DEAR AMY: In the past year, "Steve," my boyfriend of several years, has disappeared into the seedy underbellies of Twitter and 4chan. Steve used to listen to an assortment of news sources. Now he gets most of his news off of the Trollish "alt-right" sections of those sites. (I'm NOT writing to you about Steve's political stance — I have largely checked out and find political polarization ridiculous.) Steve has become increasingly and self-admittedly anti-Semitic, and has adopted offensive terms popularized on his internet hangouts that he finds hilarious. He spends a lot of time trying to convince me that his favorite author isn't a Nazi (I disagree). He makes purposely inflammatory tweets under an anonymous account, and has been banned more than once. Amy, I thought this was a knee-jerk reaction to the current political and social climates surrounding white men — and that it would pass. It hasn't. I get morbid and inappropriate humor. I'm not easily offended. I'm a passionate advocate of the First Amendment, even when the words are distasteful. But this just feels wrong. Steve knows I disagree, but he continues. I have not stressed how deeply this bothers me, and that's on me. It's affecting our otherwise good relationship, and I want my boyfriend back. How do I bring this up after shamefully allowing it for this long?
Ms. Internet Troll
DEAR MS. TROLL: Your boyfriend's hate speech is on him. You do you.
I can't quite imagine how your relationship with this guy can be "otherwise good" when he is admitting to being anti-Semitic, admires someone you believe is a Nazi and has already been banned by a famously loose social media site (a user has to dive into seriously threatening territory to get noticed and banned from Twitter).
I don't believe that partners should police each other and "allow" or prohibit any particular behavior or expression. But what does this guy have to do before you will stand up, exercise your own rights, and say, "I don't like the man you've become. I'm out of here?"
At some point, ignoring hate, turning a deaf ear or focusing only on the wedge of good stuff that affects you personally makes you part of the problem. You're at that point.
Here's a quote attributed to Edmund Burke: "A very great part of the mischiefs that vex the world arises from words."
Edmund Burke is also thought to have coined this famous phrase: "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
I'm not saying that your guy is evil. But if you are "good," then you should stand for something. So stand, already!
DEAR AMY: I have been seeing someone for four months. I feel pretty emotionally connected to him. Recently when I raised the idea of exclusivity, he shared with me he has been active on dating apps. He said that while he has not slept with anyone else, he has gone on a few dates. He says he can see a committed relationship with me in the future, but has a few things to sort out before doing so. I am uneasy. Is this a sign that he must feel something is missing in our relationship? Is this a red flag?
DEAR WORRIED: Your boyfriend is telling you what he wants. He is not promising exclusivity, and if you continue to date him expecting that he will eventually settle in and choose you, you will probably be disappointed. At four months in, if he was as into you as you are to him, and if he felt ready and able to commit to exclusivity, he would be locking it down.
You don't mention what "things" he has to sort out. It's possible that the only things he needs to sort out are other women. And there's nothing wrong with that, as long as he is honest with you (and them).
If you two are sexually active, make sure you take precautions to guard against STDs and pregnancy.
DEAR AMY: "No Solution" was complaining about her sister, who was facing sudden financial hardship and asking family members to pitch in for her daughter's dance classes. Thank you for being so compassionate and keeping your answer child-focused. This might be the girl's only extracurricular experience during a tough time.
DEAR FAN: Many parents would rather skip a meal than see their kids go without a joyful experience; in my mind, that's how it is supposed to be.