DEAR AMY: I am a bisexual woman. I have a date coming up soon with "James," a guy I'm very interested in dating.
I am out of the closet to only a few of my closest friends (not even my family knows yet) because it's all still very new to me, and it's a personal topic. But I'm wondering: Is it the right thing to do to tell James that I am bi, in case this affects his opinion of me and what he potentially wants in a relationship?
If I do tell him, should I do so before our first date, or should I wait to see if our relationship progresses before disclosing this to him? I would feel like I was lying if I was keeping this from him, but it's also something still very sensitive to me. -- Confused
DEAR CONFUSED: If not disclosing something makes you feel like a liar, then disclose it. However, because you asked about timing, in my opinion there is no need to disclose this until you are in a relationship with someone you would like to be sexual with.
You might find it oversharing or off-putting if "James" talked about his sexual history before you had even been out on a date. I see this as a third-date conversation.
DEAR AMY: My husband and I own a lake cottage. I keep in touch with our neighbour over the winter, and our friendship, to this point, has been just between us two women.
Last summer my friend's husband built a dock for us at the cottage. It was a business transaction. Somehow, my friend has got it in her head that my husband is now her friend, and whenever she comes over she goes up to him and gives him a hug and a kiss.
The first time she did it, he was sleeping in the hammock, and she planted one on him, jarring him out of his sleep and struggling not to flip over. Now when my husband sees her coming, he moves out of her way or ignores her, but she still pursues him until he finally surrenders. I know that he is very uncomfortable when she comes around.
I am confused about her actions, too, as this isn't something that I would ever do to a casual acquaintance, let alone my friend's husband.
How can I tell her to stop doing this without making an enemy of her? My first husband was a philanderer, and my current husband sometimes suffers because of my insecurities. But in this situation he is just an innocent victim of her unwanted attentions. What should I do? -- Unhug my Hubby
DEAR UNHUG: Unless your husband is somehow impaired, there is no need for you to protect him from these embraces. If he doesn't like it, he should say something and speak for himself.
On the other hand, you should never make your husband "suffer" because of your own insecurities about your ex. This is your opportunity to work harder on that.
You can also speak for yourself. When someone does something you don't like, you get to say so.
When speaking for yourself, you need to use "I" statements. Keep it simple and clear. Do not jump in to fill any awkward voids, and finish your thought with a question.
Here's an example: "You know, Hilary, it really bothers me when you hug and kiss my husband. Can you stop doing that?"
She will stammer and explain herself and say, "Oh, I always do that. I'm known for my hugs and kisses, all up and down the lake!" You can wait patiently until she's done and if necessary repeat your statement and politely ask her to stop.
DEAR AMY: "Challenged" related a story about her daughter's friend, "Krista." Both mother and daughter had witnessed Krista's mother "yanking Krista around by the hair while insulting her."
You missed the opportunity to tell readers to always report child abuse when they see it. -- Horrified
DEAR HORRIFIED: "Challenged's" direct question was not about reporting abuse (she claimed she had spoken with a social worker), but I agree with you. I was remiss.