Dear Carolyn • My boyfriend of one year has been married three times. He has three teenage children who live with him part time. He is dependent on his parents for assisting in the support of his children. His income $100,000 his ex-wife's income and his parents' retirement income all go toward supporting his children and their extracurricular activities. He has dropped hints that "these times are rough" and openly admits his children are costly. He says we would both benefit if I moved in. Shall I be concerned about his motives? Is he looking for a relationship or more financial support? I am in love and want a future with him.
Sleepless in Sacramento
Dear Sleepless • Well, you're concerned enough to write to me, listing several solid reasons to be concerned, so, let's say yes, you shall be concerned about his motives But here's what concerns me: You have added up his history, his finances and his hints, and you've concluded that your moving in would benefit him, at your expense. Yes? And so why don't you feel confident enough in your judgment, and fierce enough in your selfhood, to say this to him? You clearly don't trust him entirely, so choose actions that reflect this. Otherwise, any future you have with him won't resemble one that you want.
Dear Carolyn • What can I say to a person I see a few times a year, who bombards me with mass emails, chain letters, warnings, but never a personal note? I told her I would like just personal emails and not to send me jokes, but she got offended and said she carefully selects who she sends those emails to. I need a polite way to tell her to stop without ruining the friendship. I'd like to keep her as a friend.
Dear N. • Which would you rather do, delete the jokes or delete the friendship? You routinely walk on eggshells for this friend, no? Why? It's your prerogative, of course everyone has reason-defying friendships here and there, because they provide something tough to explain to others. However, that's also the real problem here: It takes work to stay in her good graces. The question for you now is, how much work are anyone's good graces worth?
Carolyn Hax's column runs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.