DR. WALLACE: A boy who goes to my school and lives only a few blocks away from our family's house recently invited me to go with him to do some volunteer work delivering meals to seniors who are housebound these days. I said yes because he is cute and sort of popular. I was looking forward to having a nice time doing some good deeds and getting to know this cute boy a little better.
Now this is all ruined, because I found out from someone else that he had already asked another girl first to go with him to do the volunteer work, but her parents didn't want her to leave the house. So, now that I know about this, I feel like a second choice, an afterthought and a backup. It feels like someone punched me in the stomach!
This has made me so upset that I feel like telling this guy to get lost. My sister thinks I'm feeling sorry for myself and acting like a spoiled brat. She said that getting upset over something like this is really very minor and should not make any difference at all. In fact, she said I'm the winner, as my family will let me go as long as I wear a face mask and stay safe while I am doing the volunteer work.
My father agrees with my sister, but my mother feels that this guy should apologize to me for not asking me out with him first. However, if I do end up going out with him, there is no way I would ever ask him to apologize, as I feel that would make me look really lame to him.
I'm curious to know what you think about this situation. I'm not happy about how things have gone down, but I am eager just to get out of the house for a few hours, even if I was not his first choice. What's your take on all of this? — Second-Choice Girl, via email
SECOND-CHOICE GIRL: I can tell from your words that your ego has been slightly bruised, but in my sincere opinion, that's nothing serious, and you will soon get over your frustration, especially after you have a wonderful time doing some valuable volunteer work with your new friend. Who knows, after you spend some time together, he may ask you out again sometime, and you might elect to say yes.
Finally, think about it this way: Imagine you never even knew he had asked another girl to do this work with him. He then would have contacted you, and you likely would have said yes to his offer and been excited to go and get to know him a bit better while you were helping others. I trust thinking about things this way may help you put things into a better perspective.
RESPECT IS THE KEY
DR. WALLACE: I'm a 17-year-old girl who is facing a major dilemma in my social life right now. To cut to the chase, should I try and win back the guy I love, who mostly treated me like dirt, or do I stay with a new guy I've been dating, who treats me like a lady? My new guy is not quite as good-looking as the other guy, and while I like him a bit already, I'm not deeply in love with him like I was with my ex-boyfriend. What should I do now? I'm anxious and confused. — Torn Between Two Guys, via email
TORN BETWEEN TWO GUYS: My guess is that you are writing to me because you know what I am going to suggest. You may be wishing to hear it from a neutral source so that you can justify your upcoming actions and move ahead without looking back.
So, here's my advice: Forget the last guy you were dating, and concentrate on the terrific guy you are now currently dating. Nothing provides a better foundation for a potentially long-lasting, successful relationship than mutual respect.
Sadly, respect is exactly what was missing from your last relationship, which you have admitted has now failed.
Your new beau has given his respect to you; it's now up to you to give yours to him in return.
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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