DEAR ABBY: I'm a guitarist in a rock band that has been performing in the San Francisco Bay area for five years. Because my on-again, off-again girlfriend, "Robin," didn't get along with my band mates, I found myself often caught in the middle. Her dislike of the band scene distanced me from the other members of the band and resulted in my not hanging out with them like I used to. Mounting pressures from both sides caused my breakup with Robin, someone I cared about and loved deeply.
The split resolved the problem with the band, but now they are asking me for reassurance that I won't date anyone in the future who will have a negative impact on the band. I made a big personal sacrifice for them, and I think it's insulting and insensitive to demand reassurance that history won't repeat itself. I have told them I'm ready to move forward with no more obstacles. Abby, please advise. -- DISSONANT CHORD IN THE COMPOSITION
DEAR DISSONANT CHORD: You may be a "dissonant chord," but your band mates' demand strikes a sour note with me. While a career in music -- particularly if you get lucky and spend a lot of time touring -- is undeniably demanding, your partners in this business should not have the right to dictate your personal life. You gave 'em an inch, and now they expect a mile.
If you're prepared to have them dictate your life for as long as the band lasts, then keep on strumming and keep your promise. But I predict that at some point you are going to have to draw the line. Have another gig lined up when you do.