DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been dating my boyfriend for over a year now, and I have not met any of his friends, or any family either. To be fair, he has not met my parents because I am very strategic about who meets my parents, and he knows that. However, he has met my closest friends.
Every time I ask to meet his friends, I feel like he is giving me excuses. At this point, it makes me feel like I am being hidden. We have had a conversation about it, but it never seems to happen. Am I wrong for wanting to meet his friends and family, or is it still too early? — Girl With Potential
DEAR GIRL WITH POTENTIAL: Looks like both of you have been holding back a bit, with your boyfriend being more extreme. You need to ask yourself what you want in this relationship. If you think it is serious and you want to be committed to this man, it is time for you to have that talk. You can tell him what you want and ask him what he wants. Be direct, so that there’s no room for squirming.
If you want to see where this can lead, including to a long-term commitment, tell him that you don’t think that is possible without your friends and family knowing both of you. Ask him what he has to hide. Stick to your guns. If he refuses to include you in the rest of his life, that is a sign that he is not serious.
DEAR HARRIETTE: My young daughter is an aspiring model. She recently did a photo shoot for a headshot. During the photo shoot, the company we booked was supposed to send a kid-friendly photographer. When we got there, the photographer and his assistant had never done professional photos with children before. He turned out to be horrible with children: He was very stern, yelled a bit and was not patient at all. My daughter ended up crying, at which point I told him I wanted to cancel and book with someone else, but he told me that there was no refund — I could cancel, but I would have to pay someone else again. I don’t feel that I should have to pay for a service I was not satisfied with, especially when he had no experience with a child for this gig.
After I received the photos, his assistant reached out to me saying that she had lost the payment paperwork and asking me to resubmit it. This photographer was rude, and I do not like how my daughter’s photos came out. I’m ready to contact them back and tell them “Too bad.” Because I was unhappy and they lost the payment for something I didn’t want to pay for anyway, that’s on them. I don’t want any bad karma by not holding up my end of the deal, but the other half of me feels like I got lucky and maybe this is their karma. Should I pay for the services or keep my money to book a better photographer? — Depending on Karma
DEAR DEPENDING ON KARMA: Count your blessings. Do not pay the photographer. Contact the company to formally express your disappointment in how the shoot was handled. If they balk, contact your local consumer protection office or the Better Business Bureau to lodge a formal complaint against the company.