Dear Amy: I am a 57-year-old man dating a 49-year-old woman. We’ve been together for over a year.
She is beautiful, smart and tons of fun. However, she never puts her phone down. No matter what we are doing or where we are, she is texting and answering texts from her teenage children.
She will sit in a dark movie theater and text her son about where his shoes are, or answer questions that could definitely wait until she isn’t busy. Her reply is that she has three kids and has to be available to them always, no matter what.
To make it even more complicated, she plays online games and thinks nothing of whipping out her phone in a nice restaurant as I sit there humiliated while waitresses look at me with pity.
She says I am old-fashioned and that this is normal behavior. Is it?
Amy says: Let’s grant your gal’s obsession with her teenage kids’ shoes. If she is an involved mom and not at home because she is with you, then I’d say yes — she should get a pass to communicate with them. (But no texting in the theater!) But why is she playing “Candy Crush” at the dinner table? Do you confront her about her rudeness? And if not — why not?
You are a fellow adult. You have feelings. You don’t like being ignored, discounted and then told that your feelings are less important than her online gaming, or that you are “old-fashioned” because you don’t like being ignored.
Frankly, she doesn’t seem that into you. If she was, she would be paying more attention when she was with you.
Enjoy this relationship for what it is, while it lasts. But I hope that ultimately you will choose to be with someone who makes you feel wanted and worth it.
Libraries not the silent type
Dear Amy: Every afternoon I go to my public library to pick out books, do a little work and just enjoy the atmosphere.
Lately there is a group of children who come to the library after school. They are given access to a (monitored) computer, and they play a game that has verbal prompts and various noises. It is like nails on a blackboard. I cannot stand it.
I don’t want to discourage these kids from coming to the library, but is there anything I can do?
Amy says: Libraries are changing, as they transition from being silent places where the books stood sentry, to places more like community centers. I applaud these changes, even though I know it’s a tough adjustment.
A library is the perfect place for children to gather, and I hope you will keep this in mind, even as you cope with the annoyance.
Ask your librarian if there are designated quiet times or quiet spaces where silence will rule. Or bring along some headphones. Noise-canceling headphones might be a game-changer for you.
Send questions to Amy Dickinson at firstname.lastname@example.org.