Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

DEAR HARRIETTE: I've been in a relationship for the past six months. My boyfriend and I are happy and in love. A few nights ago, he told me that when we were in our casual dating phase and were not exclusive yet, he was still seeing other women. He told me the names of the girls he was seeing, and I know a few of them very well. I would not have a problem with this, except for the fact that at that time, he told me that he was seeing only me. I'm trying to remain unbothered by this, but it is a little upsetting. I feel like he lied to me so unnecessarily. We've already talked about it, and he promises that it isn’t a big deal. How do I address this? I don't know if I feel comfortable continuing a relationship with a liar. -- Six Months In

DEAR SIX MONTHS IN: Slow down and assess the situation. It sounds like your boyfriend is admitting something to you -- still pretty early in your relationship -- so that he can clear the air. In the early days before people commit to each other, it is not uncommon to withhold information about who else you’re seeing. Should he have told you that you were the only one? No, but I don’t think this is a dealbreaker, especially if you believe that your relationship is going well. You can ask him why he decided to tell you about these other women now. Tell him that it bothers you that he previously lied about it. Talk it out now so that you can move on quickly.

Focus on now and the life you can build for the future. Ask him never to lie to you again.

DEAR HARRIETTE: My roommate and I have been arguing over getting a pet. I'm totally fine with getting a cat or something that could kind of take care of itself and wouldn't be destructive. She really wants a large dog. Our apartment doesn't allow large animals. If we got caught with it, we could get evicted. She is offering to pay whatever pet fees they have, but I am dead set against a dog. I know for a fact that she's been looking at dogs behind my back and plans on probably getting one anyway. I enjoy my roommate; she and I have been friends for years, but I cannot support this decision of hers. I do not want to get evicted, and I don't want to have to kick her out for going against my wishes. What do I do? -- Need New Roommate

DEAR NEED NEW ROOMMATE: Schedule a house meeting with your roommate that is specifically about pets. Be direct with her about your concerns -- you do not agree to a large dog, nor does your building. Point out that you know she has been looking for dogs, and that you are unwilling to lie or sneak in order to have a large dog that can get you both evicted. Tell her that a dog is a dealbreaker. Be sure that you can get her off of your lease, though, before you do that.

If it gets bad enough, you may have to include the landlord in this discussion. If she breaks the rules, figure out how to protect yourself so that she has to go, but not you.

(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.)