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Advice | Ask Amy: Should I tell my date about online harassment directed at me?


Dear Amy: I met a great guy. We’ve been on six dates and I’m taking it really slow. This is the first time I’ve dated anyone in the seven years since my ex-husband and I divorced.

The real reason I’m taking it easy is because a person who has a vendetta against me created fake social media accounts to harass me. It’s all over the internet, but all these posts and references are under my old married name. I am working on officially changing my name back to my pre-married name, and O have tried contacting the internet sites but to no avail.

I’d love it if my “newbie” never found out, and so far I don’t think so. Getting my birth name back should solve some of my problems as you have to dig deeper to uncover defamatory information. It won’t show up in a quick search.

Should I tell him, or wait until we have an exclusive and monogamous relationship? I am afraid to tell him now as the relationship is still new. I hope once he knows me better it will have less of an impact.

On the fence: I suggest waiting until you feel more confident about burying this online harassment.

One reason you should wait is if you reveal this now, the guy you’re dating could (out of curiosity) look up these fake accounts and inadvertently make things worse for you by sharing, commenting or trying to to solve this for you.

As you know, any traction on social media accounts can kickstart the algorithm and push the material to more readers. The person who created these accounts may also become aware of some traction and renew this vendetta.

I hope you seek legal and law enforcement advice on what to do next.

Dear Amy: My 62 year old brother just announced that he is in a long term relationship with a 26 year old woman. His adult children (ages 29, 32, 36) have known her for over two years, have been in family therapy and still do not accept this woman in their lives. My brother has been divorced for years and has a history of dating very young women.

Although I am quite disgusted, in the end it is not my choice as I will not be spending time with him/them. My parents, now in their 80s, don’t know what to do. They think the age difference is wrong and are suspicious of the young woman’s motives.

My brother recently showed up at their house and let her sit in the car while he visited our parents; when my mom found out about this, she went out and gave her a hug because she felt sorry for her.

We all don’t know how to handle this situation. Should we accept her and pretend it’s not scary? Or should we continue to refuse to accept her into the family.

– Family without fun

Dear No Fun: It’s enlightening that — as rude as your brother was about letting his partner wait in the car — your mom was both polite and kind enough to find and greet her with a hug.

No wonder your mother is suspicious of this young woman’s motives. Only someone with a powerful ulterior motive (or very low self-esteem) would put up with that level of rudeness from a long-term partner.

Still, I suggest you act like your mother did. Behave in a polite and friendly manner. Do not judge. Don’t form alliances. Do not banish this younger partner to punish your brother. None of you need to “do” or handle anything.

You don’t have to understand your brother’s behavior or his girlfriend’s. So yeah, I guess what I’m saying is accept your brother’s partner and pretend it’s not scary.

Dear Amy: Your response to “Distracted concertgoerabout fussy babies in a concert audience was so off base! In addition to insulting audiences who want to hear the music, you described community bands as organizations where amateur musicians “dust instruments off the back of their coat racks.”

Angry: I suppose I was actually describing my own long history performing with a local community band and choir, which is really an experience straight out of “The Music Man.”

I didn’t mean to offend my fellow musicians.

© 2023 by Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency.

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