DEAR AMY: I recently celebrated my one-year anniversary with my girlfriend. I love her, and we get along great. We are very compatible, and I thought integrating our teenage children would be our biggest challenge. She has introduced me to all her family (even her ex's family), but I am starting to think it's weird that she hasn't introduced me to any of her friends. I did meet her best friend, but that was by accident when I went to her house at my usual time and the friend was there. She eventually introduced us. Other than that I haven't met any of her friends. As far as I can tell, she only vaguely speaks of me to them. When she takes their calls and I'm at her house, I usually leave the room to give her privacy. But sometimes she asks me to be quiet so they don't know I'm with her. After about six months of being together, I told her that it made me feel as if I were a secret, but she pointed out I've met her family. She says her friends don't need to know about us. At what point does it become weird that she continues to keep me away from her friends? Does it mean something?

-- No Friends

DEAR FRIENDS: I think this definitely means something, but I'm not sure what. You don't mention any explanation your girlfriend might offer, and so let us speculate wildly.

She is leading a double life, and her friends are part of her other life.

There is something about you specifically that makes her want to keep you a secret. Are you odious? Actually, I suspect that your girlfriend is hedging the truth about something, and she is keeping your presence vague to protect her cover story. It could be something quite benign. (She told her friends, "After my divorce I swore I would never date again!") But you will never know what's behind this weirdness because she won't tell you. And that's the real problem.

If you two are going to continue as a couple and live an integrated life, you will both have to be open and truthful and willing to face the consequences.

DEAR AMY: "Sad Daughter" had a mother who was dying a painful death from lung cancer. She was shocked when people asked her if her mother was a smoker. I think the perfect reply to this is the classic: "Why would you ask me that?"

-- Faithful Reader

DEAR READER: Excellent. Thank you.