Solid plan can ease process of daughter leaving nest


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DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I thought some of my friends were cruel when they’d say to their 18-year-olds: “Now’s the time for you to find a place of your own and start to be an adult!”

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DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I thought some of my friends were cruel when they’d say to their 18-year-olds: “Now’s the time for you to find a place of your own and start to be an adult!”

Well, now I wish I’d taken their lead, and done the same thing years ago. My daughter is 27 years old, and has no desire to ever leave home! Why would she? She lives in a beautiful home with her meals and laundry looked after.

I’ve tried to have conversations with her about moving, and she tears up and says, “You don’t like living with me?” Ouch. Still, I know I’m not helping her mature by letting her stay.

How do I approach the subject without feeling horrible for even bringing up the topic of her moving out? It’s time for her to get going I’d say, especially at this late date.

— Upset Mom of 27-Year-old Teenager, Wolseley

Dear Upset Mom: You’re missing an important part of this manoeuvre. That’s addressing the middle step between your daughter living with her family and living in a new place, whether on her own, or with a friend or sweetheart. You can’t just tell her it’s time to move out in the middle of winter without having first worked out a plan. If she feels like she’s being tossed out into the mean streets, your relationship will be strained for a good long time.

What you can do now is start talking about her job. Maybe you’ll also find out she doesn’t have much — if any— money saved, and needs a little startup money to move out. Don’t immediately balk at this; it could be a smart investment in your own freedom a few months from now!

Right now, in the dead of winter, you can start working on your “freedom” project by checking the actual costs of apartments, rental suites in homes or other shared accommodations. Then do the math and figure out what kind of budget your daughter can actually afford in the long-term, for rent, utilities, food, clothing, wheels. Why? You don’t want her moving out, quickly running out of money and then begging to move back in with you again.

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I have an “old friend” — almost my only single friend left — who chooses laughter over compassion. When something emotionally difficult happens to me, she’ll let loose a loud belly laugh. At first, I thought it was just a nervous laugh, but as time goes on, I’ve started to know better. I can see she’s not a thoughtful, empathetic person.

There are things I like about her, but not being compassionate and laughing at my heartbreak is a deal-breaker now. Should I speak with her about it, or just move on from her “friendship?”

— Hurt by her Cold Heart, Weston

Dear Hurt By Cold Heart: Speaking to this mean-spirited friend isn’t going to change her personality. She enjoys laughing at the pain of others. Luckily, there are lots of warmer and kinder people in the world to be friends with, and they’re liable to be much more fun. However, you must be willing to make an effort. Too often people become complacent in their old friendships, instead of adding to them or refreshing them.

So here’s the rejuvenation plan: To replace this cold-hearted friend quickly, look at your interests and get re-involved in things you enjoy, whether that’s sports, arts, charity work, community club events or whatever interests you. Also, plan some fun get-togethers with old friends from different eras — good people you simply lost track of along the way. It’ll be fun making up the invitation list and updating your contacts.

Ask everybody for contact info of old mutual friends they might have, and contact people to set up coffee dates and small, casual lunches for getting re-acquainted. This project will be a lot of fun, and take up a lot of your time. Soon you won’t be lonely and desperate for company, and you won’t miss that cold fish of a “friend” one bit.

Please send your questions and comments to or Miss Lonelyhearts c/o the Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6.

Maureen Scurfield

Maureen Scurfield
Advice columnist

Maureen Scurfield writes the Miss Lonelyhearts advice column.


Updated on Monday, February 6, 2023 8:45 AM CST: Fixes byline

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