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Harriette Cole: What does it mean that my boyfriend’s sister called me by this name?

Harriette Cole: What does it mean that my boyfriend’s sister called me by this name?

DEAR HARRIETTE: My boyfriend’s sister recently called me by another girl’s name.

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While on FaceTime with my boyfriend, I could hear her in the background, and she used the name in asking who he was talking to. This made me wonder if there was something going on between my boyfriend and this other girl.

What should I do? Is it possible that it was just a slip of the tongue, or should I confront my boyfriend about it?

— Wrong Name

DEAR WRONG NAME: Don’t think of this as a confrontation. Consider it a point of clarification. This way you don’t go into the conversation ready to fight. You can be on an information-gathering mission.

Go to your boyfriend and ask him who this person is. Then wait. You don’t have to fill in the blanks. You can allow silence to fill the space until he responds. If he says nothing, repeat the question. His reaction will tell you a lot about who this person may be.

If things remain awkward, tell him you are asking because you heard his sister say her name. Obviously, you want to know if he is seeing someone else. Ask him to tell you if he is. Make it clear that you deserve to know. You do not want to be in the dark here. You would greatly appreciate his honesty.

DEAR HARRIETTE: The ongoing union strikes have left me jobless as a writer’s assistant for a major entertainment company.

It has been a year since I moved to Los Angeles for this job, and now I’m left with the difficult decision of staying in the city to search for a new job or returning home to my family and familiar surroundings.

While I have grown to love the vibrant city of Los Angeles and the exciting industry it holds, the practicalities of living expenses and the unpredictability of finding a job in such a competitive market leaves me unsure of what to do.

Moving to LA and being a writer for this company have been my dreams since childhood. What should I consider before making this life-changing decision?

— Lost in LA

DEAR LOST IN LA: If your dream is to live and work in LA, don’t give up just yet. Behind the scenes, the union and film executives are working overtime to come to an agreement. It is not easy, as both sides have their arguments.

While they are at a standstill, you have to take action. Aggressively look for a job, preferably something that pays well and offers flexibility. Restaurant and bar jobs work well for people in the entertainment industry, but there are other options depending on your skills and experience.

Eventually, the strike will end. If you can find something that puts money in your pocket while you wait, do that. You may have to get creative in your search and think outside the box as thousands of other people are job-searching right now, too.

Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to askharriette@harriettecole.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

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