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Ask Amy: Is what I saw in my girlfriend’s hometown a red flag?

Ask Amy: Is what I saw in my girlfriend’s hometown a red flag?

Dear Amy: I am a man in my 20s, exclusively dating my girlfriend for the last three years. We are very compatible and are talking about moving in together.

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I have met her family members a few times socially but have never spent much time with them.

Recently we took a trip to her hometown and stayed with her folks. Her parents seem very nice, and as far as I can tell they approve of me. We spent four days there and had a nice time.

I’m a little concerned because while we were there I felt like my girlfriend wasn’t very nice to her mother. She acted very irritated by her mother and was snapping at her. She seemed to react to her grandmother the same way – impatient and bordering on rude.

I witnessed this in person and I’ve also heard her be this way with her mother on the phone.

Lately I have to admit that she seems to be treating me a little bit this way, too. When she is bothered or irritated, she snaps and is very short with me.

I really did not like seeing her this way with her mother, I don’t like being treated this way, and I’m wondering if this is a red flag about our future.

– Snapped At

Dear Snapped At: Mothers and daughters sometimes share a tricky dynamic. You’re not likely to influence a lifetime of feelings between your girlfriend and the women in her life, but adults are supposed to be able to control their behavior.

So call her on this. When she snaps at you, call her on it.

And the next time you two are having one of those conversations where you’re discussing each other’s foibles and failings, you should tell her how it strikes you when you witness her being impatient and rude toward her mother and grandmother.

Yes, I’d say that this behavior is a red flag, but it is also behavior your girlfriend can change – and she should absolutely be willing to work on it.

Dear Amy: I’m a sophomore in college. My girlfriend and I met on campus at the beginning of the school year and have been together for six months (we’re both women).

We’re making plans for this summer – we’re both looking into working at a beach resort near our college.

Every summer I go to a reunion at my summer camp. This is a camp I went to for most of my childhood and through my teens. I was a counselor there for three years. The reunion week is a time when we former campers go back to camp to perform some maintenance tasks and help to prepare the camp for the summer.

I really enjoy doing this work and I like seeing my fellow campers and staff. It’s a really special experience for me.

My girlfriend is having a tough time with my decision to take this week away this summer. She says she will miss me too much and she is heavily hinting that I shouldn’t do it.

I’m wondering what you think.

– Camper for Life

Dear Camper: I think your girlfriend is really into you. I also think she is trying to manipulate and control you.

A week apart can seem like a very long time when you are in the first throes of attachment. But – that’s the way it goes.

Your girlfriend should not pressure you to forgo something that is so important to you.

This is part of your life, and your attachment, service and commitment to this place and these people is an important part of who you are.

A person who loves and respects you should on some level also celebrate this aspect of your life and character.

This is a bit of a test of your girlfriend’s maturity, sense of perspective, and her overall respect for you. So far, she’s failing.

If she really pours on the pressure for you to drop this weeklong commitment, then you should consider taking a vacation from this relationship. Do not cave.

Dear Amy: “Tired Boyfriend” reported that his girlfriend had quit her job before Christmas and now only wants to be a “stay-at-home girlfriend.”

You missed the most obvious point: She is clinically depressed.

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Your response, “We all want to be a stay-at-home girlfriend. But life doesn’t work that way,” was heartless.

– Upset Reader

Dear Upset: I’m not a clinician and would never attempt to diagnose anyone based on a shred of subjective information.

You probably shouldn’t do that, either.

You can email Amy Dickinson at askamy@amydickinson.com or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.