Dear Cheryl: My boyfriend Jeremy has a close friend, Lucy. I know men and women can be just friends. In fact, I have more guy friends than girl friends. I'm not jealous of him hanging out with other women in general. But Lucy bothers me because she hangs all over all her guy friends. She's always touching or hugging Jeremy.
They've been friends for four years. Jeremy says they've never been attracted to each other, never dated, never hooked up. Lucy has a boyfriend, too. I trust they're not doing anything, but it really, really bothers me to see Lucy with Jeremy. People think they're dating because of how she acts.
This is making me hate Lucy. I know if I want a future with Jeremy, I need to get along with her. But I can't stand watching her with him!
I've talked to him about it, and he dismisses it with "she's like my sister" and "if I tell her to change because of how you feel, she'll feel awkward around me when you're there." I don't know what to do. — I'm His Girlfriend, Not Her
Dear IHGNH: If Lucy is hanging on your boyfriend to the extent that people think that they're dating, something weird is going on. I can't believe all the girlfriends of all her guy friends haven't gotten together yet and straightened her out. And what does her boyfriend think about this?
You know what? I'm not too concerned about Lucy feeling "awkward." You and some of the other girlfriends should take her out to lunch and tell her that her behavior is out of bounds and she needs to keep her hands to herself.
Dear Cheryl: I'm 19 years old and engaged to be married in only a few months, which I couldn't be happier about. I've known my fiance since I was a freshman in high school, and I couldn't be more in love with anyone. But of course, there's a problem. (Otherwise why would I be writing?) As soon as his family heard the news, their feelings toward me did a complete 180.
His mother now notices all of my faults and points them out to him on a daily basis, while his sisters are constantly telling him how horrible and mean I am. How am I supposed to deal with my future in-laws? I can't even go over to their house without hearing at least 10 different sarcastic remarks. What can I possibly do to make his family return to the way they were just a few months ago, without me having to bend over backward? — Young and in Love
Dear Young and in Love: Call you future mother-in-law and tell her you'd like to talk to her privately. Make a date to go over to her house. Then simply ask her what's wrong. Does she think her son is too young to get married? (I do.) Does she want him to finish his education first? (I do.) Once you find out what her objections are, you can deal with the issues head on. And then do the same thing with your fiance's sisters.
And by the way, what's wrong with bending over backward? It's one of the secrets of life, and a small price to pay to keep peace in your new family.
Got a problem? Send it, along with your questions and rants to [email protected] And check out my new ebook, "Dear Cheryl: Advice from Tales from the Front."