By Alma Gill

NNPA Columnist

 Should I Get Involved or Mind my Business?

Dear Alma,

A male friend of mine moved to my city for a 6-month work assignment. To welcome him to the area, I took him to dinner and introduced him to my local friends. Well, I just learned that he has been having a sexual relationship with a sorority sister, who’s also my best friend. I am uncomfortable with this situation because my male friend has a live-in girlfriend who has been with him for over eight years. I feel like I need to say something, especially now that his assignment may be extended and his live-in girlfriend is planning a visit. My girlfriend says she knows it’s temporary and that she plans to break up with him before his significant other arrives. She also confided to me that he told her that he loves her but cannot leave his live-in and doesn’t know what to do. She is not a dumb girl. She’s an attorney, and she’s got it going on. Do you think it‘s really love? Should I get involved or mind my business?


Dear Vicky,

If this were my BFF, I would say something like this: “What the hell…Really!! What are you thinking!” LMBO

Naaw; just kidding. Don’t do that. I’m a firm believer in what my Mama use to say: “You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.” You want to get her attention, so confront her in a manner that she can embrace.

I can sense the pride and admiration you have for your friend when you talk of her accomplishments. Granted, one’s occupation doesn’t exempt them from making unwise decisions. Anyway, your attorney-girlfriend is rationalizing her actions by thinking she’s really not being a skank because technically he’s not married. And since technically he’s not married, she can follow this yellow brick road and see where it leads.

Step up to the bench, my sistah, so you can hear me when I say this ain’t Kansas and, no, Sweetie, he’s not in love with you. He’s in really, really like, and I don’t blame him. He’s found a really smart woman to spend quality time with while he’s away from home. He offered you his live-in truth and you accepted it.

Explain to your friend that recognizing her true treasures within allows her to be prepared when a mature man comes along. A mature man will offer her the proper love, commitment and devotion she deserves. It’s time to cut it off. Don’t wait for his main squeeze to visit; do it now.

Remind her: Don’t settle for a second-hand man. Reach out, give her a fist bump and say: “Stop stumbling in the dark with Mr. Wrong, girl, when you could be dancing in the light with Mr. Right!”


Can I Fall in Love with my Cousin?

Dear Alma,

I was married for 20 years and have two grown children. I met my husband when he was best friends with a male cousin of mine. After we graduated high school, my cousin left to join the Army. We called and stayed in touch at first, but later the calls were fewer and fewer. Over the years, life took over and time passed; we’d see each other only at a few family gatherings. My husband and I grew apart and are now divorced. My cousin is retired now and living in another state. His wife recently died and I traveled to attend her funeral. Since the funeral, my cousin and I have been talking on the phone, texting and emailing each other, promising to stay in touch and become close like we were before. I don’t know why or how, but I have very strong feelings for him. I know he doesn’t feel the same way that I do, and I feel terrible about this, but I can’t get him off my mind. We understand each other, and he is exactly what I’ve always looked for in a man. It seems we fit like a puzzle. Can you fall in love with your cousin?


Dear Wanda,

Yea, you can. But you can’t do anything about it. You’re not allowed to act on it…because you’re family. He’s off limits to you.

Don’t get me wrong. I have plenty of fine male cousins. And if you take a poll, I’m sure many of your friends have at least one fine cousin they wished weren’t a cousin. It’s just not something we admit out loud.

It’s easy to misinterpret the connection you feel with your cousin. You grew up together, share history, and I’m sure you both bring a soothing comfort and love to one another. But it’s not the kind of love you’re speaking of. Put on your big-girl lace panties and snap out of it.

Here’s my advice: Allow the thought for one minute, then blow it away like a kiss in the wind. There’s a new love out there looking forward to meeting you, and trust me, he ain’t your cousin.


Alma Gill’s newsroom experience spans more than 25 years, including various roles at USA Today, Newsday and the Washington Post. Email questions to:  Follow her on Facebook at “Ask Alma” and twitter @almaaskalma.