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Dear Amy: I am 60 years old and have been single for 20 years. My best friend tells me I'm "man crazy" because I keep trying to connect emotionally with men at church, my favorite venue for meeting nice men.
My friend says I fall in love with every man who talks to me. She told me recently that she thinks men generally avoid me because I'm too aggressive.
I think I have a lot to offer a man, but evidently I drive them away.
Amy says: You seem to think you attend the "Church of Heavenly Hookups." So let's start with your description of your house of worship as "my favorite venue for meeting nice men."
Church is a great place to connect with people, but the primary connection should be spiritual or communal.
You sound like a stalker. You could work on understanding your galloping emotions by seeing a therapist.
Church is not the appropriate venue for you to practice your flirting skills. Listen carefully to your friend's description of your behavior and ask her to help you. She might make a good "wingman" -- but not at church.Bragging about IQ
Dear Amy: I am very close to my niece. She has two daughters who are in the gifted classes at their elementary school. I used to be a teacher and can tell that their IQs are indeed high.
The problem is that my niece brags to everyone about this, and now her two daughters are also bragging. How do I diplomatically tell her this is wrong?
Amy says: First, you should determine whether this is really a larger problem -- or merely a turnoff for you. Would it bother you if the kids were boys and if they were bragging about getting on the travel team for soccer?
If you are convinced this bragging will create problems for the kids, you can start by praising the children and asking your niece how things are going in school so far this year. Then ask her, "How do other families react when you point out the kids' achievements?"
Then you should say you have heard the kids boasting. Tell her it's important that they are proud of their achievements, but that pointing out their advantages can cause problems with their relationships with other children.
A high IQ is a blessing, but emotional intelligence is important, too. The girls should be encouraged to be as loud and proud as they care to be about their smarts. But they must never do so in a way that diminishes or puts down another child.
If they are excessively obnoxious, their classmates will let them know.
Send questions via e-mail to Amy Dickinson at firstname.lastname@example.org.