Q: My best friend is a wonderful person who happens to be extremely attractive. Whenever we go out together, she gets all of the attention from guys. About a month ago, I started dating someone who lives in my apartment building. I know he and my friend are going to end up meeting sooner or later, but I'm scared he's going to think she's hot and therefore lose interest in me, even though I know she would never act on it. I don't know what to do, because I really like him and want to take things further with him. I don't want to offend my friend by keeping him away from her, but I don't know how else to handle the situation.
– N.N., Niagara Falls
A: You can't control the fact that men find your friend attractive. It's something you have to accept and tolerate in order to maintain your friendship with her. It would be wrong to exclude her from your life just to ensure that this person you're seeing keeps his interest with you, but I understand where you're coming from.
However, a man who is genuinely interested in you will not lose sight of that just because an attractive woman is in the room. All you can do is be confident and secure in your own skin. This guy obviously likes you for more than your looks if he's still seeing you after a month. Confidence is sexy, anyway. Stop worrying so much about your friend and concentrate on making your connection with this man as strong as it can be. If it's meant to last, it will – regardless of whether your friend is in the picture.
> Unhappy as hostess
Q:My boyfriend is from England, and his family and friends come to visit at least six times a year. They always stay with us in our home for three or more weeks at a time. It seems like as soon as one group leaves, we have to start planning for the next group to arrive. Plus, we spend most of their stay here taking them out, going on road trips and doing tourist things. Is it selfish of me to say that this is bothering me, and that I'm exhausted and frustrated? I want to move forward with our relationship, but I feel like our whole lives revolve around entertaining his friends and family instead. We see my family around holidays and my friends all live around here, so I don't know if I'm overreacting or if I actually have a reason to be upset.
– J.D., Kenmore
A: It's not selfish, and I think you have a right to be frustrated. The home you share with your boyfriend does not just belong to him; he has to respect your wishes as well.
I understand he wants to see his family and friends from back home, but it's unfair of him to force you into the situation every time. If you haven't talked to him about this, it's likely that he doesn't even know you're bothered by it, so a conversation needs to happen soon. If these people have the money to travel to the United States as often as they do, I'm sure they could afford a hotel room for at least part of their stay. Either way, some kind of middle ground needs to be reached before you lose your mind.
You can't expect his friends and family to never visit your home, but six or more times a year is excessive. Talk to him before you make any more plans for house guests.
Patti Novak owns Buffalo Niagara Introductions (www.buffaloniagara-?intro.com). Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and include your initials and hometown.