Girl­friend con­cerned about girl friends

The Washington Post Sunday - - DIVERSIONS - Write to Amy Dick­in­son at askamy@tri­ or Ask Amy, Chicago Tri­bune, TT500, 435 N. Michi­gan Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60611. © 2015 by the Chicago Tri­bune AMY DICK­IN­SON

Dear Amy: I have been with my boyfriend for al­most five years.

Lately he seems to want to meet up or hang out with more girls than usual.

He has al­ways had friends through­out our re­la­tion­ship who have been girls, some of whom he had pre­vi­ously even had sex with, but ob­vi­ously they dis­played noth­ing more than a friend­ship and acted as if it never hap­pened. I was okay with th­ese friend­ships.

But isn’t meet­ing new girls kind of like find­ing a new date?

Or does he just want friends out­side the re­la­tion­ship?

I don’t feel the need to meet other peo­ple. I’m com­fort­able fo­cus­ing on our re­la­tion­ship. Is this a sign he is bored?

Won­der­ing Girl­friend

Won­der­ing Girl­friend: It might be sig­nif­i­cant that your boyfriend wants to form new friend­ships with new women, but it also seems sig­nif­i­cant that you don’t want to meet new peo­ple. Are you say­ing that you don’t want to form new friend­ships be­cause your re­la­tion­ship with your boyfriend ful­fills all of your re­la­tion­ship needs? If so, then you might be un­wit­tingly en­cour­ag­ing your guy to seek out new friend­ships as he com­pen­sates for how static your per­sonal life has be­come.

Sta­ble cou­ples don’t al­ways act like a mono­lith, but in a sta­ble and lov­ing re­la­tion­ship, each part­ner is very in­ten­tional about not caus­ing jeal­ousy or dis­tress to their part­ner.

Most im­por­tant, you should be ask­ing your boyfriend about his feel­ings and his re­ac­tion to your long-term re­la­tion­ship. If his fe­male friend­ships make you feel jeal­ous, anx­ious or wor­ried that you or your re­la­tion­ship are bor­ing, then you should be hon­est about it.

Dear Amy: I have been in treat­ment with ra­di­a­tion and chemo­ther­apy for eight months for a brain tu­mor and I look like it, too.

I am tired and bald, but I still try to stick to an ex­er­cise sched­ule and do my own gro­cery shop­ping. When I am out and about and I have been greeted a num­ber of times by strangers with “How are you?” I find it hard to re­spond like I used to.

A cou­ple of times I have tried an hon­est an­swer and told the greeter the truth, that I feel pretty aw­ful and, of course, no­body re­ally lis­tens to what I am say­ing.

I would like to sug­gest a greet­ing like “Hey There” be used for can­cer pa­tients. I know I would re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate that, and I sus­pect some of my fel­low can­cer pa­tients would, too.

Can­cer Pa­tient

Can­cer Pa­tient: If strangers are greet­ing you with the phrase “How are you?” when you are very ob­vi­ously un­well, this could very well be their way of of­fer­ing you an ac­knowl­edg­ment, with­out ask­ing for — or de­serv­ing — spe­cific health-re­lated an­swers from you. You might an­swer by say­ing, “I’m hang­ing in, thank you.”

I think the fact that strangers are greet­ing you at all is a sign that you are in­spir­ing friend­li­ness and gen­eros­ity from other peo­ple. That is a good thing, and you de­serve credit, as well as a firm “thumbs up” from me.

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