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Love Lola: Nice guy, bad guy and study pals

Lifestyles | January 11th, 2010

Dear Lola,
I have a friend who is a dedicated student but doesn't get the best marks. She doesn't always understand the material and she tends to “freeze-up” in exams. Since I am not struggling with school, I have somehow become her “unofficial tutor.” The more I help her though, the more she relies on me to explain every detail of everything we cover in class. She just assumes I'm going to study with her for every test and partner up for every assignment, but the fact is I really study better on my own. I don't want to hurt her feelings, what do I do? Help!
Smartie Pants

Dear Smartie,
Well, give yourself props for having your heart in the right place. Seeing a friend or a classmate struggle can be difficult to watch. Listening to the panic and stress building in their voice, watching as their appearance takes a nosedive, listening to them cry from the back of the classroom…it can be pretty sloppy.

It's beyond sweet that you've been holding this girl's hand this far, but this is college not kindergarten sweetie! You're not responsible for the quality of her grades or her assignments and ultimately it's on her head if she doesn't understand the curriculum. Let's assume for a minute that this girl is somehow able to scrape her way to graduation; you know you're both going to walk away with the same credentials, right? You'll have the same degree or diploma and be out there fighting for the same jobs. I'm not suggesting that you ‘take out' a classmate to even the competition in the job market, but you can't jeopardize your own success to carry her through each class.

You've been more than generous up until now, but it's time you put your foot down. The next time there's a big test just be honest: you like to study alone. If you're too timid to be direct with this girl, or simply don't want the drama, you can always make yourself unavailable before the test. Pretend to be busy with work, other friends or family obligations.

If guilt gets the better of you, you can always offer to meet up for coffee and ‘quiz' each other for an hour before the test. That way you're still offering your assistance without putting your own GPA or sanity at risk.

Good Luck!

Dear Lola,
I currently have four roommates and we're all great friends; I would not change one of them. I would, however, like to change one of their boyfriends. This guy basically lives with us though he has his own place right down the street. And he's such a jerk! He's way too personal with all of us and he can be really rude and mean. He eats all our food and always complains about being broke. My roommate is seriously gorgeous, she's so nice and fun we know she can do so much better. I want to tell her, but her boyfriend threatened to ruin all my stuff the last time I made him angry. How can I let her know she needs to drop him? P.S. They have been dating since grade 9! Help me Lola!
Beef with Jerky

Dear Beef,
Yikes! This guy sounds like a complete loser, no wonder you're ready to drag him to the door and change the locks. Being too personal, invading your cupboards and being rude with the other girls in the house is completely disrespectful. Threatening to ruin your things though is actually pretty frightening and is a huge red-flag that this guy may be capable of more serious abuse.

I think it's time for a house meeting, preferably on a night that “Romeo” isn't over. The five of you need to sit down and discuss your house rules. Talk them over and write them down. There needs to be a consensus on how everyone feels about overnight guests, sharing food and respectful behaviour.

A great suggestion when sharing a house is “No Sleepovers on School Nights.” I know, it sounds like something your Mom would say, but since you're all currently in school you need to be able to have peace and quiet for sleeping and studying. Five girls living in one house is busy and hectic enough without adding more drama to the pile.

As far as your friend goes, if she's been with this guy since Grade 9 she must be in a serious case of denial. It's best to give her specific examples when approaching the topic. Rather than saying “Your boyfriend's a jerk,” give her an example of something he said or did and tell her how that made you feel. It's harder for someone to argue with concrete evidence or dispute how a situation made you feel.

In the end, this one roommate is really your problem. If she can't see how difficult she's making it for the rest of you, perhaps it's time that she started staying at his place. Bottom line; get this creepy guy out of your house or start looking for a new place. Safety first sugar!

Dear Lola,
I have a really great guy friend who I do absolutely everything with. I know for a fact he would give me the world and would love for a chance to date. I recently broke up with someone and I just can't get my ex out of my head. I am slowly starting to develop feelings for this friend of mine, but emotionally I am just not there yet...any advice?
Friend First

Dear Friend,
This might sounds ridiculous, but my advice nothing.

Getting over an ‘ex' is just one of those things in life that is completely out of your control. Only time will remove that burning, dull ache sitting in your stomach. Surrounding yourself with friends, food and fun will certainly speed up the process, but no one can tell you when that day will arrive when you wake up and you know you're just fine without him. Don't rush it, be patient.

Having a great friend in your life is a blessing; no matter who you are or what your situation is. When that friend is a member of the opposite sex though, there's always a lingering possibility that this friendship has the potential to develop into something more delicious.

Since you're already considering the future possibility of dating this fellow, it must mean he's not hideously unattractive. Mildly handsome combined with a reliable, trustworthy friendship could be the love connection you're looking for.

The reason I advise you to Do Nothing at this point is because you'll likely just screw it up. No offense darling, but trying to push or nudge this friendship into something resembling a blossoming romance before either of you are ready will likely cause it to wilt and die.

Enjoy the unofficial courtship; movies, emails and coffee. If you're building something real, it will take time. When you're both ready you'll know.
Good luck!
Love Lola

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