Q: Me and this guy I'm seeing are really close. But here's my problem. I'm not a dog person, and he and that dog of his are really attached. They are together all the time, and he lets the dog lick him all over his face. He lets the dog stay in the room with us while we're having sex. I try to put the dog out, but then my man starts complaining that I'm mean. When the dog ain't in the room with us, he paws at the door and whines. He always lets him back in. I feel like I'm competing with a dog. What do I do?
Mia: Man's best friend is No. 1 with your guy. You, sweetheart, are No. 2. If you don't like brushing dog hair off your clothes and sleeping in the same bed with Fido, find yourself another lover. Or better yet, become a dog lover yourself.
Steve: A compromise can be found. When his dog misbehaves, you begin barking. Teach the dog how to behave. If your man won't allow that, then tell him he's got to choose. If he chooses you and then goes back to dog, it's time to be a bitch, which he deserves.
Q: I went through my boyfriend's phone and found semi-naked pictures of his ex. I can't stop thinking about it. I know he's moved on from her, but I'm haunted by what I saw. I wonder what he sees in me after being with someone like that! They are still friends and see each other at work, which makes me feel really insecure. Help!!!
Steve: Unless you marry someone who's 14, you will inherit a man with a past. Just as most men inherit women with a past. The past never disappears and, in many cases, neither do the ex-boyfriends and ex-girlfriends. Or ex-hubbys and ex-wives. If your boyfriend is open, honest, and loving with you, don't worry, and don't bug him. The same goes for him if an ex-boyfriend of yours says hello.
Mia: That's what you get for snooping. You violated his trust by going through his phone, and now you're all messed up about what you saw. Let that be a lesson to you to never do that. What if he went browsing through your photos while you were, say, in the shower? How would you feel afterward? As for his ex-girlfriend, he can't help the fact that they work together. Obviously, he has moved on, otherwise he wouldn't be dating you now. Forget her. There's a reason she's the ex and you're not. Focus on that.
Between them, Steve and Mia have logged more than a few decades in the single-and-dating world. They're also wise to the ways of married life. They don't always agree, but they have plenty of answers. Contact them at S&M c/o Daily News, 801 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19107 or firstname.lastname@example.org.