Dear Amy: Even though the world is opening up again, I’m still more comfortable meeting people online before meeting them in person.
I’m an anxious introvert and pursue connections with people who make me feel something.
I recently connected with a guy who shares some of my values, and we had a date planned for tomorrow.
The problem? He’s TOO nice (I know most people would do anything for that, but some of his niceness rubs me the wrong way).
I’m not super-attracted to his photos, and I’m repulsed by the sound of his voice.
I gave him an out with a vague explanation, in order to be as kind as possible.
He does seem like someone who would make a good friend, but I don’t want to take advantage of him.
Was I wrong to make that choice before meeting in person?
Am I not “broadening my horizons,” as he suggested?
Or is it the kinder choice to quickly let someone go, when some aspects of their personality or appearance turn you off?
– Inexperienced Dater
Dear Inexperienced: Online matching provides opportunities to basically practice your interpersonal skills – learning, growing, and modifying your behavior and adjusting your judgment as you go.
I agree with you that you would be wasting this other person’s time by agreeing to meet him if you already have a laundry list of complaints about him, especially if you have decided that being “too nice” is a turnoff.
I would also suggest, however, that your need to make this list in the first place might be a sign that you aren’t quite ready to get out there.
As a self-described “anxious introvert,” meeting someone in person might itself be a challenge, so remove the burden of finding your perfect partner.
If you pulled back a bit on your expectations and decided at the outset that for the next couple of months you would use online matching as a way to motivate you to get out in the world, the dynamic would shift, and your own views might open up a bit.
Make that first meeting a daytime coffee date.
You can draw up your list of ways he offends you on the way home.
Dear Amy: I am grandmother to three teenagers.
Our 14-year-old and 18-year-old grandchildren failed all of their classes this year due to the pandemic.
They were always good students.
Tragically, their mother has had them both in psychiatric hospitals.
The 14-year-old has episodes of hurting herself, her mother, and destroying property.
My daughter has now asked me and my husband, who live four hours away and are in bad health, to take this granddaughter for part of the summer.
My response was no, not until she’s stabilized.
My daughter assures me that she will not be a problem.
I am afraid of her, and yet I feel guilty saying no.
What do you suggest?
Dear Desperate: I am so sorry your family is going through this terrible time. It is obvious by now that the pandemic has taken a toll far beyond the physical illness and deaths in its wake. Many people are struggling with the pandemic’s impact on their mental health, but the situation in your daughter’s household is extreme and frightening.
You don’t mention any diagnosis, but you are obviously completely ill-equipped to handle a teenager with extreme self-destructive and violent outbursts.
You’ve already said “no” to a lengthy stay, and you should stand firm.
One way to feel less guilty would be to find ways to be more supportive to your daughter.
You mention having three grandchildren, two of whom are in crisis right now. What about the third grandchild? Taking that child to stay with you for part of the summer might take some of the pressure off of the household, as well as giving that child a respite from the drama at home.
Dear Amy: “C” was an older woman who was tired of waiting for her longtime fiancé to marry her. She was trying to think of various ways to pressure him into marriage.
I wish you had suggested that she should just be happy living together. Marriage isn’t for everyone; it obviously is not for her guy.
– Happily Cohabiting
Dear Cohabiting: I genuinely believe that it is impossible to convince someone to “just be happy” when they are fixated on a particular outcome.
I did say to “C” that the only way to solve this was to resolve her own feelings about it — and not control her guy.
You can email Amy Dickinson at email@example.com or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068.