating. I’m a single man living by myself with no responsibilities but my own. I am looking for someone who will fit into my lifestyle. Unfortunately, I have encountered some roadblocks that keep me single.
First: I am not looking for a ready-made family.
Second: I’m not in a position to analyze her last relationship, which left emotional baggage.
Third: I am definitely not looking for someone who isn’t business- or life-orientated.
What I want to find is someone who doesn’t have a long history of suitors or life issues that cause further relationship problems. How do I go about separating the disposables from the possibles? – Dating in 2019
DEAR DATING: I find it interesting that nowhere in your letter have you given the impression that you are capable of compromise. I don’t know where you are looking, but I suppose you could eliminate hundreds of candidates from your search simply by reading their résumés and swiping left. However, when you do that, you eliminate women who might make excellent life partners if given the chance.
Successful, mature relationships require flexibility and empathy, and you appear to not understand that. Please consider what I have said. You will find what you are looking for by associating with like-minded individuals and telling them you are looking. Broadening your search in this way could yield surprising results.
DEAR ABBY: My older brother died suddenly two years ago. He was only in his 30s. After his death, I found out he had been homeless and living out of his car. I blame myself for not knowing and not being there when he needed someone.
My siblings seem to have gotten over it, but even after my weekly therapy sessions, I can’t seem to stop crying when I see his picture or hear his name. Is something wrong with me because I can’t seem to let go? It’s so bad that I can’t visit his grave because I get panic attacks on the way there. – Still Grieving in Montana
DEAR STILL GRIEVING: Please accept my deepest sympathy for the loss of your older brother. If you were unaware of his financial situation and that he was homeless, it was likely because he didn’t want you to know. So stop blaming yourself for it.
I’m glad you are seeing a therapist regularly because when a person has experienced a loss like yours and is grieving as you are, therapy can help to relieve the guilt and trauma survivors sometimes feel after the death of a loved one. However, because you have been in therapy for the length of time you have and are not making progress, it may be time to consider changing therapists.