Dear Annie: I am 18 and had been seeing casually a 15-year-old girl who lives down the street. We were mostly friends, although she hinted that she wanted something more out of the relationship.

When I turned 18, my father had a serious talk with me about the responsibilities associated with becoming a legal adult. One area of discussion included dating minors and some of the possible consequences. After listening to Dad, I decided it was better to break off my friendship with this girl, telling her that I was busy with high-school sports and a part-time job.

Should I have handled it differently? — Confused 18-Year-Old

Dear Confused: We are impressed with your willingness to gather advice, especially from your father. It’s OK to be friends with anyone, as long as they understand the boundaries. Your 15-year-old neighbor doesn’t quite get this. Your father cautioned you because he sees that this girl is infatuated. You may become convinced that indulging her fantasies would make you a nice guy, but it doesn’t, and it can lead to a situation that is dangerous for you.

You don’t have to avoid her completely, but you should keep a safe distance so she doesn’t get the impression that there is any possibility for more.

Dear Annie: Please print this. I’m certain it applies to others.

An Open Letter to My Granddaughter:

I’ve spent the past 20 years dealing with your drama. Last night, you cried and told me how I’m making things harder for you. You also admitted that you are abusive and told me several things you want.

Now let me tell you what I want. I want a life free from abuse. I want serenity. I want fun. I want to live my life to the fullest without medication to help me deal with the stress and anxiety that have become a part of every day. I want to put my head on my pillow at night without fearing a distress call from you.

I want to use my income to enjoy the time I have left on this earth instead of putting it where I know it is needed, but not appreciated. I want to make plans with friends without worrying that you will call and I will have to put your needs before my own once again. I want to live without threats or attempts at intimidation. I want to make my own choices about who to speak to and what to say, without being accused of things I have not done. I want to trust those I allow into my home without fear that my things will be destroyed or stolen.

I want to be loved for who I am, not for what I can provide. I want someone who is there for me as I have always been there for you. I want you to have a full and productive life, living up to the potential I see in you. — Grandmother

Dear Grandmother: It is hard to say no to a grandchild, but sometimes you can become a crutch instead of a source of strength and support. You have written sensible words.

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