DEAR HARRIETTE: I went out with a nice guy, and we had a good time except that he seemed to be a little bit sick. He kept coughing, and it didn’t sound good.
He assured me that he didn’t have COVID-19. To him, that meant everything was fine. I thought to myself, there are lots of illnesses other than COVID-19. I think he should have canceled the date, but since we were out, I wasn’t sure what to do.
So I stayed, but then he wanted to kiss me. I drew the line there. I told him that I didn’t feel comfortable kissing him because he was sick.
He had the nerve to catch an attitude about that. What? I swear I thought I was in the Twilight Zone. Who would knowingly kiss someone who is sick?
I don’t want to dump this guy before it even gets started, so what can I say to address this?
Not When You Are Sick
DEAR NOT WHEN YOU ARE SICK: Call this guy and tell him that you are feeling uncomfortable about the date you went on.
Tell him that as much as you had been looking forward to hanging out with him, you think he should have canceled and explained why. People seem to have forgotten that they can get seriously ill with other viruses beyond COVID-19.
Tell him you believe he was sick enough to stay home. Point out, too, that he got indignant when you wouldn’t kiss him. Ask him if he cares about your well-being. If he answers yes, ask him if he would knowingly make you sick. If he says no, tell him that kissing you when sick would directly pass germs that could make you ill.
The way he responds should tell you whether you go out with him again.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I was going through old emails and social media posts and discovered a couple of messages from an old friend. She was reaching out in a timely manner, and I totally missed more than one message. These messages go back more than a year.
I feel horrible that she probably thinks I don’t care about her at all. I did not see any of these communications until just now.
Do I reach out to her now even though it’s so late? If I do, should I admit that I only just now saw her messages?
At this point, what she asked is moot, but I want her to know that I didn’t intentionally ignore her. What should I say?
DEAR MISSED MESSAGES: Do write back to her — or call if you have her number.
Apologize for only discovering her multiple outreaches now. Assure her that you were not ignoring her. Instead, you hadn’t looked at your messages closely and had missed them.
This is an increasingly common challenge for people these days. For those who use more than one social media outlet plus email, there are multiple locations to search for messages. If they are active on social media, messages can get buried. Also, the messenger feature is different than the regular flow of content.
Be honest. Apologize and give her the best way to reach you directly if she needs you.
Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.