Annie Lane: Boyfriend’s vacation plan makes me seasick 

Published 6:18 pm Friday, April 28, 2023

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Dear Annie: I read your column on a regular basis and completely agree with all of your advice.

I am 62, and my boyfriend is 60. Recently, he asked me to go on a cruise for several days and share a stateroom with his mother. I have never been on a cruise before, and they have. My emotional reaction was no.

I feel strange about sharing a room with them. His mother is wonderful, and I do love them both, yet the close quarters would cause me anxiety. Later, I encouraged him to go with only her and that I could stay back and take care of our pets. I also encouraged him to make the cruise a fun experience around Mother’s Day: a mother-and-son trip.

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I believe I handled this well as everything would be new for me and filled with a slight tension. He took my words well and is looking into the arrangements, and I love him for that. I hope I did the right thing.

— A Bit Too Close For Comfort

Dear Too Close For Comfort: It sounds like you honored your gut, which is always the right thing to do. A family trip of this kind is a big event, but to then also share living quarters— and tight ones, at that— intensifies the situation. I don’t blame you for feeling apprehensive about it. It was likely the better and no doubt safer choice to let your boyfriend and his mother go on the trip alone than to attend when you weren’t fully on board and risk an uncomfortable, anxiety-induced trip for all. I’m sure there will be plenty of opportunities for you to take part in the fun in the future.

Perhaps you can plan a nice dinner for when they return and hear all the details of their vacation.

• • •

Dear Annie: I moved to a new city a year and a half ago where I didn’t know anyone. I got to know a group of my co-workers who had also recently moved. They are my age (early 30s), and it was really great immediately making friends in the new city. We had a lot of fun together. Our values and interests were always a little different, but maybe I was making more of an effort to fit in at the beginning and let it slide.

I most enjoy spending time hiking, reading, making art and eating healthy, and it’s also really important to me to do well at work. Now, when the group of friends invites me to go out drinking late at night before a workday or spend the weekend partying at a vacation house, I really don’t want to go. On top of that, I’ve been dating someone for about a year, and it has been going so great. The friend group is polite to him but has not been super welcoming. I think it is because he is from a non-Western country and doesn’t share similar cultural interests or inside jokes. I don’t want to completely lose these friendships, but I’m not sure what to do here.

— Clocked Out From Co-Workers   

Dear Clocked Out: You can still be on good terms with your co-workers without being as buddy-buddy as you once were. It’s completely normal for relationships like this to ebb and flow; it doesn’t mean anything is wrong with you or your co-workers, simply that you have different priorities in  life at this moment that don’t necessarily align.      

Continue putting time and effort into the things that matter to you— your health and wellness, your relationship, your hobbies— and pursue friendships outside the workplace with those who share your values. 

If it feels right, you can still tag along to an occasional happy hour or that weekend excursion every so often with your office mates, or not, if it doesn’t feel right.

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