Dear Amy:

Last night my live-in boyfriend told me that he was going to go out with his friends for a motorcycle ride. Fine. He said he'd be back early and that we would spend time together because I am working three double-shifts this weekend and won't get to see him. He left at eight. He didn't return until 12:30 a.m. I was crazy with worry by this time.

He starts by asking me why I am not asleep. I tell him I don't know. He goes on to tell me that it was game night at this bar they went to. He goes on to tell me about the pizza and the beers he had. I could smell the beer on him.

When we moved in together, he promised me that he wouldn't drink and drive on his motorcycle. He has also been on a diet to lose some weight he put on since he moved in. I have carefully made him low-fat and carefully balanced meals, only to have him go out late on a work night and have pizza and beers.

This morning he didn't even kiss me goodbye. He knows I am mad, but I don't believe that I should have to explain to him why. It is obvious why I am mad.

What should I do?

I have made it well known to him how I feel about the beer and the motorcycle.

Should I continue to complain about it, or should I just let it drop? I am about to lose my mind.

Kim

It is thoughtful and generous of you to set up a healthy-living program for your boyfriend, but it's clear that he's not having any of it. He sounds determined to live his own life, and if he has to disappoint you by getting fat and cracking up his motorcycle to prove that point, then he sounds dumb enough to do it.

You need to drop your program and let him do what he's going to do. Then, based on his behavior and how it makes you feel, you should decide whether you are going to stay in this relationship.

You aren't your boyfriend's mommy or his parole officer. You are supposed to be his partner. If he can't be a partner to you, then there isn't much left.

You sound like a hardworking and well-meaning person. You deserve to be with someone who respects himself and others more than to place everyone on the road at risk. Look at your guy and say, "Honey, I love you. But you're making me nuts. You make terrible choices and I'm sick of it. I'm losing respect for you."

It's time for you to stop getting angry and start thinking clearly about your own future.

It could be time to move on and move out.

Dear Amy:

I'm planning a surprise birthday party for my mother. My question involves sending the invitations.

Many of my relatives live across the country.

Whenever they host an event, they are always nice enough to mail us an invitation even though they are aware that we will, most likely, not be able to attend.

I feel that I should show my family the same courtesy by mailing them all invitations to this party, yet it seems different in this situation because I would have to send out many invitations instead of just one.

I feel bad not inviting them, but it seems impractical to do so. What would be the proper course of action here?

Overwhelmed

It is a mistake to ponder what is practical when it comes to being gracious, kind and inclusive to family and friends.

The least you can do is to commit to the small amount of extra time, effort and postage that it might take to make each member of your far-flung family feel included in this event.

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

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