Ask Amy

Friday, April 27, 2012 at 12:22am

DEAR AMY: I've been dating a guy for more than two months. We have been seeing each other exclusively. We both agreed to this.

Last week he told me that he had forgotten something — but before we started seeing each other he had made a prior commitment to go to a spring dance with another woman.

He said they are just friends and that he did not want to lose out on the $25 he paid for the ticket and that I needed to trust him.

I told him that I wasn't comfortable with him going to a dance with another woman, and I suggested that we go as a couple, but he said that he had already made the commitment to the other woman and that it wasn't right to cancel.

I trust him, but I'm worried about this other woman. What if she wants to be more than friends? Should I just let this pass since our relationship is still so new, or do you see this as a red flag that he might be a two-timer?

— Danced Out

DEAR DANCED OUT: If this guy were really into you and actually committed to dating you exclusively, he would happily toss the $25 out the window and gladly fix up his prospective date with someone else.

On the other hand, if he made this commitment prior to even meeting you, then he should honor it. He also should have told you about it when you discussed your exclusivity.

Let it go, and make your own plan for that night. Don't suspect the other woman — none of this is her fault. And don't assume that you are dating exclusively until you have evidence that you are actually exclusive.

DEAR AMY: I have been living with my guy for four years.

We really care about each other, enjoy each other and have immense respect for each other.

However, we are not sexually intimate.

We have not had intercourse in nearly two years, and I am pretty much OK with this because, to me, while sex is important, it is not the ultimate criterion for happiness in a relationship.

When I attempt to share this part of my life with my friends, they react in complete astonishment that we are not intimate.

They say he is cheating because it is unheard of for a man to go without sex. So, if he isn't making love to me, he is doing it elsewhere.

Sometimes these comments can be hurtful, and I wonder, am I being naive?

— Unsure

DEAR UNSURE: You are not being naive — your friends are harboring incorrect assumptions about what is "normal."

If you and your guy are both happy in your loving but sexless relationship, then I'd say you are both very lucky. You only need to examine your own needs and desires and then endeavor to have the relationship that feels right to you. You sound somewhat ambivalent — and this is the feeling you should explore.

The person to discuss this with is your guy, not your friends.

DEAR AMY: Responding to the "Worried Grandma," whose pregnant daughter had a rambunctious and territorial Labrador retriever, I have had three Labs.

They are very energetic dogs and tend to act like adolescents for many years. Part of the joy of living with them is their enthusiasm for life.

Like any dog, they need to have serious obedience training to become good family members.

Even very small dogs can bite and cause injury if not trained or if stressed too much.

Consistent and ongoing training will transform this dog.

My Labs were very tolerant of my nieces and nephews, and sometimes better behaved than they were!

Please suggest to your reader that she give her daughter a gift certificate for an obedience training class for her dog.

Even trained dogs should be supervised around small children, though. Not all dogs are as tolerant and gentle as mine, and some children are too rough with pets.

— A Lab Lover

DEAR LOVER: I also have a Labrador retriever in my household. I second your love of these dogs, as well as your recommendations.

Send questions via email to askamy@tribune.com. Amy Dickinson's memoir, The Mighty Queens of Freeville: A Mother, a Daughter and the Town that Raised Them (Hyperion), is available in bookstores.

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