Q. My wife and I are in the process of adopting a little boy (age 2) from Ethiopia. He’s supposed to be coming to us in the next month or so.
Just last week, my sister informed me that she has planned a destination wedding in San Diego in two months. This is her second marriage. I told her I would love to be at her wedding, but my wife and I may be caring for a small child who’s just gone through a life-changing ordeal. This upset my sister and my parents. I was told we were being selfish for not being there for family and to just “bring the kid along.” My sister means a great deal to me, and we will make every effort to be there. But if my child is having difficulty, I think that should be my first priority and we should stay home. Am I being inconsiderate or wrong for feeling this way?
A. I agree that your first priority is the family’s new addition. If your toddler is having a tough time adjusting, what he does not need is a room full of strangers, noise, and music. I would only “bring the kid along” if he proves to be an outgoing and sociable child who welcomes noisy interactions. If it’s possible, between his arrival and the wedding, perhaps you could introduce a baby sitter into the situation. Should you wind up staying home, you will just have to hope that your sister and your parents finally come around. And a second marriage is not a first. Ahem.
Q. I am a divorced, single 31-year-old woman. I was married quite young (22) and divorced after seven years. I began dating about a year after the separation and divorce. I had been involved with my ex since I was 18, so my dating experience was extremely limited, if not nonexistent.
My recent dating experiences have been quite upsetting, and there are times when I just want to give up. I’m an attractive woman, fit, university educated, professionally employed, and financially secure, but I guess I am too conservative for this modern age. After a couple of dates, it seems that all the men want from me is to jump in the sack, and I am far from ready for that. After a few dates, I don’t even know how I feel about someone. I find myself getting really depressed about dating. I’ve met men through friends, at professional networking events, bars, online dating sites (the worst!), and even through my mother and her friends — but it always seems the same. Is this the new normal, or has my luck just been atrocious? I take love and intimacy seriously. I find it hurtful that these men do not find it worthwhile to get to know me, and my self-esteem has taken a beating because I feel like nothing more than a potential conquest. Am I just out of touch?
A. You need a new group of men. While what you say is true in many situations, the whole dating world does not play by these rules. For some women, sex has become somewhat meaningless, and the men they dally with are usually not looking for permanence, but, rather, a good time.
Of course, I have dealt with letters like yours before, and my advice remains the same: Lop off the men who expect sex as an alternative to “good night” with a simple “That’s not the way I operate.” You might even find that a few of these “rejects” view you in a new light. Anyway, hang on. You are not the only one for whom hookups seem peculiar, not to mention risky.