Daughter wants to be ‘friends’ after 17 years

A while back, I signed up for Facebook in order to stay in touch with friends and renew old acquaintances.

Dear Annie: A while back, I signed up for Facebook in order to stay in touch with friends and renew old acquaintances.

Several weeks ago, my husband’s 35-year-old daughter, “Sheila,” sent me a friend request.

She has not been in touch with us since she turned 18, when my husband no longer had to pay child support. Obviously, they were never close. The only time we heard from her was when she wanted money.

I told my husband about the request, and he said to ignore it. But Sheila is now married with a child, and I’d like to think she has since matured and wants to reconnect with her father.

Of course, his impression is that she wants something from us. Out of respect for my husband’s wishes, I did not respond to Sheila’s request.

Even though I have no desire to be Facebook friends with my husband’s daughter, I feel stuck in the middle. I think he should get to know her again and meet his grandchild.

I do not want to go behind his back to establish contact. What should I do? — Stuck in the Middle in Kansas

Dear Stuck: We hope your husband realizes that an 18-year-old girl is apt to behave much differently than a 35-year-old married mother.

As the adult during the divorce, it was your husband’s responsibility to maintain a relationship with his child and not allow her adolescent anger to get in the way.

We think Sheila deserves another chance, and so does your husband. Encourage him to make contact.

He has a grandchild to think of. And if she’s only after money, he’ll find out soon enough. (And he can always say “no.”)

Dear Annie: I am a single mom in my 40s. I’ve been divorced for two years and am dating again for the first time in more than 20.

I recently met a great guy. I was very upfront and let him know early on that I was looking for a long-term relationship. I am very traditional when it comes to dating and marriage.

In turn, he made it clear that he was not sure what he wanted. We go out to dinner and dancing, and I’ve met several of his friends. This seems like a relationship to me, but I don’t want to make assumptions. It’s only been six weeks, but I need to know: Should I just be patient and let it play out?

Or do I talk to him again and tell him how I feel at this point? My heart and my head are telling me two different things. — Hopeless Romantic

Dear Hopeless: You are in too big of a hurry to make this permanent.

Yes, it’s a “relationship,” but that means nothing when it comes to the long haul. This guy has told you that he isn’t ready to commit.

You haven’t been dating all that long, and if you demand to know his future intentions now, you will push him away.

You can enjoy what you have and hope there is more down the road. But if you are in a rush to get married, look elsewhere.

Please e-mail your questions to anniesmailbox@comcast.net, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045.

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