FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA

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I’m wondering why my 50-year-old male cousin is living with a much younger female cousin

Dear Annie: My 50-something male cousin has brought a 20-something female cousin to live with him. He calls it “mentoring.” The poor girl is learning disabled.

They are the only two people living in the house, and the arrangement has caused concern for his parents and children. Is this normal? What’s your take on the situation? — Just Wondering

Dear Just: We don’t know what kind of learning disability would require that a 20-year-old live with her older cousin – or anyone. If you mean that the girl is mentally disabled, then someone needs to check on the situation and intervene should the older cousin be taking advantage of her. Because the girl is over 18, it may require legal intervention. If, however, the 20-year-old is perfectly capable of managing her own life and chooses to live with this cousin, there’s not much you can do. We hope her family is keeping an eye on things.

Dear Annie: We recently lost our dear pet dog, “Buster,” and are considering getting another dog. I want to find one who is the same breed and color, call him “Buster” and go on as if his predecessor had not died, but rather had a stroke and needed to be retrained. My wife thinks I’m crazy. What do you think? — RH

Dear RH: We don’t think you’re crazy, but you do seem to be in denial. You should properly grieve for Buster. Pretending another dog is still the same one after a stroke doesn’t do justice to your feelings. It also doesn’t allow you to love your new dog for his own sake. Even with “retraining,” you will continue to expect him to respond to you and behave as Buster did. Please take a little time to mourn the original Buster before you make any decisions about a new dog.

Dear Annie: You printed a lot of responses to “Looking for a Relationship, Too,” who asked where to meet men. What a waste of time to read all of those suggestions. If you are serious about finding someone, the Internet is the best place to look. Just find a reliable dating service online. Be sure to have a pleasant picture of yourself, and if you can’t figure out how to get online, ask any 6th grader to do it for you.

Don’t be too picky about your preferences, and then go out and have fun meeting all sorts of people. Brief first-time meetings for coffee in a public place are best, so neither has to stay long or incur expensive meals. Quit wasting your valuable time looking in all the wrong places. — Content in California on Match.com

Dear Content: The Internet is one way to meet people, but it isn’t the only way (or necessarily the best way), and it is only a preliminary step. Here’s another take on the subject:

Dear Annie: The various suggestions for where to go to meet someone all sound extremely dangerous to me. Whatever happened to single people letting their married friends know they would like to meet someone? I would never take seriously a potential date who didn’t come “pre-screened” for suitability and safety.

As a single woman, I cannot imagine getting into the car of a man I had met on a hike, in a class or even at church. I’ve been at the same church for more than 30 years, and I know plenty of single men and women there. Believe me, I wouldn’t introduce any one of them to a friend as a potential mate. — Cautious in Los Angeles

Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to [email protected], or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 Third St., Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.

Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar

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