Carolyn:

My boyfriend of three years is embarking on an adventure that has been a dream of his for as long as I have known him. When we talked about it, I was genuinely excited, gung ho and on board. Part of this dream involves being on the opposite side of the country for the next six months. A month into this adventure and the role of the "hip-hip hooray" girlfriend does not come as naturally to me. Of course I still want this for him, but often the more immediate emotion is . . . jealousy bordering on resentment. Ugh. How do I ever get over these feelings and avoid being monosyllabic and peevish when he calls to share his joyous and thrilling experiences? I am anticipating responses like "Get a life" and "Don't be so selfish," but I may handle it better if you tell me that.

Washington

I'd be happy to, but it's terrible advice. "Get a life" is for "If I go out, I might miss his call." But it's not for jealousy and resentment, not unless your goal is to stockpile bitterness till you blow.

Why are you jealous, what do you resent, and why don't you have your own plans? Maybe an adventure isn't your thing, or you're hopelessly addicted to earning enough money to pay your bills, or whatever -- but if that's the case, then, okay: on to unadventurous plans.

Opportunity and purpose come in many forms, and your boyfriend's absence is an opportunity -- in the free time it creates, in its attention to dreams, in the resentment it stirs. Seems this opportunity would be well used to examine your purpose.

My guess is, you'll need to feel better about your own direction in life before his joy really feels like your own. In the meantime, don't leave him to guess why you're peevish: "I'm happy for you, I'm just too jealous to show it."

Carolyn:

About a month ago, I met this incredible girl. She and I have become fast friends, sharing many intimate details about our lives, past loves, hardships, etc. When we first met, I asked her out on a date. She informed me that she had just started dating her boyfriend but would still like to be my friend. I thought at the time I could handle that. But the more time I spend with her, the more I find myself falling for her. It's getting harder for me to keep my feelings a secret. The worst-case scenario would be that I tell her and we aren't able to be friends anymore. I desperately want her to know how I feel, but I just don't know if it's worth the risk of having her out of my life. Help, please.

H.

The "E" on the eye chart is a better-kept secret than your feelings. Just so you know.

The good news is, you can scratch "Let her know how I feel" off your list.

I'd also remove all other decisive actions about which you're still indecisive. Lost? Confused? Torn? Then decide to stand still.

And gather more information. You have exactly a month's worth now -- some of it bad news, that she's keeping two guys on front and back burners. Wait, watch, see who she turns out to be.

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