Dear Abby: My boyfriend, “Mark,” and I have been together for a year. We met at work and have dated ever since. Several months ago, we were offered a job opportunity in another state. We moved in together and are happy. My problem is, over the past few months we have been living together, our personal relationship has come to a halt. We still care about each other deeply, but we no longer do the things couples do. We don’t go out on dates or see the new city we’ve moved to. Do you have any advice on how I can get Mark to go out and see the sights without sounding whiny or pushy?
– Baltimore and D.C. Beckon
Dear Baltimore: Tell Mark the two of you appear to have become housebound and you don’t think it’s healthy – particularly because Baltimore and Washington, D.C., have many entertainment and cultural opportunities to offer. Then create a “bucket list” and have him choose from the menu of choices that are available. If that doesn’t inspire him, ask HIM to create a list, or start exploring on your own.
If you are successful at getting Mark out of the house, it may liven up your relationship. But if it doesn’t, you may have more serious problems to deal with, and a heart-to-heart talk with him about your entire relationship is in order.
Don’t bring uninvited guests
Dear Abby: My son’s birthday was yesterday. I invited him to dinner at a very nice restaurant. When he showed up, he had two other men with him. They didn’t offer to pay for their food, so I had to pay for all of us. My son is 32, and I would like to say something about this to him. Or should I just not invite him to nice dinners out?
– Taken Advantage Of in Sugarland, Texas
Dear Taken Advantage Of: No. SAY something to him. And when you do, it should be something like this: “Son, springing unexpected guests on your host is bad manners. You should have asked permission first. I was appalled that your friends didn’t offer to share the expense. Please don’t do that again, because if you do, I’ll stop inviting you.”
Missing the costume party
Dear Abby: I work at a senior retirement community, and the residents have a Halloween party each year. In the past, there were prizes for the three best costumes. However, last year they stopped giving prizes because one of the residents is a professional artist and costume maker, and the association felt it would be unfair to have him compete.
This year it was decided not to hold the contest at all. The residents are disappointed. How can they continue to have the costume contest and include the professional?
– Dressed Up in Louisiana
Dear Dressed Up: Ask the artist/costume designer to be the judge.