Dear Annie: I've been on-again, off-again with this guy for five years. We're both musicians. We live on opposite coasts, but between touring and picking up studio gigs, we cross paths or end up in each other's city every couple of months.
We were only "official" for about a year, three years ago. We decided to end things because of the distance. But we couldn't just cut things off completely, so we continued to stay in touch via texts and phone calls — as "friends." The next time he was in town, we met up for a drink, and long story short, we ended up spending the whole weekend together. We've done that routine a few times a year ever since.
It's been confusing. We're both technically single, but I've always felt as if I'm in a relationship. I don't have any interest in dating anyone else, and I thought he felt the same way — until last month.
I was going to be in his city for work. I texted him a couple of weeks prior to let him know I'd be in town, and he said he couldn't wait. Then, as the date got closer, he went radio-silent. He stopped responding to any of my texts and didn't answer my calls. Finally, I sent him a long text telling him how angry and hurt I was. He responded with a text telling me he started seeing someone else recently and doesn't want to mess it up.
I feel betrayed and hurt, but maybe worst of all, I can't help but hold out hope that this is just a fling and he'll want me back when it's over. We've had such a good thing for so long. I want to tell him I'd even be willing to relocate if he wanted to try to make it work. But I just don't know where he really stands. It feels as if everything he's said and done for the past five years has sent mixed signals. I wish he would just be straight with me. Help. — Long-Distance Limbo
Dear Long-Distance: He gave you an answer loud and clear, but you've been covering your ears. I don't blame you, as it sounds as if he's been leading you on quite a bit over the past five years. But it's time to face the fact that this man is not interested in a serious relationship with you. The truth hurts, but it will set you free. And should this guy come crawling back in a few months, have enough love for yourself to tell him no.
Dear Annie: What is a proper tip to leave for a hotel maid? I realize it should be left on a daily basis because hotel personnel change, but I'm not sure of the amount. Also, how much should one tip a hospital valet? — Indiana Tipster
Dear Indiana: You're exactly right; it's best to leave a tip every day to ensure the person actually cleaning your room that day receives it. I would recommend tipping between $2 and $5 per day. Leave the cash with a note specifying that the cash is for the housekeeper.
Now, the question of tipping the hospital valet is a little trickier. It's not as if this is the valet stand at a nightclub. Hospitals provide valet service to spare ill and weak patients a long walk, and in fact, many hospitals have a policy of no tips for valets. Talk to a manager at the hospital to find out what the policy is there.
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