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Dear Abby

Jealous girlfriend must watch her step on the dance floor

Dear Abby: I have been dating my boyfriend, "Jose," for a year. Before that, we were friends for five years. Ever since I've known him, he and his half-sister, "Blanca," have danced together at parties. We're all in our mid-20s.

They dance salsa, merengue and other styles of music together. I used to think it was cute, but now that Jose and I are a couple, I find it annoying and a little creepy. He says Blanca loves to dance and can't always find good partners.

She gets mad when he dances with me instead of her during her favorite songs. I told Jose he can dance only with me at the parties or only with her. Not both. I don't want to share him, and honestly, people joke that it's incestuous.

How can I make him understand how much this bothers me? What can I say to his half-sister when she gives me the evil eye? My relationship with her is friendly, but it was better before I started dating her half-brother. – Takes Only Two To Tango

Dear Takes Only Two: If you want to hang onto Jose, simmer down and be less heavy-handed. Dictating who he can dance with only makes you appear to be jealous, insecure and controlling.

Because he and Blanca have danced together for so long, it's understandable that she expects to dance with him. My advice is to be gracious and hold onto your temper, because if you don't, your relationship with Blanca will no longer be friendly, and it could cost you your boyfriend.

Dear Abby: My mother-in-law is a good person, but she never wants to be around us or our children. She lives only 30 minutes away, has only one child (my husband) and has been widowed for more than five years. She has never called our house, didn't visit when the kids were born and usually mails gift cards at birthdays and Christmas.

My own mother died a few months ago. Our kids are almost 13 and 10, so they're not babies anymore. I try to reach out to her, but she is cold and not responsive. What else can I do? – No Grandma in Austin, Texas

Dear No Grandma: What does your husband think about this? Has his mother always been this way? Could the problem be that she dislikes you or is disappointed in her son?

There is no way to force a connection on someone who is unwilling, and I'm not sure you would even want to. It appears your mother-in-law isn't maternal and prefers her independence. I'm sorry that your feelings are hurt, but if you crave closeness with an older woman, you will have to look elsewhere to find it.

Dear Abby: My family is having a Thanksgiving conundrum. My uncle and his wife have offered to host the holiday. My uncle hesitated about having it because he recently lost his job. My grandmother decided that each couple should chip in $50 to pay for the dinner. (The total amount will be $300.) We will all make and bring dishes with us as well. Their children are not being asked to pay anything.

My grandmother thinks this is a good idea because it would cost us more than $50 to go out to dinner for Thanksgiving, but some of us think it's odd that we're being charged to attend our family's dinner. No one else in the family is able or willing to host, so the only other option would be going to a restaurant. Any thoughts? – Turkey Troubles in Philadelphia

Dear Turkey Troubles: Just this – pay up! And while you're offering thanks at the dinner table, be grateful that the person in need of financial help this holiday season isn't you.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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