DR. WALLACE: I'm a 17-year-old guy, and I really am attracted to a certain girl my age. I met her at the mall, and she seemed to be genuinely interested in me. I asked her for her telephone number, and she gave it to me and even asked me to call her sometime. Well, I decided that yesterday was the day. I called her, and we talked for about 15 minutes, and we got along great. We had a few good laughs, and we found that we have a lot in common. So, just before this call ended, I summoned my deepest courage to ask her on a date the following weekend. I heard a long pause on her end of the phone; I must admit it was uncomfortable. She then said that under different circumstances, she would love to go out with me, but she was going steady right now with a guy she really loved.
I was so shocked I nearly dropped my cellphone. I then caught my breath, dusted off my pride and asked her why she gave me her phone number and asked me to call her in the first place. She said it seemed like I was a friendly guy and she wanted us to be friends. The thing is, she said not a single word to me at that first meeting about only being friends. So, now I'm confused. What should I do? I really don't want to be "just friends" with her. I find her attractive and fun, and I want to take her out on a date. What are my alternatives at this point? — Stunned "New Friend," via email
STUNNED 'NEW FRIEND': Send her a text and let her know to give you a call someday in the future when she isn't going steady with another guy. Tell her that you wish to respect her existing relationship and that if you were in the other guy's situation, you would appreciate the same consideration.
Let her know that if you had been an existing longtime friend of hers, things would be different, but since you met her with the intention of asking her out on dates, you feel it's best to give her some space at this time. Let her know how much you liked meeting her and how special you feel she is. Take the high road here. If she ever texts or calls you in the future, you can then go out and have fun together with a clean conscience.
Once you do this, don't sit and wait for her to contact you. I'm sure there are a lot of other charming young ladies in your city. You might meet someone new, or maybe someday, when you least expect it, you may be contacted by an old "friend."
LEARN HOW TO VOLUNTEER SAFELY
DR. WALLACE: I'm embarrassed to tell you this, but I'm an 18-year-old girl and have never been on a date. I'd love to go on a date or two before I graduate high school. I don't know if my lack of dates might be due to my attitude or the fact that I'm so caught up in my studies. I have a reputation of being "all business and no play" when it comes to my classes and my demeanor on campus at my high school.
It's true that I've had my head down working on getting good grades so that I can get into a good college. I've never worried much about an active social life since, from what I've seen, most of my classmates waste a lot of time goofing off or just hanging out at the mall gossiping.
Now, our school is closed due to the COVID-19 virus, so my chances of dating anytime soon are virtually zero! Yes, I can study at home, and I still will get good grades, but it seems a social life is now completely out of the question for me. — Serious Student, via email
SERIOUS STUDENT: I agree these present days are not the optimal time to expand one's social life. Having said that, there will be many volunteer opportunities for young people like you to step up and help with important projects in your local areas. For example, many communities are setting up volunteers to help deliver food to homebound seniors who can't get out to go grocery shopping.
I suggest that you use your excellent studying skills to scour the internet and learn as much as you can about COVID-19. Learn how you can stay safe and keep others around you safe. Learn about proper social distancing and how to maximize your personal health and the health of those you come into contact with.
In doing this, you will meet many other volunteers and volunteer leaders who you may become respected friends. As time goes on, we all hope this crisis subsides. There will be a day in your future that you will be in a position to meet and spend time with male friends and potential boyfriends. By building your network of friends and trusted adults through volunteering, you will have a great network to use to ask for introductions to suitable young men once things clear up and our lives return to a more normal state.
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.
Photo credit: JESHOOTS-com at Pixabay