Dear Amy:

I have been seeing this great woman for more than 14 months. She has two daughters, ages 17 and 13.

During weekends that her ex-husband has custody, we are able to spend time together and sleep either at her house or my house.

On the weekends when she has the girls, we are wondering how to approach the issue of talking to the girls about sleeping at my house or at her house.

How can we handle this situation with her girls?

Rich, From Long Island

If you are wondering about transporting these girls to spend weekends at your house, on behalf of the girls, I'm going to say absolutely not. These kids already split their weekends; don't ask them to come to your home so that you and their mother can sleep together.

If the girls aren't around when you are cohabiting, then it is your private business, and as long as they know they can always reach their mom, it should stay private.

You don't say what sort of relationship you have with the girls or how much time you spend with them now, but I'd suggest many, many months of dinners, helping them with their homework and being very much a part of their lives before you spend the night in their home when they are there. These girls are at tender ages; how you treat their mother and how she manages this serious relationship will influence not only how they view the two of you but how they will expect to be treated by boys when the time comes.

Even if they like you very much, don't expect them to be thrilled about this relationship. Remember that your happiness and satisfaction holds very little meaning for them. They've got enough on their plates.

For a lighthearted and wise look at this subject, you and their mother should read, "Mom, There's a Man in the Kitchen and He's Wearing Your Robe: The Single Mother's Guide to Dating Well Without Parenting Poorly," by Ellie Slott Fisher (2005, DeCapo Press).

Dear Amy:

I am 18 and my 19-year-old boyfriend, "Mark," and I have been dating for eight months.

When we were first getting to know each other, we talked about many things, including our sexual pasts.

He found out that I had two previous sexual relationships, and he told me that he had two previous partners, one of whom was a one-night stand. He didn't know the girl's name.

I asked him about this a few times afterward because it bothered me that he could have an anonymous one-night stand.

Recently, we had a conversation where we wanted to be completely honest about everything, so I asked him about his whole situation. Well, it turns out that he lied to me about both of these "partners," fearing that I would have thought that he was "inexperienced," when I am definitely not the kind of person to judge or even care about that.

When he told me the truth, I had mixed emotions. I was happy that I was his first, but I felt so betrayed that he continued to lie to me for so long.

When I asked him why he never told me the truth, he said, "Because I had dug myself into such a big hole, I couldn't get out of it, and I didn't know how to break it to you."

It is very hard for me to trust because my heart has been broken so many times in the past.

Mark tells me it will never happen again. I care about him so much and want to trust him.

What should I do?

Broken Trust

People lie about sex. They do.

That's why it's imperative to know someone intimately before knowing him intimately, if you know what I mean.

Your guy didn't lie about having sex -- he lied about having virginity, and in a way that was so clunky and unimaginative that I think you should be laughing about it.

I'm not sure how at the ripe old age of 18 your heart could have been broken so many times that you can dramatically claim to never trust again, but if that's the case, then you need to slow down, girl.

If a guy says, "I dug myself into such a big hole, I couldn't get out of it and I didn't know how to break it to you," then it's time to say, "Hallelujah. I've found a guy who trusts me enough to be vulnerable and honest about what a doofus he is."

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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