Dear Amy: My boyfriend of six months has really opened himself up to me. He gave me his social media account passwords, and has added my thumbprint to his phone (which I find really cute because I didn't really ask him for it). I trust him.
I noticed that his ex has been texting him. This wouldn't really bother me if she had no bad intentions. But I know for a fact that she is still into him. My boyfriend never answers her texts — ever. She texts him on his phone number and also on WhatsApp.
My boyfriend tells me to go to his text messages and just reply to her, but I don't know what I'm supposed to say. I don't want to start a fight because I'm too nice. He also wants it to stop. What do I tell her?
Amy says: Back in the Cretaceous period, when I was dating, you'd wear a guy's chunky high school ring on a chain around your neck to prove that you were a couple.
But it seems that in your world, sharing passwords and biometrics is a "we're exclusive" litmus test. I think this is unwise. If your guy had given his previous girlfriend password access to all of his social media accounts, she'd have hacked him by now.
Even though you're both aware of technology at a consumer level, you don't seem to have figured out how to block someone from a phone.
Go to the contacts list on his phone, scroll to the contact card with his ex's name, scroll to the bottom where it says "block this caller," and press the button. The process is similar for WhatsApp.
When you block someone, they don't know that they've been blocked. If they send a message, it will appear to have been received.
Her attempts to contact your boyfriend seem to trigger a desire in you to respond on his behalf. There is no need to play this "leave my man alone" game. That just leads to more drama.
Terms of endearment
Dear Amy: I've been with my husband for almost five years; we've been married for about a year and a half.
I love my in-laws. They seem to like me, but I don't know what to call them. They live in Canada half the year and in the United States the other half. We only see them twice a year.
They have been so nice to me and I want to call them something special, but I'm not sure if Mom and Dad is right.
My parents are no longer in my life, and I feel so lucky to have my husband's family.
So far, I've called them by their first names, but it doesn't seem as loving as I'd like to be. Is Mom and Dad too personal?
Amy says: Reframe how you view calling people by name. You call your husband by his name; your friends are addressed by their names. The sentiment and affection matters more than the form of address.
You could check with other in-laws or significant others in your generation group to see if these parents have expressed a preference with them.
Over the years, when I have addressed this in my column, people report that the very best way to settle this is directly, and early on in the relationship.
You're still technically in the "early" column, and so I suggest that you frame a very warmly worded e-mail: "... you have received me so warmly into your family; I truly feel that you are my family. I'm wondering how you would like me to address you? Would you prefer that I call you by your first names, or would it be OK with you if I addressed you as Mom and Dad?"
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