Dear Amy: I recently reconnected with my old best friend. My BFF and I were like sisters during our school years, starting in first grade and extending through college. We have kept in marginal touch since then, texting a couple of times a year.

We are both in our late 60s.

It has become apparent that we are opposites regarding many of our political and societal views. Some of her comments have rocked me to my core.

I did not want our first conversation in years to devolve into an argument, so I expressed the fact that I have opposing (way more liberal) views than she and tried to direct us back to family updates.

She seems rather reclusive and extremely anxious.

I don’t think she has many friends and was very grateful to talk to me. She wants to continue our calls. However, I am struggling with whether I can maintain a relationship with her.

I can’t stop thinking about how repellent some of her prejudicial opinions are to me.

While we have a rich, shared history, we really don’t seem to have a lot in common now, but part of me thinks I should give it a chance, if only to maintain superficial contact for old times’ sake.

Do you have any guidance for how I might navigate this potential relationship?

— Missing my BFF

Dear Missing: If your BFF is isolated and anxious, she might have fallen into a hole of following online extremists who use a virtual pipeline to flood people with alternate realities; then the algorithm kicks in and feeds them more of the same.

For people who are already isolated and anxious, this constant triggering can make them even more anxious.

I’m not necessarily concluding that this has happened to your friend, but it is a possibility.

If statements she has made have rocked you to your core, then you should be honest about that. If your friend is simply on the opposite end of the political spectrum from you, there might be ways for you to discuss your divergent views without getting into an argument.

Doing so might be good for both of you, but ultimately you get to decide how much effort you want to put into this relationship.

I think you should hang in there for a bit, to see if you can revive your previous close connection. Why? Because you miss her.

Dear Amy: I am an adult male. “Laura” has been my best friend for over three years. We are very close, but we’re just that: best friends.

Over time, I have grown closer to her.

I told her how I feel about her and that it kills me that I feel that way, but she responded that she still wants to be “just friends.”

I don’t know what to do about it. I told her that maybe we shouldn’t hang around together so much, but she keeps texting me and coming over.

I know she must feel some way about me or else she wouldn’t be around so much.

At this point, I don’t know what to do.

Do you have any advice?

— Confused

Dear Confused: “Laura” does feel some way about you. According to you, she feels friendship. Friends do text one another and hang out together.

As with any relationship, you have the right to be in it, back away a little, or exit it entirely — based on how you feel when you are with that person.

I give you huge credit for being honest with Laura about your own feelings.

Given your confession, if you believe that Laura is deliberately toying with your affections, then it would be healthiest for you to withdraw from the friendship.

If being with her simply makes you heartsick with feelings that are unrequited, then you should limit your interactions with her while you work things through.

Unrequited feelings can teach you something: You’ve felt this way once, and you can feel this way again. And when these feelings are mutual it’s beautiful. You deserve that.

Dear Amy: I thought your answer to “Torn” was abominable. Torn described her child as “coming out” as non-binary and was insisting on being called by a new name.

Torn’s husband was completely in his rights to refuse to give in to this nonsense.

You called his refusal “hateful.”

I think your answer was.

— Disgusted

Dear Disgusted: Many respondents have piled on, expressing the same.

Torn’s husband can definitely respond any way he chooses, but I stand by my own response.

Dear Amy: I recently reconnected with my old best friend. My BFF and I were like sisters during our school years, starting in first grade and extending through college. We have kept in marginal touch since then, texting a couple of times a year.

We are both in our late 60s.

It has become apparent that we are opposites regarding many of our political and societal views. Some of her comments have rocked me to my core.

I did not want our first conversation in years to devolve into an argument, so I expressed the fact that I have opposing (way more liberal) views than she and tried to direct us back to family updates.

She seems rather reclusive and extremely anxious.

I don’t think she has many friends and was very grateful to talk to me. She wants to continue our calls. However, I am struggling with whether I can maintain a relationship with her.

I can’t stop thinking about how repellent some of her prejudicial opinions are to me.

While we have a rich, shared history, we really don’t seem to have a lot in common now, but part of me thinks I should give it a chance, if only to maintain superficial contact for old times’ sake.

Do you have any guidance for how I might navigate this potential relationship?

— Missing my BFF

Dear Missing: If your BFF is isolated and anxious, she might have fallen into a hole of following online extremists who use a virtual pipeline to flood people with alternate realities; then the algorithm kicks in and feeds them more of the same.

For people who are already isolated and anxious, this constant triggering can make them even more anxious.

I’m not necessarily concluding that this has happened to your friend, but it is a possibility.

If statements she has made have rocked you to your core, then you should be honest about that. If your friend is simply on the opposite end of the political spectrum from you, there might be ways for you to discuss your divergent views without getting into an argument.

Doing so might be good for both of you, but ultimately you get to decide how much effort you want to put into this relationship.

I think you should hang in there for a bit, to see if you can revive your previous close connection. Why? Because you miss her.

Dear Amy: I am an adult male. “Laura” has been my best friend for over three years. We are very close, but we’re just that: best friends.

Over time, I have grown closer to her.

I told her how I feel about her and that it kills me that I feel that way, but she responded that she still wants to be “just friends.”

I don’t know what to do about it. I told her that maybe we shouldn’t hang around together so much, but she keeps texting me and coming over.

I know she must feel some way about me or else she wouldn’t be around so much.

At this point, I don’t know what to do.

Do you have any advice?

— Confused

Dear Confused: “Laura” does feel some way about you. According to you, she feels friendship. Friends do text one another and hang out together.

As with any relationship, you have the right to be in it, back away a little, or exit it entirely – based on how you feel when you are with that person.

I give you huge credit for being honest with Laura about your own feelings.

Given your confession, if you believe that Laura is deliberately toying with your affections, then it would be healthiest for you to withdraw from the friendship.

If being with her simply makes you heartsick with feelings that are unrequited, then you should limit your interactions with her while you work things through.

Unrequited feelings can teach you something: You’ve felt this way once, and you can feel this way again. And when these feelings are mutual it’s beautiful. You deserve that.

Dear Amy: I thought your answer to “Torn” was abominable. Torn described her child as “coming out” as non-binary and was insisting on being called by a new name.

Torn’s husband was completely in his rights to refuse to give in to this nonsense.

You called his refusal “hateful.”

I think your answer was.

— Disgusted

Dear Disgusted: Many respondents have piled on, expressing the same.

Torn’s husband can definitely respond any way he chooses, but I stand by my own response.

(You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)

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