Dear Amy:

My boyfriend and I have been together for almost two years. He and I lived together for two months before he had to move back to New Jersey to take a better job in the city.

My boyfriend told me up front that he's cheated on every girlfriend before me. He swears he will not cheat on me. He says that, "At some point you need to grow up." He says he is in love with me, adores me and wants to marry me. He's told his family and friends that he wants to marry me, and he asks me all the time to move to New Jersey to live with him.

But the problem is that some of his ex-girlfriends and one-night-stands keep calling him at ungodly hours of the night just to say, "Hello." He tells me I have no need for concern, because all those women meant nothing to him and that I am the one he loves and is devoted to. But then I found a photo of him and another girl on a Web log. Through my detective skills, I learned that she is his co-worker, and the whole situation makes me uneasy.

It's gotten to the point that I just want to break up with him because of all the phone calls from various exes. He says it isn't his fault that his exes keep calling. But I say he could ask them to stop.

Am I being irrational? That's how he is making me out to be.

Miserable in Maryland

If your boyfriend says he doesn't understand what it is about this that bothers you, then he is either attempting to gaslight you, not actually ready to marry you or not too bright.

If your guy didn't want to receive these calls, he would tell these women not to call. If these women persisted in calling, then it would be time for him to change his phone number.

When it's really "time to grow up," your guy will stop his late-night phone chats -- not because you made a fuss, but because ex-girlfriends and one-night-stands are boring compared to you, and because he doesn't want you to worry. It's that simple. People who are in committed relationships -- especially long-distance ones -- don't want to cause their partners anxiety because being far away from each other is hard enough without worrying about who is ringing through on "call waiting."

Dear Amy:

Our seven grandchildren ages 5 to 11 (and their parents) gathered for a once-a-year reunion, and by Day Two I tried something I saw in your column. I asked them to "sing their complaints." They all cooperated. The girls loved the drama of it. The boys found it too much work. As a result, they worked things out themselves, out of the adults' hearing, or we all broke up laughing.

This idea should be copyrighted or patented. Thank you for choosing to print it.

Barbara Vest

Isn't that idea the best? I'm so glad you tried it!

Dear Amy:

I wanted to second the advice you gave to "Worried" about going to a community college. I am also an intelligent perfectionist, and I went to a community college because I had wasted my time in high school and not taken college prep courses.

I later graduated from UCLA, and I have a master's of arts from a state university.

The education I received at Santa Monica College was the best of the three systems, without a doubt. The teachers at these schools are dedicated. So you were quite correct in telling "Worried" to stop worrying.

Virginia Elwood-Akers, Los Angeles

You are currently SMC's favorite alumna, I assure you. (I believe that California's governor is also an SMC graduate.) I'll be running more letters about readers' college choices in future columns.

Write to Amy Dickinson at or Ask Amy, Chicago Tribune, TT500, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60611.

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