Dear Harlan,

When a guy has a girlfriend, why can’t he hang out with other girls? I have no intention of doing anything with these girls, but my girlfriend doesn’t like me spending time alone with female friends. What can I do to maintain female friends and still have a girlfriend? Is this normal?

One-Girl Limit

Dear One-Girl Limit,

The rule is: No hanging out with females — excluding moms, sisters, female first cousins and lesbians with a committed partner of at least one year. Your girlfriend is just worried. She knows that friends hang out and hook up. It happens all the time. It happens in classrooms, in bedrooms and in movie trailers between scenes. She’s not crazy for being concerned. And really, she might trust you. The problem might be trusting the girl friends. She might have been cheated on in the past or had a male friend in a relationship want to cheat with her. Find out what concerns her. If it’s a trust issue, help her trust these girls. Hang out in a group. Double date. Let them be friends. Once she trusts these girls, she can trust you with them. As for hanging out with female friends — when you have a girlfriend, it can change. Some girls won’t mind, but then you have to worry about them hanging out with their horny guy friends. See the problem?

Dear Readers,

I want to know how you met the love of your life. Please send me a quick paragraph describing your love life prior to meeting the love of your life. Share where, when and how you met. Who made the first move. Your first impression. His or her first impression. Who said what. Who kissed whom first. How you knew he or she was the one. Your current relationship status (dating, engaged, married, kids etc). And any other memorable, interesting or unusual details. Whether you’re 18 or 98, heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual – please share. I will publish them in the column or in my new dating book. Send letters online via: or email to harlan[at], subject: HOW WE MET.

Dear Harlan,

I’m going to be a college freshman in the fall. I’m looking forward to meeting new people and having a fresh start. I just learned that my bitter ex from a recent relationship is going to live on the same floor as me. How do I handle this? I don’t want things to be awkward. I don’t have hard feelings toward him. I just want a fresh start without past drama.


Dear Dormcest,

It’s a sign it’s meant to be! But what it’s meant to be, I’m not sure. It might mean having to share a common wall with a crazy, bitter, sad ex. Here’s what you need to understand — exes who want to get along find a way to get along.

Find out if he wants to get along. Talk to him face to face or on the phone. Find out if he’s really bitter and bothered or happy to have you on the same floor. Once you get a better handle on how he’s handling this, you’ll be able to figure out whether you need to relocate. If you do request to move, don’t date people on your new floor. That could mean having another ex on the same floor — kind of defeats the purpose of moving.

Harlan is the author of “The Happiest Kid On Campus: A Parent’s Guide to the Very Best College Experience (for You and Your Child)” (Sourcebooks). Write Harlan at [email protected] or visit online: All letters submitted become property of the author. Send paper to Help Me, Harlan! 2506 N. Clark St., Ste. 223, Chicago, IL 60614.

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