Dear Amy: My boyfriend and I have been dating for four months.
Despite his devotion and eagerness to see me often, I knew he still saw other people.
His birthday was about five or six weeks after we met – about 10 dates in our relationship.
Instead of being with me, he went away at the weekend with some friends. When he came back, he would start to see me only.
We moved together a few weeks ago. Last weekend I asked for his birthday weekend.
Now that we are together, I hoped he would tell me who he was with. He has been very open about his previous relationships before we met. But he refused to talk about it. He said that nothing good could come from me.
I tried to explain to him that it was better for me to know the truth and continue than to wonder.
It is quite clear that he went with another woman. Now I don't seem to let it go.
I'm sorry he wouldn't spend his birthday with me. I'm worried that someone else was caring enough to spend his birthday just before we got serious.
I love him and our relationship is otherwise healthy, so am I wrong to get hurt and question things?
Dear Ruminant: This relationship seems to have evolved at chain speed.
If you had dated longer before cohabitation, this date of birth could not make you bananas now.
The first thing you should do is make sure your STD tests are up to date.
It seems logical that he was with another woman – probably for a previously scheduled special weekend / birthday trip that turned into a last-hurray / breakup weekend – possibly with someone he met after you two started dancing.
During his birthday, you were still two in the non-exclusive dating phase. You will not feel hurt. You're going to feel curious.
Your girlfriend seems to be in the driver's seat for your relationship. If he does not want to inform or discuss this and you do not want to move out, I agree with him that you need to find a way to continue.
Dear Amy: My husband and I are parents of a single child. We love to travel together as a family.
However, my husband and I realize that down the road as our son gets older, he can occasionally invite a friend together.
We are comfortable with this idea, but it has raised some questions about the right economic label in such a situation.
If we invited a friend how much (if any) should we ask the guest (or probably his parents) to pay for?
We would feel completely uncomfortable and ask the guest to help pay for common costs (hotel, gas, groceries, etc.), but what about tickets for attractions, substantial meals or even airfare? We would hate to offend anyone by getting this one wrong, but do not have a barometer.
Dear Wanderlust: If you invite another child for vacation with you, this child is your guest and you have to pay for children. It includes transport, housing, food, tickets for attractions, etc. The child should only be expected to bring "pocket money" to extras.
Many times, parents will respond to your generosity by offering (or insisting) on picking up some costs. Then you can answer: "If you want to pay for Timmy's flight ticket, it would be helpful. Otherwise, he is our guest."
Grateful and thoughtful parents who can afford it will often give the child extra money to treat your family for an attraction or dinner, as a recognition and thanks.
They can also find other ways to reciprocate, for example, inviting your son together on one of their holidays.
Do not extend this invitation unless you are fully willing to pay it pleasantly.
Dear Amy: If older people get dogs, three days before they were 80, I adopted a 7-year-old dog. The best thing I've ever done – for both of us.
It was over four years ago, and yes, I worry about what would happen if she survived me, but both our lives have been enriched. I still work two days a week in a nursing home business office, and she is going to work with me, smile on many faces, loved by everyone.
Dear Patricia: You're my Hero.
(You can email Amy Dickinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or send a letter to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)