‘Boy problems’ resurface in middle age

Dear Amy: I have a boy problem! Ugh, I don’t think I’ve said that since my late 20s.

I am 40 now and until I met “him” just three months ago, I had pretty much decided I would be single forever. I was fine with that. Then HE came along.

We exchanged numbers and texted nonstop for two days until we were both available for a “proper date.” It was one of those great first dates. Remember those? We closed down the restaurant. We talked about everything, from work to current events, to where we see ourselves in five years.

The next night, I met his 9-year-old daughter, and a couple of weeks later, I met his best friend and her husband.

We were officially a couple and making big plans. You couldn’t keep us apart. Then he got distant. He asked me to be patient with him because he was falling fast, and he was scared. I didn’t hear from him for about a week, then got a random “how are you” text in the middle of the day. I responded, then nothing again.

I truly believe that he cares about me and that he does want this as much as I do. HELP!

— S

Dear S:

If you are really into this guy (you obviously are), you should be courageous enough to describe your own feelings and concerns, and ask whatever questions you want to ask, without the fear of scaring him off. If a calm and forthright conversation about your budding relationship frightens him, then maybe he is not (currently) available to you.

Understand that this single parent is already in an important relationship — with his child.

Dear Amy: I live in a suburban area with large homes and large lots between them.

Now that spring is here, I am spending as much time as possible outside, gardening. Gardening is my passion — I spend much of the winter planning out my garden beds and combing through seed catalogues.

The other day one of my neighbors called me and (more or less) chewed me out for violating the area’s “shelter in place” order.

Honestly, I was so shocked, I didn’t know how to respond. Now I’m wondering if I have somehow done something wrong.

Can you weigh in?

— Growing Gardener

Dear Gardener: Grow in peace, my friend.

Digging in the earth on your own plot, while maintaining a healthy distance from others, does not expose you — or anyone else — to the coronavirus. Furthermore, if you expand your efforts to put in a few extra rows of vegetables, you will have healthy food to eat and to share come harvest time.

Dear Amy: Responding to the current COVID crisis, I’d like to share the following observation: I think people are becoming “more so…” If they were kind and thoughtful and inclined to be loving before, now they are more so. They are finding ways to help, and finding those who need help, whether it is through sharing their time, money, or kindness.

And those of us who were angry and scared and suspicious before, sadly, are now “more so.”

— Larry

Dear Larry: This is astute. I’m going to carry your wisdom with me for a long time.