DR. WALLACE: My best girlfriend and I recently discussed how much we both like the same certain young man from our high school. We laughed about it at first, but then we were each like, "No, I'm serious!" Then we both laughed even harder! But after that, we fell very silent, and there was an awkward silence between us for a few minutes. Finally, we relaxed a bit and said that it's really no big deal that we feel the same way and we should both try to get to know him better.
Well, this particular boy does not really know either one of us well at all, but we think he knows who we are since we all share a few mutual friends. We are wondering if we might hold a conference phone call with him and ask him if he wants to do some volunteer work with us. We girls are part of a group that delivers groceries and prescriptions to elderly residents in our community who are not traveling outside their homes due to the COVID-19 virus.
If this boy were to say yes and come out to help our group with the volunteer work, then my girlfriend and me would be competing for his attention!
Now, we have discussed this, and we've agreed that no matter who he chooses to socialize with (or if he chooses neither of us!) we girls will still remain best friends and not let jealousy destroy our wonderful friendship that we have built over the past eight years.
My concern is that even though we have both agreed to this, something could go wrong. Human nature sometimes kicks in and causes relationships to go awry.
Should we try to meet him together, or should we both just steer clear of him to protect our strong friendship? We are both 17, and we plan to attend the same college next year and even become roommates! - Nervous Best Friend, via email
NERVOUS BEST FRIEND: Don't be worried that you and your girlfriend will drift apart. The mere fact that you two young ladies have discussed this openly has done your friendship a big favor. You've laid down some ground rules, which is very thoughtful.
Also remember that the odds are low that either one of you will end up in an exclusive relationship with this young man. But the odds are high that you both might make a great new friend, who might introduce you girls to other friends of his as well.
I suggest you follow through with your plan to offer him the opportunity to join your volunteer group. If, by chance, one of you does end up dating this young man, even for a brief period of time, your mutual friendship with your future college roommate is strong enough to endure this.
At least this boy knows who you are. It's now up to you to see that he gets to know you a little better — and I don't mean in his dreams.
AM I MENTALLY CHALLENGED?
DR. WALLACE: I always seem to lose or misplace my keys, books, paperwork and even my cellphone. It's so frustrating. I waste so much time looking for things that I should be able to have at my fingertips.
I'll admit that my room is pretty messy and that I keep things in my messy car sometimes, too. I'm an 18-year-old guy, and I also sometimes leave things behind at my friends' houses.
What can I do to break this bad habit? Am I mentally challenged or just a bit absent-minded? — Messed Up, via email
MESSED UP: It is natural for young people to lose things from time to time, but your particular situation sounds more chronic than just occasional happenstance.
Indeed, it's incredibly frustrating when items you need seem to be constantly disappearing. You need to develop a routine and store items you regularly need in the same place every day. To do this effectively, start by thinking about all of the friends you have and decide who is the most organized. Politely ask this person to share his or her tips with you and to work with you to build a routine to help you improve in this area. Be sure to offer a favor in return, like a nice meal or even a monetary payment.
Creating regular cleaning and storage habits will help you immensely. It's time for you to take positive, proactive steps to quit misplacing things. You'll be far more relaxed and productive once you do.
And no, I don't believe you are mentally challenged. I feel you've allowed yourself to fall into a rut of bad habits and poor time management. Fortunately, with a good mentor and serious hard work on your end, this problem is quite correctable. Get on with it as soon as possible. Once you see the benefits you'll be reaping, you'll be very glad you did.
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.
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