Hey Harlan,

My boyfriend goes to school in Florida and I only see him during long breaks. I haven’t seen him since before Christmas. My problem is that he told me that he is going to the military ball with a girl who he says he is just friends with, but I know that she gave him oral sex on the tennis court before we started dating. I want to trust him, but should I be concerned?

Distance and Concerned

Dear Distance,

How did you hear about the oral sex on the tennis court? Was that part of the game? That’s not how I play tennis. There are two issues that need to be addressed. The first is respect. He doesn’t have much for you or this relationship. A boyfriend who respects you wouldn’t go the ball with a girl with whom he played X-rated tennis. Taking a friend with a sexual history is unacceptable, unreasonable and plain wrong. The second issue is, why don’t you see this? For some reason, you think this is OK. Why? You must not have a lot of men in your life, because any woman who would put up with this is not in a place of power. You must not see that you have options. If you did, you would see this very clearly. No, it’s not OK for him to take this girl. And yes, you should be concerned. I wouldn’t trust him.

Hey Harlan,

I’m shorter and skinnier than most guys (5 feet, 8 inches; 125 pounds). I have been told by a lot of people that I am very good at first impressions and can hold a conversation with just about anybody. However, I just can’t with girls. All I can think about when I talk to them is how they have thousands of better-looking, stronger college dudes they can be with instead of me. And this really hits me hard, and I end up not being as conversational as I would like to be. The girls I have met a few times (enough times to remember a face) never acknowledge me when they see me around campus. Also, I rarely approach random girls for the sheer thought of being labeled as a “creep.” How do I get over this irrational fear and start talking to them like a normal person?

Troubled Sophomore

Dear Troubled,

The other day I was watching a show about the mating habits of baboons (I was up very late). The show documented that while the alpha male is strong and dominant, the beta males get plenty of ladies. See, when the alpha male is out hunting and fighting, the less dominant baboons are left alone with the females. That’s when they get busy. Besides, the alpha male is under enormous stress to fight to stay on top. Let this be a lesson. The better-looking, dominant men don’t have a better life. Millions of women want a man who can make them laugh, listen and feel loved. It’s in their DNA. It’s part of being a mammal. Meet women doing things you love to do. Talk to them. Listen to them. Give other men permission to be better-looking and stronger. But use your strengths to be funnier, more interesting and a better listener and lover. Until you believe it, they will never believe it. Start believing.

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