Ask Amy

Tuesday, September 4, 2012 at 1:31am

DEAR AMY: Last week I separated from my wife, with zero intention of reconciling. Three days after the separation I met a woman at a weekend-long music festival. We hit it off immediately, and now I can't stop thinking about her.

Nothing sexual happened over the weekend, other than the fact that she kissed me.

Unfortunately, I messed up. When we first met I told her that I had been separated for a few months, when in fact it was merely days. The new girl is in a bad place right now. She recently split from her boyfriend because he cheated on her.

It turned out she knows my ex. I am not sure what she has heard about me, and I feel bad that I did not tell her the truth when we initially met. I have reached out to her with no reply.

I had no intention of meeting someone like this as soon as I did. I would love to see this girl again and possibly turn it into something more. I have contemplated writing a large text message explaining my feelings and outlining the details of the situation, and then leaving it to her. Is this a good idea?

— Lost and Confused

DEAR LOST: The woman involved may be experiencing her own "morning after" regrets, which is why she has not responded to you.

Regardless of what you choose to do, the thing you need to understand about this encounter is that right after a separation there is a tendency to go romantically haywire.

While this can be fun and exciting — leading to fantasies, weight loss and super-long text messages — this behavior will impede your progress as a single man because you do not really know who you are or how to handle yourself.

Look, you've been single for five minutes and have already told a very basic (and important) lie about your life. In six months, you'll look back and realize how vulnerable you were.

There are valid legal, ethical and personal reasons not to become embroiled in a romantic relationship until you are divorced. So don't do it.

DEAR AMY: Until recently, two of my old friends, "Jack and Mary" were engaged. The engagement was broken off when it was revealed that Mary was having an affair with a married man, whom she is now living with.

The married man was part of a couple who were friends with Jack and Mary. I am shocked; I feel like I don't know Mary anymore and I feel terrible for Jack.

In a few weeks, I will be attending the wedding of another friend. Mary is in the wedding party. If she brings her new boyfriend, what should I do? I would never cause drama at my friend's wedding, but I don't know how to interact with these people.

I have no desire to associate with them. I don't want to be rude, but I don't want to fake being friendly and be stuck talking with them either.

— No Drama, Please!

DEAR NO DRAMA: The way to respond to this situation at a social event is to be cordial. This is when you are polite but not overly friendly and deflect any personal awkwardness with general statements, all the while looking for the exit.

Here's a script: "Hello Mary and Brad. Isn't this a wonderful occasion? I'm going to look for my table now. Maybe I'll run into you later."

DEAR AMY: Responding to the letter from "Cheapskate," who was asked to donate money as a guest for a family wedding: When my husband and I were planning our wedding, my future mother-in-law told me about their family's Mexican tradition of having "padrinos and madrinas."

Basically, you send a cost list of different items for the wedding and family members may choose to support a portion (or not).

They are thanked in the wedding program and noted as providing or contributing for the particular item. In some cultures, this contribution is expected and family members are offended if they are not asked!

— Betwixt bride

DEAR BETWIXT: This is a cool tradition, as long as family members know to expect it.

Send questions via e-mail to askamy@tribune.com. Amy Dickinson's memoir, The Mighty Queens of Freeville: A Mother, a Daughter and the Town that Raised Them (Hyperion), is available in bookstores.

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