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Dear Abby: 40-year-old daughter shuns responsibilities


Dear Abby: My 40-year-old daughter has never grown up. Until recently, she relied on her grandmother to make ends meet. Her grandmother passed away, and now I’m all she has. After she was fired from her civil-service job and evicted from her apartment, she broke her leg in a hiking accident. I got her into an apartment and have been supporting her for a few months now.

Once her leg has healed, she has an entry-level job to return to, however long that lasts. I don’t think it pays enough for her to live on. I offered to pay for training in ANYTHING she’s interested in, but she shows no interest in a part-time job to help with bills. I can’t believe what she tells me because she never learned responsibility, accountability or honesty.

She has now quit texting me because I called her out on her continual excuses, lies and half-truths. I’m committed to paying her rent until her leg is fully healed, but then what? Do I let her go to the street in hopes she’ll learn responsibility? I know what can, and probably will, happen. To say she’s ill-prepared is an understatement. — Fed-Up Dad in California

Dear Dad: Until your daughter learns there are consequences for her irresponsibility, lack of accountability and lying, she will become increasingly dependent on your generosity. That she no longer answers your texts may be a plus.

Continue the arrangement you have with her until her leg has healed and then, finally, let her live with the consequences. It’s the only way she is going to learn. The alternative is to keep supporting her as if she were a child for the rest of your life.

Dear Abby: I’m an attractive, fit and emotionally intelligent 43-year-old woman who has been divorced for almost eight years. I have dated during that time, and even had a five-year relationship with someone I thought would be my future spouse, but who turned out to be a waste of time. I ended the relationship three months ago, and I’m ready to date again.

My problem is I have an aversion to online dating. Most of my relationships have been with men I’ve met via other means, but I feel I may need to use this tool to meet people since I’m so busy with work and being a single mother of two (ages 15 and 11). Joining a group or a club can be difficult, and I don’t have many friends who can fix me up. How can I make this process more enjoyable? — Looking for Love in New Jersey

Dear Looking:  Online dating is enjoyable for some people and abhorrent to others. If the dating pool in your city has shrunk, you may have little choice other than to sign up for some dating apps. Talk to some of your friends and relatives and ask for some pointers. More than a few successful matches have been made online, but understand that it is a sifting process, and you have to be prepared to cope with disappointment if what you want doesn’t happen right away. Keep at it, don’t personalize it (“if at first you don’t succeed …”) and recognize that every failure heightens the odds of success down the line.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com

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