Q: I've been on many dates with a genuinely good man who doesn't have a car. He has a driver's license, but he firmly believes that walking, biking, or taking the bus is better for his health and the environment.
I've had to drive myself to every one of the dates, and while I don't mind driving so far, I'm afraid this will get old quickly. What if he expects me to do all of the driving if we ever get into a relationship? Is it fair that any road trips will be putting tons of miles on my car? I'm torn, because I do like the guy a lot. Should it be a deal breaker?
- V.S., North Buffalo
A: Well, if it's something that you feel will be an issue in the future, then yes, it's possibly a deal breaker. You have to decide whether you can respect his decision to not drive a car. While it's not impossible to have a relationship with someone who has limited transportation, it can be a hassle.
However, if you really like him, don't dismiss him just yet. Talk to him about your concerns and be honest before the relationship progresses any further or real feelings start to develop. There could also be underlying factors as to why he doesn't drive. It's possible he has a medical condition or a legal issue that is preventing him from driving and he's using fitness and the environment as an excuse to withhold this information. Keep this in mind as you talk to him.
If the two of you become exclusive and you find yourself driving him around all the time, you may want to talk about him helping with gas money, insurance costs and maintenance. If he's unwilling to contribute to the expenses or to compromise on this issue, you might be better off finding someone who drives.
Q: A young couple moved in across the street this past year. A few months ago, I noticed the husband being dropped off at their home by another woman. In the last few weeks, I've seen the woman enter the house after the wife leaves for work; she always parks at the end of the street until the wife leaves. I have never seen any inappropriate behavior, but it's obvious that the husband doesn't want his wife to know about this woman. I am sickened by this, and I feel like the wife has a right to know what is going on. I have never introduced myself to this couple, and I'm not sure if it would be acceptable for me to go over there and let her know what I've been observing. What do you think?
- R.F., Snyder
A: I think you should mind your own business. It's never a good idea to interfere with a relationship or marriage, especially when you don't even know the couple. Your "observant" behavior comes across as incredibly nosy, and the wife is not likely to take your word for it, anyway. Cheating is a horrible thing, if that's what is going on, but it's often a symptom of a bigger problem in the relationship. You don't know the full story, so stay out of it.
I know it's hard to keep quiet about something like this, but it's not your place to butt in. If you would like to be neighborly, try bringing over a plate of cookies or something, introduce yourself and get to know them as a couple. And avoid snap judgments.
Patti Novak owns Buffalo Niagara Introductions (www.buffalo niagaraintro.com). Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and include your initials and hometown.