I was talking to this man for more than a year. He never asked me out, never invited me to his house and never came to my house (he’d always make some excuse for why he couldn’t come). We work at the same company but in different departments, so we never see each other during working hours. However, he called me on the phone at least seven times every single day. I finally told him not to call me anymore. Now he’s spreading rumors and being really hateful. What do you think?
—Lisa in Florida
What I’m thinking is: No comprendo. Seven calls a day in one year comes to 2,555 phone calls. What did you two talk about? The weather? Your favorite American Idol contestant? The rate of unemployment? And now he’s “spreading rumors.” What is he saying? That you’re a lousy listener? That you ruined him with all of those high phone bills? I think both of you suffer from acute cases of babblemania, a contemporary disease aggravated by cute, state-of-the-art communication devices that seduce you into talking for the sake of talking 24/7. I think you’ve wasted a year of your life doing . . . nothing. Hang up on this sorry, nonexistent relationship once and for all and ignore this man. You should have gotten his busy signal a long time ago. As for you, let this be a lesson: Real relationships must be nurtured in real time, face to face.
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