Dear Annie: I'm a middle-aged man who has been divorced for four years. I am currently a caregiver for my mother, so I don't get out much. I've taken to many social media sites as a way to meet people with similar interests and have developed several relationships, purely platonic, with women I've met online. I also started an on-again, off-again romance with
an old flame. We live two hours apart. Six months ago, we decided to become exclusive and work on a future together.
The problem started when one of my female Facebook friends posted on my page and my girlfriend wanted to know who she was. From there, the floodgates opened. When I told her that many of my Facebook friends are women, she flipped out and said it was inappropriate for a guy in a committed relationship to have female Facebook friends. I tried to reassure her that she had nothing to worry about, and frankly, I resent being told who my friends can be. After several days of this endless argument, I tried to be more sensitive to her needs and unfriended several of these women, hoping that would be the end of it. It wasn't.
The other day, I greeted a lady friend with the nickname "Sunshine." It's a name I use frequently, and it has no romantic overtones. We've been fighting about it ever since. She says she should be the only female friend I need. When I suggest this is about her insecurities, she says I'm seeking attention from other women.
She's a great girl, but I'm having serious reservations about committing to someone who is determined to find smoke so she can accuse me of starting fires. I have no history of cheating and zero interest. Any advice? ¡ª Faithful and Upset
Dear Faithful: We agree that your girlfriend seems insecure and controlling and will likely demand that you give up all of your female friends at some point. However, we believe she also is responding to the apparent fact that the majority of your friends are women. Your girlfriend attributes it to your desire for female attention. Please examine your behavior and ask yourself whether she has a point.