Don't Give Up on Involved Friends
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Dear Christine,

Iím 20 and starting college in the fall. I took two years off between high school and college to travel. Now I am back, living in my parentsí house, preparing for the fall semester.

The problem I have come home to is that all of my best friends are either living common law or getting married soon -- with me as a bridesmaid. I feel like Iíve been waiting forever to meet someone special.

My best friends are great; itís just hard because they never want to hang out anymore, since theyíre too busy with their boyfriends. It hurts a lot because I am the kind of girl who always puts my friends first, no matter what.

I guess I just feel as if I am in a rut and don't know how to get out. I try to focus on other things, but it does get lonely staying in with my parents every night, even though my parents are great and fun. Do you have any advice? -- AMIE Ė LONDON, ON

Dear Amie,

If I had a spare nice guy lying around, Iíd hook you up. But for now, letís focus on your primarily problem: your girlfriends.

Keep your eyes open for opportunities to meet new people. Your position as a bridesmaid will bring with it numerous gatherings and events, such as planning sessions for showers, stag-and-doe parties, dress fittings, etc. Perhaps you can form friendships with the other bridesmaids. And donít forget to check out the groomsmen. If these men are single, this is a great pool to dip into for future dates.

Itís your duty to be an active part of wedding preparations. Who will it hurt if you go one step farther and offer to help the guys pick out tuxes -- or plan a special night out for the wedding party to bond?

Not only will the newlyweds have fonder memories when looking at their albums in years to come, but you could also build new friendships.

Without diminishing the importance of your studies, join clubs and attend social events at school to meet people with common interests.

Kudos to you for appreciating the importance of friends. Your wisdom exceeds your years. It may be little solace right now, but donít give up on your girlfriends. Be there for them now, and be patient. They will come back in time.

Right now they are (whatís the expression?) fun-struck (or something to that effect). Anyway, when the honeymoon phase mellows, theyíll be back for some quality girl time. If theyíre lucky, and youíre not too busy, you can be there to rekindle your friendships.

A final thought: good for you for being one of the lucky ones who truly enjoy her parents.

Dear Christine,

I like this guy who has a girlfriend. I have to admit, I didnít even notice him until he started flirting with me. We live in the same neighbourhood, and he flirts with me constantly -- at church, in the mall, everywhere -- as long as his girlfriend is not around.

What should I do about him? Should I let him know that I like him, or should I just sit back and wait for them to break up? -- TANYA Ė WINDSOR, ON

Dear Tanya,

How would you feel if you were his girlfriend, and he was flirting behind your back? Donít be naive or arrogant enough to think that if he dumps his girlfriend to be with you, he wouldnít do the same to you.

Flirting takes two. So if you ignore him, heíll stop and go elsewhere.

You didnít even notice him until he started flirting with you. Why the sudden interest? If you just want something you canít have or are intrigued by the challenge, just get yourself a pet thatís hard to domesticate. But beware: African tree monkeys are not known for being any more dedicated or monogamous than your Ďboy next doorí.

Bottom line: Other girlsí boyfriends are absolutely off limits.

Have a question, a thought, or a story to share (anonymity guaranteed)? E-mail Christine at:

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