DR. WALLACE: I’m 19 and in college. I recently met a smart, funny and attractive girl at a weekend event in my city. Before we left, she gave me her telephone number and asked me to contact her sometime. I thought this was a good chance to get to know her better and to eventually ask her out on a date.
So, within a week I did call her, and we again had a great conversation very similar to our recent meeting in person. Four days after that, I called her again and this time, I actually asked her out on a date. Her reply was not at all what I expected! She thanked me for asking her out and she told me that she was flattered, but that she would have to decline my offer since she has been steadily dating her current boyfriend for the past eight months!
You can imagine how surprised I was by this, but I did my best to recover and not to show it. I finished that conversation smoothly and now I’m wondering what is up with this girl. Should I keep in touch with her or just forget about her entirely? — One Confused Guy, via email
ONE CONFUSED GUY: The choice is yours now what to do from here but consider two things. First, she thought enough of you to give you her telephone number. Second, she claims to be in a committed relationship with another guy, yet she gave you her telephone number anyhow.
Unless your conversation was about something specific that the two of you are mutually interested in, then she’s either likely nearing the end of her current relationship or she’s just enjoying additional male attention at your expense.
I suggest that you think very carefully about your first conversation with her in person. What specifically did you talk about and how did things end when she gave you her phone number?
This may help you to shed light on her motivations. If you feel her interest in giving you her telephone number was purely interpersonal, then it may be best to tell her that you wish her well in her current relationship and that if she ever finds herself single that it’s fine to say hello to you again.
But if and when this happens, don’t forget that even if you end up dating her someday, she may still be interested in arranging backup options!
DAD WON’T LOAN HIM MONEY UNLESS HE QUITS
DR. WALLACE: My older brother lives at home and has a job that he goes to across our town. Sometimes he gets a ride from one of his friends, but other times he has to take the bus to get to work.
My brother smokes cigarettes and drinks beer too. Not a lot of beer, but enough to notice that he has it in our refrigerator in the garage almost all the time.
He wants to buy a used car to get to and from work, but he tells my father that he has no down payment for a car, so he needs a loan from our father. My dad told him he wouldn’t give him a loan since he’s smoking and drinking and spending his “down payment” money on those things. Dad said that if he would quit spending money on beer and cigarettes that a loan could be arranged, by matching those expenses to the repayments of the loan. My brother thinks my father is mean and unreasonable to deny him this loan.
I’m only 16 so it will be a while until I am worried about buying a car, but I am watching all this very carefully so I can see how it plays out. What do you think about my father’s position? — The Younger Brother, via email
THE YOUNGER BROTHER: The key to this entire situation is that your older brother lives under your father’s roof, so he must live with your father’s rules as well.
Your father has every right to set whatever conditions he wants when it comes to loans or rules concerning your older brother. It’s true that money for cigarettes and beer adds up quickly, and that those funds could be better used for transportation, but only your brother can make that decision. He must decide if a car is more or less important to him than his ongoing consumption of beer and cigarettes.
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.