How Can I Reconcile With A Friend Who Told Me To Stop Contacting Her, Blocked Me, And Moved Away, And Other Advice Column Questions
GOOD QUESTION

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There are too many excellent advice columns to keep up with, so we're committed to bringing you links to the best advice column questions and answers every week. Here's a roundup of the most interesting, thought-provoking and surprising questions that our favorite columnists (and subreddits) addressed in recent days.

How Can I Reconcile With A Friend Who Told Me To Stop Contacting Her, Blocked Me, And Moved Away?

I had this friend that I met eight months ago at a local boxing gym here in Chicago. We got along extremely well and even hung out a couple of times. However, she left her job at the gym two months later and things started falling apart.

I started sending excessive messages on her social media, and she didn't like it. By the following month, she had enough. She told me I have an unhealthy attachment to her and we would go our separate ways. She blocked me from all social media, and she hasn't contacted me since.

Four months later, I am better, but she is still in my head. I really want to write her a nice and sincere letter and reconcile with her and have her be my friend again. I didn't know that I was doing something wrong.

I have tried reaching out to her multiple times recently via email, to no avail. In the meantime, one of her friends told me she has moved to Texas, which makes it even more heartbreaking. How can I show her I can be her friend again without exhibiting those same "toxic" behaviors? 

[UExpress]

Abigail Van Buren accurately describes the letter writer's behavior as stalking. "She has sent you clear signals that she's not interested in being friends — or anything more — with you," she writes. "For your own sake, take the hint, leave her alone and, please, learn from this experience so you won't repeat it with someone else." Read the rest of her answer.

How Can I Get Over The Fact That My Ex Lied To Me About Being Infertile To Test Me?

Five years ago I broke up with "Amy" because she couldn't have children. I felt awful about it, but having a family had always been important to me, and she wasn't interested in adoption or surrogacy right from the start. We just couldn't imagine a future where we were happy. Then about a week before shelter-in-place orders started, I ran into Amy at a farmer's market. She was six months pregnant. We talked for a while, I congratulated her, and she asked if I was a dad yet. When she found out I wasn't she said that this baby could have been mine if I'd passed her test. According to Amy she'd never been told she was infertile — she just wanted to see if I loved her enough to give up on being a dad. So she lied for over four months until we broke up. 

I can't get over it. I don't know if it is because I'm stuck inside on my own or what, but it just eats at me. It's not the "what if" of it all. I am just angry and frustrated. The fact that I felt guilty for years because of a lie makes me feel like an idiot. The fact that she came up with this out of nowhere makes me feel like I never knew her. Who does something like that? Maybe if I talk it out with someone it would be better, but it doesn't really seem like a phone conversation…

This was a really weird thing to do, right? How do I stop chewing on something like this?

[Slate]

Danny M. Lavery agrees that this was a really weird thing to do. "You have every right to be shocked and hurt and angry," he writes. "Give yourself a lot of time to feel that way, and please do reach out to as many people as you possibly can." Read the rest of his answer.

Am I Wrong To Be Upset That My Boyfriend Dedicated The Book I Helped Him Edit To OJ Simpson?

My boyfriend of 5 years has many great traits, but the one very weird quirk is that he's convinced OJ didn't do it. He's seen every documentary and mini series and still thinks OJ is innocent. His explanation of who he thinks did it is probably even crazier than other OJ truthers, but he's not a conspiracy theorist other than this so I mostly let it go…

He recently self published a book, unrelated to OJ. It's just science fiction. I read all his drafts and helped him edit. Perhaps narcissistically I thought I would be the person to whom he dedicated the book. It wasn't until I ordered it that I opened and saw it was dedicated to fucking OJ.

Now I know it's his right to do whatever he wants but I wouldn't have been upset if he dedicated it to his mom or something. But he's never met OJ. He said he hoped the book would go big, people would buy it and be thrown off by the dedication (which talks about OJ being innocent) and this would "open the Pandora's box" to the world... [H]is Hope was to write a science fiction book (seemed odd to me because he's not usually a writer) that would "be the next viral novel" with the secret agenda of highlighting OJ. He also was hoping OJ himself would see it.

He's telling me none of this affects me so I'm in the wrong to be so offended. But come on….this just feels like delusion and it makes me angry that I helped him edit a book that turned out to be some OJ related secret plot.

[Reddit via Twitter]

The commenters on the r/AmItheAsshole subreddit vote that neither the letter writer nor their boyfriend is a jerk, but most argue that the boyfriend's preoccupation with OJ Simpson is concerning. "It would be one thing to want to write a scifi novel for the sake of writing a scifi novel and then happen to dedicate it to OJ, but from what you described, he has a master plan to exonerate OJ's image, and this novel is just a piece of the plan," one of them writes. "That's not exactly normal thinking." Read the rest of their answers.

Should I Say Something To My Coworker Who Emailed The Entire Staff To Say COVID-19 Is A Hoax?

I am wondering if I am overreacting or if this is really as bad as I think it is. I have a coworker (she's an admin assistant) who has frequently sent what I feel to be politically charged emails to the entire staff. Yesterday, we all got one saying that COVID-19 is a hoax, and that if we're smart, we'll abandon our state's continuing stay-at-home order and start going about our lives as normal. This seems highly inappropriate to me, and like a liability to my employer. She also wears t-shirts with political slogans to work, shirts which are clearly against our dress code. Should I speak up, or just hope management is dealing with this behind the scenes?

[Ask A Manager]

Alison Green encourages the letter writer either to reply to the coworker directly to tell her not to send those kinds of emails or to ask the coworker's boss to handle it. "I'm surprised that your management hasn't already shut this down — if nothing else, because they presumably don't want others to start flooding your staff email list with their own political messages," she writes. Read the rest of her answer.

Should I Move In With My Boyfriend, With Whom I Have A Child, Against My Parents' Wishes?

I'm 24 years old and have been with my partner, "Bob," for six years. We have a child together and both families know that we are in a relationship. Bob and I want to take our relationship to the next level and move in together, but I don't know how to approach my parents because they want marriage first. Please help. 

[Dear Wendy]

Wendy Atterberry points out that the idea of marriage before moving in doesn't make much sense when there's already a child in the picture. "You already took your relationship to the 'next level,'" she writes. "Move the hell in together if that's what you want." Read the rest of her answer.

Hasn't Feminism Deprived Women Of The Benefit Of Traditional Manners And Male Deference?

Women today have been empowered to act and speak out against sexual harassment, bullying, rape, etc. This is a major milestone.

However, over the past few years I have observed the lack of traditional manners toward women by men. I notice husbands and male partners pushing through doors before their wives and dates (instead of holding doors open). I see them seating themselves in restaurants before their dates and wives have been seated.

Along with the gains that women have made, have they also lost the benefit of traditional manners and male deference?

[Tribune Content Agency]

Amy Dickinson opines that most women don't care about traditional manners and male deference. "Kind and loving people (no matter the gender) demonstrate their consideration by being polite, deferential, kind and courteous toward one another," she writes. Read the rest of her answer.

LV Anderson is the news editor at Grist and an advice column aficionado.

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