Dear Annie: I recently reconnected with someone I had not seen in over three years. “Bev” is a friend of my sister’s and someone whom I find very attractive. She also is a genuinely nice person, and I know that she thinks highly of me as well.
I would love to ask her out, but she has a boyfriend. Bev’s friends and family do not like this guy. Three months ago, when the boyfriend moved 3,000 miles away, everyone expected them to break up, but it hasn’t happened.
I value Bev’s friendship and would like it to be more, but I’m not sure how to proceed. How do I let her know I am interested without coming off like a complete snake for stepping on her boyfriend? — Smitten and Confused
Dear Smitten: Well, don’t act like a snake. Bev is in a committed relationship, regardless of the distance and how her family feels about the guy. She will continue to think highly of you if you are respectful of that.
When you speak to Bev, be friendly, but casual. If you wish to ask her to join you for coffee because you happen to be in her neck of the woods, that’s OK, but under no circumstances should you ask her out or imply any interest other than friendship. This way she will think of you as a great guy whose company she enjoys, and if she and Mr. Distant should break up, you will be in her thoughts. If they stay together, you will still be on good terms and have nothing to be ashamed of.
Dear Annie: My husband and I have been married for 35 so-so years. “Vince” is diabetic and about 100 pounds overweight. At night, he snores, breathes heavily, turns over and coughs repeatedly. He gets up several times to use the bathroom, and sometimes he leaves to watch TV or read in another room. He also uses a breathing machine, and takes it off every time he gets up, so that makes some noise. Not to mention, in the wee hours, while I am sleeping, Vince might turn the light on, touch me or start talking to resolve an issue. Obviously, all this keeps me awake.
I have unsuccessfully tried earplugs and pillows over my head, so a few months ago, I started sleeping in our second bedroom. This is a source of huge sadness for Vince, but I am in heaven. I still crawl into bed with him at night, and return first thing in the morning, because I know it is important to him.
Vince is putting pressure on me to come back and sleep all night in the bed with him. He has said that I’m not nurturing and kind. Can you help? — Need ZZZs
Dear Need ZZZs: Vince sounds like a control freak. He keeps you from getting any sleep, often on purpose, and even though you try to spend time with him in the bedroom, he refuses to let you leave so you can rest. He wants you to stick around so he can torture you. Get some counseling and find out why Vince is harboring so much passive-aggressive hostility toward you.
Dear Annie: Thanks for publishing the letter from “Gaga-Googoo,” whose co-worker talked in baby talk. I have a friend who does this, particularly with new acquaintances — people she meets in elevators, waitstaff, cashiers, you name it. Not only is it insulting to everyone’s intelligence, it is embarrassing.
Some friends and I finally called a psychologist who said the reason these people resort to baby talk is because they want unconditional approval. Most of them come from broken homes and unconsciously seek to replace the bond that was left unfulfilled. It’s all about love and approval. — Robert
Dear Robert: A great number of the things we do are about love and approval. Thank you for the insight.
“Annie’s Mailbox” is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar. This column was originally published in 2016. To find out more about Classic Annie’s Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators Syndicate at www.creators.com.