Dear Carol
Girls' Life magazine|June/July 2022
BAD GUY? I started working at a beach club, and I was completely lonely until a boy started talking to me because we both like the same video game.
By Carol Weston

I've made him laugh, and he's told me how I'm a good friend, which was flattering. But I noticed some bad traits in him. He is negative a lot and says rude things about his family. Once, he admitted he thought the Holocaust was a cool thing that happened. Yikes. But despite that, he's been very nice. We hang out at work and we have a lot in common. Is it OK that he gives me a bad vibe over the littlest things, or am lover-reacting?

Dear Bad Guy?,

You are not overreacting. You're smart to listen to your gut. Anyone who says the Holocaust was cool (or who denies it ever happened) isn't someone you want to be around. It's not a little thing to be antiSemitic, anti-gay, racist or misogynist. It's a deal-breaker. You don't need to try to educate him (though go ahead if you feel safe doing so), but his ignorance, negativity and insensitivity will bring you down.

CLOSED-OFF FRIEND

I have an awesome best friend, but she won't open up. I open up to her, and she's always there for me. Recently, she told me one of the things that was bothering her, and when I asked about it, she said she doesn't need advice. I want to be there for her, but she is not letting me.

Dear Closed-Off Friend,

Conversations don't have to be fifty-fifty. Friends open up at their own pace-and different people have different standards when it comes to comfort and privacy. No doubt that she likes your stories and that you are there for her, but she may not want to bare all-and it's good if you can respect that. That said, relationships grow deeper when people confide and counsel and console, so it's fine to keep asking gentle questions. Say, “I don't want to pry, but your advice helps me, and if you tell me more, , maybe I can help you. Or maybe if you want to talk, I can just listen. It goes without saying that if she does open up, don't share her secrets with a soul.

WAITING GAME

I have liked this guy since I was 6 years old. We're friends, but he lives kind of far away. We see each other every other month. I really like him, and I want to tell him. Should I do it now and risk that if he likes me and we date now, it won't last...or should I wait a year and a half and ask him to my prom and hope he gets the hint? He has shown signs of liking me back. If I wait, I'm scared he will have a girlfriend by then.

Dear Waiting Game,

A year and a half? Whoa. By then, your own feelings may have changed. Or you may have met someone who lives closer. Instead of planning so far in the future, enjoy the present. You and he can talk and joke and even flirt without your having to go out on a limb. Since he has already shown signs of liking you back, instead of saying, I like you. Do you like me? why not assume, for now, that he does indeed enjoy hanging out with you as much as you enjoy hanging out with him? Feeling brave? Next time you're next to each other, sit extra close or casually brush against his arm and see if he backs off or reciprocates. But my mantra is: Don't rush your crush. Many nice boys are shy and want to take their time.

FIX MY FRIENDSHIP

My best friend and I are in a really big fight-and we *never* fight, ever. She has been ignoring me and being kind of rude. I hate being in this fight! What should I do?

Dear Fix My Friendship,

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