DEAR HARRIETTE: My boyfriend is pretty possessive. If we are in a group, he likes to be the center of my attention, and he doesn't like it if I mention other guys who are just friends. It's not at a point where he is being mean about it or anything, and it doesn’t seem like anything too abnormal. But in case it gets worse, how can I tell him to calm down a bit? -- Under Scrutiny, Jackson, Miss.
DEAR UNDER SCRUTINY: Take a step back and think about your life and what you want in a relationship. Then ask yourself if there is a reason for your boyfriend to be jealous of your male friends. What is your relationship like with them? Be honest: Have you given him any reason to be concerned? If so, you'll need to deal with that. If not, you should seriously think about the man you have claimed as your boyfriend.
Someone who is jealous today will continue to be jealous in the future. Possessiveness can be a dangerous trait. If you believe your boyfriend honestly fits most of the criteria you have articulated for a high-quality relationship, then talk to him about his behavior and ask him to work on it with you. If, however, you are skeptical about his assets and whether he meets your criteria for a relationship, say goodbye now, before he gets too attached.
The person you can control in this situation is you. Decide if it's worth it for you to be in what could be a volatile relationship.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I like a guy who I'm pretty sure likes me, but he won't admit it. Everyone can tell that we are very flirty and into each other. My friend said she would purposely talk about my prom date, who is not my crush, in front of my crush to make him jealous. Is this wrong? Does jealousy work? -- Hopeful, Staten Island, N.Y.
DEAR HOPEFUL: I'm not a big fan of making people jealous to get their attention. I know it is a strategy that some people love, but I prefer honesty.
If you like this guy, tell him. You can do that by inviting him to join your group of friends for an activity and making sure the two of you spend some time together.
Ultimately, you should tell him you like him and see what he says. Do that privately so that whatever the outcome, it's between the two of you rather than on display for others to witness and make comment.
Many males are just as shy as females, and often they are unsure how to let girls know of their interest. Translation: Sometimes the good guys, or at least the shy guys, need a little help. The good news is that giving them a little help is often worth it. So stop your friend from talking about your prom date and make a move!