Dear Abby: Keeping relatives at arm’s length

DEAR ABBY >> I grew up in a big lower-class family in which there has always been drama, fights, gossip, etc.

I made a vow to myself that when I had my own family, I would raise them better. I keep myself and my children distanced from all of that.

Am I wrong for keeping them away from my family? I don’t like drama or problems.

Sometimes I miss my family, but after a while, I get overwhelmed.

— Separate In Chicago

DEAR SEPARATE >> As a parent, your responsibility is to protect your children.

If you feel exposing them to something might be harmful, you are within your rights to keep them away.

However, if you are raising your children in a healthy environment, exposing them to your family drama in LIMITED DOSES isn’t likely to be harmful.

Afterward, if your relatives behaved badly, use it as a teaching moment.

Use them as a “bad example” and point out that in YOUR family, you do not behave that way.

DEAR ABBY >> I am a single man who recently turned 40.

I am looking to find a wife who, like myself, has never been married and has no kids. I joined several dating websites, but most of the women are divorced or widowed or have kids.

I just discovered a new dating website for single, never married people.

I’m not sure if I should join it, but having a website designed for people like me is a great idea.

I have read that 25% of all Americans have never been married.

Pew Research just reported a brand-new poll and millions of Americans have never been married, so I am not losing hope.

Should I join?

— Contemplating In Florida

DEAR CONTEMPLATING >> By all means, explore that new dating site. When you do, expect to meet women who are considerably younger than you.

Remember, however, that once you connect, you will have to take all of the precautions that people on other sites do to ensure that you do not get misled.

Dating, regardless of how you meet someone, can be risky. I wish you luck.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips.

Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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