DEAR HARRIETTE: I am dating someone new, and we have been out with my best friends on double dates in the past few weeks. After the first couple of dates, I asked him if he has been enjoying himself. He has consistently said yes and would be excited to do it again. However, last week he said that he doesn’t want to go out with them anymore. I was very confused because everyone, including my friends, enjoyed themselves. He said that he doesn’t like my friends and we cannot go out with them again.
My boyfriend and I are getting serious, but I love my friends. I think he is trying to make me choose between him and my friends. I don't want to do that. How do I choose -- or is choosing even an option? -- Between a Rock and a Hard Place, Randallstown, Maryland
DEAR BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE: It is a bit early for either of you to be making ultimatums in your relationship, but it is noteworthy that your boyfriend is telling you that he doesn’t want to spend time with your friends anymore. Perhaps you have been going out with them too much? Sometimes that happens in relationships, especially if you were accustomed to going out with them a lot before you met this man.
Tell your boyfriend that you are OK going out with your best friends less often and spending more time with just the two of you or expanding your friend group and going out with his friends as well. Be clear, though, that you are unwilling to cut your best friends out of your life. They have been important to you for a long time. Do your best to find out what, specifically, he does not like about them. Until you understand his perspective, it will be impossible for you to resolve this situation.
As far as choice goes, your intention should be to choose to get to the bottom of the issue so that you can resolve it.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been working at a salon for two years, and I work closely with all the employees. However, one particular man has my eye. He has been working there as long as I have, and we have grown comfortable with each other. Occasionally, we have small talk and laugh together, but nothing more than that. I want to get know him better, but I don't know if I am his type, which makes me afraid to pursue anything more than a platonic work relationship. Should I try to step out and make the first move? -- I'm Crushing, Dallas
DEAR I’M CRUSHING: Why do you think you are not this man’s type? Do you have any intel on who he has dated before, or is this you doubting yourself? If you think it’s the latter, push past your personal insecurities. It is perfectly fine for you to invite this man for coffee or to take a walk during a break at work. The goal should be to be able to talk to each other freely, away from the salon. You can tell him you would like to get to know him better. If he agrees, you can proceed. If he is polite but begs off, you will not have revealed too much.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)