Dear Annie: I’m dating a guy who works out of town and is home every four weeks. “Jake” calls and texts often and says he misses me all the time. Here’s what bothers me: Jake always asks me how I feel about him. He says, “Do you even like me?” I think it’s because I don’t drop everything when he calls like the other women he has dated.
I recently found out via Facebook that Jake went on a cruise with a woman he used to live with. She has been posting pictures of the cruise and saying how much she loves Jake. There is nothing about the cruise posted on Jake’s page. I told him about her comments. He replied that he didn’t know anything about it, and she was obviously just thanking all of the people on the cruise for their love and support. But he added that she’s a wonderful woman and they’d be in a relationship if she lived closer.
I said he is being unfair to both of us, but he claims he’s not married and will continue to call me until I tell him to stop. Since then, he’s phoned a couple of times, and I refuse to take his calls. Is this a case of wanting to have your cake and eat it, too?
— Daisy Mae
Dear Daisy: It sounds like it, although as a single man, he can date as many women as he likes until he makes a commitment. You thought he had made one to you, but he believed otherwise. It’s possible he was attracted to you because you didn’t fawn all over him. But that results in a stable relationship only in the movies.
In real life, such men thrive on the attention, and since they rarely get enough of it from one partner, they look for it in many others. Right now, he thinks you’ll cave. If you want him to stop calling, you will have to tell him point blank.
Dear Annie: I am the youngest of 10 siblings. Every summer, we share a lake house for a wonderful family reunion that extends over several days.
Every year, my older brother invites an obnoxious friend to join us for the last evening’s family grill. How can I convince him that just because we are part owners doesn’t mean we can invite unwanted guests? He says it is his home and he can invite whomever he wishes. I say if he is not cooking the meal, it is not proper. The chef dislikes this guy as much as I do. Who is right?
— The Baby of the Family
Dear Baby: As joint owners, you should each be able to invite guests. However, since you are all staying in the house together, it is both considerate and proper to first ask the other residents whether they object to additional company. So while your brother can invite his friend when he uses the lake house on his own, he should ask the rest of you about inviting him when you are sharing the house and the meals.
Dear Annie: I am concerned about your response to “Trying” which said it was OK to tell Mom that some of the grandchildren are hurt because they aren’t receiving as much gift money as others.
I think this encourages a sense of entitlement. Instead of trying to correct Mom’s behavior, I would encourage “Trying” to stop comparing gifts and value Mom’s intention to add joy to the lives of all of her family members.
— Mike in Schenectady, N.Y.
Dear Mike: We disagree. The only entitlement it encourages is that Grandma should treat her grandchildren equally. If all the kids received a lesser gift, it would be fair, and the kids wouldn’t get the impression that Grandma loves some of them more than others. And we think Grandma should know this.
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