DEAR ABBY: Parents strive to heal their youngest son’s broken heart

Friday, June 5, 2020

DEAR ABBY: My son, a high school senior, was in a relationship with a young woman who broke up with him and began dating his best friend. He was heartbroken. She played him into being friends and tells him he’s her best friend, but her actions prove otherwise.

His father and I comforted him as best we could, but he still has feelings for her. It was a tough breakup for him, and he says he can’t understand why he feels this way for her. We as parents are having a hard time keeping our opinions to ourselves. We are not happy with him still being around her and try to discourage it as much as possible.

We all attend the same church, from which I’ve offered to remove myself, but my son says no. We limit the time he gets to be around her, but she has begun flaunting other dates in front of him, which is making it hard for us to be cordial toward her.

How can I help my boy heal his heart and move on? He’s my youngest, the last one ready to venture out to college, and I want him to have a fresh start for the new journey. — HEAVYHEARTED MOM

DEAR MOM: Some lessons in life people must learn for themselves, and this is one of them. As much as you wish to help your son heal his heart, he’s going to have to arrive at the realization that there’s more pain than pleasure associated with the girl who rejected him. That is when he will move on, not before.

College will provide him an opportunity to meet new people and cultivate new interests. Being in a new environment will also help. In the meantime, be patient, refrain from saying anything nasty (as tempting as it might be) about his former girlfriend and keep your son as busy as you can.

DEAR ABBY: Due to the coronavirus epidemic, handshaking is no longer being practiced. I have never been a fan of handshaking anyway. In the future, it may be acceptable to forgo handshaking altogether. What will be the best way to avoid it without seeming unfriendly or germophobic? — RESISTING IN MINNESOTA

DEAR RESISTING: Try doing what I do. I place both palms together in front of my chest as though praying, smile and greet the person. No one has been offended by it, and it’s a common way people greet each other in India.

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.