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DEAR ABBY: I have been in a relationship with "Mason" for almost two years. I moved in with him a few months back, and things have been very good between us. I know he's The One, and I'd marry him right now if he'd ask.

My problem is his roommate, "Ryan." Mason has hinted about a proposal in the near future, which is something I used to want until recently, when I brought up a concern of mine about his roommate.

Ryan has lived with Mason for more than 10 years. Ryan is a grown, healthy man who hasn't had a regular job during the entire 10 years he's lived with my boyfriend. Mason says he depends on Ryan's $500 monthly rent payment to keep up with the lifestyle he's used to having. I want to go further in our relationship without a third person, but when I brought it up, I was made out to be the bad guy and accused of not liking Ryan -- which I consider a red flag.

Would it be unfair to break up with Mason because he's so fond of -- and dependent upon -- his longtime friend/roommate and the $500 rent? I don't want to give him an ultimatum. I adore him and wish he was as fond of me as he is his roommate. I want us to depend on each other and experience life like a normal couple without a third party. We both work, and I'm starting to resent Ryan, who I feel has no intention of moving on. Should I move out and walk away because I find it weird? -- "BAD GUY" GIRLFRIEND

DEAR B.G.G.: Before moving out and walking away, have another discussion with Mason. Ask him if he envisions a future with all three of you in it, and what that means. And while you're at it, ask him why he feels he needs Ryan's $500 since both of you are working and there should be no reduction in his lifestyle if Ryan moves out. In fact, there should be an improvement if you split all the bills. If Mason still can't agree to part with Ryan, then move out and walk away because he's already taken.


DEAR ABBY: My mother has dementia. My sister came to visit. The day after she left to return to Georgia, I noticed a picture was missing from the wall. When I called and asked her about it, she said it was "her inheritance" and Mom had given it to her "a long time ago." I think it was stealing. Mom has no idea it's gone. What do you think? -- THROWN IN MICHIGAN

DEAR THROWN: If it wasn't theft, your sister would have discussed it with you before she took the picture rather than "disappear" the item. However, in the interest of family harmony, it's important to carefully pick your battles.

I wish you had mentioned who will be in charge of your mother's estate after her death. Because you live closer to her, I assume it will be you. If it's a family lawyer, in the interest of a fair division of the assets, that person should be notified so the picture can be properly appraised.

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