Advicereality check

Reality Check

I have a new girlfriend. Well, really, I don’t even know if she is my girlfriend yet. We have been hanging out a lot lately, and we have kissed a couple of times. I really like her, and I have for a long time. She told my best friend that she really likes me, too, which is why I finally got the balls to ask her out. Anyway, we mostly hang out in a big group of people because we have a lot of the same friends.

Anyway, she has had a lot of family stuff going on lately. Like, serious stuff, where her brother is in a lot of trouble and her mom is really sick. She hasn’t been out, and I barely see her at school, and we aren’t talking a lot. We weren’t really talking or texting that much yet anyway, but now she is obviously busy with bigger problems than me. Her other friends haven’t really seen or heard much either.

The thing is, I really want to talk to her more, and I want to go and see her, but I don’t want it to be weird. I don’t know her family at all and I don’t want to bother them at such a tough time, but I want her to know that I am here if she wants to talk to me. I don’t want to mess this up because I really like this girl. Can you tell me what to do next?

New Guy

The best thing for you to do is tell her that you are there for her if she needs you—needs anything, a shoulder, an ear, an ice cream sandwich—but that she shouldn’t feel obligated to keep in touch if things are messed up right now. You can either call her and tell her, or, if you feel like you don’t even want to do that, drop her a quick message. Let her know that you know she is going through a lot and that you wish you could help but that you are trying to stay out of the way and let her steer right now. She will appreciate your honesty and understanding, and that gives her a chance to reach out to you if she needs to without the possibility of overstepping your bounds.

I have been dating this guy all summer. We are both in school, but had the summer off to work and play, and it has been so cool. We went camping, hiking and canoeing together. He came over to my sister’s apartment for a barbecue. We went to Six Flags. This is literally the best relationship I have ever had. We never fight or argue. He always says nice things, pulls my chair out, etc. It has been a whirlwind romance and I really thought we were falling in love. But now that school is back, he has no time for me. Ever.

He has all this stuff to do with his house during rush and all, and I understand, but I still think he could at least come over some nights afterward. We went from spending every single night together for the last two months to me not even being introduced to his friends. I am trying to be patient, but I am kind of depressed and I’m getting angry. He says I am being irrational and that he has a “duty†to take care of his brothers first. These are not his blood brothers, mind you, and they do not need taking care of. All I’m asking for is some of his time. I thought things were so good! What did I do wrong? What am I not seeing here?

Left Out

Sounds to me like the perfect Summer Fling. Embrace it, revel in the memories of the fun and sun and sex and the good times. Don’t ask what happened, and certainly don’t blame yourself. Instead of making it more complicated and ugly, marvel at the simplicity of it. Think of it the way you think of the summer itself: “Well, that was fun. What’s next?†Go download “Melt Show†by the Old 97’s from iTunes, listen to it on repeat for a few days, and chalk the whole thing up to experience. At least you had the summer, right?

Now, go find a guy that is more interested in being with you than he is in hanging out in a dank basement full of sweaty dudes, spanking complete strangers that pass for his fake family. I think we both know that you deserve better. As they say, you can take the boy out of the frat, but you can’t take the frat out of the boy. And unfortunately for you, frat season is in.

Confidential to South Georgia: If you are really interested, give it a try. You can always decide later that you just can’t manage. If it really is a question of finances, then you will either figure something out or you won’t. Do not bear the responsibility alone, but be aware that you are the one who is in a position to travel, not her. Make sure she’s holding up her end on the other stuff. In the end it may be just a case of bad timing. Good luck and keep me posted.

Note to Readers: A belated thanks for showing the door to that asshat Doug McKillip. Also, please make an effort to talk to your friends about voting this year. I know it’s a red state and why bother, right? But the stakes are really high this year, especially for women. Republicans have made it clear that they have no intention of letting us have control of our own ladyparts. If you care about access to birth control, if you believe that women can get pregnant from rape, and that no woman (or girl even!) should be forced to give birth to her rapist’s baby, then please, please pay attention and do your part.