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Exclusions incite need to break up

Q: My boyfriend says that he has lunch with a group of his male friends every week. He does not want me there, and I am fine with that. He told me that it is so important to him that it just be him and the guys that the one time I had to pick him up, he asked me not to even come to the door.

Well, a couple days ago he admitted that other women are at these lunches sometimes. I was upset -- not that he had lunch with women, he does that with colleagues all the time, but that he lied to me.

He says he was doing me a favor by having me stay in the car. I don't trust him anymore and I am angry and hurt. Next month he has a basketball tournament and I asked him if I could watch. He said no, because it would be weird. I am thinking of leaving him. We have been living together for three years.

-- M.L., Buffalo

A: It sounds like your boyfriend doesn't want certain people knowing that he has a girlfriend. Unfortunately, this means that he might be a player. I can't think of any other logical explanation for his behavior, and I don't think it is weird at all that you would want to watch his basketball tournament. After three years together, you should be involved with one another's friends and family. If that's not happening, you have a problem.

You need to have a serious conversation with him about why he doesn't want you around his friends or at important functions, and you need to tell him how it makes you feel. I think you should trust your gut on this one; if you are feeling like something is up, you are probably right.

Don't waste any more time wondering. Talk to him now. Be specific and ask him to help you understand why it would be weird for you to go to his basketball tournament or to meet you at the door when you pick him up from lunch, particularly since other women attend these lunches. If he can't give you straight answers or he tries to beat around the bush, it is time to rethink your living arrangement.


Dating disaster

Q: I'm on a dating site and had been chatting with a beautiful woman for about a month. After a while, the conversations turned a bit steamy and I was very excited to meet her. When it finally happened, the date was an absolute disaster. She was very quiet and it was extremely awkward, like we were total strangers who had never even talked before. When I got home, I emailed her with my concerns and she never responded. What happened?

-- S.E., Clarence

A: The problem is that you engaged in an lengthy online relationship with her before you met her in person. Over the computer, it's easy to talk freely, build false chemistry, and have high expectations for the actual meeting. You waited way too long to set a date.

Perhaps her expectations of you were not met in-person, or maybe she wasn't attracted to you and didn't feel the chemistry she was feeling during your online chats.

This is one of the concerns with online dating. If you are going to use it as your main tool for finding love, be smarter about it. Limit your conversations to two or three emails before meeting, and don't talk too much about personal things. Instead, simply introduce yourself, let her know when you're free, and figure out a good time to meet. There is no point in developing a crush on someone over the Internet.


Patti Novak owns Buffalo Niagara Introductions ( Email questions to and include your initials and hometown.