Health

Why Doesn’t My Boyfriend Quit Family Vacation To Travel With Me?


My boyfriend comes from a rich family. Every year, his parents take him and his siblings on a lavish vacation. As his girlfriend of six years, I was invited – with the caveat that I had to pay my own way. But my boyfriend and I are both graduate students, so that’s just a myth. I couldn’t even afford to split the cost with my boyfriend, which he offered to do. These are booked long trips (like cruises and cruises), so he can’t leave early, and they use up most of his vacation time. I don’t want to ask him to give up the once-in-a-lifetime trip, but I do want to take a vacation with him from time to time. Any thoughts?

GIRLFRIEND

You seem to have drawn yourself into a corner: You can’t afford lavish trips, your boyfriend’s parents won’t pay your way, and you don’t want to ask your boyfriend to miss a trip any. Unless you’re willing to revisit one of these planks, get used to traveling alone.

Personally, I think it makes sense to ask your boyfriend of six years to give up a ski vacation in Gstaad with his family to stay with you in a cozy cabin in the Catskills. In fact, it seems like a bad thing that he didn’t suggest this himself. (Or maybe he has, and you don’t want to interfere with his family plans.)

The problem is: In many relationships, from romance to work, we don’t get what we want until we ask for it. So ask! If your boyfriend doesn’t want to miss even a family vacation to travel with you, he’s telling you something (not so good) about your relationship. Or he might agree to skip an occasional family trip – hardly the end of the world. This might even get his wealthy parents to cover your expenses.

I’ve had a best friend since high school, for 40 years. She doesn’t live nearby, so we’ve kept in touch via text for the past 15 years. A few years ago, we had a little texting argument, and at one point I suspected her husband was texting her. I let it go. We recently planned a visit. Plans are out the window, and again, her texts appear to have been written by someone else. I asked her to call me, but she didn’t. Maybe I’ve been listening to too many true crime podcasts, but I’m worried her husband might have harmed her and is texting from her phone. Is it bananas to ask the police to check her health?

FRIEND

So you’d rather contact the police than make a voice call to your friends? (Yes, she doesn’t call you on request, but you don’t seem to have called her either.) Oddly enough, this new type of voice calling isn’t uncommon. I understand that digital texting is smoother than messing around with real people, but calling the police baselessly, without even trying to phone your friend first, seems sad.

Call her! Ask about quirky texts. The police can’t tell you if your friend turned over the phone to her husband when things got tense for you. Wait for the medical checkup until you actually try to get in touch with her on the phone. Here’s hoping the police won’t be needed.

I have a young relative – a mother of two children under 7 years old. I offered to fund college savings plans for my kids and provide contact information for a trusted company. I offered to help set up accounts or set them up myself. Two months later, she was “too busy” to open them. It took 15 minutes! Why isn’t she interested in something of real value to her child?

GRAY AND GUIDELINES

Attractive offer! Like you, I would set up split accounts quickly. And do you know why that is? Because neither of us have two young children who are on summer vacation. To their immediate demands – “Now, Mom!” – a future interest may have backed off.

When the kids go back to school, call the mom again and ask for the bare minimum of information you need to open an account and execute your generous plan.

We took care of a friend’s poodle during a long weekend. Then a neighbor (who kept complaining) left a note saying the dog had been barking non-stop for three days. She wrote: “Make it stop!” But we were there the whole time, except for a few hours during dinner. We apologize if the dog barks while we are away, but it is quiet when we are at home. I objected to her aggressive tone. Should I drop this or post an obvious answer?

P.

You’ve got me at the poodle! You also know better than me how you want the last word. In my view, you’ve stopped barking: The dog is gone. And exaggerated complaints would probably leave me unresponsive. However, even a few hours of constant barking can be really annoying. If you can’t say sorry yourself, let this go.


For help with your dilemma, send a question to SocialQ@nytimes.com, to Philip Galanes on Facebook or @SocialQPhilip on Twitter.





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