DR. WALLACE: I’m 16 and my boyfriend and I have had a great relationship for the past eight months. We’re the same age and we get along great, and I could see a long-term future with him as a possibility someday. But yesterday I got bad news from him. His father received a job promotion that will take their whole family to Ontario, Canada for at least two years!
I’m crestfallen over this! My boyfriend said they will move the day after this Christmas since his father’s new job starts in early January up there. We live in Arizona right now, so I’ll never see him the rest of this school year or the next one after that.
My boyfriend wants us to not date others while he’s gone and then when he turns 18, he said he’d move back to Arizona on his own. What do you think about this? We have only about two months to figure this all out. — Crestfallen Over His Move, via email
CRESTFALLEN OVER HIS MOVE: I suggest that you enjoy the next two months and use this time to have many deep, heartfelt conversations with each other. You’ll both be able to keep in touch via phone, social media and texts, but it will be quite a strain to be kept physically apart for such a long period of time.
You two must make your own decisions, but for what it’s worth, my advice would be to suggest that the two of you agree to casually date others during the long absence while keeping the door open to a reunion after the two years (or more) passes.
It’s entirely too early for you to know now how things will go for your boyfriend in Canada, and similarly, for you in Arizona the next two years. Furthermore, if his parents remain in Canada beyond two full years, how realistic will it be for him to return on his own and be able to support himself in Arizona at the age of 18? Only the two of you can answer that, and that answer might take time to develop. Therefore, I suggest that you keep in touch for as long as it’s feasible the next two years, but that you both agree to accept each other’s casual dating opportunities in the meantime.
IS IT SAFE TO RIDE WITH HIM?
DR. WALLACE: My best friend and I are both 16 and we often feel like we are twins. We seem to do everything together, both at high school and during our free time. We are not really related to each other, but I’ve often told her that I wished she really were my real sister.
I have two younger brothers, and she has one older brother who is 18 and occasionally gives us a ride home after school. I never really thought much about her brother, but the other day at school I heard some other kids talking about him. They were saying that he’s a major pothead! One even said his nickname with his friends is Blunt!
I was completely unaware of this, but now that I think about it, he often has bloodshot eyes, and he is very mellow all the time. He even moves quite slowly, more slowly than most people. So, the next time I saw him, when he gave us a ride home from school, I gathered up my courage and asked him when he dropped me off at my house if he ever smoked cannabis. He looked right at me and said, “Yes, I love it. I smoke it every single day!” I was shocked, so I just said, “Well, thanks for the ride.”
A long time ago my parents told me that I could never accept a ride from anyone who had been drinking or doing drugs of any kind. So far, I have not said anything to anyone about this, not even my best friend. So, what I want to ask you is: Is it a problem that he is smoking cannabis every day? By this I mean, does he have some in his system when he’s driving us home? I want to honor my promise to my parents, but I don’t want to be a prude about a little smoking, either. What do you advise? — Unsure About This, via email
UNSURE ABOUT THIS: You promised your parents that you would never accept a ride from anyone that had been drinking or doing drugs — since these types of drivers are impaired. Smoking cannabis or consuming it in any manner also causes a driver of a motor vehicle to experience impairment. This is often not as severe of an impairment as a legally drunk driver or one that was using narcotics would experience.
But cannabis causes a slower reaction time for those using the substance, therefore it is not safe to accept a ride in a vehicle when the driver has recently consumed cannabis. There was a recent national campaign that stated “buzzed driving is under-the-influence driving” to point this very fact out to those who engage in medicinal or recreational use of marijuana or cannabis products of any kind.
At this point I would strongly advise you not to take any further rides from your best friend’s brother. And you should also point this out to her as well; be sure she’s aware of the potential danger she is exposing herself to.
You mentioned that her older brother only “occasionally” gave you girls a ride home. From now on, I suggest that you both decline his offers and simply find your way home another way.
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.