8/18/2020 7:59:00 AM Roommate juggling four virtual romances
DEAR HARRIETTE: My best friend and roommate has been dating a lot lately -- so much that it worries me something else is going on. During quarantine, she has been FaceTiming four different guys consistently and always tells them how she can't wait to go out on a date with them.
Every time I bring up the four guys and whether she's going to date them all, she just tells me she's not sure and she's just bored. She has always been shy, and I usually have to introduce her to guys. Now she doesn't seem to care at all. Should I be worried, or is she really just bored and entertaining herself? -- Too Many Men
DEAR TOO MANY MEN: The virtual world has made some people feel less shy, perhaps because the distance can make personal engagement feel less real. Your friend may simply be bored. Under the current circumstances, she is exploring her power by engaging these men from a distance. The danger is that if she is flirting too much and promising things that she has no intention of doing, she could be setting herself up for a potentially complicated letdown.
Encourage her to remember that each of these four suitors is a person who deserves to be treated with respect. She should spend time trying to figure out who she actually likes so that she can gently extricate herself from the others. In the best of worlds, she should naturally end her courtship with the men who are not really of interest to her well before she has to say she doesn't want to meet them in person. Given that some people are venturing out and meeting up, the time to edit her list is now.
DEAR HARRIETTE: My elderly mother lives alone in an apartment. During quarantine she took a fall, and it was a while before she was able to crawl to her phone and call me in tears. She was not injured -- more scared than anything. Since then, I have been trying to convince her to move in with me, but she doesn't want to. I don't want anything else to happen to her, but I don't feel comfortable with her being in her apartment alone all these months unable to go outside. What can I say or do to convince her that living alone is no longer suitable for her? -- Mom Come Home
DEAR MOM COME HOME: Start with smaller measures. Get her a personal alarm, like Life Alert, that she can push if she is ever in trouble. Activating the device will warn you and potentially the police that she has an emergency. You may want to invest in security cameras inside her home that are motion-activated. In this way, you will be able to monitor her activity and know if she is in trouble. Over time, you will be able to determine whether she needs to move. Take it slowly so that she can get used to the idea.
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.