DEAR ABBY: My girlfriend and I started dating a couple years ago after getting out of long-term relationships. We have kids from those relationships, and she is still in court over custody. We haven't been able to buy a house yet, mostly because of the cost of the court battle, so we live apart and can't spend as much time together as we'd like. However, when we do have the time, she usually wants her kids to join. She says she wants her kids everywhere with her. She has also told me I will never come first. I have custody of my son and want to spend time with him, too, but I think we need to spend time as a couple and make our relationship important. I feel both the relationship and the kids should be priorities, but not always one over the other.
Recently, we learned a band we both love and grew up listening to is coming to our town. We were excited about going, but she wants to buy tickets for herself and her son, because he said he likes the band when he hears his mom listening to it. He is 10, and whenever we do things like this, he ends up playing games on his phone all night. I end up being babysitter, buying drinks and food for him, taking him to the bathroom, etc., which prevents me from relaxing and enjoying my time. The tickets are not cheap, and if we bought them separately, we would not be able to get seats together. She said she's definitely buying tickets for herself and her son and hopes I can make it and maybe she'll see me there. This event is something I felt would be special for us to share together, but it appears she doesn't feel the same. Am I selfish for wanting to spend time with her at this concert, without kids? -- CRAVING DATE NIGHT IN VIRGINIA
DEAR CRAVING: I don't think you are selfish for wanting to have a date night with your girlfriend. In fact, I think one should be scheduled with her on a regular basis. This woman does not appear to be as into you as you are into her. Another thing that concerns me is your statement about her making you responsible for her son when the three of you attend an event together. A trip to the bathroom I can understand, but she should take her son to the snack stand if he wants something. Something is out of balance here, and I hope you will think long and hard before investing in a house together.