DEAR AMY: I am a guy in love with a lesbian, and I don't know what to do.
She is definitely a lesbian and has a girlfriend. I don't want to pressure her or make her uncomfortable. I'm not trying to get her to fall in love with me because I know that can't happen. I can accept that, but I feel like I still need to tell her how I feel about her.
It's stressful to hide my feelings, and I worry that one day I'll blurt it out thoughtlessly (possibly in front of her girlfriend or someone else).
Also, I just want to be open and honest with her. I feel like she deserves to know.
We see each other daily and hang out after school. She's the best friend I've ever had. I'm shy and have never been as open before.
I'm afraid that if I tell her how I feel, we might lose our friendship. I don't want her to feel awkward or uncomfortable around me or make her not want to hang out with me anymore.
I would hope that since we're so close that we could just talk it through and then move past it.
I also feel like it would be easier for me to move on and get over her if she knew, and I'm worried about breaking down and blurting it out if I don't tell her.
Should I tell her or not? And if so, how? — Nervous
DEAR NERVOUS: Given the circumstances, I would advise you not to disclose your intense feelings, but I know you will anyway, because love is like that — it is an irrational force making humans do all sorts of strange and wonderful things, like write poetry and take up the ukulele.
Understand that this disclosure puts your friend in a strange position. You cannot accurately gauge how she will respond. Make sure she understands that you don't want to undermine her or her relationship with her girlfriend, but that this is about you being authentic and honest with someone you care about.
I hope your friend responds with compassion. She may pull away because she is worried about leading you on, but ultimately your friendship can survive and grow — as long as you don't exert pressure and continue to respect her choices.
DEAR AMY: I am surprised to learn that a loved one is committing a slow suicide. This person was diagnosed with a fatal condition caused from smoking, and the doctor said this will kill him unless he quits. When asked, this person said he has no desire or plan to quit smoking. His partner is no help — they are both depressed.
I don't want to sit back and watch the slow death of a loved one, but that is all it seems I can do.
Is it selfish of me to want this person to quit smoking and both of them to change and lead healthier, longer lives? — So Sad
DEAR SAD: You are not being selfish to want your loved one to be healthy. Unfortunately, he is in the grip of an addiction that is stronger than your healthy wish for him. I am so sorry.
You should express your concern in a nonjudgmental way and offer to introduce your loved one to a smoking cessation program. Aside from anything his doctor might suggest, there are a number of nonprescription methods he can try.
Smokefree.gov is a helpful website offering tips for smokers wishing to quit and for loved ones who want to help. Among many other tools, they offer a pretty slick "SmokefreeTXT" feature, with which you can receive information and prompts over your mobile device.
DEAR AMY: The situation described by "Drowning in Baby Supplies" reminded me of ours when our children were babies. My in-laws overloaded them with toys and presents. Eventually my husband told his parents that the kids have too much and we boxed everything up and sent it to the cousins in Idaho. The gifts stopped.
I vote for occasional checks to help them out, a trip with them to the market and a college fund. — No Longer Drowning
DEAR NO LONGER: Great solution to material overabundance. Thank you.