Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Refusal to Host Family Isn't a Bad Thing

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been dating my boyfriend for a year now. He is a nice man with a good heart, but he hasn’t had a job for the whole time that we have been together. At first, that didn’t seem like such a big deal since he had savings. He was creative and figured out ways to make fun without spending a lot of money. Now, it’s getting old. I have a decent job with a consistent paycheck, and I find myself picking up the tab almost all the time. I’m not totally old-fashioned, but I also don’t think it’s right for the woman to have to pay all the time -- or the man, for that matter. How do I bring this up with my boyfriend? I don’t want to hurt his feelings. I know he feels bad that he has limited resources, but if we are going to keep going, we need to address our money issues head-on. How do I bring it up? -- Facing Our Stuff

DEAR FACING OUR STUFF: Your relationship is at a reality check point. It is time for you two to talk frankly about where you are and where you are headed. Ask your boyfriend to join you for a serious conversation. Tell him that you need to figure out your financial situation because things are getting bad. Be honest and tell him you don’t feel comfortable picking up the tab all the time, and you can’t afford it. Press him to talk about his financial plans for the year.

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)