DEAR HARRIETTE: I’ve been dating a guy for a year and a half. We spend just about every weekend together, and I’ve met his kids and parents. I’ve also gone to a few family functions. When we started dating, he told me he was living with his cousin and her kids on the other side of town. I never checked, and I recently found out he’s living with another woman. They’ve been living together for five years. When I asked him about it, he told me it was true.
Since then, he's moved out and is now renting a room from a college buddy. He explained that they’re working toward a peaceful split since they purchased a lot of things together. Should I wait for him to figure things out or drop him for not being honest from the start? -- False Start, Los Angeles
DEAR FALSE START: You have every reason to not trust this man. On one hand, he came off as a wholesome family man with great intentions about you and your relationship with him. On the other, he was not actually available to be with you and lied about it. Consider it good news that he made a move to show that he is attempting to break free of this woman and stand on his own two feet. But camping out in the room of an old college buddy is hardly secure.
If you really like him, tell him as much, but also let him know that he needs to get his act together before you resume your relationship. Let him know that you care about him, but you need him to straighten out his business with this woman and clear a path that is stable for his kids and includes you. Otherwise, you are out.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I met a guy on an online dating site, and we’ve been dating for almost two months. I’m pretty sure he’s interested because he calls often, we spend a lot of time together and he’s opened up to me. But I have also noticed he’s still active on the dating site we met on. What really bothers me is that he’s updated his profile picture with a photo I took while we were out. I don’t know if I should be flattered because he likes my photography skills or if it’s completely messed up and he’s just using me? -- Dating.com, Albany, New York
DEAR DATING.COM: It is time for you to say something. Start by talking about the time you two are spending together. Tell him how you feel about him. If you think there is a chance that you can build something together, tell him you would like to try.
Then tell him you noticed that he is still posting on the dating site where you met, and that you saw that he had posted a photo you had taken of him. Ask him if you should feel flattered or saddened. If you want the opportunity to date this man exclusively, you will need to say as much and ask him if he wants the same thing. If he is noncommittal, take that as a cue that this is not the man for you, at least not now.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to email@example.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)