(NNPA)—Dear Gwendolyn: I may end my friendship with a fellow female college alum whom I reunited with after working for 12 years in another town. After a year of reunion, I now believe we have irreconcilable differences.

I must confess over the years I did not get to know her too well except with my own phone calls. Recently she sent me a series of emails that hinted at my current unemployment, lack of marriage and lack of children. As a result, I have written a letter that I may send her informing her of my decision to terminate my friendship and explaining why.—Ellen


Dear Ellen: Do not send that letter. Let me tell you this: Women in general do not always have a lasting friendship as much as many men seem to develop. There were many warnings you ignored as women do. You failed to realize that you were calling her and not her calling you. Rid yourself of the word irreconcilable. Relationships have differences, but just plain old friendship is not physically bonding and should not lead to where you feel the two of you should act alike, think alike, dress alike, and basically be alike.

Ellen, I strongly suggest that you terminate the friendship but do not go through the bother of explaining why. When people think they have caused you to stop whatever you are doing to deal with them, they are happy. I cannot tell you the number of times I have had to deal with jealousy even within family. As to her comments regarding your single life without children, she probably wishes she could step into your shoes.

Think about it. Throughout your life you will meet good friends and false friends. Use your best judgment, but always be watchful of those who carry—an invisible knife

(Got a problem? Don’t solve it alone. Write to Gwendolyn Baines at: P.O. Box 10066, Raleigh, N.C. 27605-0066 [to receive a reply send a self addressed stamped envelope] or e-mail her at: gwenbaines@hotmail.com or visit her website at: http://www.gwenbaines.com.)

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