Dear Margo: I am a female college freshman who has never been in a relationship. Recently, I developed an attraction to my friend, who is a girl. I found out that she is also interested in me, but I have no idea how to proceed from here.
Do I act on this feeling and hope things work out, or do I keep my feelings secret?
I am frustrated because, never having been in a relationship, I have no idea how to proceed. I’m also confused because I had no idea I liked girls instead of guys. Help! — Frustrated and Confused
Dear Frus: It sounds as though you are a late bloomer and that no one really interested you before.
The fact that it is another girl, not a guy, is a signpost you might want to pay attention to. This supports what I have always thought about sexuality: it is hardwired, and your “interest” antennae respond instinctively to whichever person rings your bell. It is really a question of following one’s hormonal-emotional inclination to the person to whom they are attracted.
People like what they like and often for no reason they can articulate.
As for how to proceed, you say that your friend seems interested in you, as well. This is always a good start for a romance!
Spend some time together, ask her to go for a coffee or a movie, and let the friendship develop like any other. If it moves toward being a romance, you will have your answer. — Margo, progressively
Dear Margo: My husband lost his job during the holidays.
He wasn’t happy for quite a while and has now become even more distressed.
He has this notion that he can go work for the engineering equivalent of Google and it will be wonderful.
However, we tried that 10 years ago and ended up 1,500 miles away from all family and friends; then the company went out of business.
He is constantly worried and somewhat paranoid about people’s motives.
I’ve begged him to find a counselor to talk to, since his issues stem mostly from his dissatisfaction with job choices.
I also told him that while relocating was not off the table, I would not move from the life we’ve established while he is still so unsettled about everything.
I’m not opposed to going back to work while he looks (I have a job lined up), and we have some savings.
I am, however, at a loss about what to say to him that will help. He is strongly defined by his work life, so not working is very hard on him, and he has every right to be upset. But this constant paranoia and worry about settling, having another bad boss, etc., will not help him land a job. Some perspective, please? — Feeling his Distress
Dear Feel: There is nothing a spouse can meaningfully say in such a situation, which is a shame because so many couples and families are in your boat.
Given your husband’s history and his frame of mind, a counselor would be his best bet.
In addition, a counselor could help him work on his ability to make better choices and perhaps help him find a support group.
You might reinforce the reality that the job problem is not his alone, but America’s.
Remind him, too, of your good fortune in having savings and the option of your returning to work. Hang in there. — Margo, optimistically
Dear Margo is written by Margo Howard, Ann Landers’ daughter. All letters must be sent via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.