Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole


DEAR HARRIETTE: I've been on a couple of dates with this guy, and everything is going great. We touch base on a lot of beliefs, and I find myself always happy when I am with him.

A few nights ago, he kissed me for the first time, and it was terrible! It was almost unbearable. I tried helping him out when kissing, but he was so confident in his kissing that he didn't think anything of it.

I want to continue seeing him, but I don't know how to address the situation. I don't want to keep quiet, nor do I want to damage his confidence. Help! -- Bad Kiss, Syracuse, N.Y.

DEAR BAD KISS: If you like this guy enough, you are going to need to educate him -- gently. It could be that he hasn't had much experience kissing, so he hasn't developed his skill. It could be that he's arrogant and thinks he knows more than he does.

Next time you two go to kiss, ask if you can kiss him. Ask him to slow down and let you lead. Take your time. If he tries to take over, remind him that it is your turn to show him what you like.

If he refuses to allow you to guide him at all, that's a pretty good indication of how he will likely behave in the future. Arrogance can cloud one's vision. Do your best to push past his insecurity/arrogance to see if you can discover how to please each other.

DEAR HARRIETTE: When my friend drinks, she has no idea of her limitations. She claims to understand that she shouldn't drink so much, but as soon as she is in that setting, she forgets or is too stubborn to see the effects alcohol has on her. I love her, but it is annoying to be around her when she gets like that. She is already an attention-seeker when she's sober, so you can imagine how she is when drunk.

My 21st birthday is in a few weeks, and she is coming into town for it. I don't want to have to worry about her or spend my whole night dealing with her actions. How can I get through to her? -- Drunk-Free, Bronx, N.Y.

DEAR DRUNK-FREE: It sounds like your friend has a drinking problem. Call and have a heart-to-heart talk with her. Be specific about your concerns. Give examples of her behavior, including how she says she will limit her drinking but consistently gets drunk and acts out.

Tell her that you are not sure you want her to come to your party, because you have no desire to attend to her when you'd rather be celebrating your big day. Honestly, you may need to uninvite her. Since she has proved to be untrustworthy in terms of how much she drinks, you probably cannot trust her this time. Rescinding the invitation will hurt her feelings, but it may get the point across and ultimately save her life.