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Dear Elizabeth, I’m struggling. One of my best guy friends has recently been making some homophobic comments that are not hateful but are clearly rooted in some sort of discomfort with sexuality as a whole. I don’t want to push him to talk about it but I feel like its something that is making everyone uncomfortable — a lot of our friends have also pointed it out — and I want him to be able to talk it through and grow in a healthy way. Do you think it’s my/our place to address this? – S ’22 (He/him)
Hello! I think this is a common issue people have with their friends and knowing when it is or isn’t their place to say something. It can be uncomfortable to confront a friend and start a serious conversation with them. However, if you start the conversation from a place of wanting to talk through the problem, then you can get your point across in a healthy and productive way. It may be hard for your friend to not be immediately defensive, so I recommend reminding them that you know it is not on purpose and that their intentions are not to cause harm or tear apart their character. Overall, I think you/any of the other friends that have noticed this issue would be helping this person out by stepping in and expressing the discomfort their comments can cause because otherwise those comments will continue to make more people uncomfortable or have greater harmful impacts.
I have a crush on someone on my project team. Is it ok to ask them out even if we work closely together? – A ’22 (He/him)
Great question! I think that if the project is temporary, then it would be best to ask closer to the end of the project or when it is over so that if something does go poorly, it doesn’t impact the work or work environment. However, if it is a long-term project and you are picking up signals that they are interested as well, you could ask them to do something more casual like coffee or lunch and take it from there!
I’m a sophomore in college and I’ve never dated or been in a relationship. I am not in any hurry really for something serious but I feel like everyone around me is always talking about dating, hooking up, or their significant other. But I don’t really know or am friends with any guys and I am too afraid to use a dating app because I just want a nice wholesome guy. So I need advice on how to meet guys when I don’t really interact with many and how to get into the “dating world.” – K ’24 (She/her)
Thank you for writing in, I have a lot of friends in college who have struggled with this same problem! It can be hard to meet new people once everyone is in their routine. I recommend joining new clubs or sitting next to new people in class and introducing yourself! Most of the college relationships I know started in class, through dorms or mutual friends. I also recommend not putting too much pressure on yourself to have a ton of dating experiences in college. Everyone has different levels of experience and it doesn’t mean you are behind just because you haven’t dated anyone seriously yet. I am a firm believer that the best things happen when you least expect it, so I would join clubs and events that you are interested in for yourself and then if you meet somebody through it, it’s a plus!
Lizzy Peppercorn is an Advice Columnist and can be reached at email@example.com