The only advice column that spins both sides of the truth.
Q: My friend is really looking for love in all the wrong places. Lately, she’s been obsessed with online dating. First, it was match.com. Then, it was e-Harmomy. Now, she’s looking for her soulmate on Craig’s List! Seriously, I’m concerned about her. I think her desperation is dangerous. Please help me to help her!
Side A: It’s great that you’re concerned for your friend’s well-being, but it seems like you’re being a little close-minded. While there are risk factors involved with online dating, it has been proven to be an effective source for finding love. So, your friend’s actions may not necessarily be desperate. Of course, you should encourage her to take pre-caution, but keep in mind that there are similar risks with offline dating. Therefore, balance your concern for her with your support for her. For example, when you’re helping her get ready for a first date, remind – not bombard – her with some safety tips. This way, you’ll get your point across without being seen as an unsupportive friend.
Side B: If you truly believe that her behavior is getting out of control and she doesn’t seem to be listening to you, then you might want to try an intervention. Seek counsel from mutual friends, her family, or a licensed professional. Overall, the goal is to get her to determine what is the root of her obsession. Unfortunately, there’s a possibility that this will backfire on you. She could label your concern for her as “hating” and the like. In that case, you’ll need to let her experiences instruct her. As grave as that sounds, sometimes, people don’t listen until their mistakes force them to do so. Besides, remember that she’s the only one who has control over her life.
Q: So, my boy talks really loud, during movies. It’s not an issue, when we’re kicking it at my crib or his. But, when we’re in public, it’s straight embarrassing. He’s so bad that people have complained about him to theatre management. Regardless, the volume stays turned up on his voice. How can I get him to hit the “mute” button in public?
Side A: Try talking to him about the matter. It’s possible that no one close to him has brought this up to him, so he may truly believe that it’s a non-issue. In a sincere tone, let him know that you do value your friendship with him and you do enjoy hanging out with him, but you feel he should keep his voice down a bit at the movies. His reaction will let you know, if you’ll be comfortable heading to a film that same night or just calling it a night.
Side B: Bottom line – If your friend is adamant about continuing his rude behavior, then you should be adamant about going out to the movies with another friend. Otherwise, you’re implicating that his behavior is acceptable and you don’t deserve more respect. So, until he knows how to act in public, hang out in private.
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