Dear Mary Jo,
I’m recently retired, I’m busy and I have things to do. How do I tell my friends and family I can’t be there for every one of their wants and needs?
You’re going to have to take control and set the boundaries. Have your days planned and get comfortable with saying, “No.” Work gives us many excuses and one of those is being busy. Retirement is your time, so use it for what makes life most enjoyable for you. It’s not being selfish taking care of you and becoming invested in things you’ve always wanted to do.
Dear Mary Jo,
When is it appropriate to make a relationship exclusive, because the first time I messed up real big time?
This is a tough question because there is no one answer that fits everyone. If you see them every day you may decide sooner rather than later. As a general rule, never become exclusive until he’s acting like your boyfriend. This usually happens around three months. Some couples decide to be exclusive within a week, but these relationships more frequently end and are posted on social media as complicated. If you suggest exclusivity too soon, or before he’s acting like your boyfriend, you’ll run the risk of scaring him so keep the lines of communication open and use three months as your day to begin the conversation.
If you’re dating other people, remember to use protection at all times.