My 43-year-old boyfriend is sweet caring, and somebody I believe I can trust. During our year together, he\’s mentioned his boss\’ 22-year-old daughter from time to time. Granted, he\’s a "talker," sometimes telling me more than I want to know, but he remarked on shoes she wore one day and acknowledged he knows her birthday. Now she\’s asked him to take her for a ride on his motorcycle sometime. He told her he would, and I\’m a little leery about this, and let him know. Do you think I\’m being overly possessive and jealous?    

— Backseat Driver

Jealousy is nature\’s car alarm. Sometimes car alarms go off for a good reason; sometimes it\’s just a really big crow pooping on your hood.

Whether this girl is only teasing or trying to jack your man, it\’s OK to be uncomfortable with a 22-year-old with cute shoes clinging for dear life to your boyfriend and squealing girlishly as they take the curves. While your boyfriend may have the best of intentions (plus, maybe, an impaired ability to say no), surely he\’d have an easier time winding his way there if the rideshare request came from Sloppy Bob from shipping. There\’s nothing the average straight guy lives for like the opportunity to say, "Yo, Bob, just grab me around the waist, press that paunch of yours into the small of my back, and we\’re off!"

It is possible a motorcyle ride could lead to something — decapitation, for example. How you deal with the motorcycle ride could also lead to something. There are two kinds of women in the relationship world: "the girlfriend" and "the enemy." The quickest way to go from G to E is to cajole the truth out of a guy, then grab it in your hands like a club and beat him senseless. In other words, it\’s a bad idea to punish your boyfriend just because some girl asked for a ride. He said yes and was honest about it — "honest" perhaps being a euphemism for "less in need of truth serum than shut-up serum."

Yes doesn\’t always mean yes, but along with "Sure thing!" "Certainly!" and "Bend over how far?" it\’s an answer commonly given when the boss\’ daughter asks for a favor. Your boyfriend may have no intention of following through — if he\’s even given it a second thought. So, why risk giving you the impression he\’s being chased by a 22-year-old with remarkable shoes? Maybe he\’s clueless as to how to handle this and is asking for input the manly-man way — or maybe he\’s just bragging.

People say you can\’t change men. They\’re wrong. The minute you realize you\’re dating a dud, you can change men immediately. But once you hit the one-year mark, you\’ve got what you\’ve got. Either your boyfriend\’s trustworthy or he isn\’t. Avoid any temptation to tell him he\’d better not have any freshly-minted breasts pressed up against the back of his motorcycle jacket. The worst way to get anything from a man is to demand it. Assuming he\’s a good guy, just let him know he makes you happy — in general, and whenever he does something right. Then, on the rare occasion he makes you not-so-happy, you can probably just hint, say, that the lunchtime Lolita rides aren\’t the highlight of your bliss and trust him to do the right thing. You still might spot him taking her for a spin around the block on the old Harley. You\’re just unlikely to see it parked afterward at a pay-by-the-hour motel.

Bottle Cruiser

After relentlessly trying to scam women into liking me, I stumbled into a relationship with a great girl who makes it easy for me to be me. Today, at the salad bar, this very attractive woman was wearing this incredible perfume. I wanted to ask what it was so I could get it for my girlfriend, but I was afraid of coming off like the old me. This seems dumb, but how do you approach a woman when you have a real question for her?

—Reformed Jerk

I hate to break it to you, after the years you must\’ve spent claiming you just had time for a one-night stand between operations on Third World children\’s harelips, but the truth would have been a much better scam. You want to know what perfume some woman\’s got on? No need to drag out the twin sisters with brain tumors. Just ask, taking care to mention the presence of a girlfriend upfront, as in, "Pardon me, but my girlfriend would love that fragrance …" You\’d be surprised how many women go for a man who has the confidence to be real — exciting as it must be hearing how you saved your entire Navy Seals unit and still had the energy to fight off those nympho Olsen sisters.