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Ask Meg: For all your daily dilemmas

My boyfriend of three years is going away to boot camp for the Marine Reserves in February.  I was wondering if you had any advice on dealing with him being away for three months, ways to pass the time, and where I can find advice/support groups from other Marine girlfriends? -R.D.

First of all, I’d like to thank your boyfriend for the sacrifice that he is choosing to make for his country, and you for sticking by his side.  That being said, this will definitely be a trying time for your relationship, though I’m sure that’s no news to you. As you’re trying to cope with your significant other being gone for an extended period, there are ways to productively use the free time you’d usually spend with your sweetheart.

For starters, I suggest writing letters to him.  About two weeks after he arrives in boot camp, a letter should be sent back home letting you know where you can address correspondence to him.  Sending him personalized letters, letting him know that you’re thinking of him might be a great way to help him pass the time a lot more quickly.  Most importantly, having a support network of friends and family that care about you, and stand behind you, will be crucial to getting through the three months in one piece.

As for support groups, there are plenty out there on the web, so you can do a simple Google search to find one that fits what you’re looking for.  There’s a popular site, that might be a good place to start.


There’s a co-worker of mine, who I’m also friends with, who keeps asking me out.  I don’t want to hurt his feelings because he stinks with taking rejection, but I don’t like him.  How should I let him down? -C.K.

These situations can always be difficult.  Mixing business with pleasure is hard to navigate, especially when you don’t reciprocate the feelings.  However, there is a simple way that allows you to let your friend down gently without really damaging his ego.  Just explain to him that you, in fact, do not do what he is expecting of you: date where you work.

It may seem cliche that this is the advice that I’d give, but it’s true.  Letting him know that you don’t date within your workplace is an easy way to spare his feelings.  Explain that being friends and co-workers would make it awkward to date, by blurring the boundary lines that should exist within the workplace.  Putting things in this light will allow you to present a more logical argument against your dating, rather than making it seem like a personal attack.

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