Dear Dr. Wallace:
I’ll be 91 in a month. I might be a bit old to be writing to someone who mainly addresses teenagers, but at least I do feel young at heart.
I married my teenage sweetheart when we were both 19, and we will celebrate our 70th wedding anniversary in November. Unfortunately, we couldn’t have children. I never had the pleasure of being a mother, but I sure do love children. That’s why I enjoy reading your column; it keeps me in touch with our wonderful young people.
I am responding to the young lady who wrote saying that ever since she broke up with her boyfriend, all she does is go to school and stay in her room. You told her that she needed to get out and make new friends. I’d like to mention that a wonderful place to make new friends is to volunteer at a nearby senior center. She will meet many wonderful people who are bursting to share their wisdom, experience, advice and love with her. I should know; I’m one of them!
— Older and Perhaps Wiser, via mail
Dear Older And Perhaps Wiser: Please allow me to congratulate you and your husband on a fabulous 70th wedding anniversary! According to my sources, the 60th wedding anniversary and every fifth anniversary thereafter are called “diamond anniversaries.” So, this is your third glistening jewel of an anniversary. How appropriate, because you, my dear, are a gem yourself!
Dear Dr. Wallace: About a month ago, I met a new guy. Now he’s my boyfriend, and I’m happy to report that we quickly fell in love. It literally feels like we are meant for each other. We live about a 45-minute drive away from each other and see each other every weekend. We love getting together, and we always have a great time together. I really look forward to the weekends!
However, it has recently come to my attention that my boyfriend has been secretly checking up on me during the week! He drives all the way over to my town and never contacts me but spies on me instead. A friend of mine saw him and tipped me off. I didn’t believe it, but that afternoon, I was able to casually glance in the area I was told he would be, and to my utter surprise, there he was!
It was way across a food court at a mall, and he didn’t know I had seen him. So, now I don’t know what to do or say about all of this.
I think that if he loved and trusted me, he wouldn’t be checking up on me, but when we’ve been together in past weeks, he did say several times that he loved me and would always look out for me. I just didn’t think his “look out for me” comment involved spying! What’s up with this?
— Spied On, via email
Dear Spied On: You are quite right to be concerned here. This type of behavior could indicate the early stages of stalking, which could grow into a very unpleasant or dangerous situation.
I suggest that the next time you see him, ask him if he ever visits your town during the week without making contact with you. If he lies about this, stop seeing him immediately. You have admitted that you’ve only known him for a month, so there’s a lot about him you are unaware of at this point.
If, however, he immediately admits that he was there — and if he has a truly legitimate reason for being in your town — then you can begin to consider evaluating his intentions and his character further.
Based solely upon your letter, I wouldn’t convict him quite yet of stalking, but the circumstantial evidence does not look good.
Even so, it’s quite strange and concerning that he would drive nearly an hour to your town without ever mentioning it in advance to you.
Tread carefully here, and don’t be afraid to cut ties completely if his explanation rings hollow. Your personal safety must be your top priority at all times.