Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Group Must Agree When Splitting Prize Money

DEAR HARRIETTE: I participated in an amateur filmmaking competition with a group of four, and we won it. I am very proud of myself and the hefty cash prize. The money has not been split up yet, and two of the members believe that I should get the largest sum because I did all of the shooting and editing. The third, "Steve," thinks that it should all be split evenly. Steve barely did any work on this film, but he supplied the camera. How should we end up splitting the money? -- Cut!, Denver

DEAR CUT!: Congratulations on your award! This is very exciting. Your biggest challenge is that you did not discuss the division of the prize before winning it. Now, it's a question of group consensus and morals. What I can tell you is that you will never feel good about how you divide the cash prize unless the group agrees on a plan. For what it's worth, you wouldn't have been able to make that film without Steve's camera, so do not diminish his contribution.

To keep peace, I would recommend an equal split. In the future, you can talk among yourselves about how you might handle such a windfall should it come your way.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have made a huge mistake. I asked my friend to pose as my fake boyfriend for a social media post to make my ex-boyfriend jealous. She wore a sweatshirt with her hood up while I faced the camera hugging my "boyfriend." Now, my ex has been badgering me for information about my new boyfriend! This is not what I intended at all -- I just wanted him to see this and want to get back together with me. Should I come clean about my "boyfriend" or just lie? -- Rock and a Hard Place, Seattle

DEAR ROCK AND A HARD PLACE: What do you really want? And why did you feel the need to make your ex-boyfriend jealous in the first place? Is this relationship worth reigniting? If so, come clean and tell your ex what you did to capture his attention. From there, you can attempt to have a frank conversation with him about your desires and hopes for the future and how he could potentially be part of it. You should think long and hard about your future, though. Trying to attract the attention of a man who is extremely jealous could backfire in the long run.

So, again, I ask what do you really want? Make a list -- in writing -- of the attributes you would appreciate in a partner. What appeals to you? What turns you off? List what you want for your future. Children? Type of work? Neighborhood? Sort through all of these questions so that you can get some clarity on how you want to plan your steps. It can be hard to look beyond the moment when emotions are high, but this is the only way that you can gain perspective on whether this man fits into your vision for your life.

(Harriette Cole is a life stylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to askharriette@harriettecole.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)