Dear Harlan,

I’ve had an on-again, off-again relationship with a friend who has been more at times. I’ve always had feelings for her, but she’s always been in other relationships. Fast-forward to recent times: She sent me a text just after Christmas stating that she and her new boyfriend broke up. I thought I was going to jump for joy when it happened, thinking we might get back together. Instead I was comforting her. I even found myself praying that things will get better for her, and it turns out my prayers were answered to the extreme. I checked on Facebook today and it turns out that she just got proposed to by someone. Whether she said “yes” or “no” I couldn’t say, but it has put me in a bit of a conflicted mood, no doubt. Should I be happy for her, or upset that she rebounded so quickly? This girl has screwed me up pretty badly time after time, and yet I still have feelings for her. Dare I say it — I really think I loved her. But now I’m scared about what will happen when she comes back to my school. I don’t know what I’m going to say, and I’m scared that all my feelings will just come back again. Any thoughts?


Dear Disengaged,

She might not be engaged. It’s Facebook. She could have clicked the wrong relationship status. Or a friend could have hijacked her account. Regardless, I think you love drama and inaccessible women. They are predictable. This girl is safe because you know what you’re getting. And it’s not a girlfriend. The fact that you’re consumed with the question of whether you should be mad or happy for her engagement is just more evidence that you are consumed with the drama — not her. I know you want to blame her, but she didn’t force you to be her shoulder. You stuck around. The responsibility is all yours. As for being happy or sad for her, I’d be happy. Finally, she’s not accessible. Now you can move on with your life. Obsessing over a married or engaged woman obviously is a waste of your time. As you move forward, figure out why you love drama more than you love a relationship with a real woman. There are billions of women in the world. Give a real one a chance. Oh, if you discover she’s not really engaged, it’s still time to disengage from the drama.

Dear Harlan,


You tell women to make it easy for men to meet us. How can I become more approachable without looking desperate?

Passive Not Aggressive

Dear Passive Not Aggressive,

When you see a man who catches your eye, ask yourself, “Is this man as interesting as he is attractive?” Then talk to him. Say what you think (keep it clean). If you like him, make it clear that you want to talk more. This is letting a man know that it’s safe to pursue you. To be pursued, put yourself on an online-dating site. Posting a profile tells men you’re single and interested. Also, get set up on dates. Get involved in singles’ groups. Do things you love with people who share interests. You don’t have to ask men out. You just need to let them know you find them interesting.

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