Devil’s Advocate

Dear Devil’s Advocate,

I went on a date recently with this really fantastic guy and it went really, really well. We went out to dinner and a movie, then we got dessert. He paid for everything and he was funny and charming. We have another date coming up in a couple days and I can’t wait. I really like him and I think he really likes me. The only thing is, my dating record hasn’t exactly been the greatest. I’ve gotten hurt by guys that I thought were “the one” several times. How can I tell if this guy is for real or if he is just going to break my heart a month down the road?

Signed,
Skeptical Sarah

Dear Skeptic,

Honestly, you can never know if a guy is going to break your heart or not. That’s part of the excitement of dating. You never know if your perfect lover of today will be a perfect stranger tomorrow. The fact is, you are most likely going to have many, many more failed relationships in your life. That sounds depressing, but it’s better than being stuck in one unhappy relationship the rest of your life.
With that said, I think you are looking too far ahead. You shouldn’t be looking for “the one” at this point in your life. Ninety-nine times out of one hundred, you won’t find him. You should just try to find someone who makes you happy and stick with him until he doesn’t make you happy anymore. Then move on to the next one. Kind of like eating lollipops. Throw the stick away and move on to the next one.
With each relationship, you will learn something about yourself and about what you like. For example, after my last relationship, I learned that I do not like it when my significant other wears black lipstick, black eyeliner, and sacrifices chickens to appease the demons of the underworld. Come to think of it, I don’t know why I got into that relationship in the first place. The point is, the more relationships you have, the more you learn about what you want out of a relationship. So don’t wonder if this guy is “for real” or not. Just have fun and try to learn something about yourself.

Dear Devil’s Advocate,

I went on a road trip with some friends down to Florida over spring break and it was a disaster. The first day was fine. We were having fun joking around with each other on the road and listening to music, but on the second day things started falling apart.
First, we almost got in a car accident and that put everyone on edge. Then my two friends in the back seat started fighting over something silly. They became so disruptive that we had to pull over to the side of the road. They got out of the car and had a fist fight right there on the shoulder of the highway. If it wasn’t two of my best friends, I probably would have laughed at the situation. Cars driving by were slowing down and honking.
In the end, it ruined the road trip and we went back home early. My friends are still fighting and I don’t know what to do. How can I make things better between them?

Signed,
Roadtrip Rob

Dear Robby,

The short answer is: You can’t. There’s nothing you can do that will make things better between them. In the end they have to realize that they are being foolish by themselves. Anything you do to try to expedite the process could just as easily impede it. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t profit from their bickering.
For instance, if you casually mention how good of a friend one of the guys is in front of the other, then he will get jealous and start trying to win your approval. You could play them off of one another. If you play your cards right, you could get your laundry done for a month and enjoy homework-free evenings. You could be living the good life.
If that’s not your style, though, and you have “morals”, then you should probably just steer clear of the whole situation. Each friend could very well try to win you over to their side of the argument. This would result in hurting someone’s feelings and would just drag you into issues that don’t concern you. That wouldn’t be good, now would it?