Yo Harlan,

The lady friend and I are really good together. We don’t fight, we love each other and we treat each other really well. Every component of a good relationship is in place. It sounds like a good problem, huh? The only problem is she is religious and I am not. And it is against her belief system to be with me the way that we are. In order to save this ship, I will have to go against my own beliefs on marriage and religion. Basically, I have been handed an ultimatum. Is it wise of me to attempt to put myself in this religion in order to fix the problem? Even when I know that it really is not for me? It will break us up. I just want to know, Is this ship worth saving, or should I let it sink? I feel like that really bad Meat Loaf song. “I would do anything for love, but I won’t do that” — it’s a very bad song!

Weston

Yo Weston,

In the words of George Michael: “You gotta have faith.” You seem like a spiritual man. Right? Is there any way you can make this work for you? Can you commit to raising the kids according to her religion? Can you support her religion and attend all the holidays and events? Can you learn how to cook special meals and follow the religious rules? What can you do? Clearly, you respect and love your lady friend. And clearly, her religion is a fundamental part of her identity. This isn’t to say that your religion isn’t, but there might be more flexiblity on this. Marrying outside her religion might mean losing Daddy, Mommy or angering Lucifer. If you can’t budge or bend, then stop wasting her time. You are who you are and you can’t give her more. But wait — first, get an outside opinion from a person of faith. Talk to her spiritual leader. Talk to yours. He or she might have some suggestions on how you can both have faith without losing each other or your values. Remember: Fay fa fay fa faith!

Dear Harlan,

I’m a soon-to-be freshman, and I’m in the midst of preparing to go to college. I’m really worried about finding friends. My concern is that I really have no idea what I want to get involved with to make friends. I don’t play sports and I don’t really do anything on the weekends. (yes, I am an 18-year-old who doesn’t have friends). So I’m concerned about what to get involved with because I have NO clue what I want out of life or out of anything really. I’m absolutely clueless.

Clueless and Friendless

Dear Clueless,

There are friends to be made. But first, why do you think you’ve had such a hard time making friends? 18 years is a long time to not have friends (or interests). There could be some underlying problems here. Find a therapist on or near campus who can help you. Start by answering the friend question. Unless you change your approach, expect more of the same in college. Once you find support on campus, look for the best ways to get involved and meet kind-hearted, caring people. Spiritual organizations, volunteer groups and leadership groups can be easy ways to share experiences with friendly people. But first, get help. Then make friends.

Write Harlan at [email protected] or visit online: www.helpmeharlan.com. Send paper to Help Me, Harlan!, 3501 N. Southport Ave., Suite 226, Chicago, IL 60657.

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