A.sk RossA.sk Ross About Numbers, The Economy & Throwing Caution To The WindMarissa A. Ross

A.sk Ross is where I, Marissa A. Ross, answer questions you ask me. Keep in mind I am simply a girl who’s been through a lot & has acquired some wisdom along the way. I own no certificates proclaiming my word is law, so please don’t take it as so. If anything, take my advice with a grain of salt and a pinch of optimism.

Marissa,

Okay, so this guy I’m dating at the moment is different than most of the guys I’ve usually fallen for. He’s the nicest guy I’ve ever met, I don’t usually go for the nice guy. There’s just something that’s making me feel a little insecure, I’m pretty sure he’s either a virgin or only ever been with one person. I on the other hand have a slightly larger list. Not huge! Just larger, it’s all relative. So, this question has two-parts, do guys generally care about that sort of stuff, I mean is it a massive turn off? Also, if he asks… is it okay to lie?

Anonymous

From my experience, there are two types of guys in regards to the issue of “numbers”. There are boys who give a hoot about how many people you’ve been with, and men who know it’s really none of their business. In my experience, people (both guys & girls) who care about numbers, are usually just really insecure. If you are secure with yourself and your partner, numbers don’t matter. What matters is being confident & present in your relationship and being committed to the love that is in the here & now.

If he does ask, DO NOT LIE. That is the quickest way to ruin this for yourself because eventually, the truth will come out one way or another. Lying is the worst thing you can do in a relationship because it violates trust, as well as respect. Just don’t do it. If he asks, be honest with him. Being honest with him can include either giving up your number, or simply telling him you don’t feel comfortable talking about it. Of course, telling him you don’t want to tell him may send off some alarms for him, so I would just be real with him.

If he cares about you and is a mature person, your number won’t matter. If he is an immature– and probably insecure– person, it may freak him out. And if that freaks him out, I would take it as a red flag that he has some personal issues he needs to work on. Sometimes, those issues can be worked out by just talking about why he’s getting weirded out. Other times, those issues may be deeper seeded and may lead to some unhealthy patterns in your relationship. Just keep your eyes open and make sure that no matter what, your relationship remains a happy & healthy place for you to be, or get out.

Hopefully he really is a nice guy and respects you, and you’ll never have to worry about it.

Marissa,

I had one year of college as a Journalism major and in my second semester I became very ill. I was forced to take two years off while battling serious health issues. It’s now been two years almost exactly since I left school. I am currently successfully holding four jobs to pay for all the bills I’ve racked up since it was a bloody battle fighting to get health insurance. I’m on the cusp of turning 21 (a month away) and decided to go even more insane and take a summer online course through a university close by.

Forever and a day I’ve wanted to be a teacher. I really wanted to be a history teacher but I’ve come to learn that it’s a flooded market so there wouldn’t be that many jobs available. I started to look into becoming a foreign language teacher, German actually. The more I look into and am about to get back into that downward money spiral known as school, I see the economy going kaput! I’ve met many teachers that have been laid off due to lack of funding and keep hearing many reports of millions of dollars being cut from education. I want to get my life back on track since it was forced to a halt but with what I want to do, is there even a point to it if there is no job available when I get done?

I don’t want to spend the money and time if it’ll go no where. I am currently working four jobs and it blows. I don’t want to have to work multiple jobs my entire life! I would love to be a writer but that’s also a shrinking market. It’s why I dropped journalism after the first year. Being a novelist would be downright dandy but it’s such a hard area to get into as well.

So Ross, what to do? Any advice for a 20something who’s facing the ugly monster of a distraught economy armed with only a needle to fight for their future life and career?

K.

I first want to say that I truly wish you & your health the best and that I really respect you working your butt off. You obviously are an incredibly motivated person who is passionate, so why would you let something like the economy bring you down? Look, this may be where half of my readers are like, “This woman is delusionally optimistic” but I don’t care. If you really want something, and are willing to work for it, you can have it. Yes, right now the economy sucks and the budgets are getting cut but at the end of the day, we still will always need teachers. Instead of focusing on how many teachers are getting fired, you should focus on being the best you can be so you will be a shoe-in for a job. You are obviously a go-getter, so don’t let anyone tell you you can’t get what you want in this life.

As someone who never graduated from traditional college and then turned around and decided to be a writer, everyone told me I’d never make it. Sure, I haven’t “made” it in a sense that I’m not ballin’ off blogging, but the truth is, I didn’t give up and I have made it work, even in an economy where most writing is just given away for free. It has been really hard and I’m pretty poor and work multiple jobs, but I would rather be poor and struggling to do something that makes me happy than working some BS job I’m guaranteed a salary.

Of course, I do have my side hustle– social media. That’s what I get paid mostly to do. It’s not my favorite, but it’s still at least related to something that is related to my writing. You should think about what you can do that is related to your passions that you can use to supplement yourself while teaching or writing.

I understand the stress of your money situation, but I truly believe it is better to work hard and spend money on something you love, rather than give up and settle on something you feel half-hearted about. If you put your mind to it and honestly believe in yourself, there isn’t a doubt in my mind you can’t achieve your goals. Look at how strong you have been! You can do it, girl!

Or, if you think I’m crazy, you should sit yourself down and seriously figure out what else you’d be happy doing and then pursue that. Write down all your interests and see if there is a job that matches some of them. Or you can get an office job with a salary. The choice is up to you, I just hope you choose to never give up.

Marissa,

There’s this boy (isn’t there always in the world of teenage girls?) who I adore beyond all else. We’re both in this hardcore culinary program that requires us to spend upwards of nine hours a week together. This has caused us to be friends and for me to fall pretty darn tootin’ hard for the fella. He’s not an incredibly forward kid so despite my (awkward) attempts at flirting we’ve kind of always stayed in the same place. Now that the program is over and I’m not exactly sure what to do. I’d like to get over him so I can spend my summer a less angsty version of myself and I’m not sure if telling him would help do that. Essentially, I’m trying to decide if I should just let him know that I think he’s an amazing specimen or try and forget about it. I don’t really want to lose him as a friend or make things awkward, but we aren’t really that close anyway.

H., age 17

I think you should just tell him, mostly because it doesn’t sound like you guys were going to be BFFs anyway. You said yourself you aren’t really that close, so you don’t really have anything to lose. Also, you’re seventeen. Throw caution to the wind, girl! You will either have a little something something with him, or will at least know he’s not into you and can clear your head to have fun with someone else. If you don’t tell him, I estimate you will spend at least a month of your summer speculating your decision and all the “what ifs”. Don’t do that to yourself! Just tell him and go from there. If I could go back in time, I would tell myself to always tell boys I liked them because the years go by fast, honey. The awkward times you’re having now will be gone in no time and will one day they’ll all just be a cute memories. I know, that may have sounded condescending but one day the stuff you did at seventeen will be cute! This is cute! Tell him! And then enjoy the heck outta your summer with or without him!

Thanks to everyone who wrote in this week! For everyone who needs advice, email me at A.skRossNow@gmail.com.

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