Dear Amy: I am just coming out of an eight-year relationship with a man I met through an internet dating site.
Back then, my friends were urging me to try internet dating. I said I would try it for a month. Before the month was up, I met "Don."
Although the "plus" of this experience was meeting Don, I felt the rest of it was awful.
I met a number of "single" men who were married. I met a number of "50- and 60-"-year-olds who were actually in their 70s or 80s.
I found the majority of the men were weird and had issues — and all of them expected sex on the first or second date. I didn't find it enjoyable in the least.
Now that I am single again, everyone is urging me to once again go back to the internet.
I cannot bring myself to go back on a dating site. And yet I do not want to be single for the rest of my life.
How do I handle my insistent friends? Am I the weird one by not embracing internet dating?
Amy says: Let's review: You participated in an internet matching site. Before you'd even emerged from the free trial, you had managed to meet "Don," and embarked on an eight-year relationship.
Yes, you also interacted with many men who were not acceptable to you. But the internet's unbeatable asset is in the great and wide database offered to people who are looking for a match. It also requires that you more or less embrace the process, even if you don't particularly enjoy it.
There are many more matching sites now than there were eight years ago, when you had your awful (but successful) experience. If you want to interact with the largest circle of people to see if there is a match for you, then online is the best way to do that.
If you can't handle "insistent friends" with a simple "thanks, but no thanks," then you are definitely not equipped to dive back into the internet pool, anyway.
If you continue to feel this way, you could ask each of your insistent friends to fix you up with someone in their "real-life" circle.
Teen on tight leash
Dear Amy: I'm an 18-year-old girl. I live at home.
My parents dictate and have to know everything I do: where I go, who I'm with, why I'm going.
They will give me a curfew. If I'm one minute late because of traffic, they get upset and threaten to ground me. They control my phone, too — who I call, text and e-mail.
They have controlled my life for 18 years. I want more freedom and responsibilities. I want to be able to go out and if I want to make an extra stop, to do it without them on my back.
I know they love me, but I'm tired of being their little baby. I'm the oldest out of eight kids and they always say I have to be an example. But I feel like a robot because I do everything they want.
I'm afraid that if I go against them they will kick me out and never let me see them or my siblings.
Amy says: Much of what you are feeling is basically the lament of the oldest child. Understand that your parents are learning how to be parents. It is easier to tightly control a child than to tolerate the anxiety of loosening the leash.
Your job is to respect their rules while you are in the house, and to make plans to leave home as soon as possible. Many young people find freedom through college; if you aren't college-bound, it's time to find employment and start to push back.
Don't let them control you through threats of punishments. In every futuristic movie, the robots rebel; it might be time for your uprising.
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