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Couple Squares Off Over Long-Planned Japan Vacation

DEAR ABBY: Before I met my boyfriend of eight months, I planned a 10-day Japan vacation for next year with my best guy friend, "J." We have been friends for eight years, and have never had any romantic interest in each other. Both of us want to visit Japan because it's on our bucket list.

J and I were both single when we started making plans. Then I met my boyfriend. My boyfriend knew from the beginning that this trip was going to happen next year. Because the date wasn't "set in stone" or paid for until recently, my boyfriend thinks I should have called it off. He says I'm making the trip and my friend a higher priority than him, and his feelings are hurt. He said if I was going with a female friend he wouldn't care.

I still want to take the trip. I feel canceling would be betraying my friend J. Am I being a bad girlfriend? -- TRIPPED UP IN THE EAST

DEAR TRIPPED UP: A "bad" girlfriend? No. An independent one, yes. You say your boyfriend has known about this from the beginning, so this wasn't a surprise to him. If he was more secure about himself and your relationship, he would know that J isn't a threat. Not only should you take the trip, you should also use the time away to decide if you want a life partner as insecure as your boyfriend appears to be.

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