Dear Amy:

I'm a 21-year-old female college student. I dated a guy my age for six months, but I ended the relationship last year because I didn't feel we were compatible anymore.

I do have some feelings for him, but I have told him that they aren't enough for me to want to get back together with him.

We are still friends and hang out.

A few days ago, he told me that he is still in love with me.

I told him that I felt bad because I did not feel the same way about him and that I didn't want him waiting around for me. He says that he wants to be only with me and that he has faith that one day I'll come back.

I don't know what I can say or do that will convince my ex that I will never get back together with him!

However, I still want to be his friend, so I don't know how I can make this work.

Sometimes he tries to give me massages or hugs me for a long time. Sometimes he asks me for kisses. It makes me uncomfortable.

I want him to let me go and move on, but I'm shy about expressing my feelings. I know he may not be able to make his feelings go away, but I feel as if he is delusional in thinking we'll get back together.

- Tired of the Ex

Dear Tired:

If your ex is physical with you in a way that makes you uncomfortable, you should tell him so and leave the relationship immediately. Your history together shouldn't matter - he absolutely must respect your wishes in this regard.

You will have to create more distance from your ex for him to move on. Sometimes it's just not possible to be friends after a relationship has ended - especially if you project your ambivalence, or he is too dense or doesn't care enough about your goals to pay close attention.

Dear Amy: My eldest son entered high school this year, so now I wake up rather early to get him up and drive him to school. Because of my schedule change, I have noticed my next-door neighbor's routine. Every morning she irons her clothes in front of her window in the nude.

I discovered this one morning when I was coming back into the house after taking out the trash. At first, I didn't believe what I saw.

There have been a couple of times I thought she saw me and darted out of the room or bent down to pick up something. Then the next day the blinds would be closed.

I have had this unfortunate experience four or five times now, and it happened again today.

I am furious.

My husband says I should talk with her and act as if she must not be aware of her visibility. Personally, I don't believe she is unaware, and I am not sure I can do it nicely.

We both worry if it isn't handled well there could be backlash against us in the neighborhood as she tries to cover up her behavior. We have two teenage sons to worry about being exposed to this situation, not to mention the fact that some of the neighbors down the street must see this, as well.

Until this situation is resolved, I feel I have to change my morning routine to try to avoid her. This is hard to do because my kitchen is alongside her window.

Please help me handle this situation with grace.

- Don't Like the View

Dear Don't Like:

One would wonder about basic safety issues when someone chooses to iron in the nude. Yikes!

I agree with your husband that you should approach your neighbor personally and assume that she is unaware (or forgets) that you and your family can see her. Don't wait until this happens again and you are too steamed to be calm.

If you handle this neutrally and privately, there shouldn't be any neighborhood backlash.

After you speak, if she continues her nude ironing routine, you will have to close your own blinds.

 

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