Gifts Cause Discomfort

Dear Annie: My 94-year-old mother has had a sweetheart for about eight years. “John” is 97, is almost blind and deaf, depends heavily on his walker and has begun showing signs of mental confusion. His two sons care for him. Their circumstances appear to be modest.

John is smitten with my mom and has recently started giving her money. First it was $70, which she used to buy some blouses; then it was $100, “for pants.” Yesterday he gave her $200. (I have not been present during these interactions, but Mom has shown me the money.) John insists that these gifts must be kept secret from his sons. I am uncomfortable with keeping the secret and the money and am afraid there will be more coming down the pike. I do not want to betray his trust by telling his sons. My concerns are that this may be money that the family needs, that sneaking money to my mom creates an unhealthy atmosphere and that John may not be able-minded enough to make such decisions. Mom does not want the money, but John is insistent. What do you think? — Concerned Daughter

Dear Concerned Daughter: For John, this isn’t about the gifts; it’s about the giving. He wants his partner to feel cherished. So perhaps your mom could let her benevolent beau know all the ways he makes her feel special that don’t involve money. He’ll rely less on material things to express his love if he realizes that simply holding her hand makes her feel like a million bucks.

Dear Annie: I used to date this guy, and I ended up blocking his phone number. When we were seeing each other, he would only see me once every week or two. He only answered my messages or phone calls sometimes. We usually met late at night, and he would always make me leave his house early in the morning for some reason. I really miss him, and I think that we would really make each other happy if we were in a serious relationship. But he doesn’t seem to be ready to open up with me or be serious with me. I slept with some other people while we were seeing each other, and I believe he was with other women then, too. He never does admit to it.

I believe that he has major feelings for me because I can feel our chemistry together. I know he sounds horrible, but I really think that he loves me. I have cried over him these past weeks, and I feel really sad that we are no longer talking. Should I continue moving on without him or try to pursue being with him if he ever does get in touch with me again? I will never call or message him again unless maybe he contacts me. — Curious for Advice

Dear Curious for Advice: You blocked his number for a reason. It’s time to block it again. I know you’re looking for love and companionship, but you won’t find it in him. Move on, even if you don’t quite want to yet. Being single is so much better than being in a relationship with someone who doesn’t appreciate you. Keep yourself open for someone who is thrilled to spend time with you. Don’t give another day of your life to a man who only gives you his nights.

Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com. To find out more about Annie Lane and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

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