Dear Bette

An on-line advice column

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Thanks much,


Iím here to provide you advice, should you honor me with your stories.   Please click on the Time to Ask Bette link in the left navigation bar to submit or use the email link below.

Please visit Dear Bette's Blog for Daily Advice on my chosen topic of the day.  This could be anything from risking an office romance to parents who don't listen to their kids. 


Bette's Responses

Emergancy Response

dear bette,
my friend is thinking of commiting suicide
i've already told them that they need to be in this world, and that the people making him feel this way are supid assholes... please help me to change his mind

Dear Friend,
You've said the right thing to your friend!  Please, if you can, try to get your friend to a crisis counselor as quickly as possible -- or call yourself giving all the information you can about your friend and the why's.  Go to your friends family as soon as possible so they can help.
Hope this helps,

She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not

Dear Bette

please I need help.  I've loved this girl in my class for 4 years but i never asked her out. i really like her, but i don't know how to tell her. she might know i like her, im not really sure but she might also like me back.  it would be really helpful if i got some advice.

Dear Helpless,
The best thing you can do may sound easy, but can be quite difficult.  Just ask her out!  You'll never know if she does like you in return unless you give it a shot, right?  It's scary, one never truly knows what the answer will be and we're all afraid of rejection, however it comes with the territory of love.  I've been there myself, liking a boy but not wanting to ask him out because I thought he wouldn't accept.  Turns out, years later I'd been back home visiting family when he and I went to a movie with another friend.  We each learned that we'd had crushes on one another at different times -- either I was dating someone and he had the crush or he was dating someone and I had the crush.  Who knows if we would have worked out had we simply had the nerve to find out.
Don't end up a few years down the road wondering:  take the chance to find out now.  The worst that could happen is that she's not interested in you in the same way right now but you may end up with a great friend that finds she does like you later on.  It is always worth the risk!!
Hope this helps,

She Won't Eat Right

Dear Bette,
I am in a relationship with a girl, which has been going totally great. But recently, I noticed that she is eating less and less, saying that she wants to be thinner. I try to explain to her that she doesn't need to lose weight, and if she needed to, that wouldn't be the way to do it, but she says that she feels that she has to. How can I make her realize that anorexia is not the solution?
Dear Concerned,
The best thing you can do is exactly what you are doing -- caring for her health and trying to get her on the right path.  One further step you can take is to show her what she could turn into by seeing if you can find someone to introduce her to who is anorexic.  Consult your doctor, explain the situation and see if he/she can help you find that person for your girlfriend to meet.  I firmly believe that by doing this it could very well be the wake up call that she needs. 
The only way to lose weight correctly is to follow a balanced diet with excersize.  She needs to take in enough calories to burn effectively during excersize and while her body is at rest. 
If she is stubborn, which most of us are, it will take strength and determination on your part -- more than she has towards losing weight in an unhealthy manner.  I applaud your efforts so far and hope you let me know how things turn out.
Hope this helps,

Can't Take It Anymore!

HELP!!! What should I do about a great co-worker (who sits in the cube right next to me) who has a chronic cough? (Iím convinced her cough is OCD related). If that werenít enough, she clears her throat CONSTANTLY!!! Itís driving me CRAZY! She coughs AND clears her throat at least every 30 seconds all day long! (No kiddingÖIíve counted!)
About a year ago, I spoke to her very, very politely about her cough. I suggested she see a doctor about it. She was in disbelief that she even coughs and looked at me like I had 2 heads. She was in total denial. Of course, she did nothing about it. (soon after I realized she was clearing her throat all day long as well!) She has a family also, so I would assume they notice it and wonder if theyíve spoken to her about it.
We work in a stressful business and itís extremely hard to concentrate with her coughing/clearing her throat hundreds of times a day! Iíve tried listening to music with headphones on, but I can still hear her coughing and clearing her throat!
Please, please help meÖand my co-worker!
PS: Sitting somewhere else will not solve the problem as she can be heard throughout our office.
Dear Concerned for Sanity,
My advice is that you get other people who can back you up, like other coworkers, and do a sort of 'intervention' thing, if you will. Inform the woman that she does indeed cough a lot, as well as clear her throat, and that it's very distracting. Sometimes it's best to be direct, because when it comes down to either her feelings or your sanity, I'd much rather be truthful, even if it seems harsh.
Hope this helps,

To Be or Not To Be Friends

Dear Bette,

my friend and i, are in a fight with another friend. she started big mean rumors about us and thinks thats okay. she still wants to be friends. I dont want to at all, because she told everyone that i am a fat loser, and im not okay with that. Its got to the point where she is begging me to be her friend. I DONT LIKE HER AT ALL. I dont want to be mean but I dont want to be her friend. should i be her friend and forgive her or should i let her go?


unsure of letting go
Dear Unsure
If you do not like this person, I see no reason to be friends if you don't wish to.  I am glad to hear you don't wish to be mean in return, it says a lot about you.  I think you need to let her know your reason for not wanting to be friends, though, so she doesn't continue trying to sway you back.  On the other hand, you can have a talk with her about what she did and why she did it -- you may find that she truly regrets it and you might be able to forgive her.  That doesn't mean you have to be friends, just that the air has been cleared.
Hope this helps,


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