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home : columns : dear harriette October 20, 2020

9/10/2020 7:59:00 AM
Girlfriend finds old social media private messages

DEAR HARRIETTE: I just settled down in a serious relationship. This is the first woman I have ever felt this way about, and we are talking about marriage. Last week while using my social media, she found some old messages of me flirting with other women back when we first started dating. I tried to explain to her that that was the past and I didn't feel the way that I feel now. I swore that I would never do that ever again and that I was serious about our future. She has not been returning my calls, and I am not prepared for our relationship to be over. What can I do to prove to her that I am committed to her and ready for the next step in our relationship? -- Sincere and Apologetic

DEAR SINCERE AND APOLOGETIC: If you are serious enough about this woman that you want to marry her, don't give up now. Why not write her a letter expressing your love and commitment to her? Tell her that when you first started dating, you were not yet exclusive. You would not invite her to use your social media if you had anything to hide. Yes, you dated before. In fact, before meeting her, you never felt that you wanted to settle down. Admit that this is new for you. All you know is that you want to spend your life with her. Ask her to give you a chance to talk through your life before you met her, your ideas for the future and your hopes for the two of you.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I live in New York City. At the top of my street, there is a city police officer crossing guard during most business hours. I go for a walk every morning, and on most occasions I find this particular crossing guard not doing what I would imagine he is there to do: directing traffic. Most days he is standing in the intersection as cars block the streets and honk at each other. He even goes so far as to use his phone while in traffic sometimes. He is not there every day, but I can always tell when he is on duty because this officer does not help. I wonder if I should reach out to the precinct to make a complaint or if it matters at all. Traffic cops may not seem important, but living in New York City, some might agree on how they can be helpful when enforcing laws. -- City Neighbor

DEAR CITY NEIGHBOR: For point of clarity, I wonder if this person is a crossing guard or a transit officer. Those are very different roles. Crossing guards typically work when students are in school, helping to ensure that children -- and others -- can safely cross the street. These people absolutely should be attentive to traffic and children. They should never be using their phones. They are not, however, on post to direct traffic.

Traffic cops serve that purpose. They are assigned to help with traffic flow when necessary. Typically, they are placed at intersections where there are flow challenges.

In either case, you can bring your concerns to the attention of your precinct. Just be clear on who the person is, what his role is and what you think he is doing wrong. Get video if you can to be able to document your concerns.

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

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