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Friday, September 29, 2023


Ask Ashley: Advice on relationships, work, more

In The Cougar’s weekly anonymous advice column, I brush on first dates, relationships and work. To submit your questions for future issues, click the “Ask Ashley” button on our home page.

Juana Garcia/The Cougar

In The Cougar’s weekly anonymous advice column, I brush on first dates, relationships and work. To submit your questions for future issues, click the “Ask Ashley” button on our home page.

I am going on a first date. What should I know?

Hey! Firstly, kudos to you on going on a date – a first one at that! You already know what to do: finesse them for a free meal! 

Just kidding! Do not do that….unless? 

All jokes aside, first dates can be nerve-wracking, and it is valid if you are feeling a bit nervous. However, I am here to advise you to not overthink it! I like to think of first dates as a way to see how well you vibe with a person. 

That means they should be fun. It’s kind of like you’re going out with a new friend, but make it romantic! When you add too much pressure on your date, I feel like it takes the fun out of it. 

Although dates are supposed to be fun, I do think you should keep aware of potential red flags. Always know that you do not have to do anything you do not want to. If your date is not respecting your “no,” then they should be no more. 

Did I make that rhyme? Yes. Was it a bar? Debatable. But I think it was a great public service announcement. 

Essentially, relax, be yourself and know you can always say no. Let your friends know your location. And most importantly, have fun!

I think my man is cheating on me. Should I look through his phone?

Oop! I am so sorry, anon. As much as I love drama, I prefer this plotline on “The Real Housewives of Potomac,” and not for you. 

Okay, but real talk? I can’t answer this with a strong yes or no. I think this is a matter for you to answer. It’s kind of like a gut feeling, you know?  

And to be honest, if you feel like your man has been every breed of dog for a while, I’d advise leaving. Your man should not be giving you Chihuahua or French bulldog vibes. 

Also, it seems there is a lack of trust in the relationship. Have you considered talking about it with him? 

While I do not have a particular answer for you (I know, bummer), I think you should be aware that looking through the phone could be a violation of trust in your partner.

However, if you’re at the point where you truly need to know, I can’t stop you there.

I hope everything works out for you anon, truly. I’m hoping he’s nothing Doja Cat raps about on “Ain’t S—-.”

I think someone in my office hates me. What should I do?

Hey! That has to be tough, I’m sorry you’re going through that right now. But honestly, Michael Scott, do not fret it — we all have a Toby.

Until it gets to the point where it’s affecting how you work, I think you should pay no attention to the individual. Besides, it’s all speculation at this point, no?

However, if it does get to the point of a “WWE SmackDown!,” seek help. There should be no reason why you should be cosplaying as The Undertaker or Rey Mysterio at work. 

Also, know that you should not feel forced to stay in a toxic work environment. If this person is messing up your vibes, even beyond intervention, my advise is getting out. Your state of mind is way more important than a paycheck.

For every star, there is a hater, anon. You just got to shake them off. And if you’re wondering, you are the star in question….unless you are the hater, well then this is awkward.

I hope it all works out for you! 

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