It’s time again for Shortcuts. For every question, I’ll give my advice in just a few sentences because sometimes the answer to a person’s question is so obvious and the need to hear it so great that being as clear and frank as possible is simply the best way to go.
I don’t see anything wrong in organizing a get-together to celebrate a birthday where people are expected to pay their own way IF that is typical practice within the group or very clearly articulated in the invite (I’m thinking here of casual dinners to celebrate a friend’s birthday, for example, where in many friend groups it’s understood that everyone pays his or her own bill). But, yes, it’s tacky to pretend like you’re hosting a party and invite people to an upscale restaurant and then present guests with a bill at the end of their meal. These things happen though, and I think of these unexpected expenses as membership dues in the Social Life Club. Hopefully, your dues by the end of the year are small relative to your gains.
Your boyfriend likes the company of young, pretty women with big breasts. He likes to look at them. He probably likes to flirt with them. And he likes to be in connection with them through social media, either because it gives him false affirmation that he shares something with them that’s more meaningful than a transaction at a restaurant or because he thinks it makes him look special to have so many young, pretty women with large breasts on his Facebook friends list, which, yes, is pretty creepy and weird for anyone, but especially for a 51-year-old physician. But look, you’ve been with the guy for four years. He’s cheated on you multiple times. You know who and how he is and what you’re dealing with here. He might delete the large-breasted women from his FB and maybe he hasn’t been with another woman in a few years, but he’s still the same guy. If you don’t trust him or you think he’s a creep, maybe it’s time to move on.
I’m with your boyfriend here. You totally sound controlling and insecure. Unless your boyfriend has given you a legitimate reason to distrust him — like he cheated on you with three different women — it’s super inappropriate to require him to tell you every time he has a quick exchange with an ex-girlfriend. Now, if that exchange gets personal and feelings are expressed, then, yes, that’s something he should communicate with you and, at that point, either your relationship or his friendship with his ex should be (re)-evaluated. But if they’re just friendly exes who occasionally say “hi” and “how are you?”, let it go. And if you can’t trust him enough to let it go, maybe this isn’t the guy or relationship for you.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.