DR. WALLACE: My boyfriend and I are both 18 and are considered popular students. Both of us are athletes and fairly intelligent, and we will be attending Northwestern University in September. He has received a football scholarship, and I have been fortunate enough to earn an academic scholarship at the same university. We are not sure if we will stay together as a couple at Northwestern, but that's another issue.
My boyfriend and I care for each other very much. If we would have our university degrees in hand right now, I would marry him if he asked me to be his wife.
The only problem we have is that we argue a lot. Many times, the arguments escalate into full-blown flights (verbal). When this happens, the time we are together is ruined. We continually say that we will stop arguing, but somehow, we always continue to argue.
Is there some reason why we can't stop this "silly game"? Also, after a full-blown argument, neither one of us will admit being wrong and neither will say "I'm sorry."
Any guidance you offer will be deeply appreciated. — Anonymous, Naperville, Illinois
ANONYMOUS: Both you and your boyfriend are overly competitive and are much more interested in being bright and in satisfying your personal wants and needs than in considering the other's personal views and beliefs. This shows a definite lack of maturity for both you and your boyfriend.
The fact that you put in the time and effort to contact me shows me you consider this a serious flaw in the relationship and one that you would like to improve. The keys to ending this petty bickering are respecting each other's views and compromising when an agreement can't be met.
When communicating, diminish the use of words "I" and "me" and incorporate the words "we" and "us." All human beings have disagreements with others at one time or another. No two people agree with each other 100 percent of the time.
Foolish couples fight to the end to prove that they are right, and they both end up miserable. Wise couples respect each other's view and compromise when both are positive that their view is correct. The successful couple seals the "discussion" with a kiss, and the two go on to have a wonderful time!
WE CAN'T AFFORD $100
DR. WALLACE: Our school club held an initiation breakfast in one of the nicer restaurants in our area. During the ceremony, one of the girls stole a small painting that was hanging in the eating area.
The owner of the restaurant sent a letter to the principal of our school demanding payment for the painting ($100) and informing him that our school functions will no longer be allowed unless a $100 deposit is paid.
This incident has hurt our club's reputation (everyone in school is talking about it). As the club's president, I am asking you for the best solution in this mess. We really can't afford $100, and we don't want one person to ruin our whole club's reputation. — Embarrassed Club President, via email
EMBARRASSED: As president, stop by and apologize to the restaurant owner and tell her or him that you are seeking the immediate return of this painting. Also state that if you are unable to have the painting returned quickly, the $100 will indeed be paid soon. Then, call a club meeting and ask that the girl who took the painting to please return it to the restaurant immediately and to apologize to the owner directly. If that doesn't happen, your alternate plan should include a club fundraiser (like a car wash) that will raise enough money to clear the debt. And, of course, under that scenario, a certain individual should be expelled from your club.
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.