Dear Harriette: I live in a duplex building with my cousin. I have a pretty simple life, but my cousin is another matter entirely. He is an attractive young man in his early 20s, and he constantly has women coming in and out of the house. I know because I often run into them. I get that he doesn’t have to have a steady girlfriend, but this is ridiculous. I know it’s only a matter of time before one of them runs into another. Plus, I worry about my cousin’s health. You can’t be that promiscuous without the chance of contracting some type of STI.
What can I say to my cousin to get him to think differently about his choices? For me, if he keeps this up, I want to move. I don’t want to be in the middle of what will surely soon be a mess. I moved here hoping to have peace and a bit of protection by having my male cousin in the same house. — Promiscuous Housemate
Dear Promiscuous Housemate: You are smart to know that you have no power in getting your cousin to curb his promiscuity. This is his life and how he chooses to live it. You are also smart to consider that things could get ugly if one woman discovers another when they are coming and going from your building. Your best bet is to tell your cousin how you feel: You are disappointed in what you consider to be his reckless behavior, and you believe it is unsafe and unsavory for you to stay in this environment. Tell him that you intend to move if he continues.
Start looking for a new place right away. You have no reason to believe that his behavior will change. Just know that when you move to another location, you will have to deal with whatever your new neighbors’ proclivities are. So weigh the odds before you take your next step.
Widen your career options
Dear Harriette: I am a recent college graduate, and I have been looking for a job for about nine months. So far, even with my degree, I have found nothing in my field. I am sad about this; I put my all into college, believing that it would set me up for success. Now I’m broke. Student loan debt is looming over me, and I don’t know what to do. I need a job. Should I look outside my field? I don’t want to start out as a failure. — Need a Job
Dear Need a Job: You are not alone. It can take time to find the right fit for a job, especially when you have built a career plan that doesn’t seem to be unfolding as you would like. Do not dismay. Your job will become apparent to you, but it may take longer than you would like.
For now, it’s time to be practical. Look beyond your narrow search, and consider what other skills you have and how you can earn a living. Look broadly — from customer service, to tech, to telemarketing. Basically, right now you want to find something that will give you income while you are on your search. It could be best to look for a part-time job at night so that you have time during the day to search for a career position. Instead of giving up, get more creative. And don’t think any job is beneath you — it is not.